Merry Christmas everyone!
That said, religion sucks! I look at all the horrible goings on in this world and have to note that were it not for religion, probably none of it would be taking place! Someone is a devout Muslim and feels a calling to blow himself up along with a plane full of innocent people just trying to get somewhere for the holidays. Another devout Muslim opens fire on his co-workers because he cannot reconcile his beliefs with his profession.
Not to be outdone, a zealot Right to Lifer guns down a Doctor at the door of his church in an effort to save lives...ummm that one was beyond my comprehension. Others make themselves a menace at the funerals of soldiers by picketing their religious beliefs to the anguished families of the fallen. I don't get it!
Iran is a country tearing itself in two because of religion and human rights issues. 25 die in Karachi (Pakistan) suicide bombing on Shia Muslims' holy day of mourning. Afghanistan's people have endured years of strife due to the extreme beliefs that narrowly defined of an otherwise beautiful religion. An 85-year-old Holocaust survivor was among a group of grandmothers who began a hunger strike in Cairo on Monday to protest against Egypt's refusal to allow a Gaza solidarity march to proceed. Netanyahu wants Israeli force on Palestinian border. Oh boy, that will promote peace...NOT!
In an effort to be fair, Chicago allowed a Menorah, a Nativity and a Freedom From Religion Sign in a State building (just as they did last year.) A Christian man became so enraged at the sign he took action to remove it. He was stopped. Christmas is a lovely holiday and the spirit behind it has a wonderful giving meaning. But the spirit quickly dissipates when someone takes that meaning too far and tramples the beliefs of others. Shame on him.
Throughout history, ie., The enslavement of the Israelites, The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, The Holocaust; religion has been the sticking point and reason for actions against other humans. If you do not believe what another culture believes, well now that is a just reason to go kill them so that their beliefs cannot contaminate your beliefs.
Hatred it seems is born of religious differences. This "my god is better than your god" mentality seems to rule the nations and cultures of the world. If you want to demonize someone, simply try your best to make others believe that person is has empathy or ties to a different religion, whether it is true or not.
Now at the risk of offending everyone I know, I am turning further and further from so-called main stream religions. Why? Because I no longer trust that they have my best interest in mind. As a human being, I think I should not have to have my spiritual beliefs judged or measured by others. If I do not believe in the Bible, the Torah or the Koran as the word of God, the heads start shaking and the prayers for my salvation go out to protect...themselves I guess, from me.
Now I am not a member of PETA or a tree hugger, but I think if I just take care of my corner of the world and hope that everyone else takes care of theirs, we would be living in a much better place. I don't think it necessary to encroach on others beliefs and hope that they will respect mine. Truth be told, the only culture that does not seem to be radical enough to want to blow me up or torch me for heresy are the unbelievers.
If I had to pick a plane to fly on, find the one that has all the unbelievers on it...I'll book that flight.