Every religion worships the same God.
We have different names for God and we worship Him (or Her) in different ways. Even within a particular religion, there are wide differences of opinion about how God should be worshipped and how the major book for that religion shall be interpreted.
All of these differences can be accommodated by reasonable people in a peaceful world, but there is one major issue that divides all religions.
Is God a symbol of hope, love and compassion or is God a dispenser of punishment for sins who appoints followers to be killers of sinners in His name.
In my view, the undeniable truth is that God has never been a creator of death, even when we die normally. God has never decided who lives or dies or when death shall occur. Nor does he decide who gets ill or suffers hard times. These unavoidable issues of life are determined by nature or by our own irresponsibility.
God, quite simply, has one role only. He gives us the personal spiritual power to handle all that life throws up at us.
So, when Jihadists kill people and claim they did it at God’s command, they commit the ultimate blasphemy. Throughout the history of humanity, God has never once called anyone to kill or punish in His name.
Those religious fanatics whose profession is killing are quite simply cold blooded murderers who use God as a very convenient excuse for their bloodthirsty evil.
They even put out the story that God will reward them in heaven by giving them 100 virgins each. Even if there is such a place as heaven, I think that God would not waste virgins on these idiots as he would have no doubt that the virgins have ten times their intelligence. Jihadists are the ultimate delusionists and the prime exponents of depravity.
Nevertheless, there is another huge problem that muddies the water.The creation of peace in the world is retarded by the holier than thou attitude of too many Christians who believe that other religions are false and they are the only true believers. Above all, they are easily convinced that all Muslims are either killers or potential killers.
We constantly overlook centuries of Christian depravity which are highlighted by the murderous Crusades, the burnings at the stake, the hanging of witches and, in more modern times, the horrible bigotry of Protestants and Catholics shooting one another in Northern Ireland. Added to this are the white racist ‘Christians’ in USA who still persecute and kill African and Spanish Americans, while South African whites did likewise in the apartheid years.
At another level, Christians constantly persecute homosexuals, unmarried mothers and women having abortions, all in the name of God.
We must set an international example by ceasing that unwarranted nonsense.
Now, in todays world, everyone seem to be murdering everyone else in the Middle East and streams of refugees are fleeing for their lives by road and sea in unprecedented numbers. We direct all our retaliation at ISIS and its associates while ignoring Boko Haram in Africa whose record of violence is so bad they make ISIS look like saints.
We also ignore the advance of Hindu nationalism in India which is beginning to tear that great nation apart. Similarly, too many support the right wing extremists who control the American Congress and want to punish all who live in poverty on the grounds that they are ‘lazy’ even though it is their own economic and social policies that caused the poverty in the first place.
What this all means is that if we can raise our minds above the politics of the goodies and the baddies, we will find that there is a God of all humanity who gives us the power to do good, not in His name, but because our faith and common decency propel us to do nothing less.
This brings me to the key point of my thoughts at this moment.
Peace depends on each one of us accepting the value and integrity of all with whom we live and move and have our being, particularly those whom we don’t like personally.
Our quest for personal peace will be enhanced if the religious leaders of every nation meet regularly with goodwill and find common ground to do good together instead of just wringing their hands and expressing anguish about the violent world. They can reject all fundamentalism and open closed minds to the reality of a modern world that needs a new expression of the good life that will enhance all humanity irrespective of social status, race, gender or religion.
Yours at large
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