Religion Means War…
One of the most widely debated subjects of this era. Of any era for that matter. Religion of today is probably in a far different place than it’s ever been. What was once revered for its moral high-ground, it now stands reviled for its actions and judgmental points of view. While both of which are actually applicable, I do in fact believe that ‘religion’ in it of it self receives some unfair criticism. People have even placed it in a category by calling it ‘Organized’ to make it sound like some type of institution that’s just out to condemn and send people into the fiery pits of hell. With that said, I still believe that there are a few things that people say about ‘organized religion’ that may in fact be myths.
So let’s go there. Before writing this entry, I asked myself (for months), why do people hate religion so much? (Isn’t that a great question!) I would say the most passionate answer I’ve heard is that religion is the cause of so many of the wars that have happened in this world. Hmmm…Wow, that’s a tough one. I guess that’s kinda true. Yes, there have been wars where religion has been directly at the center. Two come to mind right off the bat: The Crusades, a series of ‘holy’ wars that lasted in the close to 400 years. Sanctioned by various popes of that era, the crusades were basically about taking the land of Muslims to so that pilgrims had access to the Eastern regions (ex. mostly Middle Eastern countries). Well, I guess the way I think of that is: you’re trying to come and take my land and don’t expect me to fight for it. Right…Nah, I’m gonna fight. Hey…it happens. Then there was a war that lasted 30 years called appropriately ‘The Thirty Years War’. This war was mainly a European war in which Roman Catholics wanted to enforce religious unity. In other words they wanted everyone to have the same religion and belief-set. Now we all know that it’s tough to get 20 people to think the same way, let alone a whole other region of countries. Even with this, while it may have started for religious reasons, it really became about one region, conquering another, which is generally what happens in all wars, right? Anytime you have a bully, no matter what they believe, it always comes down to their true motives. To conquer. To take over regardless of the consequences (just a thought).
Another “myth” that’s out there is that religion is a form of control. It is said that religious folks tend to try to push their way of morality upon others. They want to make everyone believe what they believe, and if you don’t follow them, you are in the wrong and all going to reside in the eternal pit of hell. Again, that’s a tough one too. Reason being, is that there are people out there who want you to believe what they do. There are people who would like nothing better than for you to do things their way, and see morality as such. That’s just honest, I can’t lie about it. There are people like that who claim to be Christian or Muslim, or what have you, that are that way. Those groups of people are generally called cults, ISIS, ISIL, those ill Kool Aid drink folks or whatever. They are the probably the most extreme examples, but nevertheless, they are out there. It is also true that religion hasn’t done itself any favors to endear itself to others when you have people like popes, jihadists, pastors, and my favorite, KKK members, spreading the ‘so-called gospel’of what they believe to be true. While a lot of religion is in-fact about evangelism, not everyone involved does it in a way that is forceful. Then there’s people like Kim Davis, who has a press conference to tell the world that God told her not do her job. Hmmm…As a matter of fact. Religion in of it self is supposed to be peaceful. It’s just that there will always be those that mistreat individuals and say it’s because of one thing, but truth be told, it’s really about the power.
Again, these are some of the tough truths to face about religion and where it’s been. Especially in today’s day and age. People really don’t get down with religion. They want it out of their government, let alone a part of their personal lives. Concerning the whole argument of control, I’d like to submit this: Control suggest that people don’t have a choice in a matter or situation. Most religions are not about choices, but consequences. Religion says that if you don’t do something, then something may happen as a result. While some may insist that to be a scare tactic, or a way to control others using their own fears, I’d say that contrary to your belief, people fear religion because it can be very powerful. That’s probably why they believe it to be control. When you get a bunch of like-minded people together to accomplish a goal, things generally tend to get done. Religion can be used to unite people. That’s what some consider to be dangerous. The things is this though, for those groups that people fear: If I went to a store and robbed the store in your name, would that mean that you did it? Consider the fact that everyone who claims a religion, may not always be what they seem. People tend to be leery of clergymen anyway, so why would you believe the extremist are acting in the best interest of a deity. I think that’s easier to believe than most might think. For example, Hitler claimed that religion was the reason why Germany wasn’t great. So he persecuted Jews, and Christians. He wanted to kill them to remove them from the picture. Sound familiar. Today, you have people like (I’ll just throw a name out there), Donald Trump, who claim that the reason that ‘America’ is no longer great is because of people of a certain religion (Muslims). He says that in order for us to be the best again, we need to eliminate the threat of Muslim terrorism. Again, sound familiar. What he just so happened to omit from his statement, were that most of the in-country acts terrorism that happens in the streets, or movie theaters, or schools around the country, are committed by (you guessed it) Mus…no wait…Americans (wait…what?) Not just any old American, white Americans. Hmmm… Sorry Mr. Trump, just wanted to bring a bit of truth to the puzzle. Oh, and did I mention that Trump, claims to represent Christianity. We all know that’s not religion that causing him to speak this way. It’s plain old ignorance. It’s not educating yourself to the differences between different cultures and how they live (peacefully).
Again, it took me a while to write this, because you don’t just wanna come out and make a statement without having some basis of fact. So here’s your facts if you like them so much. Out of the 1700 some odd wars that this world has been faced with, only about 120 or so have been primarily based off of religion. Most who don’t care for ‘organized’ religion probably don’t talk about that. They love to make generalizations about why religion is so bad, but never mention that there are religions out there that are doing more for the country’s homeless, than the government they so intently rely upon (just saying).
And that’s not all:
While ‘organized religion’ does have its pitfalls. There are a few things that it does not carry responsibility for:
- Starving people
- People who can’t afford homes
- People who live daily without healthcare
- People who have no clean water supply
- People who’s water supply has been poisoned
- Cops killing black men in the middle of the streets
- People being mistreated, hung, or maimed due to color of their skin (did I already mention Racism?)
Shall I go on:
So the next time you would like to blame all the worlds (or country’s) problems on religion, remember, man has and will always be the common denominator. It’s about his choices, and how he chooses to treat others on a daily basis. God may have given man this earth, but man is the one that made all the choices on what to do with it.
More to Come…