As hard to believe as it might be, this is my second attempt at writing this article. Since I started this blog approximately 2 1/2 years ago, I have made 457 posts. It was not till today, after I wrote an article titled “It’s Not God’s Fault”, did I actually have an instance where an article vanished in between my writing it and posting it. As much as I would like to say that this incident is actually God’s fault, and how chillingly coincidental it is that this of all posts is the one that vanished, chances are I just hit a wrong button. But who knows? It certainly is food for fault.
When I originally wrote this piece, the point I started with was that potentially the two most dangerous people are the ones that believe in God too little and the ones that believe in God too much. I know many people who either do not believe in God or have serious doubts that God exists. They are some of the best people I know. They are kind, considerate, function well in society and have good families. It’s irrelevant that I feel their inherent values come from guidelines given to us by God. What’s relevant is that they believe or highly doubt there is an all-powerful or almighty force controlling events or monitoring behavior. However, for anyone who has blatant criminal or harmful tendencies, if they do not believe in God, they are not at all inhibited by fear of God’s wrath. Often the only thing standing in the way of their committing criminal or heinous acts is avoiding human detection. On a larger scale, the most dictatorial of Communist regimes, controlled by people who did not believe in God, pushed the idea that all the control rested in the hands of the citizens, and that there was no higher mystical power in control, even if the citizens actually had very little control themselves.
Then there are those whose religion makes them fanatical. Many people use religion as a moral guide and subsequently are very good people. However, there are some so-called religious leaders that use religion as a means to motivate the masses behind them to commit acts of violence and evil. I am of the belief that these leaders are people motivated far more by personal gain and power than they are by anything genuinely religious or Godly. What they do is gather support under the guise of something holy, claiming it will make people’s lives better. They preach a fanaticism that tells people that any action they take is permissible if it is in the name of God and that God wants them to do whatever it takes to spread his word. They convince them that these actions regardless of how heinous they may be, are God’s will and will make their life or death something better than it otherwise would be. Using this premise the most unimaginable atrocities can and sometimes do take place. We’ve seen it on a relatively small-scale till now. As the numbers grow, so too will the frequency.
Extremism on any level is dangerous. I believe this entire discussion in itself is proof that it really has nothing to do with God. Decent people who believe in God use that belief as a means of improving their lives and the lives of those around them. Decent people who do not believe in God live their lives in pursuit of the same things that will improve their lives and the lives of others. They just don’t believe an all-powerful entity is involved in the process.
As one who believes in God it is impossible for me to comprehend how one can manipulate that belief to do evil. What causes people to do bad, be it environment, genetics or unfortunate circumstances is something I’m not smart enough to determine, certainly not on a mass scale, although it often has to do with something as basic as economics. One thing I know for sure. It’s not God’s fault.
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