The headline above is from a TimesOnline(UK) news article from Dec. 8th. I was outraged and saddened when I read the story. Obviously the violence and the actions of this Shia Militia are astounding to western thinkers, but the part that is most upsetting is the misuse of faith. I consider faith and religion two separate entities in that faith exists without religion. Faith was first. Religion is manufactured by man. Unfortunately, like many man-made things, religion is flawed.
How many times has the Christian bible been re-written? It is well known that Kings from centuries ago employed their own selfish influence over the scribes who copied each letter-character by hand. How many translations, revisions, additions and interpretations exist? You have the power to dictate your beliefs, even when there is no supporting evidence. You can train yourself to adhere to a set of moral standards based on a belief. Your beliefs can blind you with eyes wide open, but your faith can enable you to see without eyes.
Faith has the power to heal. Faith has the power to change the world. Many throughout history have used that knowledge to their selfish advantage and many continue to do so today. Your belief is a commodity that funds a corporation called a church. But your faith is the driving force behind life.
I believe there is one raw and basic necessity worthy to dictate your morality and standard of living; survival. I’m not referring to self-survival which could lead you to step on the face of child to exit a burning building. I believe there is an impulse in all of us to survive as a group. The same impulse that demands you save the child first, even at the risk of personal injury or death. Your survival, ultimately depends on a cooperative effort by all of humankind. Not the exclusion of one or another based on belief, but the basic organic necessity we all share. I believe that once we embrace that idea, true respect can be attained, and our individual and personal faiths will blend to create a sensitive, intelligent, sustainable, enriched and blessed existence.