There is major fact that every atheist is itching to believe and every believer is itching to doubt, and that is the existence of God. Around the world, religious people and those seeking peace are trying to come up with an abstract concept that there is one God who made all of us.
This idea shocks the minds of people who believe in one God. They do agree that one common God has created them. But just after that, when it comes to the point of religion, the same people who are united by the idea of common God principle isolate themselves on the issue of different religions, like which is the first religion, which is the right religion, and so many other theological points. All the arguments end with, “You are wrong, I am right.” George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.”
In different religions, people portrayed the image of God in different ways. Mother Teresa said, “I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?” The Hindu religion portrays God with a goddess in thousands of images. Islam portrays God as the highest holiest. Atheists are reluctant to believe in God. God has many names and many images in different countries and religions. John Lennon said, “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”
In them name of religion, people keep themselves as virgins and do great works, like those of Mother Teresa or the great Ramakrishna. On the other hand, in the name of God, thousands of innocent people have been killed. These brutalities were carried out by the followers of religions following different ethics.
Religion plays a very important role in history and in people’s lives. By dint of religion, we find out great souls like Jesus or the great Ramakrishna. In followers of religion, we see remarkable charity like that of Mother Teresa. We also experience the atrocities committed by Islamic extremists against the Twin Towers, in Mumbai, in Bangladesh, in London, and which are still being done all over the world. All of this happened in the name of religion. Robert Green Ingersoll said, “Religion has not civilized man, man has civilized religion.” But the question is, how civilized is religion?
Seneca the Younger said, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Yes, religion is very useful for the politicians. Bangladesh has witnessed a mass brutalities against its minorities in the name of religion, committed by politically motivated people in 2001.
History also witnessed the brutal killing of six million Jews in the Holocaust in the name of religion. The atheist argues to abolish religion with some belief that believes itself an uncategorized religion indeed. Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz said, “The earth is flat, and anyone who disputes this claim is an atheist who deserves to be punished.”
In the name of religion, the Christians are persecuted in India by hardline Hindus, while Hindus are persecuted by Islamic fascists in Bangladesh. These become the common gifts of religions. The heart of Islam becomes a living graveyard in the name of religion. Rabbi Ya’acov Perin said, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” Peace remains elusive in the Middle East in the name of religion.
Where Islam mostly neglects the rights of women, the same religious people are crying to prove themselves as women’s protectors. As a short example, Prophet Mohammed had several wives that even include a nine-year-old child.
Mohandas K. Gandhi said, “The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.” Countless innocents have died, several civilizations have been demolished, and every day, people are suffering because of religious persecution. If it is not possible to stand for a common God, a common religion, then let us stand together for one common reason: peace. The world’s religions should work for world peace.
William Gomes is an independent human rights activist, a Catholic ecumenical activist, and a political analyst. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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