Religious people are still capable of committing acts of great kindness:
Rabbis from Jewish settlements have given a box of Korans to a West Bank mosque as a gesture of solidarity after an arson attack blamed on settlers. Palestinians cheered as the rabbis and other settlers arrived at the village of Beit Fajjar in bulletproof cars accompanied by Israeli soldiers. They were welcomed by the local imam.
It will be my ongoing struggle as I continue to write this blog (hopefully sticking with it for a while – we’re at 8 months now) to ensure that I maintain a sense of perspective and balance. While my rampant liberal bias is evident from even a casual glance, I am perfectly willing to acknowledge that evidence which may not support my argument entirely. This particular story is a case of true religious tolerance and attempts to reconcile.
“This act does nothing for the settlements; it is morally and religiously wrong and is offensive to its core,” he added. “This is not how we educated our children; Islam is not a hostile religion even if we have a dispute with some of its followers.”
The governor of Bethlehem, Abdel Fatah Hamayel, said: “We welcome the Jews to Beit Fajjar so they can see with their own eyes the crime that was committed in this mosque, which was against humanity and against religion.”
When secularists and anti-theists like myself talk about the evils of religion, we are explicitly not talking about people like this. What we are talking about is the kind of hatred and illogic that spawns the attack in the first place. We are talking about the idea that there can be a ‘crime against religion’, as though religion has rights that go beyond the rights of the human beings that make up their congregations. Ideas don’t have rights. Beliefs don’t have rights. Philosophies don’t have rights. People do.
However, it’s often tempting to gloss over the good things that are done in the name of religion in my zeal to tear down the idea of religion as meriting some kind of special treatment or special rights. It’s especially difficult to bring up the positive things done in the name of religion when there are so many unbelievably evil things done with the same justification. Hopefully my willingness to highlight these kinds of things will lend my words a bit more credibility when I jump up and down on the head of the followers of YahwAlladdha – I’m not just saying this stuff because it’s fun; I’m saying it because it’s real.
Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!