Blaming the religion is
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I am responding
to an article (posted below my article) by Menon who blames the religion for
the ills of the society.
Blaming the religion is dumb.
Each one of the
incident mentioned below; be it labeled Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and
others has an individual behind the atrocity. You can look at 9/11, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Gujarat, Bosnia, Palestine, Israel, WWII, Golden Temple, Sinhala,
Ireland and as far back as you want to go including the inquisitions, Crusades,
Ghazni’s raids into Somnath, you can always trace the evil to an individual.
The reason for
evil to persist is due to the good people not stopping the bad boys, than those
evil doers themselves. Edmund Burke had said some thing similar to that.
accusing some one has to have a purpose; to bring justice. We have a choice to
blame the religion or the individual.
If we blame the
religion, we do not stand a chance to punish it, it is intangible. No one will
be ever satisfied by blaming the religion, you just cannot do a thing about it.
The world has been wrong about it for centuries, it is time to wise up and do
the right thing; to bring justice to the crimes.
Individuals commit crimes and not the religion, we can punish the individuals
in each case, those who are alive, bring them to justice and do what the law of
the land permits, and those who are dead we have a choice. Either brood for
eternity and destroy our own inner peace or clean the slate by forgiving them.
Each one of the religious traditions; Aztec, Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu,
Hopi, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Oloriyo, Shinto, Sikh, Toltec, Wicca, Zoroastrian
and others have stressed that, the way to keep one’s balance is through
forgiveness and repentance. I have scriptures from every faith, but I can pull
Islamic quote from the memory; the dearest person to the creator is the one who
forgives. Please understand that every beautiful religion teaches the same
stuff, forgiving the other is not doing a favor to the other, it is doing a
favor to oneself, as it brings one’s balance back and frees one from the
bondage that comes with hate, anger, greed and other evils such as desire to
control others. Jesus Christ knew the effect of forgiveness and mitigation of
conflicts to the point he made it central to his teachings.
The kings of
Europe, India, China, Egypt, Incas, Mongols, Greece and others had only one
business. To invade and annex the land from next door, loot their wealth and
pillage the families. Religion did not matter to them, if it did, it would not
have given them permission to kill even a single soul. Each one of the
religions rightfully given the advice to humans to treat the world as one
family, to kill one is like killing all. Blame the king not their religion.
A few humans are born evil, no matter what religion they wear, they are going
to be evil. If they can get some of their religion, any religion into their
blood stream, they will be good individuals like 99.9% of us are. The purpose
of religion is to create just and peaceful societies of co-existence.
It is time we quit blaming Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or any faith
as it will not do any good to the blamer and the blamed. Nothing will be
accomplished by it.
Let’s do the right thing and laser point at the individuals; yes, individuals
who are the cause and source of the wars and incarcerate them and bring
justice. You have to have the guts to blame the individuals and wisdom to not
blame the religion.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and
is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing
interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a
simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news
analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his
personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net/. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly
three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com
I am provoked to write this
-M.S.N. Menon , Organiser
Yes. When I’m told that Hindus “live in darkness” I’m provoked.
I’m a Hindu, not the usual one, for I took the trouble to make a special study
of human civilisations and religious atrocities. Naturally, I see religions in
a different light. Not the way the “faithful” see them.
Religions are full of lies and false claims.
The Jews claimed they were “the chosen people of God.” Where did this delusion
take them? To the worst persecution known to man! They remain the object of the
longest hate in human history.
Take Christianity. What is its claim and what is the reality? It claims to have
civilised Europe. In fact, it destroyed one of the greatest civilisations of
man—the Greek civilisation.
Vassili Vassilevsky, one of the most stimulating authors of Greece, says: “It
took us inheritors of a joyous paganistic culture, a long time to internalise
the notion of ‘guilt’.
Even today we do not wholly accept the idea that the body is the source of
evil.” And yet Jesus had said that the “Kingdom of God is within you.” Then,
who put the Devil inside the Christian to torment them? The Organised Church.
