Today, via the news, we are confronted with yet another heinous act perpetrated in the name of religion. This time, however, it was an attack on Muslims in London, presumably by a Christian. I use the term “presumably” because it seems that no one is quite willing to actually name this person as a “Christian” (or even to be clear what religion this person may adhere to). Therefore, I do not at this time claim to know what religion this person adhered to, if any. But I do know two things: (1) According to reports Muslims were targeted because the perpetrator stated that they were “the problem” and (2) this act was wrong on all levels no matter who it targeted or the supposed reasons for it.
One should easily be able to see here that religion simply does not, generally, make people or societies better. An individual will latch onto whatever part of their supposed religion that they want to in order to justify any action they seek to take. The above is a perfect example of this and history is replete with exactly this type of thing. And, if need be, an individual will convert to another religion if they do not see their present religion as providing that avenue. So those who posit that any given religion, including Christianity, has made human society and the human existence better because it was superior to some other belief system are simply misguided. The human condition remains the same. For the Christian, I say “just read your Bible and you will see this”. The historian and the theologian, if they are honest, already know this.
For the last three weekdays the Jim Bakker Show had as guest the author David Horowitz. They were heavily advertising his new book about Trump (never mind the Johnson Amendment because Jim states openly that he has no intention of adhering to it). Horowitz made several incoherent statements concerning government and religion on each telecast. But the one thing that he did state that was correct was that slavery (and human trafficking) is probably more widespread than ever before in the history of the world. Of course, that is a statement that I also made in my latest book “Killing Roma” in response to those who posit that Christianity has made the world better and even helped to eliminate slavery. Laughable for those who have actually read their Bibles, but they still posit such! So, where has Christianity, or any religion, for that matter, actually made the world better?
Of course, for the conservative Christian, it is only the Christians who are being persecuted. No other religious group faces persecution, in their minds. For them, this is true to such an extent that on a certain news network some time ago they repeatedly referred to the Yazidis as the “Christian Yazidis”!
But it goes even deeper than this. Getting back to today’s (or yesterday’s) heinous act in London, why exactly do we not hear about this perpetrator’s religion? Why don’t we hear about where he went to church and who his pastor was and what his religion’s core beliefs supposedly are? Well, the reason is because (supposedly) he was a Christian. It’s really that simple. If a Muslim perpetrates such an act all of this is talked about incessantly and is brought right out into the open as soon as anything is found out! Yes, the Muslim is rather automatically judged because of his supposed religious beliefs. And if you are a Pagan or a Wiccan, really watch out! Immediately you are labeled as a devil worshipper and some sort of weird creep! Don’t think that they hesitate just because you are not Muslim here! But if a Christian perpetrates such an act, no digging into his (or her) religious background takes place at all! No question about denomination or local church affiliation or who preaches at the particular church he may have attended or even what his belief system may have been. Oh, no, Christianity can’t be the problem! After all, Christians have never been guilty of perpetrating heinous acts against others in the name of religion…. (Skythoupolis, witch burnings, the Inquisition, all of which they want to continue to hide) And this attitude prevails even as they howl that history is being rewritten.
In the ancient Roman world, when Pagans were being forced to give up their religions and to stop practicing according to their religious conscience, when droughts or bad crop years took place they began to complain that the Christians were causing it because the Pagans were not allowed to make proper interaction with the ancient deities who had always protected them. The Christians would respond that, on the contrary, it was god’s wrath upon the empire because everyone had not yet converted to Christianity. The final Pagan response: “Then why is your god punishing you along with us since the drought affects you just the same as it does us?” The only answer that could have been made was that the Christians needed to do even more to force the Pagans to finally convert, and they proceeded with great zeal in this! Eventually the whole Western world was plunged into the Dark Ages. That we eventually crawled our way out of it should not be seen as some kind of sign of the success of Christianity, as some posit.
Force and religious intolerance are not the way. If the world can be made worse by anything, it is obviously these two things.