Imagine a visitor from another “world,” is somehow plunked down in our midst. This visitor is not familiar with our customs and mores, but it is able to reason and question in a perceptive way. It doesn’t take the visitor long to realize there are deep divisions between the adherents of the world’s different religions. The visitor sees so-called Islāmic wars being waged, outright massacres and attempts to establish “state,” religions. With his interest piqued, he decides to set out on a course which will allow him to examine the world’s religions.
The visitor first finds very little to commend the religions and is able to find that all the negative aspects of this world’s religions have existed since the dawn of time. What is more, the visitor sees a calendar of crusades, other “holy,” wars, pogroms, inquisitions and other partitions which have pitted neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother and father against son.
As our visitor continues he observes Sikhs versus Hindus, Muslims at odds with all other religions, fundamentalist protestants against those with a liberal bent, and catholics fighting within the faith with other catholics. He sees hundreds — no thousands — of innocent men, women and children murdered as the perpetrators swear they are following the dictates of their religion as they look toward heaven for their god’s approval. Our sojourner wonders at the effrontery of some of the world’s religious and political leaders as they expend more and more of their human resources to wage war on those whose religious beliefs run counter to their own. Wasted men and women, either dead, or mentally exhausted to the point of being unable to work as they once were. He also sees food and other sustenance wasted which could have been better spent filling the stomachs of the less fortunate or filling the minds of their ignorant and illiterate with meaningful knowledge.
Our visitor sees the three main monotheistic religions have similar or common theme in their doctrine and formation (not the least being their shared lineage from Abraham). Our “alien,” is chagrined at the rifts which have developed in the past and present among each religion’s adherents. He finds the fault does not necessarily or solely lie with the doctrine or the “holy,” books and tracts, but with some of the world’s religious leaders and their charlatanistic spin which they nimbly apply during their demagogic diatribes. He also sees followers blindly tagging along as they are fed the pablum of their very own “false prophet.” He doesn’t miss the demonic instructions which causes a young child to become a human bomb in order to rid the world of one more “infidel,” or non-believer; the dictates which withhold aid and succor for the world’s hungry and downtrodden; the dictates which teach hate is acceptable as it is directed toward one that is different because of their religious beliefs, the color of their skin, or their historic and ethnic culture.
Finally exhausted and disappointed in the extreme, our alien friend departs our world, shaking his head as he thinks:
How strange so many of that world’s religious leaders sit on their hands while their religions renegade elements wreak havoc on others and lay waste to the potential of that planet.
I hope the thoughtful reader will find nothing offensive to their person or spiritual well-being in reading the above, but if the opposite be the case, perhaps an inward search toward the depth of their soul will reveal something which could be attended to….