I would like to request that all those who continue to spout the meaningless platitudes that religions cause no harm, or that the faithful should be left unchallenged as they are free to believe as they choose, immediately remove their heads from their posteriors. The current and ongoing slaughter of human beings in the cradle of civilization once known as Mesopotamia is completely religious in nature, and before anyone cries out that the perpetrators of this savagery are extremists, let’s state the facts plainly: They are following their holy texts, which they faithfully believe feature the words, directions and commandments of the Creator of the Universe. If we were honest, we would have to agree that if the Creator had specifically laid out instructions for us, and our very existence in the eternal afterlife depended on us following these instructions, of course we would follow them to the letter. So you can’t claim the religion itself is harmless when the texts on which they are based demand the murder of infidels and apostates.
And it isn’t limited to Islam. Jesus’s father, Yahweh, gave some very specific instructions on how to deal with all manner of offenses to His godly sensibilities, and many of them feature murdering the perpetrators. If your children are disobedient, slovenly and fond of booze, take them to the town elders to be stoned to death. If a man is found to be having sex with another man’s wife, he is to be put to death. She is too. If a virgin is raped in a town and doesn’t cry out for help during the rape, she is to be killed as well. If you truly believed these were commands from the Creator of the Universe, and that it is what He demanded of you to remain in His favor, wouldn’t you be wrong not to follow them?
If you truly believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the son of the Creator of the Universe, and that the quality of your eternal life depends on following His teachings, wouldn’t you follow them? Well, Jesus maintains that if you love anyone more than Him, including your own children, wife, parents, etc. then you aren’t worthy of Him. He offers eternal reward for abandoning home and family to follow Him. He tells you in no uncertain terms that to even look at a woman with lust in your heart is adultery, and suggests that you pluck your eye out if it’s causing you to do wicked things like think of a woman in a carnal way because He doesn’t want to roast you in hellfire for all eternity, but He will.
Why do so few people walk around missing an eye or a hand from self-mutilation? Why aren’t people lining up in town squares all over the United States with their bratty kids asking the local government to stone them to death? Because we’re hypocrites. We like the pretty part of religion, like the pretty quotes some of the less vengeful churches put on their marquees. The idea that we’ll be reunited with grandma and grandpa in a magic kingdom in the sky for trillions upon trillions of years. Never mind that we could hardly stand to spend an afternoon at their house when they were alive, we’re quite sure endless visiting will be swell.
There’s never a shortage of public outrage when a Congressman or a candidate for said office makes a statement suggesting that homosexuals should be put to death. I can actually respect a person who is willing to go All In and follow what their so-called holy book says. At least he’s not cherry picking the parts of God’s Word that he likes and ignoring the parts that a reasonable person might argue are insane. If the Book of Mormon says that the Creator of the Universe revealed to Joseph Smith that black people were inferior, well then that must be the case. If you choose to ignore parts of your holy book, then you need to accept the hypocrite label and wear it, proudly or otherwise.
Herein lies the problem with religion, and I mean each and every one of them. Religion isn’t just a belief that there could be a god or gods. Religion is believing that the god or gods are telling you what to do, and that’s a significant difference. Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammad received the final communication from God to mankind, and that he received it through a revelation. In other words, God spoke in his mind. I think we all know what we would do today if someone told you that God was speaking to them and telling them what to do. How many people have been on trial for murdering their children because the voice in their head told them to? Well, Abraham, the patriarch of monotheism, was allegedly told the same thing by Yahweh, the Creator of the Universe. He was told to kill his son to prove his love for The Lord. If I told you I just got that communique from the Creator (telepathically of course), you’d call the men in white coats to come and take me away. Yet all three of the Abrahamic religions are revelation-based. So if you are a Jew, you are voluntarily choosing to believe that Abraham did in fact receive telepathic communication from the Creator of the Universe telling him both to cut the skin off his dick, and to kill his kid. If you DON’T believe this conversation took place, you are admitting that your holy book is not in fact, the word of God.
If you’re a Christian, you believe that Saul of Tarsus as he traveled along the road to Damascus, saw an apparition of the recently crucified Jesus of Nazareth and that this ghostly figure, who only Saul could see, told him the basic rules that would form Christian theology. If you DON’T believe the old man had a ghostly visitor, then you aren’t a believer in Christian doctrine, and by the way, the Church would have killed you for that heresy back in their glory days of power and vigor.
So as the slaughter of Yazidis continues in Iraq, because they believe a different style of supernatural ghost story than the Islamic State (ISIS), face the harsh reality that religious belief is what is causing these deaths. People of faith are perpetrating the murders of innocents and they do so with God’s blessing.