The Enemies of Religion
The enemies of religion are not non-believers; on the contrary, it is the believers themselves.
Any social organisation or institution is destined to degenerate and even perish eventually when its foundations shift towards hatred of certain people. Religions are social institutions. When their leaders begin to preach hatred, they are sowing the seeds of degeneration within their own institutions. Initially it may appear that they are gaining power over people of other religions by making them appear as enemies. In the long run, however, hatred won’t achieve anything good.
If you are observing what is happening in the social media these days, it must have become clear to you by now that certain believers of every major religion in India (in many other countries too) are spewing poison against believers of other religions. Hindus, Muslims and Christians – all are doing it. These people are the real enemies of their own respective religions. They are killing the very spirit of their own religions. Neither Rama and Krishna nor the Prophet and Jesus will ever approve of what many of their worshippers are doing in their names these days.
The Catholic Church provides us with a historical example. It became a monstrous religion in the medieval period in Europe killing all perceived enemies more brutally than any diabolic dictator ever did in history. The Church appeared to be victorious for quite some time. But the inevitable collapse happened. A movement that came to be known as Enlightenment swept the Church away like malingering filth. Science and scientific temper flourished in Europe. Today the churches in the West are quite empty.
The present Pope has been relentlessly seeking ways to make the Church meaningful to today’s people living in a world that is poisoned with hatred, particularly hatred spread by religious people. Many ‘believers’ don’t like him for this. He said recently during his Slovakia visit that there are people who desire his death. He appeared to make the remark rather frivolously. But he was not being frivolous. It is Christians themselves who want the Pope dead – ultra-conservative Christians who don’t like the Pope’s progressive views. It is such believers who are the real enemies of their own religion.
These conservatives don’t like the Pope for teaching things like: Christianity is not the only true religion, “It’s better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic,” “God is not a Catholic,” “The poor are the real body of Christ,” and so on. He opposes religious conversions. His God loves homosexuals and LGBTs. In short, he is an enlightened human being. And religions have seldom accepted enlightened teachers.
Religions love hate-mongers. Look at the popular leaders in India today, for example. Listen to their utterances whether they call themselves yogis or swamis or Pracharaks. Or bishops or cardinals. Or maulvis or mullahs.
The really religious people are helpless in today’s India. Some of them perish in prisons like Stan Swamy. Even his Church did not lift a finger to save him. And you know why. If you don’t, you need to check the meaning of your religion for you.