First off, even if we looked at it from a sin vs. God perspective, it’s important to stress that sectarianism is ungodly. Second, murderers who misconstrue scripture and use them as an excuse to harm others are not mentally ill. Third, if we are serious about religious freedom, we must denounce sectarians, racists, the slanderous and all who cause harm under any form of ideology.
Religion speaks of grace, compassion, love, understanding of scripture and teaching them with knowledge, respect for the free will of others, humility, the pursuit of a personal relationship with God, obeying the rule of law, never judging and doing to others as we would like them to do to us. That last instruction is known as “the golden rule”! What most people do not remember is, some scriptures were written during a time of war, when Islam, Judaism or Christianity came under frequent attacks.
Those scriptures that speak of killing are in the context of that period of time. They were never in the context of disobeying the rule of law. At the time, some stoning, crucifixion or killing were authorized under the law. But generally, it was wrong to commit a sin or a crime to punish those whom they considered being sinners. If their crime was justifiable in their own eyes, then they knew that they too were guilty of sin.
And a devotee will never be willing to commit a crime or take on new sins. It was up to the law to determine who was penalized and for what offense. One cannot commit a crime to punish one, discriminate against others or commit acts of violence in the name of God. The Prophet Mohamed |peace and blessing to his name| was a man of peace! He never gave Muslim the right to take it upon themselves to kill in order to punish people “for their sins”.
One of the greatest significance of Jesus Christ is that he forgave sins so much, he caused a turn of dispensation from. Before Christ |BC| to After the Death |AD|. This shift in time is indicative of the changes in the norm of how sin was punished. Since the AD, anyone who was really concerned about sin would now be required to focus on the purification of their soul, not judge others. Yes, we can teach our doctrine to others, but it’s up to them to accept or decline.
This is why New Testament scriptures warned us never to judge, that vengeance is God’s and at best, our “righteousness” is as filthy rags before God. Forgiveness was compounded with self-reflection. One thing I’ve always loved about God | Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah | is the way He gives us the knowledge and tools we need to solve our problems. When Jesus and the prophets came, they taught us how to be kind and embrace peace. Imagine being in heaven and causing harm to someone because you don’t think that person deserves to be there.
What will God do to you in that case? In His heaven where He reigns supreme, where you are a citizen at best, what will give you the right to enforce any doctrine there? This is assuming your doctrine is right in the first place. People who use violence in an attempt to force others to obey what they consider as God’s command are hypocrites because since they also have sinned, committed on a daily basis, in a case where there was no forgiveness or grace, they too would be punished severely for their sins.
If we were to enforce a system where everyone was punished for their sin, guess what? No one will be safe unless the safe person was a bigot who assumed that he or she is holier than the rest. Those are the worst kind of sinners. Ones who think they are justified, that their “good intentions” exonerate them and they have authority above the rule of law, to take vengeance in the name of God.
The type of fanatic who believes that in some way, their sin is better than the other person’s sin. These are criminals! They are not mentally ill, they are not protecting religious freedom, they are using God’s name, misconstruing the scripture and using than not to teach but to excuse themselves from committing what would otherwise be a crime against humanity. Such people are murders and slanderers.
I had to write this blog to 1 | extend my condolence to the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida and their families, and 2 | to denounce these murderers who are often identified as mentally ill or connected to religion in any way shape or form. *