Religious wars are always heresy’s. Is there any doctrine out there that actually says “I am God, go kill in my name?” Yeah, if you read the Old Testament God was quite into smoting and smiting. Be that as it may, the 3 religions of Abraham (J,C,M,) all claim the 10 Commandments and featured is though shalt not kill. Whether crusade or jihad or milchama; every religious sect incorporates killing and generates escape clauses as a matter of course.
Contradicting much of their own stated doctrines, and are orchestrated in hypocritical acts by those person’s occupying positions of authority and assuming a sanctioned demagoguery, religious leaders throughout the ages, have hidden behind the GOD. Such is the case of a Florida Minister who in wanting to condemn the God of the Qu’ran, by carrying out an overt act of jingoistic, chauvinistic, public spectacle designed to remind us of the goodness and holiness of the God of the Christian Bible, and by extension, America.
The revved-up Reverend Terry Jones is posing his God-self in an audacious power move more to self-aggrandize than to exult the mercy and tolerance preached by a Rabbi from Galilee. A case of usurping the GOD’s name for one’s own hate-filled purpose is a bit of a blasphemy. Not according to me, but to the stricture of his own doctrine.
But he’s an American, can he be wrong? General Patraeus, who was lauded by the allies as this war’s Eisenhower, said the he believes this act is more inflammatory and will cause more violence against American troops. Pure hatred seems to do that. Even the release of pentagon documents on Wikipedia, which excited our fear, did so by forcing us to look at the truth behind our governments actions. Anger from truth is far different that actively fomenting hate through the lies of religious dogma.
Throwing gasoline on a fire by offending an entire religion, especially when it is a very small subset of those patrons who adhere to violence, is a powerful incitement and enticement for more hatred in the world. Just as Glenn Beck’s labeling President Obama a racist is the same type of derisive tactic in dividing Americans. (Talk about the pot calling the kettle!) These men use their power to promote the God of division, wrath, anger, and vengeance, not the one of peace, reconciliation, and truth.
Yet as those two drone on with their drumbeat of intolerance and hyperbole, one man simply acts in accordance with his principles and fills a real need. Motivated by the reality that a lack of water in the hot sun results in human death, an activist of a faith-based organization called: No More Deaths; Daniel Mills was actually convicted of littering by placing water along the route traveled by illegal-immigrants. Not caring about the political or philosophical brand called illegality, instead he focused on the humanitarian aspect: dehydration causes painful and immanent death!
But reality aside, isn’t helping these lawbreakers a sin? You answer that question that for yourself. Morality that leaves reality out of the equation is not only corrupt but completely unintelligible. The people coming over the border are not coming for a vacation. They are coming to do the work that many Americans feel either to superior to perform or are willing to allow the economic exploration that goes unchallenged in many service and agricultural industries. I can hear the intolerant now spewing in moral righteousness, “let those criminals suffer they shouldn’t be there anyway. It is their own fault.” All the while extolling the virtue of a Capitalist system which blatantly temps these people. This workers want what everyone wants…a better life.”
For the corporate capitalist it is: all of the benefits, none of the responsibility! Now that is the power of a Godless corporate America! But one that many “GOD fearing” American’s fancifully lust for or mindlessly endorse. All one has to do is make greed a virtue! When Ronald Reagan said in a nationally televised address in the early 1980’s, I knew that the end of the era of compassion was at hand. “Greed is good”, he said. Check the history books and find the speech, I didn’t make it up. Believe me, I wish such an abomination of human decency were a figment of my imagination instead of part of the modern American unconscious.
When I see a selfless act contrasting to a self-aggrandizing one, I feel the difference within me. My God does not endorse hate, though it acknowledges its potency and uses. Another power of GOD is judgment. It is the same facility that allows us to discern color from gray, like from dislike and elephants from elephantiasis. But at the conclusion of that act, do we condemn? Does one call for sentence? And then does one feel the righteous commission to execute that sentence in the name of God? On some subjects or instances, I do. Because WE ALL PLAY GOD! I know that we all judge, render verdict, sentence and condemn about something or someone for some reason. (Paraphrasing a fact pointed out by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics.) I may detest terrorists, and even hate what they do; but to categorize the whole religion as evil because of the actions of a few, is like a child saying “I hate all vegetables because they look like broccoli” and it puckers their mouth just to think about it. Does anyone get how those same children would starve or at least be malnourished if they rejected vegetables? Malnutrition leads to mental deficiency. Is there a parallel here? I think so.
Yet, to bless, honor, stand-with, defend, and cherish are virtues of a loving GOD. It is from that place that I cheer Mr. Mills for his compassion in action and implore Rev. Jones to abandon his all-are-the-same hate-based rhetoric and enterprise; and instead consider a powerful Biblical verse that he seems to have completely overlooked in concocting this demonstration: that is, of course, “violence begets violence.” Hitler, MAO, and the Inquisition used book burning as a tool of terror. It is violence at the mind and heart.