Many fundamentalists have fought and killed in the name of religion. I find this topic fascinating and intellectually stimulating. It is fraught with so much emotion, which I believe is often grounded in ignorance and false beliefs.

Throughout history, and to this day, there have been witch hunts against heretics of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.  In ALL religions, people deemed heretical have been subjected not only to punishments, mass persecution, but in extreme cases death and mass executions (e.g., think of suicide bombers).

Sadly today, many Muslims are feared, even hated, because of the actions of few (i.e. terrorists compose the minority of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world), or due to political propaganda (i.e. think Trump). The same can be said of the prejudice against Catholics, whose celibate priests have harmed little children through their sexual actions. Many men of different faiths still believe that women are inferior and should abide by a different set of rules and standards. It is not that long ago that women could not vote, and there is still inequality of pay. Strong women are still considered “pushy” when a man with the same qualities would be considered “driven”. All these inequalities, injustices, judgments, I believe, are not a matter of religion.

Historically, think of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and fights against the heretics in the Middle Ages. Many people were harmed and killed for the sake of religion, whether it was Catholicism’s witch hunts, or the Muslims who referred to heretics or those who antagonized Islam as “zindiqs”. Think of the violence between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Think of Catholic priests molesting little boys. Think of people in any religion who violate women or ostracise them, or treat them as inferior (even in our modern day Western world), and to this day the violence in the Middle East, the Shiite-Sunni Split (a 1400 year old conflict still very much alive). Not to mention all the private wars we see between families members (who claim to be religious) who fight, argue, expel, in the name of religion and politics…

To this day, in some modern day nations and regions, heresy is still considered an offense punishable by death. All done in the name of God. When you think about it… “man” kills in the name of God, which is such arrogance. Because that means they are acting as God, and thus think they are equal to God. Such a contradiction when their scriptures say “that only God can Judge”.

In the end, all this violence is made in the name of religion, but really it is about power (which is motivated by fear) and money (e.g., oil). It is pure arrogance. When people kill and hurt in the name of God, they are going against the “word of God” that they claim to follow. Whether the holy book is the Qu’ran, the Torah, or the Bible… these documents do not condone killing, yet humans will kill or inflict pain in the name of religion. It is not a question of religion, it is a matter of power and the nature of the human race, and the weakness of the ego. The ego’s search for power is being driven by instinct and NOT by holy scripture or a higher power.

My belief, and that of many, is that to reach transcendence is to move beyond the instincts of the ego. The ego is obsessed with greed, power, fear and jealousy, and we will  ultimately find peace in this world if we can aim to transcend worldly instincts and find the ability to be one with all, live in peace, gratitude, and harmony by looking beyond what the eyes can see….

 

Dr. Gina Madrigrano © , 20180710

 

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