I’ve spent the weekend digesting the tragic events in Paris on Friday and how to reconcile such hatred. Thankfully for me, Republicans and Democrats saw fit to make certain they had conflicting talking points and dispersed them to their respective blowhard’s to spin the story. Republicans say, “It was a refugee”. Democrats say, “This is what the refugee’s were fleeing”. This is now the lede of Friday’s atrocious attack against humanity. This is unfortunate.
Pope Francis condemned the events in Paris yesterday at St. Peter’s Square and said that “The road of violence and hatred does not resolve humanity’s problems. And using the name of God to justify this road is blasphemy”. These words have not slowed the most overused and patently false expression about religion across social media, which is;
Religion is the #1 agitator, or root cause of war.
Unfortunately, circle does not get the square, here.
According to the Encyclopedia of Wars (Phillips and Axelrod), there have been 1,763 major conflicts in recorded history. Of these 1,763, only 123 of them are classified as having been fought over religion. Do the math; that’s less than 7 percent”.
If you just look at the major wars of the 20th century, you won’t find a single one fought over or in the name of religion. WWI, nope – fanatical nationalism. WWII, nope – antireligious fascism. Vietnam / Korea, nope – atheistic communism. Iraq I , nope – oil. The perpetrators of the greatest atrocities against humanity were not religious. Stalin was not religious, neither was Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, or Hussein.
If not religion, then what is the root cause? Well, I’m glad you asked.
It is the same thing that has overshadowed the sorrow and the natural grieving process in Paris – politics. St. Augustine gave us the ‘Just War Theory’, and all wars are presented as such to garner domestic support. Unfortunately, almost without exception, wars are begun over false pretenses; the Gulf of Tonkin, WMD’s, the U.S.S. Maine, to name a few. While all that fight the wars do so honorably, very few conflicts have honorable intentions. They are often about land acquisition, natural resources, and man’s Achilles heel; ego. Narcissism is flooding every parliamentary house in the world and personal ambition trumps what is just and what is honorable.
I have also read a few articles about people who refuse to change their Facebook photo blue, white, and red. Their argument is that there are atrocities going on the world over and championing one cheapens the other(s). It doesn’t. These are the same people that put out the Truth.org ads. They are self-righteous and they are moronic. If you think smoker’s continue to smoke because they are simply not aware, well, I guess you can work for truth.org. Sure, there are atrocities happening simultaneously across the world – Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, among others, but it does not cheapen the sentiment by offering words of support or prayer to only one. It is not a competition. Never question one’s prayers. If you want to change your picture to bear the French flag, that’s great; if you don’t, that’s great too, but don’t carry on like you’re making some great stand because you come off looking like the guy who adamantly and loudly insists that his 1999 flip phone is far more practical than your smart phone.
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