If religion is about love – why all the fighting?

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Is live and let live such a difficult thing to understand just because your imaginary friend isn’t the same as someone else’s? The question is as old as the hills but why do all these people hate each other so much?

Today in Nigeria, at a funeral of a traditional leader, 39 people died because while proceeding through a Muslim area some of those in the procession decided to chant things to upset others. What are they? Seven years old or something? Then there’s the protest march against Jewish people in Hungary because they’re scared the Jews are trying to buy them. Add to the mix the upcoming summer marches in Northern Ireland and hey presto religious idiots have a feast of intolerance to enjoy just now.

It might seem easy for someone like myself to make these sweeping judgements because I’m not religious and therefore see myself as better than them – wrong. I do not believe in any of these scriptures and I think that there is too much in life that contradicts the words on those pages – but I do respect those that make a decision to ignore all that and have faith because I couldn’t. If I can do that why the f*ck do these groups who have the words of love in their Bible, Torah and Qur’an imbedded in them from an early age not just shut up and let each other get on with their lives. They are the equivalent to a young boy with a stick and a wasp’s nest – they just can’t walk past it without prodding it, wondering what will happen.

Every time you see the inevitable issues that arise during the marching season in Northern Ireland I shake my head and ask if anyone has the ability to remember what happened the year before – “Ah but it’s tradition” – yes and so was stoning adulterers in your book of choice but I don’t see that slag from number 29 being taken outside for a spot of target practise. They both believe in variations on the same belief yet cannot see their core values should bring them together. It’s the most pathetic penis waving exercise possible both waving invisible gods at each other – no-one is going to back down and say, “now you mention it perhaps Mohammed is a better proposition than Jesus. Glad you pointed that out.” Words lead to sticks and stones that lead to guns and knives that lead to fire and bombs and no-one wins. Ever. The seven-year old returns with accusations of “they started it” and “well your people did something two thousand years ago so it’s all your fault anyway!”

In a country like Nigeria with huge poverty, illness and need if these Muslim and Christians actually followed the words in their scriptures and cared for their people instead of finding new ways to piss each other off perhaps they would have time to start solving the problems on their doorsteps. If Hungary’s fascists dealt with their own problems and the WJC stopped deliberately provoking the anti-Semitic groups then perhaps they wouldn’t have an issue. From an outsiders perspective it always seems as if each group is playing a secret game of Religious Martyr Top Trumps to see who can be most offended or offensive depending on the category they are playing with that round. If everyone put down their cards and actually interacted they wold discover that the essence of their faiths have more in common than they do in opposition leading them all to improve their situations.

Is this true of most religious people – No. And more than likely if religion didn’t exist they’d create it or something like it just to have a fight with someone. At times the Dawkins of this world are behaving in the same way as those believers they question and mock, so I suppose that already happens in a way. How long before Atheists get angry and start hitting people? When nearly all the religious books and teachings of the world preach about love, caring and looking after others why don’t these groups try reading the bloody books rather than using them as weapons to hit others with?

JD

 

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