This entry was started on 23 August 2003, after the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad, but I just never got around to finishing it, until now.
The UN headquarters in Baghdad was bombed two days ago. Shortly after that, a suicide bomb exploded in Jerusalem. Not long before that, the Jordanian embassy was bombed, again, with many casualties. Once again, many innocent lives were lost due to the ideals of the few. At the end of all this, US becomes isolated in playing the role of international policeman.
What exactly can we read from all this?
Nationalism coated in religion, or commercialism coated in the name of world peace? What can we believe? Is there anyone out there in the international arena who really has the interests of the whole world at heart? And even if this is case, does he/she have the power or authority to make the necessary changes?
Sadly, even though the recent crisis in Iraq was not about religion, this is how the Muslim extremists will be motivated. In the end, many people may die because of their religious beliefs and what they perceive as a threat to their culture.
With religion, at least two kinds of extremes seem to be common. On the one hand, there is the all-exclusive and the ultimate-judgement type. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the types where superstition is the norm – such as what is commonly associated with Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.
Not being familiar with the God(s) from the other religions, I will restrict my comments to something that I do know. It seems to me that the Christian God is someone who sits high on his throne and delivers his judgement at the end of Eternity. In the case of Buddhism and Taoism which originated as a philosophy or as a way of life (just as early Christianity was, I might add), it makes one wonder what the original founders would say now. There is no need for glorious temples or monuments to demonstrate your faith. All these are for external shows only, and demonstrates, at best, the artistic sides of any culture, but at worst the shallowness of supposedly religious people.
On the other hand, while some Christians claim to be tolerant of other religions, in fact, if they follow to the letter their beliefs, Christianity very explicitly precludes acceptance of other religions or false Gods. There is no compatibility. Of course, I suppose this is fine, as long as how they express their acceptance (or rejection) does not impinge on liberties of non-Christians. And not to deceive either themselves or others in saying “we are there for you”, etc.
Perhaps it is not so bad after all, that God wiped out humanity (save Noah and his animals) with the flood, or the idea of the world disappearing a la Matrix Reloaded? A new and fresh start is needed!?
I would love to see the expression on the face of these so-called martyrs, when they finally meet their makers. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous that it turns out not to be the one they expected? What would they say?
“Ooops! Wrong God…” 😉
ps. For those curious about the title for this entry: basically the title means a computer program with no input parameters? After all, who or what can influence God?