Middle East Violence--I Can't Understand It!


Exclusive to STR

March 29, 2007

The Bible says 'God is love,' so why is there so much violence in the Middle East, the birth place of the sacred holy scriptures? I remember shortly after the Columbine High School murders, the Reverend Billy Graham said the reason the shootings took place was due to lack of religion. But the Middle East is 'the Holy Land,' the place where God decided to place the Jews above 'all people that are upon the face of the earth' and to give them a huge chunk of real estate that includes all of present day Israel plus the West Bank, plus Gaza, plus large parts of Jordan, plus large parts of Syria, plus large parts of Egypt. Surely this wouldn't cause any warfare and violence!

Maybe the Jewish holiday of Passover, which is coming up next week, will help to heal the hatred in the Middle East. The lovely Passover Bible story is based on the Bible god slaughtering all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, even the firstborn of the animals. The Passover seems like a great vehicle for peace! Of course, the Pharaoh is to blame for all the butchering . . . oh, I forgot, the reason Pharaoh didn't release the Jews is because the Jews' god 'hardened his heart,' Exodus 11:10 among other places.

Maybe what the world and the Middle East needs is Jesus. Perhaps the Prince of Peace will help heal the holy land.

Let's see, Jesus said, according to Matthew 5:39, that if someone hits you on your right cheek, offer him your left cheek to also hit. Thomas Paine said this only reduces man to a cocker-spaniel, but Thomas Paine wasn't THE SAVIOR! Looking a little further into God's Word, we run into more confusion. Here, Jesus sounds kind of violent! Matthew 10:34 has Jesus saying that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword! And in Luke 22:36, our Lord says if you don't have a sword, sell your garment and buy one! Jesus is too confusing to be much help in the Holy Land. He doesn't even seem like he'd be much help with family values! In Luke 12:51 he says, 'Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' This is one thing he's not ambiguous about, causing family strife!

Perhaps God's Prophet Muhammad has the key to peace in the Middle East! In the Koran, it says that Allah doesn't like aggressors. It even says at Surah 2:190 'begin not hostilities.' But like Jesus, it gets ambiguous at Surah 8: 15-17, which seems to say Muslims should wage war on unbelievers and not turn their backs on them in battle. Muslims should show no mercy towards unbelievers, according to this quote from the holy book, the Koran.

Maybe the answer to peace in the Middle East isn't in any of the three holy books of the three Abrahamic 'revealed' religions. Maybe it has to come from us, the people. If people put pressure on the religious leaders from each of the Abrahamic religions to hold a joint meeting and each one openly declared at that meeting that they reject and rescind the teachings in their various holy books that promote their own supremacy over everyone else, that they reject scripture which paints God as a butcher of men, women and children, that they make no claim to divine real estate deals and promise to use their God-given reason instead of their man-made holy books from that point forward, peace would finally reign in the Middle East.

Your rating: None
Robert L. Johnson's picture
Columns on STR: 94

Robert Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web site devoted to Deism, www.deism.com.  He is listed in Who's Who in Hell and is the author of Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  He wrote the introduction to The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and also writes for Examiner.com.