But, much different from our other "discussions" we were actually in agreement most of the conversation, and our talk actually helped me better formulate the idea behind this article (which has been hanging out in the 'draft' section of my blog, due to the fact that I was unable to intelligently formulate what I was trying to say in a way that would generally make any kind of sense).
The conversation started with the situation going on between Isis and Jordan, and Obama saying something about how Islam is in actuality a very peaceful religion. That's not true. The two most popular religions in the world - Christianity and Islam - who are built on love, have evolved into the most violent.
There is nothing more unstoppable and UNCONTROLLABLE than a human being who believes their morals, actions, and consequences are outlined and completely supported by a divine prophecy.
I mean really how can you argue with that logic?
I believe, undoubtedly, in my God. My God says this, this, and this is truth. My God says I should do X,Y,and Z - and even promises me victory and blessings in carrying out these duties. Furthermore, according to my God, when I have accomplished -fill in the blank- I need not be worried with issues of morality or right and wrong...Because what my God commands is moral, what my God says is right.
There is nothing further you can do to persuade that person in any other direction. The popular attitude of modern religion is blind faith. And that is faith in what you believe to be true, despite everything else. Things like logic, reason, free thinking, and any kind of doubt is seen to be a sin, or dangerous to the believer. So by definition, nothing you say can persuade the thinking and logic of a person operating through blind faith.
And I'd like to point out, I do not think Christianity and Islam are the only religions whose followers can succumb to this kind of thinking. Contrarily, I believe every religion (or any kind of group / gathering) can have extremest. It's just these are the two religions we see these people originating in the most, because they contain the largest amount of followers.
The fallacy lies in the perception. A person, armed with the authority of the faith they have in their God, and driven by the perceived commandments of a Divine prophecy - can cause irrevocable, devastating destruction.
Sikh Temple Shooting - 9/11 - The murder of Dr.George Tiller - Bombing of Marine barracks in Beirut
And I believe this gives way to a psychological condition afflicting the larger part of the religious community, that I refer to as the Persecution Complex. If a religion (Christianity) prophesies of its followers suffering persecution, and gaining grace through the suffering - then this creates a need to feel persecuted. (Christianity has the most followers in the US, by a lot, but claim to be the most persecuted in the US). If a religion (Islam) promises great rewards in the after life for selflessly being a martyr for God in this life - this creates a need to feel martyred. When you are practicing a religion with blind faith, there is no other option than for a Divine prophecy to be true in every aspect, so obviously you would do everything in your power to make it true.
The persecution complex that we have adopted - as humans, but more specifaclly as a spiritual community - is self destructive, alienating, and ultimately confusing our primary goals.
--H.L. MenckenA persecution complex is a term given to an array of psychologically-complex behaviours, that specifically deals with the perception of being persecuted, for various possible reasons, imagined or real.
People everywhere are making false claims of persecution. What's worse is that people are fully convinced that the persecution they are imagining to take place is actually happening. They believe themselves to be experiencing persecution, when in fact they either simply are not, or not to the extent at which they're claiming / believing.
The Bible makes it pretty clear about how the followers of Jesus will suffer persecution throughout history. And if we look at the history of the persecution of Christians, and even Christian persecution going on today, it is a very real thing. That being said, not all Christians (those who live in America, for example) are suffering persecution. But it has become such a generalized assumption that without the presence of persecution, one cannot be believed to be living to the full extent of faith in Christ.
And the exaggerated and even completely false accounts of persecution of American Christians, I feel, are lessening the magnitude and legitimacy of the persecution that other Christians around the world are suffering.