Randy's Corner Deli Library

02 September 2011

Religion as Idolatry

Today I read that eight people were killed in Afghanistan after a pastor in Florida conducted a mass burning of Korans. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/world/asia/03afghanistan.html?hp 

The pastor is claimed to be feeling vindicated because it showed how evil radical Islamists are. I would agree with Pastor Jones that radical Islamists are evil, or deluded people. To me, the burning of a book isn't worth killing anyone over, though I am reminded of Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, the night of broken glass that was sponsored by the Nazi government in Germany that marked the beginning of the Holocaust - the mass, efficient killing of Europe's Jews. That said, I wouldn't leave the classification of deluded only to radical Islamists. Their deluded Jewish and Christian brethren  who hold views that I can only call  religious idolatry are as guilty of promoting hate and violence among the world's peoples.

My Ishmaelite cousins got really, really pissed off not too long ago at some European newspaper cartoonists who they felt drew the prophet Mohammed in an unflattering light. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy

People died because of this bullshit. And to me, there are enough fanatics of every faith who fail to see the allegory that is inherent in religion and seek to find every single article of the truth of life in words that were written thousands (in the case of the Jews and Christians) and 800-900 years (in the case of Muslims) of years ago that describe circumstances that are physically impossible.

In the case of this play, enough zealous, fanatic Christians, of the sort who think that killing doctors who perform abortions is acceptable, will latch on to calls such as yours and start doing exactly what you noted at the bottom of your email - bomb threats and the like.

To me, no religion, at least not one that can speak to me, can have any kind of human form, for that, to me, is not what God is as I think of him/her/it. God is a formless creator and it's only because people many years ago (beginning with the Jews who founded Christianity) could not deal with such abstract notions that somehow actual living, breathing men like Jesus and Mohammed became deities. Moses is not a deity, so please do not confuse his status with that of Jesus or Mohammed.

Please don't take offense at what I have written - it's not intended that way but is, I assure you, what is in my heart and why I am and will always be a happy Jew. We don't have any problems with blasphemous drawings or art because our one God (and yours - I am not sure of how exactly Jesus got to be a deity) is a formless creature, without human characteristics as we understand them, except and apart from the soul which he/she/it imparted to every one of us here on this earth.

In sum, I really hope that fanatical Christians just take this all in stride as they have in the past. I am reminded of the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit many years ago at, I believe, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where he exhibited a piece of "art" which was an acrylic box with a glass of urine in the middle of it, with a cross placed in the glass. To me, that was an artist's expression, as is this latest trifle that is evidently causing quite a stir in the Muslim community. I just hope no-one dies on its account. Life is too precious.

No comments: