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.
there is difference between religion and ideology or a brainwashed ideology that leads to sects and so many other social sicknesses. I beleive there is no religion that preach violence either it's Islam judaïsme or chritisanity: all of them call to god, unity, and peace. As we can not say that chrisianity is a religion of terror since hitler killed jews and Millions of people or coz America exterminated two japanese cities by throwing an atomic bomb in Hiroshima we can not accuse any religion of any thing and should separate between the faith and the indiviuals. Especially, someone of your Intellectual level, randy, has to have a more comprehensive and neutral view on events and not be biased by the Media. for some reason the crusades war between muslems and chirtians did not end yet since it has become nowadays mediatic war......
thanks for sharing ur thoughts Sir
all the best,
Yesterday, PATH train service was disrupted between NJ and NYC due to a "police operation" - I overheard a passenger muttering "fuck the Muslims"
So... Who or what do you worship, Randy? Money? Maybe it's time for you to reevaluate yourself. Get your facts straight too...both comments about Mormons are incorrect and offensive.
wow, a blog about religion. where to start? you are going to take some heat from this, no matter what. i can't condemn people who live and pray differently from me, no matter what the outcome. I am always disheartened when the result is loss of life but I can't say I hate them because I have not walked in their shoes or lived their particular plight. and there has been and always will be murder in the name of god(s) or religion, unfortunately. I try to follow: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. and i always find myself singing, "You've got to be carefully taught..."
I am rather amazed that a critical thinker such as yoruself would get caught up in all the memes regarding the Boston bombing. That story has more holes that a humungous block of swiss cheese. You can do the homework and determine this for yourself.
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. >>>
If these guys really did the bombings they would undoubtedly be the lowest scumbags on earth and should be punished (the surviving brother) to the very fulest extent. Still--the last time I checked there is still (HOPEFULLY) a "presumption of innocence" until duly PROVEN guilty in a court of law. As far as I am aware there has as yet been no trial. True--the younger brother supposedly confessesd after a 16 hour interrogation WITHOUT having been advised of Miranda rights or having a lawyer present to represent him.
If we are to remain a constitutional republic, we must afford Constitutional rights to the worst of the worst--otherwise theyare meaningless.
Please Randy, I love your work and respect you greatly. Please do your own research and don't get caught up in media memes...or your OWN memes for that matter.......
soufi Unfortunately in this case, there is no separation between Islam and the actions we are discussing. The people who are doing these attacks and killing are following the prescriptions in the Qur’an. The Muslims who are not killing people (and there are many of course), are not following the Qur’an as the literal word of their religious text.
So... Who or what do you worship, Randy? Money? Maybe it's time for you to reevaluate yourself. Get your facts straight too...both comments about Mormons are incorrect and offensive. I'll tell you what is scary to me: when the filthy rich turn into misguided
@jstewart The issues you raise about constitutional rights are valid ones. But they are a distraction to this discussion. Those issues do not negate the dangers of religious programming, which is what this post is about.
Randy this was so spot on & very well written! One og your best!
It is not just young gay teens who have been programmed to think there is something wrong with them. Suicide appears to be the fastest growing cause of an early unnatural death today.
The game we have been taught and programmed to play is the perfect mind virus. Your George Carlin skit points to the game all of us are stuck in as long as we don't notice it. We really believe in on/off as a paradigm and for most people they pick one to win! At all costs by the way and it is such a defining issue that our team, our country, our beliefs MUST WIN. You have been kind to your readers. Islam may be the current extreme example but all of us play this game.
Who's the bad guy in Harry Potter? The rich kid, and his rich dad.
Who's the bad guy in Superman? The rich guy, Lex Luthor.
Who's the bad guy in Spiderman? The rich industrialist.
And who's the good guy in these stories? Always an orphan. Always someone who's been mistreated. Always someone who thinks money is unimportant or unnecessary.
Consider the movie Titanic: the ONLY "good guys" in that movie were the poor, broke people down in 3rd class.
And who were the rich people? The stupid, shallow, rich people who were all up on first class arguing about whether to have mint sauce on their lamb chops.
