Religion Often Excuse for Violent and Evil Acts

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.

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