Looking at the comments here, it seems that many missed the meaning of your words- that religious beliefs taken in a way that promotes violence and discrimination is dangerous. Heck, you even got the conspiracy theorists in here.
When Religion is Deadly
by Randy Gage
Sorry to have been absent for a few days, but I’ve been reflecting on this post, and wanted to make sure I could write it without emotional distractions, and bring up some of the serious issues we face. The events of the recent Boston Marathon bombings drive home yet again how harmful and dangerous religious beliefs can be. This applies both to those that hold them, and unfortunately – also and especially to those who don’t.
And because those beliefs are created by mind viruses – highly charged with emotion and often indoctrinated at a young age – most of the people with these dangerous beliefs have no clue of the danger they pose to themselves and others. And have no idea that they are not acting rationally.
Some commenters on the earlier posts on this subject have chastised me for being judgmental or as dogmatic as the brainwashed religious cult members I am warning against. But this criticism does not stand the test of reason.
The goal of those posts was not to attack or ridicule people’s beliefs or their right to hold them, but to point out the lack of rational thought it takes to believe such things. They also serve to illuminate the subliminal programming which many of them have that leads to low self-esteem, worthiness issues and self-sabotage – and in extreme cases physical attacks or murder of others (as the Boston events just demonstrated). These beliefs are anti-humanity and thus, anti-prosperity.
The Greeks thought Artemis was the virgin goddess of the hunt, although she later was promoted to the moon goddess. The Romans had a counterpart in Diana. Likewise the Greeks had Poseidon as the god of the seas, and the Romans worshiped Neptune for all things maritime. When it comes to the supreme, supreme deities, the Greeks went with Zeus, while the Romans genuflected to his counterpart Jupiter.
As people became wiser and science helped unfold some of the mysteries of the universe, these beliefs faded away, becoming the grist of folklore, superstition and metaphors for superhero movie plots. (Although don’t think for a minute that there are still not people who believe in them. There are.)
For most people today, however, we look back on these myths, thinking they are quaint, and wondering how people could hold such illogical, irrational and outlandish beliefs. Yet if we look at the beliefs held by at least four or five billion of the world’s population today, they are just as bizarre and no less implausible.
You may think that these are just harmless personal beliefs, and if they console people and help them process traumatic events like the death of a loved one, or a bad medical diagnosis, they serve a beneficial purpose to society. But now we have to seriously question that assumption.
Because religion is killing people. Again.
Unreason, which is a polite way to say craziness, is running rampant in the world today. The fact that such a large percentage of the world’s population still believe in Sky-God superstitions – and these people are air traffic controllers, engineers, and even presidents and Prime Ministers – is certainly cause for trepidation. Even worse, none of them think there is anything irrational and absurd about the certainty they have in their superstitions.
Shit and Stuff…
The really ironic dynamic in all this is that everyone thinks their own beliefs are historical facts, and everyone else’s beliefs are crazy delusions. It reminds me of George Carlin’s brilliant bit on stuff and shit. If it’s yours, it’s stuff. If it belongs to someone else, then it’s shit. As in, “Who left this shit here? This is where I keep my stuff.”
So we have Mormons who think their magic underwear protects them from evil, Christians who trust Noah brought dinosaurs on the ark, Hindus who believe Indra was born fully grown from his mother’s side, Scientologists who imagine they are extraterrestrials from a previous lifetime and Jewish Rabbis who fly on airplanes sealed in a hefty bag because they’re flying over a cemetery. Certainly no rational person not indoctrinated at birth or infected with mind viruses would exhibit any of these thought processes.
Probably you defend the rights of people to practice their faith and believe any of these things, as I do. Just as these people have no real proof their deities actually exist, I have no proof that they don’t. Most of these beliefs are quaint superstitions like Zeus, Poseidon and Neptune, and if they make people feel better, good for them.
The issue arises when the beliefs that these people are brainwashed with cause misery and suffering for them, and prevent them from reaching the prosperity and happiness that is their birthright. Or worse yet, cause them to attack and kill others.
Most of your core foundational beliefs about all the important things: relationships, health, happiness, prosperity, religion, sex, etc. – are set before you are ten years old. Sadly, only one person in 20 or 30 million actually does any critical thinking on this when they grow up. To live an enlightened life, you must be willing to analyze the beliefs you live by.
You have to ask:
- What are my core beliefs on these subjects?
- How did I come to get them?
- Are they actually true?
These are questions most people simply don’t ask. They operate their whole lives on the programming they received with they were six, seven or eight years old. And if that programming teaches you that you are a sorry sinner, are not worthy, are meant to suffer in this lifetime, won’t reach enlightenment until another 44 lifetimes, or you’re reincarnated this lifetime to pay penance for a past lifetime – you’re pretty much screwed.
Unless you question your beliefs with a rational mind, and eviscerate the ones that are not serving you.
Otherwise, you will grow into adulthood with low self-esteem and worthiness issues, which prevents you from being happy and leads to a lifetime of fear. This can lead to self-sabotage behavior in your health, relationships and career. In extreme cases it can lead to suicide, as when young gay teens take their life because they’ve been programmed to think there is something wrong with them.