The current 'program' in place makes anyone promoting real freedom and money bad and evil. Who wins with this? Offering prosperity and freedom to the 95% is offering them to play on/off [pick one] must win. They cannot hear it any other way! Religion, psychology, capitalism, rationalism.... all want you to play "MY BELIEFS must win!"
If one ever does we all disappear. The question is what can you say or demonstrate that stops someone from playing [xxxxxxxxxx] MUST WIN!? If for only a brief moment. Turning off the robot everyone is programmed by schooling and culture to operate as and giving them the keys to their real life... who will take it? 1 or 2%... maybe 3?
Thank you for eliciting my blog post for later today.
I like this article Randy! Very true. Thank's for writing this 🙂
Fundamentalism is the key - they take things to extremes and disrupt the lives of so many innocents. All religions, tinged with humanity and compassion, are not to be feared and set (preach) high moral standards including respect and self-discipline - the foundation of civilised society. Living a life of respect, discipline and 'treating others as we would wish to be treated' resolves most issues/conflicts.
Randy_Gage soufiYou really don't know what you are talking about. In Islaam these actions are FORBIDDEN, I know this because I converted to Islaam 9 years ago and nowhere is what I have learnt from the qur'aan or otherwise teaches me that I need to go out and kill the infidels many of my muched loved family members are non muslims.
For the most part you are correct regarding the radical part of any religion as these people are the ones that are trying very hard to destroyed our way of life; freedom, capitalism and creativity. However you seem to also have lumped all religions into your argument which is not right. In all religions there are good aspects. Let's face it, our laws of the land are based upon the Ten Commandments. Please tell me that I have misunderstood what you're saying.
I like the Article believe true..but for me i feel region is a touchy subject to a lot of people so i love and hate it
i guest..thanks for sharing
I enjoyed the read. I agree with much of it such as the central thesis that it is a good idea to question the beliefs that we've been handed to found our lives upon.. However, I find it hard to paint "Muslims" with one broad brush based on some of the words in the Koran, just as I find it hard to paint "Christians" with a broad brush based on some of the words in the Bible. There are people in the United States who call themselves "Christian" but who find that their own prejudices are supported by Old Testament passages such as Leviticus, and give greater credence to that than they do the four Gospels. The Westboro Baptist Church is such an example. Similarly, Islam as it is spread throughout the world differs from place to place. The Muslims we find in Morocco are not going to much resemble the ones we find in the tribal regions of Pakistan. You will find many of those people in Morocco to have a more modern and egalitarian view and to have views more closely aligned to what we think of as Western.
Though I agree that "organized religion" by and large, often indicates a form of "group think" I cannot concur that it always leads to error or denies self-reflection. After all, "Organized Religion" is not a monolithic concept and, as a label, has to include not only the many, many varieties of belief that we associate with the Abrahamic religions, but also everything from Wicca, to Discordianism, or Universism ...All of these ideas have an organized religious motif but they all have different goals and apply the organizing principle in different ways, so we should be careful about the blanket label that "Organized Religion" is dangerous. I would say that anytime one relegates their thoughts and emotions to any mob rule scenario ...be it religious, political, commercial etc. ...it is a potentially dangerous and debilitating position to take.
Excellent Randy. One thing that is so true.."nstead 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"
Its like I always say religious people are seeking something and spiritual find something.
@WhatApparently then you haven't actually read the the Qur’an. I have.
“God’s curse be upon the infidels!” (2:89)
“[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them to the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate” (2:126).
“Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places
from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. . . . [I]f
they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be
rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight
against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns
supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the
“As for the unbelievers, neither their riches nor their children
will in the least save them from God’s judgment. They shall become fuel
for the Fire” (3:10).
“Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are
dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with
His gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet
joined them, have nothing to fear or to regret; rejoicing in God’s grace
and bounty. God will not deny the faithful their reward” (3:169).
BobbyShiflett Thanks for a very thoughtful response.
Killing Innocent people is forbidden in Islam. I have been a practicing muslim for over 20 Years. I have family members, friends, Christians, Jews, Mormons, Jehova Witnesses, Seven day adventist , atheists, agnostics and everything in between who I have interacted with who are friends and part of the human family.
love this. way to be the voice of something so unpopular these days - reason!
