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Though we are religious or not, most of us understand that using religion as a tool to commit violent acts against innocent people, such as young Malala Yousufzai, a brave young intelligent girl from Pakistan, is not godly at all, in any since of the word. It does not matter if you are Christian, Muslim or Jewish; committing violent acts is only evil, nothing more and especially nothing close to godliness.

Malala was recently shot on a bus with two other girls, her being the target. Because she championed Pakistani girls' rights to an education, she now lies in a hospital bed, trying to recover after being shot in the head and neck. My last update I heard was that she was recovering well and for that, we can give thanks to God.

There are hundreds of millions of religious people and there are many who are fervent about their beliefs. There is nothing wrong with someone being fervent about his or her beliefs; I certainly am. However, there is a very small minority of religious zealots or fanatics, you might say, that use their religion as a tool for evil.

Take for an example, the Reverend Fred Phelps; his little band of church members have angered most of the country by protesting at funerals of troops who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan, carrying crude signs that say inflammatory words,  such as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God For IEDs".

It would seem Reverend Phelps and his church does not serve the same God of the Bible that I do, or most Christians do, which teaches a loving God through Christ, not a vengeful one.  

I have to ask myself how a group of people who read the same Bible I do and as all Christians do, come up with this belief that God -- through Jesus Christ -- wants them to carry signs in front of funerals for dead soldiers, saying God "hates" or that God loves deadly weapons that hurt innocent people.

When someone blows up abortion clinics, or kills a doctor who performs abortions and then declares religious reasons for it; perhaps it was just an easy way for them to lie not only to the public, but also to themselves. That of course, makes it more comfortable for their conscience. Anyone with reason can surely see how it is very unlikely that a God that created the universe needs some person to create a bomb and blow up something for Him.

For me, if some voice woke me in the middle of the night and told me it was God and he wanted me to go kill an abortion doctor, I would reply, "If you're God and you want him dead, I'm sure you can come up with a better way to do it than a bullet. Why not just a good old-fashioned lightning strike, that is -- if you really are God?"

Committing violence in the name of God, gives God a bad name. It implies that God is some kind of terrible, judgmental Supreme Being that wishes to wreak terrible things upon His own creation if they fall out of line with His will. It also makes God to look petty instead of great and hateful instead of loving.

History has shown us how religion has been used by governments, and religious laws have been used to persuade, or force obedience upon citizens throughout the human race. Knowledge, enlightenment and democracy have eliminated, or at least limited enforcement of religious edits upon citizens in many countries, yet some societies still struggle under religious oppression.

It takes courage to stand up to those who would use religion to harm and kill. The young brave girl from Pakistan, Malala, is a good example of that courage. She has shined a light in the darkness and shown a path forward, away from the religious edicts that have restricted the rights of women and girls for ages. Educated women are women with power, and that is the biggest fear of those who would take her life.

God has nothing to do with guns and bombs but He has a lot to do with healing. I hope that Malala will heal enough to carry on her work; I pray for her quick and complete recovery. The man who shot her I hope will be brought to justice, but I am confident that he will not escape judgment in the end, as all evil men ultimately do.

This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place

Originally posted to Fidlerten Place on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:18:22 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Street Prophets. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, Joy of Fishes

    I'm reminded of this definition of a Christian from The Devil's Dictionary:

    One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far are they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
  •  I'm not sure how you come to assert.. (3+ / 0-)

    that "godliness" is in opposition to violence.  Religious texts, including the Bible, are filled with acts of horrific violence condoned, commanded or committed by gods.

  •  I don't agree with this paragraph (3+ / 0-)
    Committing violence in the name of God, gives God a bad name. It implies that God is some kind of terrible, judgmental Supreme Being that wishes to wreak terrible things upon His own creation if they fall out of line with His will. It also makes God to look petty instead of great and hateful instead of loving. (Emphasis mine)
    Except, did you read the Old Testament? That's exactly what God is. God destroyed the entire world and saved only Noah's family, because mankind fall out of line with "His will."

    God punished Saul, you know why? Because Saul was ordered to commit genocide (if my memory serves me correctly), and Saul indeed committed genocide against the Amalekites but his transgression was the following:

    As well, Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. God had clearly commanded in 1 Samuel 15:3, that every ox and sheep, camel and donkey was to be destroyed also, and Saul didn’t do this.
     
    http://www.enduringword.com/...

    In other words, Saul's destruction was incomplete and this angered God.

  •  The coward... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, fidlerten, JDsg

    who shot Malala will answer to Allah (swt) for his crime, whether he is ultimately punished by man or not.