For the most part, the beliefs of these individual sects and cults only impact the cult members themselves. But there is an even greater danger today, and that is when religious zealots attack and kill people outside of their faith.
And that is where Islam comes into the picture.
The Qur’an is very specific in its instruction for believers regarding non-believers: Non-believers are infidels who must be converted or killed. And Muslims who read and believe the Qur’an is the verbatim word of Allah are not only dangerous to themselves, but society as a whole.
It apparently was those beliefs that led Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to detonate the explosives that would kill and maim dozens of innocent spectators at a sporting event. Like the 9/11 attacks, the victims were of many faiths, even Muslim. How can you quantify the mind viruses that cause people to blow up an 8-year-old boy, cause his 7-year old sister to lose her leg, and even injure believers of your own faith, and believe you are conducting a holy war?
Muslims who take the Qur’an literally believe that by committing such cowardly and heinous acts, they will receive 72 virgin maidens in paradise as a reward. And this is where Islam jumps the shark…
Some dismissed my earlier posts as “Islamophobia,” (a charge I see being leveled against Sam Harris recently as well). That accusation does not pass the logic test. Islamophobia would suggest an irrational fear of Islam.
But the events of the last 15 years have demonstrated that non-believers have many very rational reasons to fear Islam…
Islam certainly isn’t the only religious cult to operate on folklore, myths and superstitions. I think most if not all do. And Islam is not alone being based upon premises no rational person could believe if they were not infected with memes. What makes Islam the most dangerous religion in the world today is its teachings on martyrdom, jihad, and killing non-believers.
To be fair, the way Islam discriminates and ostracizes women, non-heterosexuals and non-believers is not unique. Mormons banish non-heterosexuals, the Bible says they should be stoned, and the Torah prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality. But truth is, you won’t find a lot of Mormon deacons, Jewish rabbis, or Catholic ministers actually preaching to kill homosexuals today. But in the Islamic world, homosexuality equals a death sentence, and there are many Imams preaching this.
The way the Muslim world treats women is simply unconscionable and barbaric. Even “Game of Thrones” wouldn’t fantasize something as preposterous as killing girls simply because they wanted to get an education. It wouldn’t pass for a credible plot in an epic fantasy like “Thrones,” but this is the actual reality in many Muslim countries today.
And it doesn’t stop with the non-heterosexuals and women…
Many Muslim clerics advocate attacking or even killing anyone who ridicules their religion. These “spiritual leaders” issue death fatwas on authors and incite riots in response to comics. And there is a strong and growing faction in the Islamic world committed to a jihad to convert or kill all “infidels.” The Boston bombings and the plot to derail a Canadian passenger train are just the most recent examples of attempted mass murder done in the name of Islam.
Islam is certainly not the only religion to kill people in the name of God. There are many examples throughout history, notably the Catholic church during the Inquisition. And while this was as vengeful and barbaric as the fundamentalist Muslims are today, there’s a very big difference in the potential impact: While the Inquisition was at its peak of violent extremism, there were no tools of worldwide manipulation like the Internet and satellite TV. Nor did weapons of mass destruction exist.
This all leads us to three very important issues, in terms of prosperity:
First, be mindful of what beliefs you’ve been indoctrinated with, and then being able to rationally analyze them. Do they pass the rationality test of someone who isn’t infected with memes? Do those beliefs serve you or enslave you?
Second, recognize that “religious tolerance” and respecting the beliefs of people who want to kill you doesn’t end well. A central tenet of prosperity is knowing your own value, setting boundaries, and protecting your interests.
Finally, we need to really think about the role organized religion plays in the world today. Instead of leading to self-awakening and enlightenment, it seems to be leading people to be satisfied with not knowing answers, instead of searching for them.
Fundamentalism now often serves as a code word for hate and intolerance. When religions become catalysts for killing, it’s time for some serious re-evaluation.
P.S. Based on some of the questions and comments below, let me add some additional thoughts. I have read the Qur’an. I have spent time in Dubai, Malaysia, and Indonesia numerous times and found the people there to be delightful. I was always treated gracious and welcoming, and am happy to have many Muslim friends from those countries, Egypt, and here in the U.S.
I think some of the Muslim beliefs are preposterous, but no more so than many of the beliefs held by devout Jews, Christians, Hindus and many other religions. Personally I find the Qur’an to be filled with savagery and barbarism, but we can certainly say that about other sacred texts, including the Bible.
The difference is you don’t see religious leaders in those other faiths directing their followers to continue the iron and stone age savagery, but many Muslim clerics and heads of state still do. The other issue is when Muslims practice such behaviors, people suggest that they are extremists who don’t follow the Qur’an, when in actually, they are devout Muslims who are following the Qur’an quite literally. Lets at least be honest and acknowledge the real nature of this sacred text.
I’m not on a crusade to rid the world of Islam, or any other religion. (Although the question of whether the world would be better off without them is a fair one at this point in time.) The purpose of this post is to point out the danger that arises when people blindly follow dogma and doctrines without practicing critical thinking. Everything goes back to the three questions I pose above, and whether you have the courage and rationality to ask and answer them.