Randy those versuses that you quoted in the Quran does not mean to attack innocent people. It means that as a Muslim if I am being physically attack that I have a right to defend myself and my family.
Randy nooooo...Please only write about what you are good at. What you really know. You are an expert in business and self development. You are great in that. Do not ever write about something that you don't have the slightest idea of. Before you start labeling Islam as this or that, go learn about Islam from a true moslim first.
This is Surah Al Qasas verse 77 from the Quran "But seek the Home of the Hereafter by means of that which God has bestowed on you; do not forget to take your portion [of the Hereafter] in this world. Be good to others as God has been good to you and do not strive for evil in the land, for God does not love the evil-doers."
Yeah maybe that bomber is a moslim. That doesn't mean he represent Islam. My guess is that he's going to burn in hell for killing the innocents. He deserve that.
Go study Islam first Randy. You are making a fool of yourself. You can't do that. You are the Randy Gage. I respected you. But not so much anymore. But maybe you have lack of knowledge about Islam. I forgive you.
I agree with much of your argument but you've used too many generalisations and there are too many inaccuracies for me to to share your article.
I like your post very much, i must say that i was one of that people that believed in a celestial heaven, and indeed have many many mind viruses even today that i have to get rid of. One of those viruses is one that prevents me from thinking that i can be rich, and have an abundant life, as a result, today i live with a constant fear of loosing my job, thinking that i am less than others and so on. I wish i could have the guts, means and time to remake my life and see the world and life as it really is, like you for example. Thank you for your thoughts and the will to share your knowledge and experience with others. Best regards,
Great post Randy... you bring up very valid points. You are in no way intolerant; thanks for bringing up the obvious truth and not being politically correct. Clearly not all Muslims are bad people, there are many great ones. The fact is the Jihadists/ Islamofascist terrorists are all Muslim
Randy_Gage It is FORBIDDEN in Islaam to kill the innocent, infidel or otherwise. You know nothing about Islaam, you have read an interpretation of the meaning of the Qur'aan and have decided for yourself what it means.
SimonMichaelRobinson It really doesn't add anything to intelligent discussion to say there are inaccuracies. It would be helpful if you suggest what you think they are.
Randy_Gage You can't read the Quran by yourself and make your own interpretations. These verses came from the time where there are pagans during the era our prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Don't read it literally by yourself. Learn it the proper way and you'll have a clearer picture. Islam is a perfect way of life.
3 thoughts in return:
- Gods were (also) created to keep potential megalomania under control, unfortunately this challenges nowadays megalomania actions.....
- people needed Gods to feel some freedom from being directly led by others....
- non educated people i.e. in Egypt really think today that the Qu´ran "became modern" because it´s offered online or on CD (!!!) Now, how crazy is that? I told that young scuba-diver boss that it has nothing to do with what its written inside, the message is still the same - either on CD or online - and he "woke up".... They argue with naive communication and they don´t even know....
@jstewart If they were innocent they would be getting into gun fights with the police and be throwing explosives at them as they were running away. If they were innocent they would peacefully surrender.
Well "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" the majority of religious people I know don't suffer from this!
"so we have mormons who..." is an over generalisation and not really useful - in my opinion!
I should also nail my flag to the post - religion is akin to believing there's fairies at the bottom of the garden! As you rightly point out "lack of rational thought"
First let me say that having lived in Boston and having been at the finish line several times, I am deeply touched by this attack. The title of this post is "When Religion is Deadly." Are you going to follow it up with a post titled, "When foreign policy is deadly"? What I am about to say probably won't be popular and will anger some people. The suspect has said the attack was also about the American foreign policy of killing innocent muslims (drone attacks have killed hundred, if not thousands, of innocent people). The reasoning of self-professed christian leaders that innocents die in the name of protecting the US is as illogical and anti-prosperity as the reasoning of Islasmic extremeists. The American policy of killing people in order to keep us safe only fuels others to attack us for the same reason (to keep them safe). I am reading alot about the attacks and I am amazed (thought I shouldn't be) at the amount of people calling themselves Christians that are calling for the death penalty for the suspect, often without due process, his right as an American citizen. Lack of critical thinking and memes abound.
Awesome post, Randy ... I shared it everywhere!
