January 18th 2015
Religion as a masquerade
Religion is described as the belief and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods. In the world we live in today there are slightly over 270 large religious groups; religion is good because it teaches spirituality, togetherness and wisdom. However religion has also caused a number of conflicts and wars that have eventually cost many people their lives. In no way is religion being condemned but it is being bought to light that there is also corruption that is happening in this world due to the fact that people simply have opposite beliefs. Religion is most dangerous when it is used as a masquerade to conceal the wrong of an individual with the excuse that it is appropriate in their faith. Religion is not one broad aspect taken in by everyone; different people have different interpretations of religion, which is why there are extremists in all religions. In mercy among the children a novel written by David Richard Adams religion plays a big role in the book, it is seen as a theme when Lyle the main characters father Sydney makes a pact with God as a teen, he made a vow never to harm another living soul and then lived his life in passivity. There are many religious overtones as Sydney really lived his life, as Jesus would suggest. The Catholic Church is a strong influence in the small community the Henderson family lives in. There are many ways in which the book portrays the struggles and challenges within society. With a strong influence from the Catholic Church it brings light to an issue never spoken of, one that is highly controversial and that is the issues of how religion can be used to conceal immorality. In an article written by ‘The Guardian’ it brings up two very important issues with religion. Firstly religion has become the cause of conflict and wars in today’s society and that is because it is being used as an excuse to do wrong and even terrorize.
“The Qur'an recognizes the human propensity for conflict and gives permission for defensive warfare. Muslim scholars developed a just-war theory although admittedly in the ensuing centuries jihad was also used to further the territorial ambitions of ruthless leaders, just as today it's distorted to justify terrorist bombings. Like both law and politics, religion can be used to defend the oppressed and to oppress the defenseless.
The problem of corrupt religion has attracted the criticism of many prophets and saints. The Qur'an threatens religious hypocrites:
‘And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah (disbelief) is worse than killing. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.’ Qur’an 2:191-192” The verse could well apply to Saddam Hussein, who made a show of praying on television, but gassed and bombed Kurds and was an evil dictator. Religion, unfortunately, provides a useful cover and powerful motivator for the evil-hearted. That religion can be so markedly different in the hands of the power-hungry, as opposed to the good and virtuous, because religion allows believers to interpret its context in any way they choose it has lead to extremism and people using religion as an excuse to justify immoral crimes committed out of hatred and concealed as a belief.