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| Violence & Religion
Violence in religion has a terrible history.
Even Buddhism, known as peaceful, fomented/incites violence.
Hinduism, another tolerant religion, continues to engage in violence.
Christianity had the Crusades and the Inquisition (against heresy/women/witches). It also has dubious missionary work, and the war against abortion and homosexuality.
Judaism has a very violent Bible, and seems to use violence to pursue its own ends.
Islam has Jihad that is used to justify terrorism.
Religious people primarily need to see violence as symbolic of an inner battle in oneself, to overcome weaknesses and inner demons, and to develop virtue and light and love.
In Hinduism, the battlefield of the Bhagavad Gita symbolises life's struggles.
In Islam, the 'greater' jihad is actually spiritual and moral self-improvement! This is where terrorists need to focus their energy!!
Surely only the imminent threat of asocial violence - onto you/your loved ones/your group - can justify the use of your own pre-emptive asocial violence?
Ideological differences are no justification for asocial violence, and these rather need to be handled in the social sphere.
Religious people could also see violence as part of the cosmic battle between good and evil, light and darkness. We are part of the forces of Light that support the Archangel Michael in slaying the Dragon:
Archangel Michael slays the dragon (Creative Commons CC0, Pixabay)
The spiritual world needs allies. As O.M. Aïvanhov has it:
"Even the most powerful entities of the divine world cannot act directly on earth to install order and peace. Why? Because they are not made of physical matter. In order for them to intervene, human beings themselves must give them the opportunity. As long as there is no traitor within to let the enemy pass, a fortress will remain impenetrable. But on earth, ‘traitors’ are also essential! Since earth is like a fortress where so many occupants are opposed to the arrival of luminous spirits who want happiness for humans, traitors, or allies if you like, are needed to open the gates for them. On earth, human beings are as powerful as all the armies of heaven, and when they want to stand up to these armies, nothing can stop them. This is why heaven seeks allies, and spiritual people are these very allies, thanks to whom heaven can infiltrate this fortress called earth and allow more justice and more love to reign."
Anyway, I believe that humans are predominantly loving, and born as such.
We are inherently/evolutionarily against war on Earth!!
For example, even in the "world's most intractable conflict", the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the majority of Jews and Palestinians want a two-state solution.
Anyway, I would encourage all religious people to avoid external war.
Rather take up arms against one's own shortcomings!
And encourage those around you to do the same!!
Today, this seems especially true of Islam.
As Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, said, "True victory is victory over oneself."
Remember, "We have more in common than that which divides us" (Jo Cox MP in her first speech to Parliament).
Whatever your religion or ideology, we need a Culture of Love.