Randy, you are one of the few people with the integrity to speak out about this, to say what many of us are thinking- that Islam is not a religion of tolerance or acceptance of human differences. And this makes it dangerous when practiced in a strict form. Thank you for your honesty.
Randy THANK YOU for speaking out !!!!!
So called RELIGON is KILLING people and putting FEAR into the masses !
You are so RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!
GOD LIVES IN ALL OF USE AND HEAVEN IS RIGHT HERE !!!!!! OR HELL IF YOU CHOSE !!!
I'm sure you all can tell that I'm new to this. Part-1 is on the bottom and Part-2 in the middle. Bare with me and please read Pt-1 through Pt-3. I'll know better next time. :-)
Muhammed was twenty-five years old, the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the cave and Muhammed felt himself squeezed hugely. Gabriel said “Read! (Iqraa). Muhammed replied that he couldn’t. The third time he was squeezed and again told ‘Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created--- Created man, out of a clot of congealed blood…” That’s from Surah 96:1-2. There are nineteen verses in the surah. By instruction these words are placed in the 96th surah although they are the very first words of the Qur’an. I had to mention that before this. Muhammed ran home to his wife, Khadija shaking in fear and told her what happened. Khadija went to her Christian cousin, Waraqatul-Nofal who was a wise and learned man of Scripture and told him what Muhammed told her. Waraqatul-Nofal told Khadija that Muhammed was G-d’s next prophet and that his only regret was that he would not live long enough to be one of Muhammed’s supporters.. That was a Christian talking.
When Muhammed started spreading the word that there was only one G-d he and those who believed with him began to be persecuted--- even killed. To escape murder Muhammed instructed his followers to go to Abyssinia where there was an honorable Christian king that would protect them. That was African king Negus. Negus gave the Muslims refuge and refused to give them to their Meccan pursuers who would have killed them. The pursuers presented their argument for King Negus to release the Muslims to them for return to Mecca (and their death). Their strongest point in their argument was to say that Muslims didn’t believe in Jesus and that He was the son of G-d. Upon that challenge one of the Muslims recited to King Negus the nineteenth surah of the Qur’an, Maryam (Mary, the story of Jesus’ birth). Hearing it, the king flat out refused to turn the Muslims over. There and then did Christianity save Islam. Now it is absolutely foolish to believe that after Muslims were sent by the Prophet of Islam to a Christian for help, that it would be part of Islam to regard Christians as kafirs who need to be converted or killed. On the contrary, on the orders of Muhammed the Prophet, churches and synagogues as well as their symbols, were declared sacred and inviolable and are to be protected under Muslim rule.
Sometime afterwards the Muslims migrated to Medina where they were welcomed. A house was built for the Prophet and a mosque erected. The Jews and Christians of Medina were not forced to convert to Islam. They were afforded religious freedom on the condition that if attacked, they would help defend the state; the same freedom allowed and condition offered by the constitution of the United States to its citizens.
I have a lot of respect for you Randy. That’s why I am talking to you. Otherwise I’d say you could go to Hell with the rest of the lying smut-spreaders. Something in me tells me that you are a good person--- first impression being the lasting one. If I’m wrong, it’s certainly not the first time.
A wise man once said “If the darkness of your Islam holds you more than the light of your Qur’an, you’re in the den of Satan. If the darkness of your Christianity holds you more than the light of your Bible, you’re in the den of Satan. If the darkness of your Judaism holds you more than the light of your Torah, you’re in the den of Satan.” That man was W. Deen Mohammed.
Randy, “Not one of you can believe if you do not want for your brother what you want for yourself.” Hadith (Bukhari). I want G-d’s Forgiveness, Mercy, Paradise here, and Salvation from Hell (Paradise hereafter)… and I want it for you.
Peace Be Unto You
I submit to you that people who read the Qur’an “with a shallow understanding received from not having a needed base in Arabic and who have a lack of Quranic history” “are not only dangerous to themselves, but society as a whole.” This is because they start with a false premise and attempt to establish truths on self-perceived notions that are detrimental to the healthy growth and development of the human being.
Regarding killing non-believers, Surah IV:88-91 (chapter 4, verses 88 through 91) refers to deserters in war (the hypocrites) and those who were in the Muslim camps gathering information and passing it on to the enemy (spying). What do the countries of today do with deserters and spies? In this surah you don’t even need to have the Arabic language under your belt to know this. You can read the accompanying footnotes in Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Qur’an.
G-d never says to just go out and kill non-believers if they reject Islam. In fact, don’t you feel that a Christian is a non-believer of Islam in the eyes of Muslims? This is not true but isn’t it what you believe? G-d says in the same surah in the following verse (92) that “Never should a believer kill a believer.” And in verse 93 “If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell.” What you must understand here is that He did not say “If a man kills a Muslim.” He said ‘believer’. There are believing Muslims, believing Christians, and believing Jews--- they all are believers in Allah’s eyes… and killing one without just cause (self-defense, protection of family, Etc.) lands the killer in Hell. You don’t get Paradise and 70 virgins for killing people just because they’re Christian are Jewish… and you don’t get the ‘70’ for blowing up a building with innocent people in it. Granted, there are many a ‘Muslim’ killing innocents in the name of Allah and under the banner of Islam… but they are off-track. And no Randy, they are not following the Qur’an literally… they’re just off. In the same vein, Timothy McVeigh couldn’t possibly be representative of a devout Christian… he was off.