The world would be so much better if we were able to get over religion ... so many people believing so many idiotic things out there.
Please folks take some time and listen to this interview of an imimnet American Muslim scholar for a better understanding. im sure it will add much to the discussion.
I don't know that I want to comment too much on this subject. But I will say that I do believe that the muslim people are being persecuted due to the acts of terrorists. We have had acts of terrorism on our land by non-muslims and they were labeled at nothing more than a home-grown terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of what excuse they hide behind. I do not believe that you should judge a whole race/country based on the acts of a few radicals. Most muslim people, as I know them, are peaceful people who condemn such acts. Religion is and always has been a very touchy and emotional subject just as politics is. And without having the proper knowledge of all religious beliefs it would not be my place to judge any.
The reason humans label things, is to provide a shortcut when discussing, thinking, judging things that have common fundamental traits. This is the reason we do it, because it's beneficial to our lives. Eg. we use a label like "drama queen" to describe people who share the common fundamental trait of overreacting in a dramatic way and attempting to draw attention to themselves. This allows us to discuss people who exhibit that common trait, we can decide to avoid them, we can be wary of them, we can eliminate them from our lives by identifying this behavior. These are all the advantages of identifying this trait.
One of the easiest epistemological errors we make is to take a label that already defines a group of things and expand it to include atypical outliers. We very often do this when the things in the group are people, and especially when the atypical outliers claim to belong to the group in question. We then work backwards from this error to rationalize it to ourselves, finding evidence for our error wherever it's convenient.
This, unfortunately, is what you've done here Randy_Gage
The labels "Muslim" and "Islam" already have a meaning, and to expand the label to include outliers who are atypical of that group is an error. While I agree entirely with your specific comments about religions, and about irrationality, and about the dangers of those who follow the dogmas literally. The truth is that the vast majority of people who we already use the labels Muslim and Islam to describe are not only harmless, but usually a value to our lives. So it makes no sense at all to take that label and expand it to include the atypical outliers who are hell bent on destroying people of other faiths, homosexuals, etc..
So, let's agree that the problem is not the thing we already use the label "Islam" for, no more so than the IRA was a problem with Irish people, or that the many crimes done in the name of Christianity are problems with Christian people. Let's have enough respect for the Islamic religion to use, as we do for crimes committed in the name of Christianity, to refer to these lunatic criminals at least as "Fundamental Muslims" or "Radical Muslims" - anything which provides a means to differentiate them from the vast majority of Muslims who are law abiding, nice, wonderful, valuable people who are just as horrified by these other people as non-Muslims are.
I agree with Simon, and I think there are two reasons for why it's true that most religious people are not unhappy disasters.
First Reason: There are many parts of all religious dogmas which lead to the same conclusion as logic/reason would. My favorite one of these is Christianity's Matthew 7:12 (the "do unto others" Golden Rule). This is actually a very logical way to deal with others.
The problem is that the religion gives no tools to decide which parts are beneficial and which are not. This feeds into the second reason...
Second Reason: Most religious people don't adhere very closely to their actual religion. They use their own logic/reason to decide which parts make sense and which they will ignore. To the extent that they don't follow the harmful parts of their dogma they will be successful in life.
That person will argue that the religion is not meant to be taken literally, but again, if its not meant to be taken literally and then you're using your own logic/reason to decide which parts to follow and which to ignore, then what purpose is the dogma to you at all? Just abandon it completely and decide your entire philosophy by logic/reason, then you won't inadvertently end up adopting something harmful to you (like the altruism and guilt present in most dogmas).
@Iza Ahmad Randy_Gage Yea, but the thing is.... people actually DO think that's what these verses are supposed to mean. To kill people who are unbelievers!
LaurindaNYIntro Nice post. True, much of the home-grown violence is motivated under the guise of religious beliefs that have nothing to do with Islam: Waco/Koresh (Branch Davidians), Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City Bomber) (Christian Identity Movement), Eric Rudolph (Birmingham Women's Clinic Bomber, Atlanta Olympic Park Bomber) (Christian Identity Movement), Scott Roeder (The murderer of Dr. George Tiller) ("Army of God" and self-professed "Born Again Christian.) There is also the general hate-mongering practices of the Westboro Baptist Church that I can add to this list, as well as the so-called "Christian Patriot Movement" and Christian militia organizations like Hutaree. ...In fact, there has been way more violence perpetuated against the citizens of the United States in the name of "Christians" than "Muslim," but for some reason we are loathe to talk much about it ...and we really need to have that discussion.
