Saturday, October 13, 2001

I am glad to say I have a lot of resources here at the library. I came across a copy of The New Humanist (which is what reminded me about the Bamiyan Buddhas) - and reading that (just like reading The Freethinker) brought up my usual thought that it is religions that cause most of the problems. All these so-called religious people seem to think they 'have God on their side'. Indeed, everyone thinks Their God is the one true god.

I was not indoctrinated when I was a child, so I have never 'lost my faith' in a religion. I never had one. And I have never been tempted, as they do not appeal to me. This doesn't mean I haven't studied them. I've read the whole Bible, for instance, which is more than many Christians could say. In the process I came across the fact that the Old Testament IS the Jewish Torah. These religions are intertwined (and so is Islam). They are all People of the Book.

They are all working from the same book/stories, which are, apparently, the Literal Word of God, and yet they all come to different conclusions. This seems far more blasphemous than anything I say. They seem to say (as Bill Hicks so beautifully satirized it) "I think what God meant to say was....."

Take, for instance "RESIST NOT EVIL" (Matthew 5:39). This is the famous 'turning the other cheek' passage. What does this actually mean? It appears to mean that we shouldn't fight back or we become as evil as those we resist. Does this sound familiar - as we terrorize innocent Afghan people? Of course it is hard not to escalate things by responding in kind; it is hard to forgive, rather than 'pay people back' [Look at the so-called Christian communities in Ireland who have been fighting for centuries].

It is precisely because it is hard that it was originally a radical thought. This is why Ghandi and Martin Luther King and other non-violent protestors were so unusual, and so effective. It is teaching by doing; setting an example, rather than trying to bully others; waiting for others to come around to a new way of doing things, rather than becoming just another tyrant revolutionary.....and replacing the people you overthrew.

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