After saying that let me lay out a few things. You need to understand just what/who is being referred to in the Qur’an when it mentions non-believer. A non-believer is a Kafir. Kafir comes from the root, kafara, meaning to deny, to reject. The kafirs referred to in the Qur’an were Prophet Muhammed’s people in his time, the Quraish, the Pagans. They rejected the message of the Qur’an and it is they who are referred to. A Christian or Jew or any person of another belief system that doesn’t embrace Islam is NOT the same as a pagan of Prophet Muhammed’s time that rejected Islam. Being a Christian or Jew does not automatically make one a Kafir--- certainly not a non-believer. “Those who believe (in the Qur’an-an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and Sabians, any who believe in G-d and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” –Qur’an - Surah II:62
Also, regarding converting, Prophet Muhammed had a Coptic Christian wife and a Jewish wife. He did not force them to convert to Islam and they did not. And as for as Christians go, here’s a little information that must be prefaced with some history: Muhammed’s character as an honest person was well established in Mecca. The merchants of the time would trust him with their money and valuables because they couldn’t trust each other. Muhammed used to spend a lot of time in a cave just thinking and meditating on life and the times of his day. This was a time when the Pagans of Mecca had 360 idol gods in the Kaaba, the house of worship built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. One day when
I've been having a hard time trying to get this response in because of its length. Looks like it didn't make it to the Fan Club Page. So now it's in three parts.
Randy I honor you for your work in encouraging people to dig deep within themselves for the best of what’s inside. I am one of those that you have so encouraged. So please understand that this is not a public reprimand. You are still Randy Gage to me--- someone I highly respect and admire. Rather, this response is to give you grounded information regarding the subject of Islam.
My first introduction to you was the “Live Your Dreams” video (and still my favorite). I thought “This is a real human being that’s been through it, learned and is now prosperous and sharing. For years I pointed people to that video… to you for inspiration--- powerful! The responses were “Man, I really like that Randy Gage, thanks!” In meetings with my upline and downline we would watch the video or I would point out where to go to view it. I’ve been one of your promoters for some time.
I was quite disillusioned after reading what you said about Islam. Perhaps your sabbatical can include learning some Arabic words and learning about how to understand the Qur’an. If you don’t understand Arabic and/or have someone that does and who is versed in Quranic history then you’re reading English or some other language translation and, biblically speaking, ‘leaning to your own understanding’. That is nothing but religious discrimination. What you have done could not be more wrong and hurtful. And you have the unlearned jumping on the band wagon. I have read this type of thing for years on the internet but until now have never responded. My feelings have been that the people saying these things are ignorant so let them rot in that ignorance.
I’m taking the time to talk to you Randy because I’ve received so much good from you that I fight seeing you as an unfair, uninformed individual that spews poison without foundation. I can’t let you rot in ignorance. You’re a special guy--- at least to me. I want to think that you don’t really mean to do wrong but that you’re just misinformed in the area you commented on. If you’re doing it on purpose then you’re doing a good job of spreading lies and you don’t give a *#!* about what I’m saying… as truth does not matter to you--- you’re out to discredit Islam.
With a little help you can better understand the Qur’an and not go off into erroneous ‘space’ with a shallow understanding received from not having a needed base in Arabic and having a lack of Quranic history. There are ramifications of using the terms ‘Non believer/Kaafir’ loosely.
This is from your blog:
“The Qur’an is very specific in its instruction for believers regarding non-believers: Non-believers are infidels who must be converted or killed. And Muslims who read and believe the Qur’an is the verbatim word of Allah are not only dangerous to themselves, but society as a whole.”
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in G-d hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.” –Qur’an - Surah II:256 (Qur’an – Chapter 2, verse 256)
I do believe that much of the world is tossed by the wind, going wherever it takes them. It has been revealed to me, the truth, and that can only be found in the one true word of God. The Bible. So much is misinterpreted by so many. False teachers also play a significant role in the destruction of the truth of the word. This I know for sure. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and he is willing to come into your heart and life, if you but only ask, and BELIEVE that he is the son of God. My life is proof that he exists. The grace given to me is so profoundly beyond anything I could have manifested. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hi Randy and everybody... There was too much to say in response to fit in this comment slot so I posted a response on your Fan Club Page. My name is Seif Abdulhameed. I am Muslim and had to comment. Please read what I have posted on the Fan Club Page.
