Note: Some of these writings have been sitting in my draft box for some time – but they are still contemporary issues and controversies… necessary discomforts that guide change. Like much of my writing, this is parked here until it works its way into books – two due out in a March/April time frame. This particular piece came to me after reading Franklin Grahams Facebook post on the said subject above. And the comments that came from so, so many people were hideous, evil, venomous, and hateful. So much so, that I believe in the seeing of red from such deep ancestral injury, I don’t think many truly knew what they were saying or what topic talking about!
I must explore how we believers in One God, named of Abrahamic faith, can hate each other so deeply (exemplified by Graham’s rescinding of the call to prayer on campus… or in other cases removal of “Under God” in the school pledge of allegiance). This cannot come from the perspective of believers in one God. In fact, if we search history, we may find it’s not the religion to which we ascribe, but the political and socio-economic ideals that govern and challenge society. Look at Christians and Catholics in Ireland, Native Jews killed refugee Jews during the Zionist movement in the early 19t century, and over 650,000 Americans, overwhelmingly Christian, slaughtered each other during the U.S. Civil war – an unprecedented number of deaths in that span of time. The worship and acceptance of God in our hearts might have ameliorated this, instead, we invoke God with our egos to muster enough of our own callousness in order to kill anyone…our own blood, our own religion, other reglions… the same callousness that fuels some of the horrible comments people are making here. And any man with God in his heart, including Mr. Graham, should and would absolutely NOT agree with the vitriol being cast about in this thread.
Civilization has evolved (or de-evolved) over time – and as I reflect on the present, I’ve never found a conflict between these religions where there wasn’t FIRST an abandonment of their own faith (not an excess). Each closes their eyes in prayer, and becomes blind to their differences and appeals to the same God. Each partakes of water and fruit from the same oceans and trees of which none solely own. Each knows humility and hope, as they kneel and rise again from the same earth, toward the same sky. Each blessed with differences, unified in their preaching of peace.
The energy it takes to wade through the morass of facts behind law and justice, politics and the fine print within human rights amendments, depletes us of our morality. This creates a drifting world, of victims and perpetrators. Until every perpetrator becomes a victim and every victim, a perpetrator . We have lost our reverence for stillness, and silence and mystery…and but God. Such a silly thing is a thing such as God, unless It is still and silent and a mystery in your heart. That’s how I shall be first, that’s how my children will be first. We will not raise our voices until the wind comes from that Pristine Abode in our hearts. Then shall we speak.
Nowhere in these scriptures (despite the misappropriation of meaning in their violent passages) is the killing of innocents and “non-believers” called for. Where religious belief dominates a politic, the politic will resort to killing to protect its politic (even above its religion). Indeed this is the ONLY reason any nation goes to war; and ALL nations go to war and all blame the other. It will continue to happen, as this is how nations operate – stop blaming religion as its cause, and turn to religion for its comfort.
And the vicious killing of innocents on or off the soils of our abodes, without provocation, is not even nationalist, nor religious…. It’s lunacy. And no where in the Quran or the Bible is this condoned, nor does God (by any religions account) call for the murder of anyone, let alone those who do not believe in a God at all. Hence, there is no God, but one God, and Muhammad was the Prophet and Messenger of God, and Jesus was the Messenger and Prophet of God, and so were Solomon, Noah, Moses,Abraham, David….and all of these prophets came to bring a the message of One God and leverage a change for the betterment of mankind.
The Last Prophet came 1,300 years ago to seal the Monotheist faiths and to “perfect religion.” But it warned that men would misinterpret, distill it into laws, it warned against compulsion to accept it. Like Judeo-Christian societies, it turned on itself. This is not a scourge particular to only Islam. No, the change we are seeing is not the doing of Muslims or Christians or Jews. Having been among each of these faiths (personally) they are more like each other than terrorist are like any of them. I was raised by a Jewish, Christian family, was baptized as a Catholic, “saved” as a Baptist, and then recited the Shahada. I have a unique journey through religion that affords me these perspectives and all within in a society that allows me to speak them. Until now! But I speak anyway.
These reactive, fear ridden changes we swing at violently, are the result of centuries of moral decay and dilution of all faiths in the fear of poverty, disease, starvation, and the subsequent aspiration of wealth, power, national security and materialism…. Major political regimes came after the prophets and to deny these regimes their role in your/our problems, and to instead solely blame religion, tells me, many have diluted their faith… they have conscripted God like a mercenary, kicked him out of their hearts, and placed him in armament; turned him into an idol, and then killed and died and spit venom all for nothing, achieving nothing…abandoning the one Friend each and every one of us once shared in our hearts. We’ve turned our backs on Christ and Muhammad, peace be upon them.
We desperately grapple for the most personal thing we know, our own brokenness, and then attach religion to passion and lash out in any way we can – to be someone. The cause of this strife is not the preponderance or diversity of religion – it is it’s fading… and in so fading, we cannot see so clearly that we are wielding religion as a weapon, all of us; and hence we have abandoned our personal relationship with God.
We are all Christian, we are Jew, we are all Muslim – and the sooner we accept our “inner” singular faith in harmony with an “outer” religiously pluralist society we are in, the sooner we’ll realize the true reason for conflict eludes us… the war begins within ourselves and there is where it ends. The journey from the heart to the mind is this Jihad you fear, the journey back is every man and woman’s Haj.