So I Begin to Wonder…

By The David

And so, I begin to wonder…..
We watch the news and there is another area of dissension in a place far away. The part of the population that is in the streets sees the present leadership as being composed of a tyrant and his minions. Prisons have been emptied and there are political dissidents and there are criminals in the streets. There has been an attempt to loot the Cairo Museum, the home of invaluable antiquities. But there have also been idealists hoping for the best outcome if the present leadership can be overcome and ejected. One article says that the wish is for all religions to live in peace. All religions in peace?

And so, I begin to wonder…..

Can there be peace when there is a power vacuum? It is not only nature that abhors a vacuum, but also the greedy for whom power is nourishment and the ultimate aphrodisiac. The wish for all religions to live in peace is an impossibility. Religions clash as they try to prove to the world that theirs is the only path to salvation, and they will get you to paradise even if they have to murder you to do it. History is rife with situations wherein men and women have been killed because they did not follow the “right” spiritual path. We in the West fool ourselves into believing that such behaviors are only sequelae of Muslim interventions. Anyone who believes this is being deluded.

Those whose agenda profits from instilling hate and perpetuating war will preach the hard line that the Muslim’s goal is to kill all of those who do not believe as he does. These people demean the Koran and those who follow it. They do so in order to foment fear and enhance their own power either politically or as a matter of Religion.

And so, I begin to wonder…..

Are Fundamentalists of any stripe better than their counterparts who follow a different path? We can point to the sectarian conflicts and murders we see in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although a small number of incidents are directed against Christians, for the most part they are the abuses against Muslims who belong to different sects or hold less rigid views within Islam. But we look at what happens there as evidence that Muslims belong to a religion that preaches hate and has as its ultimate goal the conquering of the world and the killing of all of those who do not share their beliefs.

Christians shrink in abject horror from such behavior. They claim to follow the teachings of the Christ who preached love toward one’s neighbor. So, they claim. But in actuality, the Fundamentalist Christian has proven to be every bit as violent as the Fundamentalist of any stripe. When one goes back to the Fundamentals of any movement, they are stripping away any of the refinements that scholars and civilization itself have brought to the interpretation. Christian Fundamentalists have exhibited their violence and hate toward any person who believes and lives differently than what their biblical interpretation dictates. Wars have been waged in the name of the Christian Faith. We see it in the Catholic Church with their belief that only a baptized person can enjoy paradise. (Baptism by water, desire or fire, but still baptism is a prerequisite to eternal happiness.) One can go no further back than the treatment of the the Native Americans by this Church. We see it with the Fundamentalist Protestant sects who preach that unless a man or woman is “Born Again” they will not enjoy heavenly bliss. It is the Fundamentalists who have exported their hate of homosexuals to Africa, poisoning the minds of so many there and directly being the cause and the driving force of the beatings and murders of gay men and women. Africa is seen as a fertile field for proselytizing by both Protestant and Roman Catholic fundamentalists, and the fruit of those efforts can be seen in the exporting of an American form of hate justified by selective readings of the Bible. Too often the Old Testament is used as justification to kill in honor of the Man who came to offer a new commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” One cannot find one word out of the mouth of Jesus that justifies what religion has done to the homosexual throughout history, not a single word!

And so, I begin to wonder…..

How long will people be deluded by the rhetoric of the Ministers, Priests, Bishops and Pope who preach hate and call it love? How long will people swallow a line thrown by these men that demeans a group for no reason other than that such demonization causes fear among the population and this fear can be a vehicle for the raising of money. Who can prevent these awful gay men and lesbians from coming after your children if prevention is not inspired by Holy Mother The Church? (please send a check!) To see further violence of Christian Fundamentalism one does not have to search through antiquity, all one need do is read the newspaper. There are movements within this country itself that would do away with the rights of those who follow Islam and those who are Jews, either by religion or ethnicity. There are movements within the United States that enjoin parents to disown and turn-out their own sons and daughters if their children are born gay or lesbian. When will people finally take the time to read? Read the New Testament, do so while leaving behind the interpretations of those who would have you hate. Read and ponder. Question and refuse the easy path. Question and begin to wonder.

15 Comments on “So I Begin to Wonder…”

  1. Sadly, there are people who will twist the words of most anything for their own profit and/or the promotion of their bigotry. Just look at Fox News. They can’t be bothered with the truth. They’re focused on their agenda and they’ll push their agenda on anyone whom they can get to listen to them. Hate, lies, and fear seem to be more popular than the truth. I guess the truth just isn’t exciting enough to feed most people’s phobias.