Nothing summarizes what you've said better than what the Buddha had to say on this very subject:
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
I agree with a lot of your points in this post Randy especially the religion bit.. Unfortunately the terrorist stuff is nonsense .. The CIA planted the bombs and blew up the twin towers and bushes cronies claimed the insurance. The Boston bomb was another setup to create fear so they can push new policies through because of fear.. The media is bought and paid for.. It is a government propoganda machine and the people who listen to it and believe it are sheep.. You can see more about it here http://www.twintowersconspiracy.com/
When I was young boy, I was forced into a cult.They would beat us whenever we inquired about the teachings.Young children were molested by the religious hierarchy, which used every means to hide it from the public.We were told of a demigod living in a faraway land who is able to converse directly to God.There were crazy beliefs of a magical water that could drive out demons, religious ceremonies with ostentatious attire, they instilled an overwhelming feeling of guilt and unworthiness…but enough about Catholicism.
A male god (and why he would have male genitalia since there is not a female god, is beyond me) floating in the sky ready to smite anyone who does not follow with absolute obedience.A prophet flying to heaven on a Pegasus.A god (one of several) with the head of an elephant.A galactic ruler who used DC-9 airplanes to transport extraterrestrials to earth and plunge them into volcanoes.Continually dying and being reborn until you reach enlightenment…and on and on.Holy shit, Scotty, beam me up!!!There is definitely no intelligent life here.The Wizard of Oz was better written and more believable than 99% of religious dogma.
I can only imagine how much further ahead the world would be without religion.So for those of you who want to get out of the “Matrix” and take the red pill, I would suggest going to the James Randi Educational Foundation website and sign up to be a member.They look at the world with rationality and logic, not superstition or supernatural bullshit.You will be amazed as to how you will feel once the blinders come off (I would analogize it to be the same as a blind person being able to see for the 1st time, but I have never been blind so I could not say for sure).
Randy - I have said it before and I will say it again: you are a raft of intelligence floating on a sea of morons.Never give up the fight of trying to instill common sense, rationality, and critical thinking to a species that has recently went from swinging in the trees to walking upright.Maybe we can someday eliminate all of this violence and war, and elevate mankind to a society beyond our imagination.OK, maybe the last part is too much wishful thinking (or too much crack smoking on my part), but I can always dream.
"My invisible God is better than your invisible God..." - the cause of 99% of suffering in the world... And people who say that they need religious texts in order to have morality and determine right from wrong, that is the saddest thing I have ever heard in my life...!!
(sorry....responding on an iPhone isn't easy!)
Student. Many of these questions coming during mass.
Here's my last point. I applaude Randy's post because he's taken the time to study some of the world's traditional religions. I do not care to do so, knowing religion is not what I accept to be my Truth.
I choose for my truth to be my own. Not beleifs that were conjured up by centuries-old myths, which I cannot prove. I also surely cannot believe in something that supports killing in the name of God. That's not the God I believe in.
I speak this as my Truth and ask of you, if you speak your Truth, do so with conviction and passion with your own name and picture beside it just as Randy does. We can all learn something from you, whether we have similar beliefs or not, but allow us to know who you are. We learn nothing from cowardly acts of violence or hidden identities from those afraid to speak their OWN truths.
Here's what I love about this post. Agree or disagree with it, Randy speaks his beliefs with passion. He doesn't hide behind the "protection" of a pseudonym or religious belief. He speaks from the heart as do many of you in these comments. Those with the harshest of criticisms hide behind initials and a generic avatar not truly wanting to fully speak your truth.
To that, I ask, "Why hide?"
I agree with Randy's post as someone who grew up in a very devout Irish-Catholic family and have spent years questioning and admonishing many of the beliefs programmed in my own DNA. Many I questioned as a young third grade Catholic grade-school
I just want to challenge a few things you have mentioned Randy, and I'm sure you won't mind since you challenge us to think for ourselves and analyze things :) 1) It would be enlightening for you to share your beliefs on creation and how all this came to be.. From the sounds of things, it would suggest you must be agnostic or an atheist.. Which for me as a believer in Jesus Christ is considered "irrational" behaviour. The thought of nothing colliding with nothing to create a big bang and create the beautiful world as we know it so magnificently designed and evolving from some primate species is far more irrational than believing in an all-powerful God. So please clarify your views 2) You kept mentioning indoctrination at a very young age and the inability to think for oneself when they're older due to this indoctrination.. What then about those people that have not grown up with any religious influence or "indoctrination" and instead, even at times against their own will, through some kind of special revelation, they meet Christ? 3) You mentioned no evidence of what we believe in.. Well, for Christianity the truth is there is evidence. I believe in Jesus Christ because there is absolute evidence of the life and death of Jesus, even the biggest atheist scholar historian could back up those claims. - I will say this, I believe in a large part of what you're saying is true, I cannot even begin to fathom how someone could kill another and try justify it using their religious views and gods. I do not condone those actions, in fact it breaks my heart. I can speak for what I believe in, and that anyone who goes against the Bible or what Jesus teaches doesn't truly know Jesus, the two greatest commandments He gave us was to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbour as you love yourself. I'd go so far as to say religion is killing the world, but I'd also go so far as to say that a relationship with Jesus is not religion but a lifestyle of the greatest love. Last point I'll leave with :) The whole issue on morality, well that is a very interesting argument in favour of God :) God bless peeps
Share the Truth! The Truth shall set you free! My Belief/Faith is not in religion, it is in The Lord Christ Jesus who paid the price for us all. Try Him, Trust Him, Believe in Him, what do you have to loose? It's what you will gain! Stay Focused on Him, not the problems or situations because He sits high and looks low, He knows about each of us below. Therefore, nothing catches Him by surprise!
