Saturday, 25 July 2015

Kill Those Who Insult God


I recently wrote a piece where I asserted that organised and institutionalised religion insults God (or the idea or accepted definition of God), rather than uphold what God stands for. I had one very angry email questioning my opinion - with the usual fire-breathing, as in - "Religion follows the word of God, how dare you, etc." 

You might want to read that before you read this. Click here before you go ahead.

This was my reply...



Consider for a moment all the other things I said. I didn't single out a particular faith - I didn't single out a race, a creed, or any of the labels we humans place upon what we consider an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling, all-determining entity, and the final word in everything that happens.

Consider for a minute that there is a grand plan, one whose purpose or meaning we mere humans cannot fathom or understand in the slightest. Consider that "it is written, so it shall come to pass". It then follows that those 130-140 children had it coming. It's all a part of some plan, isn't it? Why then do we lament? Why then are we outraged? Why were my wife, son, daughter and I holding back tears watching the events unfolding on our TV screens? 

Therein lies the insult.

A good deed is not a good deed if it is bandied about. I give churches, temples, gurudwaras, synagogues no credit for being good - after all that was supposed to be their raison d’ĂȘtre anyway, isn't it? That's not news. News is when they do what they're not made for. News is when they become hotbeds and incubators for the madness we see around us. 

Therein lies the insult.

People who did this are not irreligious. Far from it. They're actually deeply pious and believe they are carrying out the will of God. They seek - and find - justification for their actions within scripture - let's not hide from that. Men with a purpose and belief so strong that they are willing to blow themselves and others up. Are they interpreting their faith wrongly? What is it about any centralised and organised religion that even permits such interpretations? Shouldn't religion and religious instruction be infallible? I think you'll find that is it not.

Therein lies the insult.

You would think that the answer lies in education and spreading hope. I would too. So did a little girl called Malala. We all know how that turned out. As a reader pointed out, and I couldn't have put it better myself, "...parents who teach their kids that their religion is the only 'true' religion and their god is a 'jealous' god who will whip them in hell if they are consider other forms of spirituality or worship are EQUALLY responsible for such terrorist activities. Terrorists cannot thrive on their own. They need support, funding and apologists! You will see in every religion, apologists defending acts of violence by blaming everything on the rival country/ religion...". If you're good only because you fear punishment or expect a reward, then you aren't really a nice person, are you? You're just doing what you gotta do. Not because you want to, but because you have to.

Therein lies the insult.

And yes, it IS easy to sit behind a computer and type away. It's also easy to post a meme, like a picture and share a graphic 'condemning' the actions of the so-called 'minority'. Well, it is this minority that calls the shots; it is this minority that frames the debate; it is this minority that shouts the loudest. And what does the silent majority do? Sit back and cushion it. Are there any movements to speak out, excommunicate, condemn, protest en masse in the streets against those that MUST be deemed heretics? Have ANY of these terrorists been labelled heretics? No. Silence implies consent. Silence implies an unwillingness to act. It implies sanction.

Therein lies the insult.

I'm not your average keyboard warrior though: Have you, or anyone else following this thread seen hacked-off limbs in the streets of Kabul? Market places in Amritsar strewn with bodies of men, women and children? Charred remains of a young Sikh boy with a still smouldering tyre around his neck in Shimla? I think not. I have. I lost friends in Punjab during the late 80s, I lost friends in 1984, I lost childhood friends in Kabul, I have friends who lost family in the Troubles... all this, because someone, somewhere was convinced that that was what God wanted. This is a failure of institutionalised religion whichever way you look at it. 

Therein lies the insult.

Organised and institutionalised religion primary concerns itself with the "bigger" questions that face our society... whether you trim or dye your beard or not, whether you cover your head or not, whether you have less than two children or not, whether you drink or smoke or not, whether you pee standing up or sitting down, whether you cover your face in case it makes men lose control over their crazed libido or not, whether you kill an animal in one quick stroke or prolong its agony in a ceremonial decapitation, whether you go to your place of worship wearing long flowing robes or a tutu, whether you marry someone who professes the same mockery of God as you do or not.

Therein lies the insult.
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