The problems with ISIS and the rest of the Mideast is all about fanatical religion. And we've got our share of it here at home, too.
The next time someone tells you Islam is a religion of peace, remind them of this:
Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".
And then add that in Christianity and Judaism, there are similar edicts:
Deuteronomy 3: “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”
Here is some more from the bible about God’s view of getting along with each other. This too, is from Deuteronomy. “and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.”
Religion has a lot of killing and destroying on both sides. And even more so, about intolerance towards those who are different than you. Maybe religion itself is the evil. Maybe that is why it so big in this world. Its very foothold is at the dark side of mankind. Remember, religion is big business. Huge business. And nothing works up a crowd like killing and destruction of one’s enemies.
The Koran teaches equally hate-filled notions such as, "Those who make war against God and his apostle . . . shall be put to death or crucified" (Koran 5.33).
So it seems there is very little ground for the “true” believers of either side to stand to work out solutions.
Thank God for the non-believers. I know that sounds rather ironic, but it is true.
To be fare to both sides in this eternal argument, there is more than enough blame from both sects’ scriptures to seduce folk into believing just about anything. A fine study of this can be found in the 2009 Boston.com article by Phillip Jenkins “Dark Passages.” I would urge you to visit it and read it. (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/03/08/dark_passages/?page=full)
The great fear factor people find in religious intolerance is that it is fierce. Strong enough to create radicals on each side: radicals that would kill and torture in order to uplift their image of their god (smaller case on purpose). To die for one’s religion is one thing, but to kill and maim for it is quite an honor, for with those actions come sainthood. The Catholic Church is full of saints who lead armies against the infidels in the Mideast during the Crusades. The more one killed, the higher the calling from Rome one received.
Today there is a fierce reaction from “Christians” over the actions of radical Islamics. And, one can say vice versa. The more we interfere with their cultures, the more hatred they spew back at us, all in the name of Big Old Bad ass Allah. And carpet bombing doesn’t seem to help in the long run, nor does invasion. So, the key issue is how do moderates on both sides reach a common ground without letting the religious few destroy the entire world. Secular rule is a key here. Keep the church and the mosque out of the game.
Recently the Dallas Morning News ran a letter where by the writer stated that the conflict in the Mideast is not a religious conflict. I beg to differ. It is totally religious. Totally about “my beliefs” over yours. It is about an ancient and very narrow interpretation of the scriptures. (Both sides are wantonly guilty of this.) Even with Islam itself, the two main branches are now so at odds with each other that they would just as soon kill their fellow Muslims then look at them. Why? Religious intolerance. My way of the hi-way.
This is why religion, of any kind, cannot have a foothold in the government. Secularism is the answer. Shia Law in Mideastern countries or the Rebirth of Puritanical Law in U.S. government must be halted. It is bad medicine for what ails us.
It is not my goal here to tell folks that they can’t believe in their flavor of the God Myth. They are welcome to.
But keep it out of the halls of lawmakers and courts. It has no business there. The founding fathers were at best Deist. Some were even less than that. What they believed in their heart of hearts was that all men are created equal and that everyone should have a chance to live his or her life in happiness and peace, without the interference of a state religion with guidelines for what we should believe or pray to. We should return to that adamantly.
I hear people say that the founding fathers wanted a Christian nation. Not true. It is never written about in our national papers. In fact, many feared the church and its wealth and power. In America, they saw the opportunity for a land for freedom…free thinkers who could believe as they saw fit without persecution.
The entire world could do well to adopt that character. But before we stand and act, remember, it is not our job to force that down others’ throats. That is what has gotten us into the shape we are in, in the Islamic world as it is. Our boots on the ground has not won us friends, but has radicalized our enemies and grown their numbers of supporters and troops.
What this world needs now, is the moderate voices everywhere to arise and say ‘that’s it.’ No more religious fanaticism running our lives. We demand the rule of law as passed down by men and women elected from at large, not translated from ancient scripts we call the Bible or the Koran.
The problem in the Mideast is all about religion. Don’t kid yourself. Your God versus their God. And it is about time it stops.