Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of ‘The Week’. After last week’s horrific scenes I’ve been thinking more about religion and my attention was also drawn with Rupert Murdoch’s tweets early in the week but that’s something I’ll delve into on Tuesday with my tech stuff. Today I’m going to talk more about religion and the after affects of the terrorist attacks last week. The first thing that’s jumped out at me is the anti Semitic voice that came via the media to the point that even the home secretary of the United Kingdom (where I live) has waded in. I think the media are making too much of the fact that the third gun man, during last week’s horror, ended up in a kosher supermarket. He may have intended to attack a Jewish business but from what I have read, it looks more to me that this guy had no plan and just ended up inside a supermarket – not that particular market.
There is little to suggest so far that it was a specific target that he had been planning on attacking. If we accept this premise, for now, then what has prompted the anti-Semitic uproar, resulting in Jews being seen on the news saying they don’t feel safe and are considering moving because of anti-semitic behaviour around them? The response of the media to report the attacks last week as an attack on Jews is outlandish and may be shown to be a case of the media creating the news. It was an attack on free speech and that is bad enough. There has been a lot in the British press about both sides of the argument regarding the drawing of the prophet and making fun of him. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, religion is something you choose, not something you are born with so it is not a race or natural thing – it’s a construct of man and as such can be challenged and should expect to be debated and even ridiculed as it is a view.
However, I digress, back to the core issue. I concede that there are still huge anti-semitic views expressed by some countries or people, which is not right, you shouldn’t hate someone for their views or beliefs – if you don’t agree with them then fine, just don’t talk to them about it. But it is not just anti-Semitism which has risen its’ ugly head since the attacks last week. It is anti-Islamic view that appeared, strangely more in Britain than France, with some attacks on peoples’ shops and restaurants last week, simply because they are businesses owned by Muslims. So how do we combat this, because realistically the aim of people who commit terror is to inflict fear, trigger anger and marginalise groups and to fuel the fire, this has been shown throughout history, so what do we do? I shared in ‘The Week’ last week a little about my beliefs and continuing on that theme I am of the view that all religions on the planet, bar none, are constructs of man and there is no divine power or magic that has crafted text or anything to tell us to live by. For example, Christianity only grew so big because of the time it appeared – Christianity vs ancient gods, all the ancient religions of Greece, Roman, Norse, Celtic – all believed in some sort of Warclass; a class that meant the biggest and strongest could do pretty much what they wanted and screw everyone else because the ‘gods’ had given them their height and strength, to the biggest, fittest, strongest went the spoils! Then along comes Christianity, which wasn’t the first religion to be pacific, neutral – it was just the first to catch on, and it did so because people weren’t happy with things. A million people living in Rome with a few hundred running all of it (sounds familiar) and they thought Oh! Here comes a religion that says it doesn’t matter what you are in life as long as you live life as a good person then you will spend eternity in complete luxury (heaven) and that caught on with the masses over Valhalla and the underworld. There then came a point where the mass opinion had such ground swell that it changed everyone, hence the emperor becoming Christian and the Roman Empire switches gods, just before the end. After which the rich and the powerful carry on as they had done before and before, put themselves in charge of things, manipulated it, changed it and took over Christianity to bend it to their will. Just look how wealthy the Catholic Church is today, look at the Vatican City, with homeless sleeping on the road up to it – is that the true nature of Christianity? And so a religion becomes a social status, a position of power and we roll onwards to such events as the crusades where Kings and Emperors use religion as a political tool – (sounds familiar again) Add on that a thousand years of rot and here we are. It is no surprise to read that most westerners or members of the “free world” will say they are not religious or are si only for social conventions (weddings/funerals) – because religion is a man made thing and in time it fails to meet the needs of the people. Islam isn’t too dissimilar, the only difference really is that it is younger and born more out of blood, and not so centralised but the fundamentals are the same: it was written by men and is commanded by man. None of you would blindly agree with someone else just because he read a book. That is like me saying Gandalf is a leprechaun. No he is not, say you then oh yes he is says someone else, I know because I read a book that says so. My point being is that if you are obsessed by religion maybe take a step back and consider where the material actually comes from. Sharia law is a set of rules, made up and added to over time to run a society – it is brutal and makes no sense and has absolutely no place in the modern world. However, saying all this I do maintain that people should be able to believe what they want, if they believe in some words some person said and it was then written down then fair enough, that it up to them but to inflict it on others, attempt to ram it down other people’s throats and getting angry if people don’t agree and take the micky out of them – is not OK. If God, Allah or Thor need men to defend them from me and my words then I don’t think they’re very good gods.
My final thought on religion (I promise) is this; if you are religious, and I’m talking to everyone here, whoever your God may be, please don’t force it on your children as a way of life. Allow them to grow and make a choice for themselves on who they follow. Religion isn’t a culture (or shouldn’t be) it’s a set of beliefs and you can still be from Pakistan or India, Britain, France, whatever nationality without being fixed into a religion. Children shouldn’t be brain washed and made to comply. They should make their own choices, in time, as they become educated. It is our job, as adults, to give them all the information, provide a moral compass so they can function in society but not to make their choices for them. Well that’s my take on the situation. Have a good week.