BBC’s ‘From our own Correspondent’, hosted by Kate Adie, featured an article from a cameraman travelling in Syria. His piece highlighted the surreal contrasts he observed in the country. The civil war juxtaposed with the friendliness of its people. He attended the funeral of a young Syrian Airman and questioned a mourner on what seemed an irreconcilable contradiction. The mourner’s response, “It’s religion”, referring to the schism between Sunnis and Shia Muslims.
I know this story as I live in a society that has been rent by religion. It begs the question ‘What is the function of religion in any society?’ Religion preaches unity, peace, and brotherhood, though sisterhood doesn’t seem to get the time of day. The popularity of religion would therefore guarantee that we should live in peace. Do we? They claim that there is only one God. Unfortunately each claims a monopoly on that one God. That One God is their God. War is in defence of belief in that God, hence war can be perceived as holy war sanctioned by God. Democracy may get a mention but God is usually hanging in the wings should the need arise.
A quick scan of the planets woes can be attributed to religion, the great divider. As sited, Syrian society is in freefall to sectarianism; Israel, the chosen people, inflict the might of there arsenal on anyone doubts it; Catholicism has inflicted pain and fear into children abused by the clergy, ignored by the Vatican; Christianity is fragmented by interpretation of scripture, a common factor of religious strife.
The religious zealots worldwide, the Zionists, the Tea Party, Opus Dei, Taliban, and the many fundamentalists, whose rightness is voiced by mouth foaming, tub thumping, book wavers, are a danger to world peace. They inspire Muslim to fight Hindu, Christian to fight Muslim, Muslim to fight Jew, Buddhists to fight Muslims, Christian to fight Christian, Muslim to fight Muslim, Hindu to fight Hindu. They have a penchant for dressing in a strange garb designed to set them apart from us mere mortals. And what have they to offer. a promise of some imaginary paradise in an afterlife. Proof? None. Emails, snail mail, phone messages, or other from the dearly departed? None. Meanwhile we the faithful are expected to squander this precious life that is a gift that we can verify on a daily basis.
Do they have TRUTH to offer? In truth, no!