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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Thursday, July 28, 2005

God Does Not Take Sides

I am an American citizen, raised Roman Catholic and I am absolutely sickened to see how people manipulate holy scriptures in order to justify their own ends. I hate it when Muslims do it and I hate it when Christians or Jews or any other religious ideologues do it because the result is always the same – someone gains and some one loses.



Here’s a newsflash

God does not take sides because the Supreme Being is way too big for any single religion. If anyone ever tells you that God is on their side – s/he is a liar. You can count on that.

Lest we forget, it was religious tolerance in Spain that allowed the Catholic Kings to unseat the Moors after seven hundred years of occupation. The expulsion of the Moors by Isabel and Ferdinand came about precisely because Islam makes provisions for religious tolerance.

More people have been killed in the name of God on this planet than for any other single reason. God has been used and misused by people pursuing personal agendas that suit their own needs to the exclusion of others. Today is no different. Extremists exist throughout the planet and Islam has no monopoly on Jihad.

Religious insensitivity and lack of tolerance being waged against Islam these days is at an all time high. Their response is to react with extreme violence - now the argument has become one of the chicken and egg variety. I really don't care who started it - it needs to stop. The only way it will stop is when people once again forego violence for empathy. Terrorism and suicide bombings are the tools of a weaker foe who cannot possibly take on a more powerful one. It is a powerful coercive tactic because it strikes fear in the hearts of everyone - it reveals a very uncomfortable vulnerability. 'If the mountain will not come to Muhammad - then Muhammad must come to the mountain ' an apropos saying at this juncture in history - chilling as it has become prophetic.

Unfortunately, the response for the West is to rely on terror tactics in which object lessons are being taught at the expense of Third-World citizens and people of color - vis a vis the brutal, cold-blooded murder of a Brazilian in a London Subway. Rationalizing the murder of an innocent citizen that the government is ostensibly set up to protect is the ultimate irony of all. It is a perfect example of religion gone awry.

I only pray that 'my' God, 'their' God and everyone else's God will expose every selfish agenda. May the one that cannot be named deprive those who invoke his name for selfishness and self-righteousness. May those using his name in vain to commit such despicable acts be held accountable for their sins against Humanity.When it comes to bullies, I don’t give a flip who they are. They need to be confronted. They need to be stopped. In this case, as Malcolm X once said about violence visiting upon the sixties owing to civil rights unrest, 'The chickens are coming home to roost.' Failed Western policies - more specifically those of the US have led to the strife in the Mid-east - anyone who does not know this is a fool who needs to open a history book. America has consistently disrespected and manipulated less strong countries for the past 150 years - from Banana Republics to Iraq and now we are reaping the horrors of such selfishness. The West has been no better and countless historical events support my claim. We simply can no longer dismiss people from other countries as inferior or weak or even stupid. They are schooling us in the art of respect. They are no longer taking it lying down.

I say we better give these people their due or continue to suffer the consequences. If we want respect we have to give it. If we want religious tolerance then we need to drop our own Jihadist tendencies. In the eyes of Middle Easterners, America is no longer the policeman of the world - America is the bully.

8 Comments:

At Thu Jul 28, 10:54:00 AM MDT, Blogger Beaver said...

Amen to that.

By the way, any "true" Christian, Jew, or Muslim will agree that HE does not condone intolerance and warfare.

As a raised RC and confirmed agnostic, I agree.

On on !

 
At Thu Jul 28, 05:42:00 PM MDT, Blogger Paul said...

I think what happens is that for some people, "God" becomes an extension of their ego, of their need to be right, powerful, calling the shots. And they don't even know it.

So they end up worshipping this little "god" that only has relevance to themselves and other people who are using that same religion for the same godless purpose.

With a god that small, you might as well just get a cage and buy yourself a hamster. It's a less dangerous sort of pet to own.

 
At Thu Jul 28, 09:16:00 PM MDT, Blogger M said...

I have this picture in my head of Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad sitting together at a table like bosom buddies, maybe drinking beer (but Muhammad would be nursing a cup of coffee, or a tall glass of tea maybe?). They are shaking their heads at what's happening in the world and how their teachings have been distorted to suit people's own ends. It sure is a loopy world, they say, let's drink to that!