You have to be careful in your writing randy rage. You have no clue about Islam, I read the Qur'an and no where does it say kill non believers. Here is a verse from the Qur'an for the Disbelievers. Sura 109 of the Qur'an.
Say, "O disbelievers,  I do not worship that which you worship,  nor do you worship the One whom I worship.  And neither I am going to worship that which you have worshipped,  nor will you worship the One whom I worship.  For you is your faith, and for me, my faith." 
My advice to you is, Look into Islam, read the Qur'an. go to Islamic countries to see the beauty of our beautiful religion. Get to know Muslims who are living example of my beautiful religion. I am against killing, or terrorising people and every Muslim I know does not agree with the few individuals who have been committing these crimes. You should not label a religion like that.
So you are an atheist???
Randy, I co-sign everything you've posted here. It's hard to believe that -- 300 years after the Enlightenment -- we're still having to deal with people who commit atrocities because they think an invisible person in the sky told them to.
Or atrocities -- like last week -- where a couple in Pennsylvania allowed their 8-month old child to DIE because they believed in "faith healing" and refused to take their son to the doctor. (This is just 2 years after they already lost their OTHER child for the exact same reason!)
Christopher Hitchens said it well: religion poisons everything. And when human beings get around to letting go of tribal, primal beliefs, we'll all be safer.
P.S. Those of you who are using the comments section to preach your particular religion are completely missing the point of Randy's post. Your lack of perspective is troubling.
Very insightful, but very hard for some to see beyond their beliefs. Thank you Randy for sharing your view.
Randy_Gage No, Randy, you specifically claimed that the brothers' religious programming was responsible for the bombings. But so far, we have no real PROOF that this is the case. Unless taking the ever-changing stories of "officials" is proof. BTW--I am NOT defending the bombers; I lived in Boston for years and love the city and its people. I just want to know the TRUTH of this whole story. And making it a case against religious fundamentalism--at this point--doesn't serve the truth, IMO.
Good post. I think the only permanent solution will be a gradual one where people learn enough about each other to realize that we are all similar. I hope this can be done through the internet, because we are still far apart geographically. An isolationist culture prevents the interaction which would show just how alike we are.
Randey, Have you seen Bill Mahers movie Religilous? What your saying is so in sync with what he's trying to get out there. You would be an awesome guest on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher.
Interesting read, RG. Lots of comments I'd like to make but I'll leave it at this:
Regarding religion, either nobody has it right and everyone is wrong ... which I find hard to subscribe to (i.e. there is no truth).
Or, one of us is right and the others are wrong (i.e there is truth).
But we cannot all be right ... there are too many conflicting teachings between the major world religions.
Randy, thanks for this message. I believe there are two polarities, love and hate. Anyone that follows anything hateful shouldn't claim it is "religion" in my opinion.
Barry Moniak Yes I thought that film was brilliant. And my publicist had a few conversation with Bill's booker, but as of yet, nothing has come from that.
IbtisamAli If you read the Qur'an and no where did it say kill the non-believers, you must have skipped over literally dozens of pages.
I just love it how everybody jumps into the victimhood train instead of understanding the message, the point here is "analyze the ideas religion gives you" the message it is not "Hate Muslim people"
IbtisamAli Too Long ; Didn't Watch
Where there is religion there is no Truth . And where there is Truth ,there is no need of religion .
smathy Thanks for a very thoughtful response with valid points. I don't want to paint all Muslims (or any other religion) with one brush. I do want to make clear as I mentioned in the postscript I added above, that the issue is not people who deviant from the teachings, but the ones who actually do follow them literally. And this is a growing segment of the Muslim population.
Randy_Gage smathy yes you are absolutely right in this , in India every terrorist attack is done by Muslims so we consider Muslims as terrorist
I believe in God, the Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth and in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ...He suffered, was crucified, died and buried. He arose from the dead on the third day and ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand of God the Father. I believe He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the gathering together of Christ's followers, I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of my glorified body and life everlasting. Amen.
