by David Starr
The monotheistic beliefs of Christianity, Islam and Judaism are by their respective natures totalitarian. Each belief has a supreme being (although it could be said that it's the same deity)-God, Allah and Yahweh-that harbors jealousy and vengefullness. In turn, no one is allowed to question or criticize the supreme being, and religion itself.
Here are some quotes from the "good" books relating to God, Allah and Yahweh:
"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."
--the Bible, Deuteronomy 4:31NIV
"But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God and ever-lasting king; at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and nations shall not be able to abide his indignation."
--the Bible, Jeremiah 40:28
"As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."
--the Quran, 2:216
"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every finger tip of them."
"The Lord is a man of war, Yahweh is his name."
--the Talmud, Exodus 15.3
"'You didn't kill enough, 'says the Lord [talking to Saul].' You can't be king.'"
--the Talmud, 1 Samuel 15
One could say that this is cherry-picking from the "holy" books. But there is much more about the personalities of these gods to create all sorts of contradictions, e.g., God is merciful on the one hand, but vengeful on the other. What we have here are human flaws, imperfections. And yet, we are not supposed to point out these flaws, at least to the true believer. The latter will make up all kinds of excuses for his/her jealous and vengeful god.
This is not to ignore the positive things believers have done, and that they keep their religion strictly personal. But the true believer will go on believing only because of blind faith, and will try to impose that faith. It is assumed that monotheistic gods are still supreme-much less exist-no matter how much common sense and reason is offered to show the obvious.
Historically, monotheism (and other religious groupings as well) has been bloody and oppressive. There is God telling his followers to slaughter neighboring tribes because they don't, or refuse to, believe correctly; the Inquisitions; witch hunts; priests violating young boys; suicide bombers; sexism, racism, and the list goes on.
To clarify, religion is strictly a personal matter. But to try and impose Bronze Age beliefs on a 21st century public and government, and without question or reason, shows a totalitarian nature. In response to this, religion, whether monotheistic or not, must not only be questioned and criticized. It must be opposed.
David Starr writes on various issues, both national and international