My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Tragedy That May Soon Visit Our Neighborhood

Saw this link to a news article this morning. It's about the killing of a young man and woman in Afghanistan who were trying to run off to Iran and get married. The parents had sent other villagers to intercept them and bring them back. Once back in their home village, the couple were either turned over to the Taliban by their parents, or forcibly taken from their homes. It is not known which.

The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of the southwestern province of Nimroz.

I realize some will read this story, or hear about it on the news, and see it as justification for all sorts of discriminative words and actions. I do not. Is the Taliban a dangerous organization, especially to its own people? Yes. I think so. But the Taliban are not indicative of all the people, nor of the culture in general. Still, they do remind me of another group, here in Western Culture. The Religious Right.

It doesn't take long for freedoms to be lost, taken, or given away. Especially when skilled manipulators use religion as the enticement and/or threat.

The Religious Right would take away, or at least deny, the rights of American Citizens in America. Simply because they say God doesn't like what these "others" are doing. God may not like it. In some cases, I'm sure he doesn't. But you know what? He's not that keen on most of what we do on this planet. And that includes myself and the Religious Right. (I hate that name, but I refuse to call them Christians.)

Legislating morality is one of the worst crimes any people can impose on another. It has been tried over and over and over again in human history, and every time it fails. Why? Because each culture sees morality through its own eyes and interprets it differently. The culture of the Taliban is incredibly harsh, especially against women. But the culture of the Religious Right is no less intolerant.

You may argue that the Religious Right does not take people out and shoot them. I will argue back that the only reason they don't is because they can't. If they had the power, they would be executing gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transgenders, liberals, and who knows how many others? Basically, anyone who violated their idea of right and wrong.

They claim they represent God. Well, guess what? So does the Taliban. Neither do.

"Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'" Ezekiel 33:11 New King James Version

If you think someone is wrong. If you think they have fallen away from God. If you think they are wicked and evil. Don't think you please God by ending their life. If you wish to please God then encourage these people you believe to be wicked into following God.

Too often we think to do God's work for him. There is work, which is God's work, which he has delegated to us. Telling others about God. Showing God's love through our own actions. There is other work of God which he has not given us. Mainly because we are so incompetent in doing it. One of these works is punishment of the wicked.

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense: Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them. For the Lord will judge His people and have compassion on his servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one remaining bond or free." Deuteronomy 32:35-36 New King James Version

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:1-4 New King James Version

When we choose to punish for God, instead of letting him handle things, we interfere with this goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, and so interrupt others' walk to repentance. And since we have already read that God does not rejoice in the death of the wicked, but would rather that all come to repentance, we have only displeased God and risk his judgment upon ourselves.

None of this will help the young man and woman referred to in the article. They are dead. Freed from the cares of the world. Those of us left behind are at risk, however. For with every act such as this one, it becomes easier to repeat it again there - and someday, here.

Let us be on guard against ourselves. We are a terrible threat.

No comments: