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Twisted Truths: How Terrorism came into being in the Name Of God

We should never stop questioning and analyzing the facts and we will never lose our humanity if we listen to our conscience, says Maria

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Representational Picture. Terrorist. Image source: transnationaltopics.wordpress.com
  • Religion has never advocated non-violence yet people have been taught otherwise
  • Terrorism in the name of God starts by forcing “those who are wrong” into the “right” faith or killing them
  • We will never lose our humanity if we listen to our conscience

Maria Wirth is a German saadhak who has adopted India as her abode. She often writes on issues related to society and religion. In her latest blog post, she analyzes how terror is being spread in the name of  religion. Here is the summary of her thoughts:

Image Source: @mariawirth1 (Twitter)
Image Source: @mariawirth1

Maria begins by stating that terrorism in the name of one’s faith is not something new. From the ancient times, people have fought countless battles and waged wars killing millions in the process. Where torture, imprisonment, beheading and genocide seemed right, these people of God have wrecked havoc on these lands. From the invasion by Muhammad bin Qasim and his army which assaulted and enslaved Buddhists and Hindus, and destroyed temples and monasteries in the early 8th century to the recent shooting in Orlando that left 49 killed, innocent people are victims of a war that has no meaning. The world has seen enough deaths in the name of God.

Terrorist Attack in Mumbai, India. Image source: kartikdora.wordpress.com
Terrorist Attack in Mumbai, India. Image source: kartikdora.wordpress.com

Religion has never advocated violence yet people have been taught otherwise. In spite of the many differences among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, they share a fundamental belief in God as compassionate and just. Then, has God asked them to terrorize and murder masses of innocent people?  It is never Religion or the teachings of various faiths that have asked people to engage in such atrocities but the men who have taken certain writings literally to suit their own agenda, says Maria Wirth.

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9/11 Terrorist Attack on World Trade Attack in USA. Image source: youtube.com
9/11 Terrorist Attack on World Trade Attack in USA. Image source: youtube.com

In today’s world, where science and technology are creating a “religion” of its own, one must look into this issue with a broad and unbiased mind, to see things for what they really are and realize what have become of us.

According to Maria, the root cause for all such fanaticism is that they are made to believe that everything taught to them is true. The founders and subsequent authorities of those belief systems claimed that God himself has revealed it to them. By doing so, they prevent any criticism of the whole system. Even those acts that go against common sense are now considered to be God’s command.

Terrorist Attack in Damascus. Image source: diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be
Terrorist Attack in Damascus. Image source: diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be

Terrorism in the name of God starts by forcing “those who are wrong” into the “right” faith or killing them. The notion of superiority of one’s religion and the forceful conversion of helpless victims has started a chain of mass murders.

Christianity claims that God himself has given the full truth only to the Church and everyone must believe it at the cost of their lives while Jihadists believe that they will have a better status in paradise than those who did not kill non-believers. Similarly, every religion claims to be the only path of in life, said Maria.

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Terrorism Victims walks away after a car bomb attack in Baghdad in March 15, 2007. Image source: www.popularresistance.org
Terrorism Victims walks away after a car bomb attack in Baghdad in March 15, 2007. Image source: www.popularresistance.org

A pious, young, hot-headed man can be easily misled or can come to the wrong conclusions on his own and engage in atrocities that he believes is right. But these young souls are not cowards. The attacks are shocking and repulsive, but they are not cowardly acts. They are just blinded by what they think is right. This is the pitiful state we find most of the followers in.

This is a big problem and needs some soul-searching to live in reality again. We need to ask probing questions. All religions worship the same one God. No religion can possibly condone killing others. Then how do we know when we have lost our way?

The Daesh terrorist group has reportedly carried out a chemical attack on a Syrian military airport in eastern Syria. Image source: www.iran-daily.com
The Daesh terrorist group has reportedly carried out a chemical attack on a Syrian military airport in eastern Syria. Image source: www.iran-daily.com

Maria says that we should never stop questioning and analyzing the facts. We will never lose our humanity if we listen to our conscience. Our inner conscience is the holy voice that comes from deep within. We are inherently good and just. By listening to our inner voice, we can only be doing what we are naturally meant to do, love. Anyone, who demands that we ignore our conscience and instead believe blindly what he tells us has a motive of his own and plans to use us for that purpose, she added further on in her blog.

We need to realize that human beings are one big family and we are all bound by that one life source, invisible yet eternal.

  • The original blog post of Maria Wirth has been summarized by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Christmas and Controversies

The Christmas tree came from Germany, Christmas card from England, Santa from the USA, and secular celebrations started all over the world.

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Christmas
Christmas was invented to convert people by appropriating pagan’s original practices with Christmas.

