Wednesday, March 31

People must be such a disappointment to the Almighty some days

(note - this is a repost from my old blog)

So, my dear wulfsdottir posts this brilliant article on her page (thanks, sis) and there was some useful and enlightening discussion which was generated. The article is WS and is a series of interviews with former Jihadists, focusing on what brought them to fundamental Islam and what caused them to break with the movement. That article seems to resonate with another article I read recently by former President Carter and his decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention after 60 years.

For those of faith, it seems that the underlying concepts of toleration, unity and forgiveness are scarce in these days of division and discord. The etymological root of the word 'kindness' is the OE gecynd, which traces back to the latin gens - the word for family or tribe. In world where we treat none with kindness...none like it no surprise that we are always treated as a stranger?

I read about how the 'righteous army of [diety]' will wage a holy war and cleanse the world of non-believers, establishing a paradise on Earth. We hear how the definition of 'non-believer' is someone who has ideological differences with those who proclaim that they have the one, true way....even if they worship the same diety as the 'non-believer'.

[Bob] has found "The Way". Because it is "The Way", there can be no variation, interpretation or compromise, lest "The Way" be lost. Ergo, any questioning of the authority or fallibility of "The Way" is an assault on [name of divine being/supreme authority here] and the entire foundation of the religion itself.

This quickly devolves into hatred and intolerance of anyone who is not of "The Way". In many (though not all) belief systems, this hatred and/or intolerance breeds violence. These patterns also strongly lead to insulation and isolation, which serve as an echo chamber.

So, what do the inerrant texts which must be read literally have to say on the matter?

"O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah az-Zumar 39:53)"

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(Ephesians 4:32)"

It seems, like so many zealots, these folks know the will of God, and therefore do not need to worry themselves with what their deity has actually said.

*sighs heavily*

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