July 13, 2013

Malala Yousafzai is a living saint

Coming on the heels of Pope Francis' meaningless announcement that two previous popes are about to become saints...we get to meet a real saint.

Yesterday, Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations. It was her 16th birthday. I assume readers are familiar with her name. She is the young Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for championing the right of girls to be educated.

If you saw the video of her appearance, you felt the power of this young woman. Her cry is clear and just: the world's children deserve a fine, free education. It is their right. And if you missed the video, here it is:

Those are the words of a true saint. And yes, she thanks "god" in her talk. It is a reflection of her heritage, and I suspect the words are meant to chasten those listeners who are religious, to tamp down their differences. She is saying, "We are all one" when she thanks god.

When Malala makes a public appearance, I always wonder what the folks at the Vatican think. I mean, here's a real, actual saint -- as opposed to the nonsensical "saints" of the Catholic faith. I hope Pope Francis was chastened upon hearing her words. When you hear Malala, you hear truth and goodness. She stands for what is right and just and caring. And yes, she is a true saint.

This reminds me that we should re-purpose this otherwise meaningless term. We should award the title of saint to those secular heroes who stand up for the rights of others. Let's give this word a real-life meaning.

Saint Malala. I like it. Surely there are other living saints in this world. I say we give them all their due. The Saints of the Secular Landscape. That sounds good to my ears.


Anonymous said...

I saw Malala on The Daily Show and realized I had just seen and heard a Saint. True courage.

writenow said...

You're so right. I was just about to post something about her when I saw your comment. I hope she gets the Nobel Peace Prize. Who deserves it more? Thanks for commenting.