294: Demands of Religion

Religions have been causing problems in the world since they were first organized. They have been responsible for a lot of the misery of mankind. They have also been a tremendous personal source of comfort to millions, and dedicated religious-based workers, because of their religious beliefs, have contributed a great deal of good to the world in a huge variety of ways.

So – how can religion be at the same time such a good and such a bad influence? This is not particularly hard to figure out. Separate the good things that happen due to the motivational force of religions and the bad things that happen due to the motivational force of religions, and you can pretty quickly see a clear divide in motivation of the believer.

Good things happen as a result of people who are genuinely seeking to please their God, and who are doing what they can do to help other people as a service to that God they, themselves, revere. There are people of ALL faiths (with the possible exception of Satanism) who are living their lives in this way, doing no harm and a great deal of good.  

Where the trouble comes in is when a person of faith is convinced that their path to God is the ONLY path to God, and that everyone else MUST FOLLOW THIS SAME PATH, or die. Therein lies the rub. I believe, no- I KNOW that God is big enough to lead a sincere seeker in the paths he wants them to follow, regardless of where that person began their journey to God. God accepts people as followers regardless of where they are, or what they have done. Then He begins to make changes in that person’s life to mold that individual in the way He wants them to go. And God NEVER, EVER advocates that His followers harm others except to preserve their own lives due to other’s hostile actions.

I would shoot an intruder who broke into my home without a second’s additional thought beyond being sure my first shot was a killing one. At the same time, I would never use a weapon on another human being just because they had something to say about me, my family, my country, or my religion. They have opinions of their own, and they can express them, even if I disagree with them. But threaten me with harm? All bets are off – you chose this course of action, buddy, on your own head fall the consequences.

NO faith that advocates violence to other humans over religious doctrine is a genuine faith, particularly if its adherents actively pursue that order. No human has the right to force a belief on another. That does not mean you, as a believer, cannot tell someone else about your own faith, and persuade them that your faith is the right path to God. It also does not mean that they cannot discuss with you their own faith, and try to persuade you that their faith is the better path.  God is big enough to help people decide which path to Him is the better path, and His timing is not our own. And if your faith is, indeed, the best path to God, why are you not assured that all people will see the light and convert on their own – why are you so threatened by other religions that you advocate violence against them? Sounds like your religion has a LLLOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGggggggg way to go before you can claim it’s the best path to God, huh?

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