I believe that the world is in chaos, because Judaism, Christianity and Islam decided pacifism was out; leading others to their faith through charity and good works was out; following the laws of their faith was out and preaching softly and giving people the choice to convert to their faith was out, but that the concepts and ideologies of Holy War, as well as a Just War were in. Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism are well noted for their teaching and practicing of non violence, but even they have slipped and taken part in a Just War, and Holy War. An example of this is found in Sri Lanka’s, Buddhism vs Hinduism civil war where Buddhist monks staged demonstrations and gave speeches portraying the struggle as a holy war to defend Buddhism.
Judaism teaches and practices what it calls Just War. Peace is supposed to be the central teaching of rabbinical Judaism, but Judaism is not a religion for the pacifist. Judaism prefers to call the wars it engages in Just Wars, because they are not supposed to be fought for the purpose of converting others to Judaism; the seeking of revenge, or for the purpose of engaging in unprovoked aggression against other nations, but entered into only as a matter of self-defense and survival. Even though Jews have been victims of dreadful persecution; the worst in my view being what they had to endured during the Holocaust, no human being with a conscience could honestly defend Israel’s claim that they are not seeking revenge and engaging in unprovoked acts of aggression against the Palestinians; making that war not such a Just War after all.
The Christian Church has taught and practiced Pacifism, Just War and Crusade/ Holy War:
- pacifism was taught and practiced by the Christian Church until a Roman emperor made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Quakers, Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites together make up the historical ‘peace churches’, with a long tradition of pacifist belief and action;
- at this point Christian Church’s teachings of pacifism changed and its ‘Just War’ doctrine began. Politics and religion were able to join forces and support each other for the purpose of going to war. I believe that the majority of present-day Christians support the idea that war maybe regrettable, but is also unavoidable and should be fought according to, Just War, rules;
- The Crusades, the name given to Christianity’s Holy Wars, were a failed attempt by Christendom to get back the Holy Land that was under Muslim rule. Branded heretics Muslims, Jews and all others who did not accept the official teachings of the Christian church (non-Christians), such as Jews faced persecution. This was a dark time in the history of the Christian Church, a time where cruelty and injustice prevailed and compassion and tolerance were sadly pushed aside. Gone since that failure was the teaching of turn the other cheek. From that point on Christian Church is hell-bent on revenge and seeks to profit from the sins of war and remain untarnished by horrors of war.
Islam is in my opinion the religion that government of Israel, as well as the countries of the USA led coalition; for political expediency, has chosen to misrepresent to their respective populations. These governments continue to refer to Jihad as only meaning Holy War; leaving out the other 3 types of Jihad. How often do we hear these governments talking about the fact that:
- Islam means, submission, or surrender to the will of God/Allah;
- there are 4 types of Jihad; personal spiritual and moral struggle in order to overcome self-centeredness; following the teachings of the Qur’an; calm preaching and righteous behavior that witness to the unbeliever about the way of Islam and war against those who oppress or persecute believers;
- all faithful Muslims are involved in a continuous ‘greater jihad’ which for the most part non-violent. ‘The lesser jihad’, or war, is commanded by Allah but must be carried out according to strict rules. The lesser Jihad is not supposed to be about converting others to Islam by force, in fact the Quran says, “There shall be no compulsion in religion.”
In fairness to those doing the misleading, groups like ISIL, Boko Haram and al Qaida do as much damage to the Islamic faith as do those of non-Islamic faith. In my opinion there can be no justification for kidnapping 300 teenage girls and forcing them into unwanted sexual activity with your soldiers as Boko Haram has done; the senseless murders of your own men, women and children for refusing to accept the strictest version of the Islamic faith and finally the mass killings of innocent civilians in other countries to instill fear in the hearts souls and minds of those who would defend those who cannot defend themselves against you. This is not the ways of true Muslims; this is the way of cowards and this more than anything else has Muslims worldwide living in disgrace, fear and feeling an increasing sense of hatred from their non-Muslim neighbors who associate them and their religion as being the same as those who believe and follow the lesser Jihad, better known as Holy War.
I have turned my back to organised religions, because they continue to use the name of God to sanction all of their actions and that of government, be they good, or bad. No matter what religion you choose to study, you will find that:
- their God /God’s, are the only true deities, or deity and therefore their religion is the only true religion and as such needs to be promoted wherever man can be found and the people of the world converted to it by any means necessary;
- their right to murder those not of their faith comes directly from the one true God/Gods be it Buddhism vs Hinduism, or Islam vs Christianity;
- their God’s rules can constantly be changed to accommodate the desires of man, thereby allowing man to decide what is Godly and God’s will from day-to-day.