RELIGION OF PEACE?
If I wake up blown up dead tomorrow, be it known that in all of my dear life, standing on African humanistic thought and philosophical platform, anchored on contemporary Western philosophy democratic thought, and spiced with Christian values defining my personal relationship to God, I lived with profound respect for religion in all its forms and manifestations. I had to. It’s because, as a free man of the world and lover of all humanity, some of my best friends, sisters and brothers of all skin colours and tones of the spectrum, were from all corners of the world, and practiced all kinds of religions; worshiping and praising all kinds creatures, spirits, and gods in many different ways. Amen.
I am deeply fascinated by religion. Mankind, the most complex, the most inquisitive creature on earth, must have gotten so afraid of what they found out about themselves that they created God. God would be both a reason and scapegoat for mankind’s actions. So, it’s okay, people will kill other people, including their very own flesh and blood for God; this as prescribed by God in relevant religious scriptures. Simple. No responsibility for one’s own actions for mankind. All’s cool in the name of God. God must be an extremely busy being, with much blood in their hands. No wonder there is so much confusion in the world today. God has no time to rest.
I am convinced that the word, and concept of, mediation ceased to exist in God’s vocabulary eons ago. If you were God, how would you deal with the following situations?
- Shouting, “GLORY BE TO GOD!” somebody blows themselves up with bombs strapped around their bodies, intently killing along many other non-suspecting people with them at the same time.
- The deceased and the bereaved will cry to God, praying that God punishes the killer with eternal fire in hell.
- Some will pray to God, asking for forgiveness for the killer.
- Others will pray to God, leaving everything by way of judgement in the already much bloodied hands of God.
- There will also be those who will pray to God, asking for guidance as they plan vengeance. When the time comes, they will also shout out even more fervently to the same God, “GLORY BE TO GOD! GLORY BE TO GOD! GLORY BE TO GOD!”
I have heard it so many times before, “Mine is a religion of peace. The question of love does not arise because how can peace exist without love? In fact, the name of my religion, translated into English, means Peace. Therefore, my religion is a religion of love of, for, and from God. It’s irrelevant to say whether or not I will love mankind. That’s all in the will of God”
However, a quick reality check on any day will show that the most ruthless and enduring civil wars in the world today are in parts of the world where the religion of peace is predominant. Moreover, many of those who profess the same religion of peace today spearhead some of the most horrendous murderous social instabilities in many parts of the world.
Retort, “But, no, you don’t understand, my friend! Those people are NOT real believers of my religion. God (Blessed be His name!) will punish them severely. There is nowhere in our scriptures where God (Blessed be His name!) condones violence and murder of innocent people under any circumstance …”
Yet, these cold-hearted killers cite from the very same scriptures to further their own causes, and they shout and yell “GLORY BE TO GOD!” to the same God of the concerned religion. Or, does the one religion have several gods with the same revered name? Retort, “No, no, no, no, my friend, there can only be ONE God (Blessed be His name!)! These horrible, evil people have not read and understood our holy scriptures properly. God’s (Blessed be His name!) word is so powerful small minds can never understand it”
There we go!
If God were a CEO, and religion a modern corporate entity, they would both have gone under a long time ago, saving mankind a lot of trouble. But then again, much like opium, religion is big business. If at all they don’t run on opium themselves, religious fanatics are as bad as the addicted. God, in this case, may be likened to a drug baron, then.
In my eyes, as an all-encompassing brand, God of the religion of peace’s image is not done any good service at all by the fanatics currently spreading waves of terror all over the world in His name. I wonder if He ever cares at all? Eternal glory be to Him? So long as rivers of blood continue to flow, I reckon. Amen.
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June 20, 2014