Would the billions of people loose Meaning of Life without Religion? Can the Rational Thought answer all the Big Questions? Yes, we can easily keep ourselves occupied for duration of our lives with the multitude of "addictions" available to us, life being the biggest one, we can do it smiling or crying, pretending to know or choosing not to know... Are we really HONEST or merely PRACTICAL when shifting the focus of LIFE from WHY to HOW?
Here's an interesting article by Salman Rushdie about moral courage in speaking out:
guest Randy Thanks for addressing this subject. The goals set by these young men leave them and their goals without promise of living a truly successful life. How sad. We are not able to change this for them. We can only believe others will see how their acts now control them.
I think that the real problem and the reason why all this happened - is the low level of education, no real view of happy life anf future and strong character. If these people can open their mind for religion things and think that this is the real importnat things in their life, they agree to be dolls for jokes.
These brothers didnt believe in Islam before, they started to their Muslim-s religion in USA. This means that somebody has his own goals and use these guys for these goals. And why these brothers decided to lose their own life? Coz they havent any education (good!), havent thier own goals and they didnt believe in their right way! They decided to take the way which showed for them ANOTHER people.... so, who did it usually? weak people...
and the problem is... that for some religion organisations is very-very good to have weak people...a lot of weak people - a lot of dolls for jokes who can do what somebody say to do for them.
Anything that we focus on or put our intention on becomes reality so I choose not to focus on the evil, and I also think that religion is what gets in the way of most people finding God. It mainly preaches condemnation and the law. We live in the time of Grace, unmerited, undeserved favor from God.
ok @Randy_Gage we got the problem and understand it . But can you suggest any solution on that . As a student , as teenager , as a parent what we can do about that.
Great article, Randy. And, one of my favorite poets is Islamic. He says:
Be certain that in the religion of Love there are no believers and unbelievers. Love embraces all.~ Jelaluddin Rumi
Congrats to all the responses to your post, Randy. Some really discuss it, others feel attacked, more readers who respond are critical - which is what you want them to be.
Just this morning I listened to my favorite radio channel FFN where "the church" gets a 1 hr. Sunday spot to be heard in general, spreading the news that the wealthy people are becoming TOO WEALTHY and make TOO MUCH of a profit as a manager of a DAX company (for example) and then the church came up with the argument that the very wealthy people AREN´T HAPPY AT ALL. They are against such outstanding wealth and thus I thought about this BLOG-post and what you "preach". They must have missed to read and interpret some passages of the bible for 21st century.....
Universal rules aren´t apparent to everybody on earth, I guess.
As I see it, this article is far more about addressing the problem of fanatics in any religion. than about religion itself. I have said often that the fundamentalists of any faith lost grounded logic and a healthy sense of community as they became ruled by emotional over-reaction to any stimuli outside their biased perspective and comfort zone. Fanaticism is based on an illusion of religious righteousness. If healthy religious expression is seen more as a choice to pray in community, with like minded believers, so that your spirituality is reinforced rather than as a replacement for spirituality then religion is simply a source of strength for your evolving sense of self not a replacement for it. It would then call you to become more of who yo are rather than become a replacement for who you are. Blind obedience is the opposite of spiritual support. One leads to fanaticism - the other to unlimited freedom.
Randy, I'm glad you added your postscript. Your treatise did rather overly focus on Islam, when the real intent was to apply critical questioning to all religion. I'm sure that there would be many followers of various religions that would also find fault with some of your generalisations. There are always extremes, and there are always exceptions. No religion is homogenous. Some of the worst things that we might see in the extreme wings of Islam today, such as death to homosexuals and death to non-believers, have been part of other religions in the past (and perhaps are still held to by some today).
BTW, I did go through my critical thinking about religion when I undertook and completed with numerous distinctions a degree in theology, on a quest to better equip myself with the skills to answer the more difficult questions about my faith. The more I studied, and the more skills in critical thinking that I developed, the more that I found answers to questions rather wanting, and have since become an atheist. (At this point no doubt others will want to point out the error of my ways and how much God loves me and wants me to return to the truth - yes, I've heard it all before).
The way that you present your treatise is perhaps somewhat tilted, and as such many will find fault with it - but I welcome the encouragement for people to apply critical questioning of the things that they believe.
A few folk seem uptight that Randy appears to be "anti-muslim"...
Do you recall when the new Pope came into crowning? Randy went on a continual flow then...
Each time being revealing all that is "anti-prosperity" - that it's a religion makes no difference. Fundamentalist Islam and Christianity are anti-prosperity.
Excellent article..well of course I agree!!!! Therefore my judgement may be clouded But more and more I think we need to be LESS tolerant of organised religions brainwashing the young. I think exposure to organised religion should be treated in a similar fashion to alcohol, tobacco and drugs! Not allowed till U R at least 18!
Now the blog looks like as a main stream news channel.
I am a HUMAN, no matter if i am a believer or non believer in god or spirit.
