By Joel Hess –
In light of the radical Islamist terrorism that has been increasing over the years, or at least in the eyes of the West, many have concluded that the problem is not Islam, nor even radical Islam (whatever that means), but religion period. At first glance this might make sense. Without a doubt the evildoers performed their atrocities for religious purposes. For most journalists and common folk who seem to have absolutely no historical consciousness, the passions that are produced from belief in heaven and hell, God, etc. are currently motivating otherwise healthy individuals to strap bombs on themselves and kill people whom they judge as being against God. Remove religion – remove violence. And of course, how many times do we hear people like our atheist friend Sam Harris proclaim that religion and faith are “the most prolific sources of violence in our history”?
There is nothing like a tragedy to produce from distraught fools sad clichés and poor poetry. Predictably after the Paris attack, an anonymous French fellow played “imagine” on a piano outside the site of the chaos. Soon his performance went viral. Of course Lennon’s line, “and no religion too” was the singer’s focus, much to the delight of many a university sophomore who enjoys reading quotes from Nietzsche on Pinterest while sipping a latte at Starbucks. Like robots, many of your Facebook friends nodded their heads in memes and vines, and of course Richard Dawkins lent his brain power to the group think. Ah yes, religion is the root cause of violence.
But even a quick survey of wars throughout the globe and history produce a different conclusion. In fact, most mass killing and outright wars were committed for completely non-religious reasons! One might even make the case that more people have killed in the name of atheism than any god. The communists killed opponents of their atheism. Nazis killed opponents of their brand of atheism as well. Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, North Korea, the list goes on. There were other reasons for killing along with atheism; racism, nationalism, etc.
Perhaps if we stick with the logic of those who anecdotally claim religion to be the instigator of organized murder, we will discover the real common denominator! Ideas! All war is the result of someone’s idea! Revolutionary War, Civil War, 30 Years War, Trojan War, WWII, the list goes on.
Therefore if we get rid of ideas, we will get rid of war! Imagine a world without ideas!
Well we don’t have to imagine I suppose. Our university system has produced masses of students who seem to literally have no ideas! Or they have been threatened to not voice any ideas. Today these state sponsored factories of no-ideas are militantly working at producing a sterile padded society where people can be safe from all ideas.
Of course, if you oppose their no idea factory, their b-movie “wish I was alive in the ‘60s” media professor will get the mob to throw you out. Yes, using violence. But it’s for a good cause.
Can’t wait to live in a world without religion.
Alas, there is one clear reason for violence and war. It isn’t Christianity, Islam, atheism, or too many growth hormones in our milk. It is the accidental nature of man; sin. The motivation to kill resides in every human being. The mechanism that created jihad Johnny is in you. Though John Lennon’s song “imagine” proposes a possible utopia, it is man’s imagination that will always destroy it! Man’s imagination tainted by sin always leads to destruction. While Mr. Lennon talked of peace he left a trail of selfish destruction: cheating on his wife, abandoning his kid, pursuing his own pleasures. Not to say we are any better. It’s easy to imagine stuff for other people to do.
You can outlaw religion, atheism, racism, hate, ideas ‘til your blue in the face, and war and murder will not end. This truth is not only revealed in Holy Scripture, but quite frankly is evident using the sciences or even simple observation of oneself!
Instead of saying “je suis paris” we should instead post on our Instagram, “I am ISIS”.
I do not trust my imagination of a wonderful world or a wonderful me. I trust the Lord’s imagination, nee, His reality. I trust His promise of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus Christ. So I can say by the power of the Holy Spirit, “I am forgiven. I am a child of God. I am a new creation. I will rise again! Come Lord Jesus.”
Written while reading, “The Evidential Power of Beauty”, sipping Glenmorangie with a little water to open the Jackson Pollock-esque symphony of flavors, listening to “Sons” by Willing Virginia on SoundCloud.