Hatred & Fear are conjoined twins, feeding off each other, never far from each other, essential to each other’s survival. As life is a tenuous endeavor, never secure, always perilous, tapping the bile reservoirs where the twin potions reside is an all too easy enterprise. Conservative Republicans and religious immoderates everywhere have found tapping the vile keg irresistible.
This is an attack on “religion;” not on any particular strain, but all religions everywhere for all time. “In the beginning” there was a need to explain what was inexplicable; pretty much as there is now but sans a scientific method that relied on the search for and accumulation of empirical evidence for support of postulations. Thus it was that humans invented god, not the other way around. Wonder why there was a drought; poof: this god or that one, whom ever was assigned responsibility for the phenomenon, did it. And He or She or It likely did it because something someone in the clan or village did or failed to do ticked Him or Her or It off. Hey! better toss a virgin off the cliff as a sacrifice to the god of rain. Maybe we’ll get some. Whatever you do, do not think on the logic, do not argue, even if it’s you or your daughter that’s gonna get tossed; the greater good demands it. The High Priest has said so.
So what’s so different today?
Every religion ever on earth has had and/or has strictures admonishing the adherents not to test their god. What? A prime-mover-unmoved god that was responsible for the very creation of and remains the propelling force behind the present movement of stars and planets, mountains and oceans, lions and ants and everything in between and beyond is nonetheless so fragile He/She/It/They must not be queried. I mean: What kind of Supreme Being is that, so weak a simple question or series of them will undo the entity entirely?
But that’s what we’ve got; Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, whatever . . . all premised on one absurdity or another, and all with a history of such decrepitude that murder writ expansive and torture writ most heinous has been or yet is justified, even required in its defense. And no one had to or has to justify anything other than claiming to believe those atrocities were what this or that god had commanded.
While the apostle Paul noted “Who can know the mind of God?” millions of adherents of a variety of religions around the globe insist that somehow they know God hates fornication and homosexuality and an entire host of grievous and perverse abominations. Nor do these Believers stop to ponder the contradiction inherent in their propounded pronouncements: if God created everything, by definition God must have also created that which they suggest God despises, including the very human inclination to ponder the legitimacy of the premises. But those who trespass the creed must be expunged, often via the most horrific means; as a lesson to others, because God, whose mind none can know, requires it.
WOW! You want to define a ‘House of Cards’ and insanity and terrorism, the proposition that one doesn’t need the first proton of verifiable evidence to condemn someone(s) to burning at the stake, death via disembowelment, or beheading because accusers “believe” the accused do/does not also “believe” what and to the same extent that the accusers do . . . man, that’s it 100%.
And do not for a moment prefer to believe this inanity resides exclusively in the hearts and minds of Middle-Eastern Moslem extremists. Jews and Christians have their share of dangerous nutcases, willing to risk or devise to total annihilation all the human species on behalf of beliefs that are without a mote of evidence. As to some Jews: “God gave me this land, it is mine, to take by any means I divine, removing from it all whom I decide may be the unchosen interlopers.” As to the Christian zealots: “We must hearken the Apocalypse in order that the End-Time might arrive, bringing with it the Second Coming, the Final Judgment, and the Rapture.”
What’s true and what’s worse is that no one, as in not a single person, now or ever or evermore, is able to cite one letter or one word or one sentence of their creed that can actually be verified as coming from anyone other than another, highly flawed human. Who was Moses, really? “In the beginning” has to do with THE Beginning (of everything) and yet it was written by him approximately 3,200 years ago. Via numerous radiometric dating methods, our solar system and earth are somewhere around 3.84 billion years old. Moses speculated, and as he had not a single astronomical device available, that is in fact all he did. Thus every word written by the fellow is pure, speculative fiction. And no one knows what Jesus of Nazareth really said about anything. The first words attributed to him were written long after he perished. At most, whatever is written is a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation of an ancient Aramaic and are problem-wracked guesses intermingled with hope and politics. Mohammed (also Muhammad, or Mahomet) was a married merchant who was so depressed that he repaired ala Henry David Thoreau not to Walden Pond but to a cave for reflection and meditation. It was while in the cave that ostensibly he received a revelation from God. Unfortunately, the only genuine evidence available that he was visited by anything other than perhaps bad dreams that might just as plausibly have been a delirium, itself the product of malnutrition, poor quality water and air, is what he alone claimed. Did not Jim Jones assert equivalent justifications for his actions in Guyana? And did we not assert he was completely and dangerously off-his-rocker nutso?
Nonetheless, over the centuries, millions and millions and millions of hapless human beings have been, and continue to this day to be, wholesale tortured and slaughtered because some group of Believers believed their god so ordained and sanctified the torture and slaughter. And few ask “What in God’s name is going on here?” And of those who do so inquire, many more others shout them down, or kill them for their apostasy.
Yeah . . . You want to know about terrorism, its roots and its expressions? That’s it in a nutshell.
Iraq. Saudi Arabia. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Israel. Palestine. And the Bible Belt. Contrary to or supplemental of the proposal that “it’s all bout oil” is the fact it’s just as much about what one population believes without having, or even aspiring to secure, the first proton of evidence behind their beliefs. In fact, all available evidence indicts not only their beliefs but their behaviors as well. But all march on because their god told them to. And it doesn’t matter at all the number who have perished in the cause, or how many more certainly will also be trampled underfoot.
— Ed Tubbs