“Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.”
~ Blaise Pascal
Some day in the distant future, kids will learn in history class how man once believed in the supernatural. These children will be our descendants and they will possess knowledge of our world and universe in ways we can’t even fathom; much like Sir Isaac Newton or Galileo wouldn’t have been able to fathom something such as a car or a smart phone or an airplane.
They will learn that the earliest of men thought that the world worked because of the Gods – that it was created by the Gods. They will learn that man gave these Gods offerings like food and gifts. And that they even killed and sacrificed animals… and sometimes other humans in order to persuade these to Gods work in their favor.
Then, these kids will learn that over time these many gods became only one God. And that many different cultures had their own way of believing in that one God. And that those beliefs fell into three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
They will learn that all three of these religions were extremely hostile – and that they were in denial about their hostilities because “their” holy books promised them that they were the righteous ones.
These kids will learn about the wars and genocides and ethnic “cleansings” of their ancestors.
And then these kids will learn about a tiny strip of land in the Middle East called Israel. And how at one point people from all over the world believed that Israel was special, because this strip of land was “The Holy Land.” Muslims, Jews, and Christians would stop at nothing to claim this land. They would sacrifice people, entire nations, even the safety of the entire world just to claim it for “their God.”
These kids will learn that man was once irrational and dangerous. And more importantly, they will learn that ignorance was the root cause of so much chaos and carnage in the world.
These kids will be the future of mankind. Perhaps they will understand things like wormholes and interstellar space travel the way we now understand airplanes and computers.
But most importantly, they will know that willful ignorance didn’t get them to whatever level of technological achievement they have reached. They will know from the time they are toddlers that our world isn’t the creation of an angry God, but rather elements that have collided and bonded over billions of years. And these kids will never personally know what it means to invade a country or rocket-attack or drone-strike or artillery-bombard a people over something as asinine as an invisible, omnipotent man in the sky.
But for now, we will know what it means to kill for religion. And so will our kids… and their kids… and their kids. All because man – out of an irrational and outdated fear – still refuses to throw his mythical story-books into the fire.
Author: John Smith
“Faith can be very, very dangerous,
and to deliberately implant it into the vulnerable mind of an
innocent child is a grievous wrong.” ~ Richard Dawkins