Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Error in the Logic of Religious Extremists

To the Zealot and those talking with Zealots,
    The word zeal means "great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective." The problem is that this great energy often has people going to the extreme and that leads to problems. So while you can have an appropriate zeal for something good, the kind we hear about isn't always good. Today, I write to you on how to properly understand zeal in religion, as well as its proper practice.
    Religion's negative connotation in the world stems from the over-zealous behaviors of many people. However, when practiced properly, religion is a gift to the world and they stem from 2 important commandments.
    In the Judeo-Christian tradition, which I believe Islam has some respect for as well,  there are two key commandments that summarize the Law. The first is "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Deut. 6:5)." The second was "You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31; Lev. 19:18)." Religious Zealots tend to try following the first, but ignore the second, which in turn breaks the first.
    Elsewhere in the Judeo-Christian tradition, God says, "I do not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn and change his way (Ezekiel 33:11)." If your god is Goodness and Love, this is easy to explain. In order for man to be perfect, he must grow in virtue. Since true love desires what is best for someone, Love naturally desires for a man to become perfect before he dies. Love wants everyone to love and be good, especially those who are wicked. However, if the wicked dies, then he is forever condemned to be wicked. Love would rather he live as long as possible, so that he may convert.  On the flip side, that means Evil itself is what delights in the death of the wicked. Therefore, killing for the sake of religion is wrong. It does not encourage True Love, which is the only way society can reach peace and harmony.

    So if your religion preaches to kill those it finds wicked, there is something wrong. If you believe in a god who is good and the author of life, he doesn't need you to do any of the killing. Instead, he would be actually capable of using the wicked to bring others closer to him. If your god is good, then he delights more in the wicked being able to convert than the wicked dying.

    Something else we must remember is that true conversion takes place in the heart as well as the brain. It cannot be forced by social pressure or the sword. Otherwise the result is someone who acts like a religious, but truly doesn't care. That means if you want someone to join your religion, you must convert his heart and mind, not his fears.

    Lastly, I must make a plea. Come to the Religion of True Love. Here, you will find peace and perfection. The world is certainly corrupt, but massive slaughters and violence will only create more corruption. In fact, it is not uncommon that those who order massive slaughters are actually the corrupt. Those who aren't corrupt are then lost. Honest Love for God entails Love for his creation as well.

N. D. Moharo

P.S. Whatever your religion may be, pray for me. ISIS will probably hate me for this post. At the same time, I hope this reaches to all members of ISIS

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