Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ancient Religious Fights so Stupid

There's not much more to say than the title suggests. We can expand on the details if we wish. There are over thousands of years of such details.

What did the Jews do to the Canaanites? What did the Muslims do to the Jews? What did the Christians do to the Muslims and the Jews? Why did the U.N. create a Jewish homeland in the middle of an Arab area the British had also promised to the Arabs? Why did the Jews expel Arabs from their new state while the Arabs expelled Jews from their states? Why did the Jews build settlements outside the land they were given? Why do the Arabs states stand idly by, encouraging violent rather than peaceful solutions to the Occupation? Why isn't there a significant passive resistance movement in Palestine?

The history is long, complicated, stupid and religious.

God promised all of Palestine to the Jews, especially the part with the magic wall on it.

God told the Arabs to wipe the Jews off of his land, especially the part with the dome on it.

God told the Christians that they ought to help the Jews take over Palestine so Jesus can come back.

Apparently, God wanted these three groups of people to spend all of eternity killing each other over a piece of dirt, a wall and a dome. I've read the Old Testament. I'm not actually having a problem believing that the fictional character therein contained would - if he existed - want this amount of bloodshed. It seems to be in character for him.

Somehow, though, I think it's stupid. Somehow, following the murderous instructions of a fictional character for two thousands years of misery seems to me to be utterly ridiculous.

It's time for the Arabs and their supporters to realize the kind of fear that Jews are living under. After a Holocaust, surrounded by enemies who call for your deaths in daily street riots, beset by violence, encouraged to fear by the rhetoric of their own leaders, being a Jew in Israel must be terribly frightening.

And it's time for the Jews in Israel and their supporters around the world to realize that none of the grandstanding Israel has done, none of the settlements it has built on occupied land, none of the security fences, roadblocks, water and electricity cut-offs - none of it has made it safer to be an Israeli or a Jew in Israel.

It's time to grow up. It's time to stop taking sides and pretending that your favourite side is innocent. It's time for peace. Mostly it's a time for an end to the religious stupidity and shortsightedness that has plagued our world - and especially the Middle East - for thousands of years.

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Mike said...

Hey, one of the reason I started down the road to atheism when I was 14. Watching Jews and Muslims kill each other in the name of the same God on one channel and Irish Christians kill each other in the name of the same Savior on the other channel, made me start to question my beliefs.

We need to stop taking side and we need to stop selling arms. If they want to fight, let them.

TnT said...

Well said. I can't believe the absolute sheer lunacy of Flaggman's announcing that if we don't support 'his side's' murderous actions, we have no humanity.

His post presents to me, and excellent argument for NOT supporting 'his side'.

Supporting one side, or the other, is precisely what has been allowing this to continue with no real end in sight.

Greg said...

What's more frightening, to me, is the bit about your "soul" being on the line.

In a nutshell, that's everything that's wrong with religion. It owns you for all of eternity and even asking questions condemns you forever. Don't ask questions. Your parents already told you which side to take.