Do We Have Angry Religions, Or Angry People?
This past year has been has been full of news stories relating to violence committed by self-proclaimed religious people/leaders. There is no shortage of such stories, whether it has been extreme Christians going on a rampage, like the man who shot one police officer and two civilians, on November 28th at the Planned Parenthood building, in Colorado, or the deranged Muslim man with his wife who went berserk shooting people in San Bernardino, California.
We had our own lunatics here in Canada this past year, with one confused, angry man shooting a soldier on Parliament Hill then, getting in a shoot-out with police inside the Parliament building. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world things are even worse. Attacks based on religious beliefs are happening from South-east Asia, to the Middle East, to Africa, to Australia and to Europe.
The one striking commonality with all such cases is that the people involved in the attacks are claiming to be doing the work of one God, or another. Well, if we are to believe these people, God seems to just want us to keep killing one another: the Muslim God wants Christians heads cut off, the Christian God wants Muslims subjugated, on and on we go. Of course, this is all nonsense.
Fazlur Rahman writes in his book titled “Islam”: “Indeed, the most intense impression that the Qur’an leaves upon a reader is not a watchful, frowning, and punishing God, as the Christians have generally made it out to be, nor of a chief judge as the Muslims legalists have tended to think, but of a unitary and purposive will creative of order in the universe”.
This I think is where the problem lies: our interpretation of Sacred texts. If the person doing the interpreting is an angry person, the portrayal of their understanding of any one religion, will be angry. Thus, their actions will be angry/violent as well. An angry person can turn a trip to Disneyland into a scene of terror. I do not think we can blame religious texts.
I stop and think, what happened to: “To us belongs nothing, O Jehova, to us belongs nothing, But to your name give glory According to your loving-kindness, according to your trueness”? Loving-kindness...
Christian fundamentalists scream that they want their America back. Muslim fanatics want a Caliphate. Fools, nothing belongs to You! ... They do not see that though. Their egos are bursting out of their bodies. They plunder and use God’s name in vain, over and over. Their anger and hatred blinds them. Pay no attention to what they say, they’re mad and lost their pebbles.
This is the mistake we should not follow: blame religions for the deeds of a handful of delusional, misguided and angry people. There are 7.4 billion people on this Planet and while it is true that a handful of lunatics can take over our news cycle, let’s not let them take over our lives, our good will and good composure. We are One people, on One planet.
(The photo is Spirit Whisperer's photo of a statue I saw at an antique shop, when I visited him. I tried finding out who it is but the best I got was: "Some African Deity")