Religion: A few words come to mind. Omni benevolence, faith, promise, eternity, power, guidance, truth, fear. The driving factor why people choose to find religion is for another paper, and I’m not here to make an argument for that. My friend once dismissed religion on the rational that it pulls people apart. I’ve heard that debate before and after that talk with my friend I was obligated to put some thought into it. After some thoughts on that argument I came to the conclusion that religion does divide people. That is true. However, I have some of my own thoughts on the matter and here’s what I came up with.
Religion has forged groups of people into different sects, christens, Jews, Hindus, Catholics etc. As history has shown, this divergence among people has caused animosity and violence between people of different religious backgrounds. Wars have been fought in the name of religion and often times the resentment that follows leaves future generations in peril.
Here’s the thing people tend to overlook. Religion divides people; but so does the color of skin, nationality, ethnicity, political philosophies, and profession etc. Look at the wars that have been fought in the past century. Millions upon millions of people have died in armed conflicts in the past one hundred years. Tell me how many of these conflicts were “religious”? Did the We, America bomb Japan for religious reasons? Did Stalin slay countless people for religious reasons? What about genocide in Rwanda? Did that happen using religion as a rational? The amount of people that been sacrificed and slain in so called “religious wars” is minute compared to those in secular wars. So basically, why scorn religion and put down the good things it brings to the table by making it responsible for our disunity? Look at all the hate generated because of democracy. I haven’t heard any one criticize democracy or blame wars on it (well other than our recent quarrels in the Middle East). Why the double standard? Maybe the answer to that question is as simple and bureaucracy and greed. Who knows?
Here is what I would like to see understood. People are obviously different from one another. No matter what you do, people will always feud over one matter or another and will most certainly have different opinions. As humans, we all have a set of values, a philosophy or identity which suits our rational thought processes. We grasp onto people who share our similarities and vow allegiance to them. No matter what a person tries to do, this cannot be changed and is in fact something that has biologically programmed into us. People are separated by plenty of reasons, but why is religion in the cross hairs i.e. separation of church and state. Now that’s a subject that someone could write a book the size of the statue of liberty on. Anyways...
If anything, in my stance, religion unites people that are divided to a certain extent of course. Let’s examine the history of the Arabian Peninsula before and after Islam for example. The Arabs had a vigorous impression of tribalism, and upholding the honor of their particular tribe was of the highest importance to them. This resulted in never ending conflicts of violence where one tribe was always trying to take revenge and shedding blood in order to remain illustrious with their fellow tribesman. After the coming of Islam, not only was the Arabian Peninsula consolidated but along with it were China, Eastern Europe, North Africa and India.
‘Okay fine, religion isn’t the only thing that divides