Please visit our sponsor.
No one, no priest, imam, rabbi or lama, has the right to silence others for what they say
God doesn't need your help.
You see the thing is, if you really believe that there is an omnipotent being out there with the power to remake the universe with just a thought, a being who crafted through his very will, the infinite expanse of the universe and sustains that universe amidst exploding supernovas and supermassive black holes, then perhaps he does not need your help when someone draws a stick figure of his prophet.
God may be offended when people use his name in vain, when they defile or curse his word, he may even be boiling mad about such things, but the fact that he has not destroyed the world in a fit of anger shows us that he seems to value one thing above all else.
Any believer, regardless of their faith, only needs to consider the character of one human being to realize an obvious truth: God created mankind to be free. So free in fact that it can choose to reject its very maker and do the exact opposite of what he asks it to do. So free, that elaborate myths and parables have been told to try and explain the result of that freedom, an imperfect world that is a never ending contradiction of beauty and pain. As a result of this freedom we have both the nobility of the human spirit which can reach the greatest heights of virtue, thought, and artistic expression, yet at the same time sink into depths of evil and suffering that can shake the very foundation civilization.
But God lets us be, he does not turn us into hapless robots that are perfectly good and nice to each other and follow all his commandments. While there is the promise of a world beyond, a world redeemed and reformed, for now all we have is this very special but very flawed existence.
What I argue is this: So long as the world is as it is, and so long as men and women are free to make of that world as they wish, no one, no priest, imam, rabbi or lama, has the right to silence others for what they say.
If you truly believe in a God so powerful as to make the heavens and the earth, all the creatures of the sea and land, and humanity itself, then you cannot entertain the idea that such a God needs YOU to help him. He may ask things of us, but he never needs us, and certainly not to the extent where he would ask us to go against his commandments in order to defend him.
Really, how dense and twisted do you have to be to rationalize leaving pressure cooker bombs to maim and kill people out to enjoy and celebrate life on the ridiculous premise that "Islam is under attack"? Even if that were true, even if all the Christians and Jews of the world conspired together in a secret bunker under the Empire State building to destroy all Muslims, like so many fantasies in the minds of Islamists, that still would not justify killing even one innocent human being.
Why? Because God does not need your help.
If he feels his pet religion is about to be eliminated from the earth, I have no doubt he will send his angels and prophets down from the heavens and personally eliminate the infidels himself.
What I suspect though, is that extremists of this sort, aside from being incredibly stupid, are also people who have zero faith. Yes, those who proclaim to have faith sufficient to kill anyone who offends God, are those among us who have the least faith of all. I would argue they don't even believe in an all-powerful God, but rather a weak and fragile God that would cease to exist the moment two gays get married or someone accidentally drops a sacred book on the floor.
In the end, there is only one thing any God worth believing absolutely needs you to do; treat others with respect and love. If you feel the need to say that I am a sinner or an infidel then tell me, let's sit down and talk about it, but don't try to use the state to get me to do what you want, don't stone me if I disagree, and for GOD's sake, don't kill innocent people to try and prove your faith is strong, because all you show is your own pathetic weakness as a believer and the fear that lies within your heart.
David Focil, Contributing Writer: Born in Ecuador, but raised in the United States, David Focil has sought to develop himself as a fusion of what he sees as the best from both cultures; an optimistic practicality open to new ideas, and a respect for tradition and the wisdom of those who came before us. This has lead him to lead a successful small business as well as pursue writing in economics, politics, religion, culture, and art. He sees all of these as connected and understanding them as necessary to understanding the... (more...)