 
At Thu Jul 28, 10:50:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Beaver,

The problem is all these deluded folks think they are the 'true' ones - they read out of context and they simply reflect what is wrong with society today; people have color-by-numbers mentalities and only cull out whatever information they find useful to achieve their ends. Everybody claims to be hearing God and their God seems to be telling them to vanquish their enemies. They are skipping all the parts that speak about togetherness and connectedness and kindness and on and on. How incredibly disturbing.

Paul,

You have pinpointed it for me. That is exactly what seems to be happening - subjective/selective religiosity - of the smaller variety. That God created Humans in his likeness sas to me that there is a danger inherent to all humans and that is that they all believe themselves to be Gods.

mj,

To me, they are all one and the same - they are part of the collective consciousness we refer to as 'God' - I am at a loss as to why people can be so vicious to eachother. I cannot understand how people can rationalize something as obscene as gunning down an innocent man simply because he looked 'foreign' in England. That poor man was just one of the many citizens inthat country who deserve protection not a bigoted, knee-jerk reaction that targeted him for a state-sanctioned murder simply because he lacked Northern-European features.

Thanks for posting folks - I really appreciate the dialogue through all this insanity. It is good to know people from all walks of life and from very different places in the world from mine are taking the time to discuss these seemingly insignificant matters to the rest of the world.

J

 
At Fri Jul 29, 12:06:00 AM MDT, Blogger Just call me T said...

Well J, I feel your anger at the mess that we have gotten ourselves into. The unfortunate thing is that most don't see it as our fault but that it is always someone else's fault; shame on them and shame on those that do nothing but complain about it.
As for using God for one's own agenda, well I will not judge. We see it this everywhere from someone in the market to the president himself. But it is not my place to inflict punishment or judgment, although, I think eternal damnation would suit them all well.
In time, God, or whatever you wish to call him, will reveal what is to be our future. Sometimes that frightens me knowing what we have done.
I am not what someone would call a highly religious person but I do know that using something for one's own ego or for praise is just that, 'USING" them. Any intelligent person will see through the blinding smoke that is being blow out someone's backside.
Personally, I pity them. I would hate to see them when their time came. I am sure it will not be pretty.

Soft love,
T

 
At Fri Jul 29, 06:56:00 AM MDT, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

J,
There is a television show called "The Order" that has been on cable of late. It about Sin Eaters. I think most folks, especially those in power, who practice such inhumanity and godlessness think that in the end, all they have to do is give some money to a church, any church, make a confession and all their sins will be forgiven before they pass on. It's this type of thinking that keeps us hurting each other in the name of one, and everyone call that one "god". How sad that we don't see that we are all one, and nothing anyone can do or say can change this.

I believe in forgiveness, but of late it's getting harder and harder. Still, I believe in forgiveness and not judging.

Your blog is an eye opening experience that serves to remind us all ... that beyond the pain there is hope. But indeed, with so much hatred, it gets hard to see.

Keep on leading the way and you will find that you are not in the wilderness alone. I dare say, when one write for self, they write for all. For self is where I believe the god/goodness in us resides.

Be well,
LP

 
At Fri Jul 29, 08:33:00 PM MDT, Blogger Tazeen Mohsin said...

Well, I really gotta say. I admire u for being so open-minded. U really have been put here as a blessing n reminder that yes, good ppl still roam this land. Wat i personally feel is that Muslims particularly r so outraged n raging supposedly "JIHAD" that too suicide bombing becoz of the sentimental value to it. Islam labels all muslims as brothers. So it's that passion that puts them on the wrong track. These extremist feel that they r the chosen ones n can relieve the rest of the sufferings n this is the quickest way to Heaven. There is no religion expect Islam.If God was to enforce Islam on every1 why has it been mentioned in the Quran in 1 of the starting verses "Let there be no compulsion in religion". Then y r the Jews n Christains still referred to "The people of the Book"? The whole idea of Islam has been distorted by the leaders.
I feel the world has a long way to go before it can actually leave it's political reasons in the name of religion.

 
At Sat Jul 30, 09:36:00 PM MDT, Blogger Cricketina said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one outraged by the "one-sided" God issue, as I sometimes feel I am. It blows my mind that anyone who claims to have a loving God can turn that same idea of God around to be condemning and judgmental. I'm not fond of people who judge and condemn (not sure of anyone who particularly likes these personality traits), this world is too full of all of that; so why should we want to worship a being full of anything but love??

Even if you look within one single religion, there is no congruency. For example, I have yet to figure out why various sects of "Christianity" believe that other sects are wrong. Aren't we all worshiping the same basic idea??

Can't we all just get along?

 

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