  2. I wonder too, any religion that seeks to program every thought is not a religion to be believed or followed, peace is a dream of the innocent. I have to think the American Indians had it right, to respect the land and the wind and take care of those who depend on you .. and leave “forever” to the flow of the river … there is no truth in religion, only hurt and control .. why are we so drawn to a system that seeks to ruin our life here on earth with the promise of something more after death. I wonder too .. thanks for this, as always so on target and so thoughtful ………

  3. It is my belief that it is not “religion” that is the problem. I bet, that even if religion were taken entirely out of the human equation there would still be these issues.

    This is the nature of group-think. We see it in rats overpopulated, they tangle-up and attack outsiders in the wild, in the laboratories they just eat each other. As far as I can tell rats have no proclaimed religion. (The Secret of NIMH notwithstanding)

    No, unfortunatley when we get too big, when any population of any animal gets too big they turn on each other. Religion is an excuse. A handy one, a motivating one, a fancy and sometimes attractive one, but an exuse all the same.

  4. religion is the problem, it was true back when over population was not a concern .. all recorded history is about the role of religion to suppress and control the masses, even when those masses had to be imported by war, in the name of religion .. we need slaves to build monuments to our God kind of thing .. rats BTW are Methodists
    .. I thought everyone knew that ..

  5. People wage in invasive wars because of an instilled belief in their superiority; whether it’s religion, National origin, intellectual flattery or the Neanderthal mentality that conquest makes right. Regardless of the props used to perpetrate the crime, the outcome is the same. Those who have united under a suspicion of their own superiority torment and persecute those who fall beneath the power of their numbers.

  6. I would never worship any deity of any kind (as such acts are simply not in my nature), but if there is one supernatural entity I can claim any respect for it would be Satan – other so-called “gods” feel the need to dress up their actions in rhetoric of the “greater good” or other such fictions, whilst Satan is completely honest about what he stands for.

  7. @ grainnerhuad,

    I’m using the Levayan conception of Satan – that is the archetype of self-gratification and indulgence in what organized relgion calls “sin.” He’s not a “bad” guy so much as he is an honest one: unlike most people (who try to hide that self-indulgent part of their nature), he openly touts it as an example of how to live life – forever in the now, seeking out what *you* want rather than what other powers tell you to desire.

  8. @Azazel, thanks I just wanted to be clear, as there are other notions of satan out there wherin he would grab the power for himself like a greedy god, leading the unthinking like the pied piper. Nobody wants to be a sheep. Or at least that’s what they bleat.

  9. I do see Religion as an Arch-Villain in the picture. I believe this to be true since Religions, in order to hold their members instill two doctrines into them: One is the sinfulness or evil of the human race, and the other is the superiority of those who follow the particular religion’s teneants. Scare the hell out of them, but at the same time, make them believe they are better than their neighbor who holds another belief. Part of that neighbor’s belief is that he follows the true way, and is thus better than you. From this simple beginning comes war and persecution. As Rich says above, it has been going on well before population grew to the point where we threaten the planet.

    Religion is not the only villain. Super Patriotism also enters the picture, but that is for another time.

  10. I can see how religion has become the go to for blame in this arena and in truth, I cannot think of a religion that doesn’t behave this way.

    However the same construct is achieved under nationalism, tribalism and any other glorified ideal you can sell to a group. Hell, ever met any Amway assholes?

    In anycase, I maintain that it is human nature and desire to control resources, including other humans that is behind this behavior. Overpopulation the way we see it doesn’t matter as we never truly understand how much or little we have.

  11. “Christians shrink in abject horror from such behavior. They claim to follow the teachings of the Christ who preached love toward one’s neighbor.”

    David, some Christians shrink in horror; others embrace such things (ever hear of the “Army of God?”) – some claim to follow Christ’s teachings – but leading-by-example isn’t working nowadays in a world not yet sated with violence.

    Religion is the most destructive power on earth – add up the good and the bad, and religion comes out judged-in-the-balance-and-found-wanting. It’s also, quite conveniently, the only thing capable of convincing someone to die for a cause (you can get someone to fight – and they might even like it – but you can’t get them to die unless they believe they’re going Someplace Better).

    Ever since we evolved enough to think for ourselves, we’ve formed groups around strong leaders – this was an early survival-mechanism, just as mistrusting the People Across The River was an early defense-mechanism. Both are perfect for the creation of religions – which are the ultimate expression of power one-over-another.

    Those dots are not hard to connect – and sadly, we’ll keep fighting over disparate belief-systems until we either evolve enough to lose those mechanisms, or until we self-enlighten to the point we realize that we need to start suppressing them for our own survival.

    As Bill Maher said so well in “Religulous” – “That’s it. Grow up, or die.”


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