And it also destroyed the Roman empire. One of the first acts of the Christians
(that of Emperor Theodisius), when they came to power in Rome, was to order the
destruction of the most splendid library in the temple of Serapis.
Obviously, the Church had no desire for enlightenment. The Hindus pray for
The Church converted the pagan temples into tombs, says W.E.H. Lecky, “for the
adoration of the bones of the basest and most depraved of men among the
Christian monks.” (History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of
Rationalism in Europe”, Vol.II)
And a Christian mob stripped and cut into pieces a gifted, virtuous and
beautiful lady in Alexandria. What was her crime? That she was the leader of
The Roman empire had produced some of the great men in history like poets
Horace and Virgil, historians like Livy and Polybius, philosophers like
Epictetus and Plotinus, orators like Cicero, lawgivers like Cato. What did
Christianity produce in the 1500 years of its dominance over Europe? Not one
man of greatness! And almost every great man who was born in Europe after the
Renaissance was outside the Church.
And the Roman empire spread the Hellenistic civilisation in half the world.
What has the Christian empire to show?
It is the claim of the church that it made a major contribution to the growth
of morality in Europe. In fact, it made little contribution. It called
Descartes, father of moral philosophy, an atheist!
The Church gave its blessings to both capitalism and imperialism. And later to
colonialism. Secretary of State Amery (UK) says that an active empire and an
inactive Church cannot go together.
The Church had a big hand in slave trade. If there was a conscience problem, it
helped to ease it by saying that the black man was the son of the Devil.
Denouncing the trade in black men, Lord Palmerston says: “If all crimes
committed from creation down to the present day were added together, they would
not exceed, I am sure, the guilt of the diabolic slave trade.” In America
Lincoln had to fight a civil war to outlaw the trade. The Church was behind the
rebel southern States.
According to the Church, the dark races were not required in God’s scheme of
The genocide of the Incas, Mayas and others has no parallel in human history.
They were more civilised than the Europeans. “By millions upon millions” says
Draper “whole races and nations were remorselessly cut off.
The Bishop of Chiape affirmed that more than 15 million were terminated in his
time. From Mexico and Peru, a civilisation that might have educated Europe, was
crushed out.” (Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. II)
On Galileo’s incarceration, Draper writes: “What a spectacle! This venerable
man, the most illustrious of his age, forced by the threat of death to deny the
facts…treated with remorseless severity during the remaining ten years of his
life….” In the dungeon.
There is nothing in human history as diabolic as the Inquisition. It was
created by the Popes to perfect the “art” of torture of the apostates. I can
only think of the gas chambers of the Nazis, which did away with six million
“What strikes me most in considering medieval torture is not so much this
diabolic barbarity, which is impossible to exaggerate, as the extraordinary
variety and what may be termed the artistic skills they displayed”. (Lecky)
What else can one expect from a religion which had thought of eternal hell fire
as a punishment for even small wrongs of men!
What about Islam? Space compels me to make it a short review. In his book “In
the path of Mahatma Gandhi”, George Catlin, the American philosopher, asks:
“What has Islam to offer to compare with the philosophy of Vedanta and the
Upanishads?” So much for its “Superiority” claim!
Be that as it may, what is the record of Islam’s atrocities? “The Islamic
conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history,” says Will
Durant, the American historian.
The Muslims do not want to be reminded of their past. But it is necessary, says
S.Bashiruddin, former Vice Chancellor of Dr. Ambedkar Open University. (See his
‘Deen and Dharma”).
He says: “Through the present generation of Muslims is not responsible for what
has been done centuries ago, an awareness of such a legacy can sensitize the
Muslim opinion leaders…”
With such a record of their past, I would like to know from Christian and
Muslim brothers, in which way they are “superior” to the Hindus.
Do not tell me that your religious texts do not permit these things. This is an
easy explanation. I don’t take it.
Men are judged by what they do, not by what they believe or by what is written
in their scripture.
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