………You agree with me. That’s always been my impression of religion and why, although I believe in a higher power, I have no time for organised religion. That’s not to say that I don’t respect people who are religious, I do, but I simply cannot understand why a certain group of people who believe in God think that they are different or superior to another group who believe in exactly the same thing even though they may use a different name.
In England, in the time of Henry VIII, heretics, i.e. people who didn’t agree with the accepted religious beliefs of the time were tied to a big stick and then set on fire. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe in God and His teachings, they did, but they didn’t accept the rule of the Catholic church. So, basically, same God but different people handing out interpretations of what He said and all hell breaks lose – why????
The same thing happened to Christians in Roman times – their beliefs were considered ‘superstitions’ and not in keeping with the opinions of those in charge at the time i.e. that there were lots of Gods, so they were put in a big pit with some lions who did what lions are wont to do and ate them. On this occasion it wasn’t down to the quality of the God but the quantity apparently but, in either case, the dictator and the lions’ breakfast believed the same thing, that there is a higher power…….
In more recent times religion has been used by crazy people to justify their insane actions: the Nazi concentration camps and the 9/11 bombings for instance but why use God to legitimize acts which are simply and straightforwardly mass murder by lunatics? If it is claimed that some terrible act is carried out in God’s [insert deity of choice] name does it make it more acceptable or does it just give the perpetrators a good excuse for their own violent natures? There are very, very few people who would condone mass murder but it doesn’t seem as though religions lose followers when atrocities are carried out, in the name of that religion, against people who don’t agree its philosophies – why?
ALL religions speak of love – for God and for our fellow man and yet all that seems to go out the window when religions are criticised. Is it that we, as humans, cannot bear to be wrong? Is it that, if the being we believe in is given a different name by someone, that belief is weakened or threatened? Are we so unbelievably arrogant that we can state quite categorically that there is only our God and we believe in him so we’re right and everyone else can go to Hell (quite literally)?
Even people who don’t believe in God will argue with those that do and both sides will demand that their beliefs be accepted by the other – why? It’s not as if either one has any proof is it?? Arguing that an opinion is right or wrong without proof is an exercise in futility and yet this particular opinion based argument has been going on for centuries….
I don’t know if God or Allah or Shiva or any other deity exists but I do know that a bunch of people who believed they did, many years ago, wrote books about love, forgiveness and hope and yet all of that seems to have been forgotten by people who can’t bear to be told that their beliefs are wrong. It seems to me that faith should be more about understanding and accepting the opinions of others and less about believing blindly and unquestionably that your interpretation of those ancient scripts should never be criticised.
Please let me know what you think. As with everything I write, it’s just my opinion and I’d welcome yours