The words of John Lennon ring in my ears this morning as I drive to work. Last night, I watched how Muslim’s expressed their rage over the Pope’s recent comments about the prophet Mohammad’s teachings being evil. I am sadly disappointed. Throughout the world, religious leaders are calling for apologies and last night one was forth coming and predictably, it wasn’t enough. I saw pictures of protesters in the streets burning effigies and thrusting their fists in the air while calling for death. These people didn’t want an apology, they wanted blood.
How is it that religion can call for truth and peace and forgiveness on one day and call for the violent death of non-believers on another day? And it’s not just Islam. Religions around the world kill or maim women, suppress human rights and sexually assault defenseless, impressionable children. From what I’ve seen in my 40 plus years and my study of history, it’s always been this way. The promise is for peace, love and spiritual enlightenment but the result is persecution, martyrdom and death. From where I stand religion is more about death and depravity than life and enlightenment.
So the Pope called somebody some bad names. Big deal. So somebody published some less than flattering pictures of a dead religious leader. Big deal. I’m tired at the moral outrage everyone fains whenever the slightest incursion on their belief is challenged. Where is the tolerance, the acceptance, the forgiveness? Why is it moral to condemn and even kill others but not moral to question something you can’t see or touch? How does one reconcile such contradictions? My only conclusion is that people don’t. They make a decision to believe something and then shut their brains off.
And so I drive to work knowing my “lack of faith” is at odds with the rest of the world and hoping the world may one day change. Imagine no religion…