    Terror has no religion.
    لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

    by downsouth on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:46:33 AM PDT

  •  Gods bless all women who are targets of (5+ / 0-)

    violence. And there are far too many of us. Apropos of which, this is domestic violence awareness month.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  Martin Buber on the Evil: (5+ / 0-)
    Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places the evil are most likely to be found is within the church. What better way to conceal one's evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a deacon or some other highly visible form of Christian within our culture? . . . I do not mean to imply that the evil are anything other than a small minority among the religious or that the religious motives of most people are in any way spurious. I mean only that evil people tend to gravitate toward piety for the disguise and concealment it can offer them.
    Good and Evil, pg. 111.
    Jesus had a lot to say about this subject too.
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 10:06:12 AM PDT

  •  Using religion as a justification for doing (7+ / 0-)

    violence, theft (if you don't equate that with violence), enslavement, persecution, and a vast array of other things is not good. It is not beneficial to society.

    I lot of folks, throughout history, however, have very much held those behaviors to be godly. Many of those people were the highest arbiters of what godliness was. One Holy book contains a huge litany of persons and groups that god personallhy smote, plauged, terrorized, slaughtered and exterminated on the most feeble of pretences. Said god also demanded that it's minions do similarly. It is therefore very much arguable whether such anti-beneficial behavior is godly. Perhaps the term and concept should simply be discarded for the benefit of all.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 10:56:48 AM PDT

  •  I love & respect the sentiments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    expressed in this diary, but the god of the Old Testament countenances horrific violence.  There's no way around it.  The god of the ancient Hebrews would've used nuclear bombs  (& apparently used something similar in the destruction of a number of cities).

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:15:40 AM PDT

  •  We are not 'things' to be taken off the shelf !! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, fidlerten

    Muslim women, or women who live in majority Muslim nations are not things you dust off and put on false concern and fake media outrage to promote your war against religion and bigotry to justify your wars.

    It is funny that no one is concerned about the children those drone bombs murder...or thier mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, but you can parade around this young lady, and pretend to champion her cause...only to find out that you used her suffering to promote 'anti religion'.

    Did you care before?  Did you even know her name?  Would she have been a 'brave young lady'...had she been murdered while gathering wood for cooking by one of those drone bombs?

    Of course not.  False concern is MUCH WORSE than not caring at all.

    Oaths and alleginaces only become valid after being tested in adverstity.

    by Nur Alia Chang on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:29:38 AM PDT

    •  Including the brave fighters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fidlerten

      that hide amongst them.

      It is funny that no one is concerned about the children those drone bombs murder...or thier mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers
    •  I understand your point, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fidlerten

      but I don't think this diary is "anti-religion". And nothing in it suggests to me that the writer is trying to promote bigotry our war. He or she condemns violence in this diary.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:06:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "no one is concerned"? (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, Malala Yousufzai is getting a lot more media attention than the victims of the drone bombs.  And yes, that's terrible.

      But it is unjust to assume that everyone who writes about Malala is completely unconcerned about anyone else's death.  And even if it were true, it is likewise unjust -- and unproductive -- to declare that someone else's concern is false because it isn't as broad as you would like it to be.

      Of course there's more going on out there that people should be paying attention to.  There is always more going on that people should be paying attention to.  That doesn't invalidate anyone's concern for one case that has been brought to their attention.

  •  The reason that people like the Phelps (0+ / 0-)

    family can act the way they do and read the same bible as you do is because the biblical texts back up both their actions and your views.   Everyone picks the parts they feel fits their sense of morality and ignores the rest. If you truly read the WHOLE book, you find that there are two gods in those scriptures; the OT god who is quite violent and thinks nothing of killing millions of people including children (think passover) to defend his "favorite people".  The NT god doesn't get in involved with that kind of on earth violence because this god suddenly comes up with the immoral concept of everlasting torture (hell) as a punishment which is endorsed by the character named "Jesus".  I see no "all loving" deity in either model.

    So as I see it, the texts (Torah, Bible, Koran) that all flowed out of the Abrahamic traditions are the root of the problem. You can't separate them from the people who act upon the teachings. You can't say that religion is good and people just mess it up because the texts that represent the religion are not "good"... unless you just ignore the bad stuff. You also can not blame government for "corrupting" religion when you read the horrible stories in these texts.

    Malala is a victim of the book called the Koran (just as Dr. Tiller was a victim of the book called the Bible) and until mankind and the "faithful", including the non-violent ones, disavows these texts, we will see no end to the violence.

    She is indeed a heroine.

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