Being Poisoned, Or Already There?

Being Poisoned, Or Already There? –
Many of us are hesitant to say that religion is a way of peace, when on the other side of the globe, the Islamic State is barbarically slaughtering religious minorities and anyone that doesn’t not follow their radical ideologies. However, this article suggests that it’s time we recognize that terrorist groups do not represent religion. Violence in the name of religion seems to occur more often over land and political power, religion itself cannot entirely be to blame. What this article is tries to present, is the opportunity to take back the wholesomeness of what it means to be religious. They state that there are a few things communities of faith can do to help stop the perversion of violence in the name of a religion.
The first step is getting acquainted with the reasons why most terrorist commit acts of violence. As already discussed, this article suggests that it’s often in the name of nationalism and political power. It seems that religion is an easy way to get many on one’s side, and condemn those that oppose.
Second, applies to us on the other side of the world, where it’s less scary to do so. Speak out against acts of violence that are committed in the name of your religion. If you condemn those that are slaughtering innocents in the name of your religion, make it known! This especially applies to religious leaders, not only to prevent the spread of racism, but to protect those that perhaps aren’t fully aware of what it means to be part of a religious community.
Finally, an important question was raised by this article, asking “why does religion allow itself to be poisoned?” I mean, it’s a great point. Why must religion be part of a state’s ambition when can humbly exists among those who choose to practise it. In other words, if religion can exist without being enforced by a state, then why don’t we leave it at that? The article paraphrases well known atheist, Christopher Hitchens in saying, “It’s not how religion poisons everything, but how everything poisons religion.” Let religion exist separately from politics so that all who practise and exist peacefully with all who don’t.
I admire this ambition, to make religion a peaceful, personal conquest, but I’m going to play to devil’s advocate and say that this is a bold attempt. Are we really going to be able to change so many people’s minds by writing a few blogs about it? We should ponder why the people with the bold (and arguably, twisted) religious ideologies are so sure that what they are doing is right. Did a religious concept get misinterpreted, or was that the original meaning all along? It would be nice if religions were fully peaceful and independent but they’re not. We don’t understand what religion fully means if people are consistently arguing if the violence in its name is simply, ‘misinterpreted.’ The steps listed above are great in theory. But in practise…religious feuds are centuries old, why are we still on step one?


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