Why do we kill in the name of God?
I suppose we have done enough study of history to know how it works, the politics, the mechanics and logistics of killing in the name of God. But the deeper question as to why we do it always remains unanswered. This is, I believe, because we suffer from a heavy dose of blame and denial. “You people did this!” “No, it can’t possible be,” we say and think. “These attackers don’t really represent ____________ (fill in the blank with the name of any religion).”
When the attackers flew planes into the World Trade Center, they were praying. They believed they were doing God’s work. And our well meaning cries of support for our Muslim brothers and sisters, who would never think of doing such a thing, are not so much cries of support as they are a kind of denial. We have isolated the enemy and he is not I. Well, if there is anything that should tie us together it is our belief in God. When one acts in the name of God, we all do. It does not matter which religion; It does not matter if the act is good or bad, we are all involved.
Now it seems that the attacks in Mumbai have similar origins as our 9/11. And the blaming and denials are beginning. Yet we cannot deny a world where we produce people so sure that they know what God wants that they would kill, literally or emotionally, in His name.
Just fill in the name of the religion and the name of the crime; the sentence would be the same. If one kills in the name of God, we all have, and we have to figure out how to stop doing that. We are all people and we are all in this together, so we all need to take responsibility.
I pray to God that I see, especially during Advent, in my own life, how I am intolerant of others. I firmly believe that a world can be changed by attitudes and those attitudes start at home. I further pray that a deeper understanding and Love for my fellow men and women replaces this exposed intolerance.
Maybe that’s a start. Or maybe I’m just a crackpot.
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