Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Judgment Day

In this day and age it doesn't take looking around too much to read a news article or blog post or any media that speaks ill of the Muslim religion and it's people. It's not hard to find people who will proudly proclaim their distaste in all Muslims. To me, in this day and age of acceptance and love, I find it to be disgusting and vile. Judgement isn't something for us to do towards our fellow man. That is left to a higher power. Be it God, Sheba, Buddha, The Great One, or whatever name you call your higher power/being it is up to them to ultimately judge someone and their actions.

I want to discuss today the topic of extreme religious actions and how it effects people's judgement on a religion as a whole. We see so much extreme actions these days by people who believe greatly in their religion. Some feel that their god is telling them to picket funerals while others are saying their god is telling them to kill people. My biggest question in this post today is going to be, should we categorize everyone in a certain religion for the actions that a small group do in the name of that religion.

Right now the focus has been on the Muslim religion. The world has sat and watched as terrorist groups like Al Quida rain down death and destruction around the world. I can understand how people are angry at them. I am angry at them. They act in the name of Allah and the Muslim religion. They believe that their god has told them to do these things. While they've continued on with their destructive ways people have begun to form opinions on the Muslim religion based solely on what they have seen in the media about the Terrorist groups. My grandparents in particular are very old fashioned. I've heard more times than I can count "The Muslim people are such angry and hateful people." This saddens me and also, at times, enrages me. I understand that they are from a different day and age. I know that the time they were raised in was far different than ours today. However, these feelings aren't shared with just the older generations. It's currently the way many Americans feel. I can't speak for how others feel in other countries as I've only seen what's here in my homeland.

Whenever I hear people make generalized statements about the Muslim religion I pause for a second. I stop to think back and remember things I've learned about in History class, in research, on TV (I'm an avid fan of the History Channel), and books. I sit down and remember so many other events in the world's history that remind me so much of what is going on now. One that comes to mind at this very moment is England during the 1500's when there was a battle between the Protestant Church and Catholics. This battle wasn't just during the 1500's nor was it only in England. During that time though, people were burned at the stake for loving their faith so much that they refused to convert. The Catholic church pressed harder and harder killing men, women, and children.

It doesn't stop with just this instance either. Think back to early Colonial days in America. Back to the time of the first settlers all the way up until the early 1900's. Christians from all over Europe where flocking to America in hopes of a new life and the ability to practice their religion openly. It was a great time. For some. There was a small problem though. The land was already settled by Native Americans who loved their land deeply and had deep roots planted in their faith. Yet the Christians and Puritans who came to settle the land wanted to convert them and push them out of their home. When they were reluctant to do so, what happened? They killed them, went to war with them. To me, that would be a case of terrorism at it's finest. A shocking example of how 2 people so set in their religions will stop at nothing to convert the other.

There are so many more examples I could list off of people from religions going to extremes because they feel that their religion is ultimately the better one and anything different must be dissolved and converted. I'll spare you the time of listing off all the ones I can think of currently though. My point with this is that no one should judge who has a better religion. No one should push their faith or beliefs off onto another because they feel it'll save them. No one should go to the extreme in the name of their faith. However, no one should an entire religion based on the actions of a small group. If we were to do so and do so equally then there'd be practically no religion left to believe in. So love one another and be open to others beliefs and faiths. If they say that their roots are planted firmly in them, then accept that. If you don't know exactly what someones religious beliefs are, ask them. I'm sure that if they truly love their faith, they'd be happy and overjoyed to share their beliefs with you. I encourage, and even challenge, all of my readers to learn the truth behind an entire faith before passing judgement on it.

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