Missing the Point: Sin, Bill Maher, donald trump, Christians, Muslims, Presidential Politics, Syrian Refugees, and Love

Missing the Point

Sin, Bill Maher, Christians, Muslims, Presidential Politics, Syrian Refugees, and Love

     The word sin has always been difficult for me to reconcile. It has always connoted, for me, judgment founded in dogma and ignorance. Then a philosopher once defined it etymologically as “missing the point”. I would still never use the term in rational company, but when I consider it in religious terms, it now makes sense. And it is useful, in this context, when talking about religiously motivated ideas and actions. Religious extremists of all faiths and ideologies miss the point when they reference scripture to commit acts of violence and promote hateful ideologies in the name of their religion.

     The Muslim mystic and poet Rumi did not miss the point when he wrote thousands of poems about the way divine love radiates through the souls of all people regardless of their land and their faith. Bill Maher misses the point when he fans the flames of anti-Muslim rhetoric in his quest to expose religion in general as a haven of ignorance. This sin is not a liberal sin – it is a sin against rationality and reason. The nations who commit human rights abuses of all kinds should be held accountable for those policies, regardless of their religious motivations. Russia and China are not exempt from responsibility for these human rights violations simply because they are not religiously motivated. The motivation for all of these abuses and murderous acts could be psychologically analyzed at a deeper level and the religious content might actually become a bit fuzzy or only explainable in archetypal terms, which are common to all cultures and psyches.

     Christians, including presidential candidates, who are now arguing against the immigration of non-Christian Syrian refugees into the United States are fanning the same flames as Maher, and seem to seek, along with ISIS, an expansion of war with the Muslim world in general, again seemingly motivated by a desire for the fulfillment of some biblical prophesy. They miss the point entirely, and in a completely different way than Maher. The Jesus of the bible was a witness to the atrocities of the world. He mastered his own mind so that he could develop awareness enough to act only from a place of love, regardless of the personal consequences to himself, and he counseled others to do the same. Go ahead and be fearful, insecure, and reactive, but don't try to lead the world from that place. The world needs leaders who have done the personal work of recognizing that their own feelings of hate are an obstacle to the truth, not the vehicle to it.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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