I condemn the Boston bombings, but the question is: "Given there is no religion, how you are going to interpret the bombing?"
god damn politic and religion. politicians use religion to invade other countries and religious leaders make politics to revenge them.
Rangy, i suggest omit any specific religion mentioned in the post so that the controversy stops. we look for prosperity not for religion wars.
I am sure all the blog readers understand the essence of your post which is critical thinking and subliminal programming. but it seems rational to stop the controversy ASAP.
Thanks to all.
I actually love and follow Randy's work on prosperity consciousness and his blog. However in this particular post I am puzzled and tend to disagree with him on his generalized rant against Islam. I do recognize the madness that is going on lately on our planet but why cant we recognize that it is part of an old consciousness that is dying as a preparation for the new consciousness that is being born, instead of ranting against one religion in particular? The true problem is the egoic consciousness of Humanity and this egoic madness of human beings is INTENSIFYING and that is why we are seeing more and more horrors and confusion but that is only because the new consciousness ( the higher awakened human mind) is being born. And it doesnt help to chastetize one religion in particualr ( as Randy is doing here with Islam). It does not matter if a crazy person is muslim, agnostic, jew, christian, buddhist or hindu, crazy is crazy. It is time to heal our egos-minds and not intensify the egoic play of Humanity by pointing fingers to each other ( particularly if we call ourselves "enlightened" human beings.)
PS: And by the way who says that the so-called "facts" of the Boston aftermath are really as they are presented ?? This is exaclty where the masses would need some critical thinking in my humble opinion :)) Just some food for thought..
Hi @SeifAbdulhameed ,
First let me say thank you for adding to the discussion with a respectful reply.I’m afraid I can’t agree with all your opinions, but do appreciate the manner you share them.It reflects well on both you and Islam.
To agree with you I’d have to accept some things as facts that frankly, I’m not able to.You state, “Muhammed was twenty-five years old, the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the cave” as if this is a fact. Sorry I don’t really believe that and don’t think any rational person not infected with mind viruses could.
We do agree on this: “people who read the Qur’an with a shallow understanding received from not having a needed base in Arabic and who have a lack of Quranic history “are not only dangerous to themselves, but society as a whole.” Unfortunately an uncomfortably large number of these people are Muslim Imams.And I believe the religion has done a very poor job isolating them and letting believers know those who preach hate and intolerance do not speak for the rest of the Muslim world.
You quote one verse that suggests Jews and Christians should not be killed as non-believers, but would you also acknowledge many Muslim leaders believe otherwise? And apparently you have no issue with killing agnostics and atheists (and presumably all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people).That is your prerogative, but no belief system adhering to that dogma could be considered “spiritual” by any rational definition, and is certainly not one based on the principles of prosperity.
Now as I made clear in the original post, I don’t consider the Islamic beliefs to be any more implausible, farfetched, and irrational than most other major organized religions.But the following issues make it uniquely dangerous for the world today:
·The belief in jihad;
·The misogynistic discrimination against women;
·The belief in martyrdom;
·The dogma that death is suitable for non-believers and non-heterosexuals; and,
·The doctrine that people who criticize or ridicule the religion or the prophet should be killed.
Regarding the treatment of women and non-heterosexuals, here are the salient issues from a prosperity standpoint:There is no such thing as gay rights or women’s rights, there are only human rights.And those basic human rights include being able to live without fear of reprisal or even death because of their gender, sexual orientation, being raped, or something as simple as a girl wanting to learn how to read.
As I also mentioned, I have numerous Islamic friends and have been welcomed in at least six or eight different Muslim countries.I’m not on any crusade to ostracize or outlaw Islam.My only wish for the people who follow my prosperity work – whether they are Muslim or any other religion – is to make sure they have done some serious critical thinking on the following questions:
·What are my core beliefs on these subjects?
·How did I come to get them?
·Are they actually true?
And that is my hope for you as well.I wish for you a prosperous, happy life.
@maryellen514 I think it is great that you found solace in religion. The only problem I have with Christianity (or any religion, for that matter) is that the practitioners try to force their beliefs (which they are convinced are truths) onto non-believers. If you or anyone else wants to believe in a God with male genitalia (why he would need male genitalia since there is no female God - or at least no one has made one up, yet, to my knowledge - is beyond me) and a long white beard that capriciously smites humans, so be it. I just choose not to believe in a book written by sheepherders 2000 years ago, especially when it contains so many errors and crazy violence. I really do wish there was a God (just like I wish there was a Santa Claus and an Easter bunny), but my wishing doesn't make it so. I am open-minded enough to know that just because I do not believe there is a God, doesn't mean there is definitively no God. Just as you believing there is a God does not make it so. Beliefs are only opinions, not facts or truths. If believing in a God makes you happy and gets you through this life, that's fantastic.
@GaynellMarshall Would you mind asking him which way he was looking on April 18th? Or several other dates & places around the world? For a benevolent, caring, all-powerful guy he seems to be a bit absent lately.
@Randy_Gage Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou..
