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.