Many blame religion for violence, fear, torture, terrorism, and war. But who or what is this “religion” that inflames such hate and foments unrest?
To some people, religion is an institution – a collective entity that wields power over its many followers. If this is your definition, then you can find many examples of hatred, corruption, and war that you may plausibly attribute to religion.
“Christians” waged The Crusades to save the Holy Land from pagans, and sold indulgences so followers could buy their way into heaven. Hitler claimed “Christian values” as one of his reasons to purify the Aryan race through the Holocaust.
“Judaism” has been blamed for the brutal Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and for the countless crimes against humanity detailed in the Biblical Old Testament.
Today, many non-Muslims consider “Islam” the culprit behind terrorism around the world.
If religion is an institution, it is no wonder why religions hate one another and denounce each other’s actions.
Many people incorrectly attribute the term religion to people or organizations who are not religious at all.
Al Qaeda claims to be a Muslim organization. But al Qaeda members are no more typical of Islam than Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members are representative of Christianity. Al Qaeda’s leadership has stolen Islam’s good name as an excuse for al-Qaeda to act on its hatred of the West. Al-Qaeda is not Islam at all.
|To many hate bodies worldwide religion is nothing more than a means to an end – a rallying cry to deceive and to gain support from those who do not perceive their true goals. For these hijackers, religion is merely an excuse for tyranny.|
People Who Truly Believe in God
My definition of religion is a faithful relationship between a person and his/her God. No hate, terror, or violence has ever been borne of a true belief in God, or by acting according to God’s will. This is true whether your call your God Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, Jesus or any other name.
Anyone who acts against his brothers claiming “the sword of God” as his weapon is either lying or insane. No true religion tolerates wanton violence. No true relationship with God – whether based on principles of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hindi or other bona fide religious beliefs – demands that the believer should terrorize his neighbor; should slaughter innocents; should hate because of differences over foods to eat or customs to observe; should suppress the rights of others through force or humiliation.
No true religion endorses such actions. Not one!
The next time you think of religion, think about your definition of that word. Remember that no true believer of any faith supports atrocities and terror. Before you judge those with different clothing, hair, color or customs harshly, remember that their religion professes love for all people – and yours does as well. Remember that true believers present no threat to you.
Also remember that tyrants come in all flavors; but true religion is made of people who believe in love and tolerance. And there are infinitely more true believers than tyrants.
Smile at your fellow man. Extend your hand in greeting. Don’t turn away in ignorance and fear.