Let me define the word zealotry: noun- fanatical and uncompromising pursuit of religious, political, or other ideals; fanaticism. Excessive zeal.
Clearly the perception of what could be defined as zealotry is open and a fluid dynamic since this perception can influence how the definition is applied. Some would say terrorists groups like ISIS are an example. ISIS and the like would say it is the west/America, or Christians. Jews might say Palestinians and vice versa. Christians might say non-Christians. Every side claims beyond doubt they are in the right and anyone opposed is going to hell, an infidel, is damned, or should die. Every side is constantly on the war path and beating the drum of fire and brim stone; or some other version of burning /hell related torture. Your salvation can be only be gained by converting to our savior and prostrating yourself before our god and asking for forgiveness from whomever that savior/god may be.
So where does that leave us ?
This fighting has been going on for thousands of years so far ( or 6000 for you die hard non-evolutionary folk). Guess what ? Nobody has won yet. Not a single one. No religion has finally been hoisted above all others as the great and ultimate truth. No one group or people has been exalted to the highest of high and held out to be better than any other. No divine nanny nanny boo boo uttered as of yet. Quite frustrating for all I am sure. I wonder why ? What’s the big wait all about? Why hasn’t “god” finally just set the record straight and put an end to all of the blustering ? (Hold on to your “end times are here”,”judgement day will see us risen above all” thoughts for a moment).
Maybe, just maybe, it is because “god” has nothing to do with any of it. I know, I know, outlandish concept and I am surely going to burn in someones hell for even thinking this but what if? What if god; the omnipotent creator of all things known and unknown, has nothing to do with our religious zealotry..?
Here is a perspective to think about. What is god? According to most religions- A being/entity/force that is supposedly responsible for creating existence as we know it, all things, everything. Let’s contemplate “existence” for a moment – scientists have estimated (counted with reasonably good data to work with) that our observable universe contains at least one hundred billion galaxies. That is just observable and this is limited by our current technology – still a huge number- a HUNDRED BILLION. This “god” blinked over one hundred billion galaxies into existence. Think about that for a moment and how completely gigantic that actually is.
Now let’s consider us, people, we humans. Our world population is at around seven billion. Seven billion singularly unique individuals. Seven billion completely different human beings on one tiny blue marble floating in a sea of over one hundred billion galaxies that contain countless other marbles. Out of all that; multitudes of multitudes, this being is going to pick one tiny marble out, and on that tiny marble this being is going to single out one group of the even tinier beings living on that marble and make them the supreme right out of everything; the others be damned.
Yes, yes, I hear you..”god works in mysterious ways”. But seriously? Out of all that, your particular belief system is right, above all the others..? And with this “divine right” you are entitled to lash out against other groups, legislate your morality, judge and condemn, and at times bring death and destruction to other people because “god” said your group is best..? This is the premise from which you operate ?
This is the type of thinking and belief that will continue our wars, continue our killing in the name of “god”, and never allow a peace on our tiny blue marble. This is the type of thinking that justifies atrocities across the expanse of our little blue marble and throughout the whole of human existence.
Has anybody ever considered that religion is a very personal path ? That you and you alone embark on your journey toward “god”? That it is something internal to and for you? It is great to find others in your community who share that same choice. Outstanding. By all means, get together and enjoy sharing the knowledge that you are not alone on that personal journey. If you find something out in the world that goes against your personal belief then by all means, do not choose it, do not partake in it, do not let it into your internal personal space. That is your right and your choice. Your personal, internal journey shouldn’t go beyond that. To bad we can’t seem to keep our own choices our own.
Historically every religion on the globe has had its shining moment of crazy. They all step back and point out the atrocities other religions commit yet ignoring their own blood stained history. Every religion on the globe has murdered, maimed, schemed, raped, pillaged and generally acted in heinous fashion at some point, if not at several points in history in the name of “god”. Every. Single. One. Some more than others. Some to this day.
Is murder only ok if it is in the name of your god ? Is maiming, raping, and pillaging another religions people ok as long as it is your religions people doing it in the name of your god ?
I could be wrong but I don’t think that is what “god” had in mind for our tiny infinitesimally small blue marble in the middle of the huge gigantic expanse of everything.