@Sanjay sharma We have to teach kids how to think - and this is a skill that must be taught - at an early age. And then we must teach them critical thinking skills. It is only people with weak minds and no critical thinking skills that become blind followers.
@NatalieLamb Actually, Christianity is not "anti-prosperity", just some religious interpretations of it. Jesus had a treasury. A house, where he lived with his mother. When he died, they gambled for his clothes. Would anybody gamble for rags? Everywhere he went, he taught abundance and prosperity . He said we should have compassion for the poor, not join them. It's religion that teaches poverty- but not Jesus himself.
@weemac Agreed. I think that everyone should be entitled to believe that god is here or there, but no one should be allowed to preach and attempt to convert others. Furthermore teachings should be closely scrutinised for content and teachers of religion held accountable for the doings of their subjects. We send pedofile priest to jail after 40 years yet no muslim teacher is sent to jail for inciting to violence.
@Critical Thinker On the contrary, I think it makes perfect sense to single out Islam in this conversation. In fact, I would argue that we are long overdue in pretending that all religions are created equally and that none pose a greater danger than others.
Let's be candid: Islam teaches that infidels must convert or die. Period. It's the only monotheistic religion that teaches such a thing. Christianity and Judaism have their own share of atrocities and lunatics.....but you won't find their actual Scriptures telling people to kill non-believers. The Koran does.
Secondly, let's do away with calling these killers "extremists". That word gets thrown around a lot but, is it really accurate? I don't think so.
Because if a religion's holy book tells you to do something.....and you go actually DO it.....
....you're not being "extremist". You're simply being obedient. The fact that most of the rest of the religion's followers are not doing it is irrelevant. You are not being "extreme". You're simply doing what your Scriptures tell you.
Personally, I appreciate Randy's courage on this topic and particularly his willingness to talk openly about the unique problems of Islam that aren't present in other major religions.
Islam is a dangerous religion. And it's high time that we start acknowledging that instead of pretending that it's "just the same as other religions". It's not.
@Randy_Gage thank you for answering
@karen7447 @NatalieLambSince you Christians are experts at justifying your actions and cherry picking things out of the Bible to suit your personal situations, please explain away this verse (Matthew 19:24), ""Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a
needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." If you ask any rich Christian, they will all say they are going to heaven. But if you believe in a book written by sheepherders 2000 years ago, it is plainly obvious that none of them are going to heaven. So you either believe it or you don't. Enough with the hypocritical bullshit.
@TonyRush Hi.. My name is Seif Abdulhameed. Please read my response to this topic on Randy's Fan Club Page. It wouldn't fit on this page. I'd love to read your response.
LOL Tony. I actually find your post quite funny (in a stupid way).
Kind'a reminds me of something Hitler would say. You sound like a pure RACIST who grew up in the south…discovered about Islam during 9/11…googled few passages that condoned violence to non-believers, and then gave yourself a ph.D on Islam. BRAVO BRAVO….Islam is the world problem today because it's such a "dangerous" religion. Hopefully once we solve that, we can move to Black people. Yaaaaay. And don't worry, we won't skip over them Mexicans either.
Now, one bit of advice to you Tony…I know you make your money on "autopilot"…without lifting a finger, ZERO effort. However, you should put just a tiny bit effort before judging someone's religion. Just a little. Is that too much to ask Tony? (I can see Tony looking up some more passages that condone violence here and skipping the CORE message of Islam. Again).
I've been fortunate to travel the world and learn about many different cultures…been running a MULTI million dollar a year info. business since age 24 (My biz requires effort, like actually doing work)….have friends from all over the world (many of them muslims)…and at the end of the day…you learn all people are good regardless of religion, race, culture, or whatever. You also learn there are bad bad bad people all over the world. It's just how the world is. Learn to live with it.
@TonyRush Sounds like you chafed someone's "political correctness" nerve, Tony.
@Dean99 @TonyRush Firstly, I'm not sure what my business or your business (or incomes) have to do with the conversation so I'll ignore that part of your reply. I'll treat your comments about race and Hitler similarly since they were apparently included for hostile reasons, not actual discourse.
Secondly, you're attacking a position I never took. You're beating a strawman. I never suggested that all Muslims were violent, hateful people any more than I suggested that of Christians.
The point -- which you seemed determined to miss -- is that the Islam is the only major, growing religion in the world whose Scriptures actually command their followers to engage in violence with non-believers.
You're entitled to disagree with that assessment if you like but it won't make the statement any less true.
My final point is to simply agree with you: I've traveled all over the world and have met (and made friends with) people from lots of different countries and from all manner of religions and philosophies.
And you're right: there are good people in all of them.
But, again, you're either deliberately trying to miss the point of my response (and Randy's article) or you're just looking to argue about something.
There are many Muslims who wouldn't dream of killing non-believers just as there are many Christians who would never dream of bombing an abortion clinic.
The difference is that the Bible doesn't tell Christians to kill non-believers. And the Koran and hadith do.
So, before you bother wasting your time (and mine) with another ignorant reply, why don't you go actually learn what the Koran and the hadith actually SAYS about how Allah expects infidels to be treated.....and then you can come back to the discussion with more than just juvenile insults and ignorance.