-By Bharti Raizada

Bharti Raizada
Bharti Raizada

To my knowledge, no other festival is as universal and controversial as Christmas.

As per M-W dictionary, the definition of Christmas is as follows:

“A Christian feast on December 25 or among some eastern orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday.”

Christ- Mas: is the church service that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

X- Mas: X is the Greek letter Chi that is a short form of the word Christ. In Greek, Christ’s name is Xristos. Therefore, X- mas is the same as Christ-mas. For some, X removes the religious aspect of Christmas by replacing Christ with X and this celebration then becomes more secular to them. You can fill X with anything you like.

People observe or celebrate Christmas in many different ways: religiously, in a secular way, or as a holiday. Some people do not pay any attention and become part of the Christmas in a mixed way.

Christmas
Christmas is celebrated every year to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ

Those who do not celebrate are either indifferent or wage a war against it.

Pagans are unhappy for Christianization of Saturnalia. Christians are complaining about paganization or secularization of Christmas. Some Christians believe that it is not their festival at all.

Actually, if we dig deep into it, we come to know that Christ’s birthday and life have been surrounded with assumptions. There is controversy whether he was Jewish or Christian; and whether Jews or Romans crucified him.

Contrasts between Hinduism and Christmas

Now, before we go further into the roots of this topic, let us take a glance at Christmas from the Hindu point of view. Here is how I would summarize a few contrasting points.

  1. Trees are sacred to Hindus. We worship them and believe that Devi, Devtas, or Bhagwan (God) live in them. We do not believe in cutting trees at mass level and bring cut trees inside our home for decoration purposes. We do not believe in the sacrifice of living beings/trees.
  2. We have all four kinds of weather and many varieties of trees but the Christmas tree is typically not found in India.
  3. Chimney is not a common architectural entity in Indian households. Hindu children typically touch the feet of elders, in morning, and get gift of blessings every day. The focus of secular Christmas celebration is expectation of a gift by Santa. Materialism and expectation of gift is not a central part of any Hindu celebration. Hindus give gifts on many occasions but expecting a gift from someone is not a primary theme of any celebration.

    Christmas
    The tree has pagan origins but now it represents Christian beliefs.
  4. Hindus go by facts. Hindu scriptures have a birth date for Ram and Krishn. Christmas celebration is based on an assumption- the assumption that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus.
  5. In Hinduism, one is not a sinner by birth and therefore does not depend on Jesus to save him or her. We all are part of the supreme divinity.
  6. Jesus died in place of all other humans so that they can live, i.e., he rescued humanity. We believe inkarma and therefore do not need Jesus for salvation. Someone else cannot own our sins and give us Moksha. Moksha is attained individually.
  7. Vegetarianism is a common theme in Hinduism. Christmas feasts in church typically include meat and alcoholic beverages.
  8. Hindus have so many festivals. It is not an exaggeration to say that every day is an occasion or festival for Hindus. We do not need more from other religions.

Christmas was invented to convert people by appropriating pagan’s original practices with Christmas. We know, the birth of Christ is not that important to Christians as his Resurrection. Protestants/Puritans do not even consider Christmas as their festival. Initially, the agenda of this celebration was conversion by assimilation.

 When we adopt festivals and traditions, which are not our own, it dilutes our own traditions and festivals and slowly our celebrations are replaced and become obsolete. Additionally, it does not take long (takes only a few generations) to lose our own practices.

Why do some Hindus celebrate Christmas?

  1. While Hindus do not believe in Jesus and Christianity, they get attracted to the holiday by the decorated trees, lights, and Santa. They take pictures, share them on social media, and may inadvertently give the false impression that they believe in Jesus.
  2. Some celebrate it just to show that they are secular and tolerant of other religions.
  3. Some who live in Christian dominated societies celebrate it for the inadvertent fear of exclusion, or to become a part of the process.
  4. Some do not think about it much and take it in a neutral/secular/holiday way. They believe in going by the flow.

    Christmas
    Puritans worked hard to stop Christmas celebrations.

Questions/ Observations:

  1. In USA, the Church and State are separate. Still, Christmas trees shows up in all public places, schools, and government buildings. Is there any explanation for this? If almost all government offices celebrate Christmas, then how are the State and Church/religion separate?

How is it democratic and gives equal rights when non-Christian children also have to do Christmas activities in schools?

How can one avoid this festival in Christian dominated areas? There are decorations, trees, Santa everywhere, in public places, official buildings, schools, malls, zoos, movie theaters, hospitals, parks.

You can choose not to celebrate it in your own home but you cannot close your eyes when you go out.

  1. Christians do whatever the Bible says and the Bible does not give ‘instructions’ to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They have written command