“The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it’s not murder if you do it for a god).”
— (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)
It has been said that two subjects should be off the agenda for conversation if you want it to be pleasant – Religion and Politics. The problem I have with that is that any subject you want to talk about includes potential aspects of one or the other or both, from climate change to entertainment to child rights.
These two ‘dangerous’ subjects Religion and Politics need de-constructing and not being put in the quiet corner. From the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition through the missionary zeal of Protestants in Hawaii, Zionists who use Judaism to justify atrocities and acts of war against Palestinians and paedophile priests who continue to act under the cloak of religious righteousness, we cannot ignore the narrative of religion and politics as weapons.
I was so happy when Science took on religion in the form of Richard Dawkins, until his fervour and obsession appeared equally pious. My delight in his quest came from the very human need to feel part of something, understood and even supported. My disinterest came when I felt his sense of superiority over those he challenged- I saw little difference in the attitudes held between him and his Noscience religious detractors.
I am not a scientist and like so many who espouse religion do not have the finer points under my belt. I do recognise the current wave of world fundamentalism in religion is not new, but the MSM thrust of ignorance towards the latest wave of people we are struggling to understand is unacceptable. I say understand NOT justify or cast as the ‘other’ and vilfy all those who fit some spurious descriptive narrative.
The fallacy that religion keeps us ‘in check’ disturbs me. I was once asked a question by a Muslim man who reclaimed his religion after he had ‘gone off the rails’ and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. He asked how I could keep from breaking the law and doing whatever I wanted if I didn’t have religion. His question begs many more. Suffice to say I don’t need a religion to tell me how to live with others.
My call goes to those of you who have no religion nor need nor want one, not to call for “freedom’ or for ‘freedom of speech’ as these crazy catch cries are used by those who laud their financial and political power over us all. My call is for those who identify as part of the human race, to continue to do so. To know there is biologically no such thing as different race but that separation, breading, and raising young children are critical factors in determining who we are. Learn about and understand how we determine the ‘other’ and why we separate and refuse to see them as ourselves given another set of parents, another time and place to be born and to break down walls not put them up.
We fear what we don’t understand. Our history brought us here, learn and challenge the apathy, comfortability and arrogance that comes with it. Read the history of the ‘other’ not just that of the victors.
We cry when bullets and heads fly, be careful not to be selective about what you mourn and to notice and speak up when the ‘other’ is being abused by us.