A protestor at the recent Sydney riots over the film Innocence of Muslims. Picture: Brisbane Courier Mail
“In every instance where a religion resorts to violence or turns to politics to force those outside the religion to its will, then it is showing weakness.”
You can always tell when faith in a religion is weak, because those who have little faith are quick resort to violence.
If you are strong in your religion, then insults and comments by others are water off a duck’s back. Those with a strong faith may feel pity or even annoyance for people who question the ethics of their religion. They may even protest if it is a particularly heinous attack but they do it peacefully because with whatever God they follow, the truly faithful remain safe and calm in the embrace of that deity.
However, if faith is weak, if you doubt your God and others dare question your religion, it seems anger follows quickly. For the weak of faith – if others have no fear of your God and dare to question your actions or dogma – the quickest resort is to put the fear of murderous extremists in God’s place. The weak replace faith in their God with murderous violence to stop other asking questions they are themselves too afraid to address.
Inevitably, some time afterwards, these same people complain publicly that they are unfairly branded as terrorists.
If you have to threaten people with death and even go as far as killing people with the clear intention of making others fearful of questioning your God, then you are a terrorist. End of story.
The recent riots and killings around the world following in the wake of the release of a ridiculous, low budget movie, Innocence of Muslims, is about the poorest excuse for outrage on such a scale I can think of in the past few years. If only it was an isolated example, but it is not.
It strikes me as bizarre that Islamic leaders claim their religion is peaceful and strong but at the first hint of blasphemy, so many of their followers resort to terrorism.
If adherents of a faith truly believed in the strength of their religion, they would ridicule cartoons and movies. After all, if you truly believe in something, it doesn’t matter what other people say, you will stay true to the course and then receive whatever reward your creator has set aside for you.
Some would simply treat such blasphemy as a test of faith.
The US Conservatives are another bunch of religious nut-jobs who through their actions show how little faith they have in their own religion.
If their religion was so strong, they wouldn’t need to move into politics and perform disturbingly godless actions to repeal abortion laws. A strong faith wouldn’t attack gays, demand to remove sex education from schools and try to break down the separation of church and politics.
If the belief of the religious right was truly strong, those within the churches would adhere to the teachings and practices. If they do not, then the right better get to work on your churches and leave politics alone.
The US religious right also needs to explain why those outside the church should be chained to the will of a religion that is not their own. Such demands can only come from a weak religion that is struggling to shore up its numbers and its beliefs.
In a democratic country, we must accept that there will be different religions just as there will be different opinions. Confident religions can live beside each other, without resorting to violence.
In every instance where a religion resorts to violence or turns to politics to force those outside the religion to its will, then it is showing weakness. It shows a lack of belief in its teachings and deserves to lose its followers and the respect of others.