While you read my writings, keep in mind one thing – I’m only 35 years old, 36 in a month. Nearly middle-aged, but not nearly mature enough, in my opinion, to be disseminating thoughts and convictions that are set in stone or immovable. I started late to the game, being an uber-religious, dogmatic fundamentalist until the age of about 25. Then, it took me another 5 years to really walk myself out of the fixation on reconciling all of my beliefs via Biblical apologetics, jumping through spaghettified hoops, just to get to where I knew was right and correct, and yet was barred from being so, due to the unreasonable religious logic – arguably an oxymoron.
My chief concern here is the loss of life. The loss of innocent life. I pin the conduit for the Brussels senseless murders on the interpretation of Islam that these terrorists are espousing, whether devout or opportunistic. But we cannot forget that this happens nearly every day in other countries, not primarily peopled with humans of European descent.
As Americans, we watch as Paris falls prey to ISIS attacks, then we ignore the attacks in Turkey a few days ago. We watch as Brussels is buried in fear, with scores dead and many more injured, yet we explain away the systematic killing of black and brown people on our own streets, by those who are supposed to serve and protect. We blame religion, poverty, lack of work ethic, apathy, and then return to our privileged lives.
We watch as our fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, enemies all, go into the hospital, waging a war against cancer or worse, fighting to keep their heads above water with respect to mental health. We watch them go bankrupt, one catastrophic medical condition wiping out the seeds of wealth, hurting future generations. We call those who balk at that prospect “freeloaders,” “lazy,” and “Socialists.” We ignore the human condition. The needs of our fellow humanity.
I hate religion with a seething white hot rage, not because I think I’m right, but because it is the easiest conduit for abusing our fellow humans beings, even to the point of death. I hear and understand the arguments of religion not being the reason for human suffering, but rather human culture, which has retrofitted religion to bring about the suffering of others, while the privileged go about their own business, shrugging their shoulders, even praising the status quo.
Even so, if we completely eradicated religion from the bowels of humanity, I am convinced my ire would be forced to seek out a new culprit. We as humans, would replace religion’s capacity to bring about suffering with some other cultural phenomenon.
So I sit here, watching people scream about Islam and Muslims all around me. Then others defending Islam and Muslims. I agree with those who blame Islam and Muslims, insomuch as it is easy to interpret what you want out of it, much like Christianity, to convince yourself that your infliction of death or hatred is righteous and warranted. But I also disagree with them vehemently, choosing to side with those who defend Islam and Muslims, knowing full well that humans can cull the bad from the good, and choose to live in peace. And millions upon millions of Muslims, even devout followers of one of the great (in numbers and cultural history) faiths of this world, Islam, do just that.
And so I weep for those who have lost family and friends in Brussels and for those who actually lost their lives or limbs. But I cannot focus on Brussels as being a titular moment in the narrative of humanity’s blight – our penchant for hatred of one another.