Put a warmonger in charge of a church and he will replace the bible with a gun, put him in charge of the state and he will keep the soldiers busy, even try to place him in charge of a food producing industry you will get him producing weapons with food production raw materials. The next day you may wake up to an invention of “carrot bullets”
Mahatma Gandhi said “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” If your thoughts dictate you are a cow, then you are one, and we expect milk soon. If your mind is always processing crime, violence and war, the product will be nothing less but a warmonger. The sad news is that we can’t change you, unless you liberate yourself. We may preach to you about salvation and bring you to church but unless you change your thoughts, we will be giving you more reasons to fight.
Bob Marley who was a Rastafarian and named the King of Reggae said that “None but ourselves can free our minds”. You can get a villager out of a village but you can’t get out the village in him. You may have a heart of helping people but there is a limit you cannot go beyond.
Away from the quotes, my point is religion does not cause war and violence. What causes war are the traits of human beings in general. Take away a humans natural capacity for aggression, greed and self-preservation and what you have left are his positive traits and his values which generally serve as the basis of our religions. Religion is just something that people use to lift up their “suggestion” to war. Religion is like… kind of a catalyst that speeds up chemical reactions in people minds to get a group started.
Religion does not directly cause war. It is just that religion is an easily corruptible system that can influence many people who subscribe to it. It is easier for you to obey some “stupid advice” from your sheikh or that pastor who tells you “Panda mbegu! Weka maji na chumvi kwa glasi”, but it is so hard for you to obey a class teacher who tells you to study hard, not for his own good but you to benefit. It is also so easy to obey and understand complex words written in the Holy Books, but ignore and find it hard to understand a two worded “Usikojoe hapa!” notice.
The reason U.S.A saw sense in separating state and religion was that corrupt politicians could not hide in it and use it to justify violence, war, crime and other evils. In our nation, every year there is an event called “National Prayer Breakfast”. Not a breakfast of breaking after fasting but a heavy meal after prayers and speeches. Ironically on this ceremony the same vulgar mouths that produce obscene words to other politicians in public rallies, ooze with bible verses, encouragements and sermons. Their faces display humility and thanksgiving for promises they never delivered.
The citizens who have funded the ceremony with their taxes are blinded by this liars hiding behind RELIGION. Religion can be used as a PR tool like in this case to make someone or an institution look good. Do we blame the people or religion?
About religion and people, a friend of mine who is a Muslim, contributed in Part 2 and said Islam does not preach about violence. People’s interpretation of the meaning of the word “Jihad” is what lead them to their actions. When a credible sheikh tells you to pick a gun and fight for the religion so that when you get to heaven (Janna), Allah will reward you with72 virgins. What will stop you from spraying bullets to people? bearing in mind the scarcity of virgins.
The Hadith says “Upon his return from battle Muhammad said, “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad” but did Muhammad say the reward or what was Jihad? Who did interpret? Now do me a favor and connect the 72 virgins to Jihad. Well, the Koran speaks of Muslim men will be awarded with virgins in Paradise but not after Jihad. I am not yet a master of Islam but can you locate any misinterpretation?
My verdict is that “Religion does not cause war and violence” it is people who cause war and violence and hide in religion. Since I was born I have never seen a bible or a Quran holding a gun or panga and spraying people with bullets and slashing others. Jesus provides the answer to our question very clearly on Mark 7:21-22 where he says “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” Did he say from religion comes all evil thoughts and acts?
The foundation of peace is actually religion. For instance the Quran speaks of a Universal God and that breaks divisions. It also speaks about the oneness of humanity, addressing all people as “Children of Adam”. Also speaks about nations and tribes, and languages and colors as being all manifestations of God’s glory and greatness in creation, and not cause for division. Christians say “Peace is not the absence of violence but the presence of Christ.”
My friend! Today, the world’s population is numbering over seven billion people, six billion of them profess some sort of religious belief. I believe you are a part of that 6billion in whichever religion you subscribe to. It will be very ungodly for you to fight in order to make your God known or your religion to be known. Let’s us join hands together as we let Religion be a tool of peace instead of violence.
To this end my mission remains changing the world and leaving it a better place than we found it. Thank you for joining me in this journey from part 1 to part 5 as we answered this question. What is Your final verdict?. See you later in ‘coming soon’ Why stay single?
Miss you in the meanwhile