The recent debate (?) over the proposed building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York has brought out the very worst in people, and has also revealed the blatant and utter hypocrisy , a word that seems to be very apropos down here in the south when I listen to private conversations among my church going acquaintances. Too much fried food has apparently blocked the arteries and blurred the memories of all of the mosque’s detractors. So I will remind them here of this basic first truth in the history of this country (a country in fact stolen by Europeans, but that’s another column): the Pilgrims left England and came over to the New World for one reason: freedom of religion. The United States was created by these people and the right to practice the religion of their choice is guaranteed in the very constitution that so many use to defend their right to own those silly guns that you keep in their sock drawers, and that allows them to say just about any nutty thing they want to about our duly elected president, without fear of repercussion.
Apparently freedom of religion doesn’t include Muslims. The men who flew those planes into the World Trade Center happened to be Muslims. So are Muhammad Ali, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens, composer of Peace Train)and many other men and women of dignity and peace. Should we wish death and destruction on them as well? This anti-Muslim hysteria is just the latest episode in the never ceasing battle between religious factions. My god is better than your god, or this religion is a gutter religion, or this holy book calls for the death of this group of people. It’s time to say it:
Organized religions need to go. Plainly and simply they have caused, or have been the reason for most of the wars in this world’s history and have been responsible for more deaths than in these wars than any naturally occurring disease. Every single one of them is the creation of human beings with their own agendas. Christianity? It wasn’t even started by Jesus, whose existence historically is dubious, but by a group of people who heard a legend and decided to run with it. Islam was based on the teachings of a man named Mohammed. Mormonism? Look up the story of Joseph Smith and decide for yourself. The Jewish religion, 4000 years old, began as more of a unity of a culture whose entire civilization were enslaved. The point is that not one of these religions was created by God, but by people, and because of the problems they have caused, they all should go.
I’m not religious. I don’t believe a word of it, to be honest, and without having a dog in this fight can only offer up a question for you to ponder, and I hope you do. If there is a god, and if you believe that that god created you and knows your every thought, then why do you need to have religions? What is the purpose of a church? Great place for bake sales, admittedly, but not much else. Any tenet you may have with a god, real or unreal, is between you and him. Some human being wrote the following: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. “ Wise words for all people , whoever really said them. Much better and certainly truer to the spirit of God that so many of you worship than “Kill all the Muslims.”
You are your own religion. Believe in yourself and your family. And may the senseless wars cease.