I was brought up as a
Roman Catholic who ask kids where insidiously indoctrinated to hate Protestants
or as we used to shout at the kids from the school up the road Proddy Dogs. I
became politicised due to the high unemployment and poverty inflicted on the
'working class' in my home town in the North East region of England. I was draw
to Karl Marx and got sucked into the dogma of underground organisations that
infiltrated trades unions and Labour Party and was given instruction that
anyone not of the same ''collective opinion'' was the enemy.
The article and what it teaches is also my critical thinking
and concurs with yours, I for one will stand shoulder to shoulder with you
because like you I have graduated in the University of Life and I know if it
was not for the shear waste of human endeavour and resources that all organised
religions waste then people would be able to live in peace and all humans
could share the abundance of this wonderful planet instead of exploiting it.
Once again thank you for a true and insightful piece of
MPGSOS Well said..
smathy SimonMichaelRobinson I appreciate both your replies for adding to the discussion. I've been mentoring and coaching people on success for more than 20 years now, and the single most daunting challenge is worthiness issues which cause self-sabotage. And the primary culprit is religious programming.
The "so we have..." paragraph is not meant to be a generalization of those faiths, but a very graphic description of just how irrational the beliefs of each one can get.
Many people believe that this was a government operation, carried out in order to further their agenda. Martial law imposed upon a major metropolitan city, house to house warrantless searches by the military. I think that our world leaders do not believe that there is anything other than the material world and so they think that they act with impunity, then they shuffle the blame onto "religious fanatics" and besides they are usually Arabs who we have been indoctrinated to hate anyway so that no one will ask any questions or bother to investigate what they are being told. In the last 10 or 15 years I've learned that we are all just people...yes we have different ideas and beliefs. Over all I think that religion works to improve individuals. Perhaps you haven't really investigated things such as the twin towers or how about the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. Several FBI agents were killed in that shootout and yet the two surviving adult members of that group were acquitted of charges on the grounds that they acted in self defense. Kind of hard to get acquitted and walk free when you are responsible for the deaths of law enforcement officers.
1quran What many people do not understand is that it is not really practical to read scripture that has been translated out of the original. I have a little knowledge of Hebrew and reading the bible in Hebrew is much different than people know. Each letter is a picture in and of itself. Additionally there is a numerical value attached to each letter and numbers have a significance. There is an old saying that a picture paints a thousand words and so you actually have an incredible amount of information that is being conveyed with each word, 99.9% of which is lost in ANY translation. The Muslims scriptures are no different and when you are missing 99.9% of what was said with EVERY word that you read you have a problem with understanding what is being said. I have a high regard for Muslims because they are as a whole, (it seems to me) a devout group.
MPGSOS I feel sad for you that you were raised as you claim a "Roman Catholic" I too was raised a Roman Catholic here in the US but never was I taught to hate anyone. My closest friend growing up was Protestant and NEVER was I taught to hate her or her beliefs. My ex-husband was baptist nor was I raised to hate him and my present husband of 18 yrs is of Greek origin and I married in the Greek Church. My children were raised Roman Catholic as well. However, we do not believe in all the man made rules of any religion. We walk as Christians and live our lives according to what is right. Which means treating others with respect; walk with peace in your heart and compassion for all. When you live in a place like the U.S. and more so in New York, you have all kinds of people from all walks of life. We are no better than any one of them and they are no better than us. We belong to ONE real race and that is the HUMAN RACE.
Randy_Gage Thanks for your postscript, it certainly clarifies your position on the issues I had. I agree completely that Islam is distinct from other religions in the number of people in positions of power within the Islamic religion who preach literal destruction of non-believers.
It is not unique in this though, and the label you suggest in your postscript ("extremist") does span all religions and systems of belief.
In our efforts to live successful, fruitful and long lives, it will not serve us to guard against, be wary of, and focus on Islam. We need to guard against, be wary of, and focus on all anti-reason, anti-logic, anti-freedom, anti-man extremists, regardless of the particular flavor of hate they espouse.
Randy_Gage as my own postscript, let me say that I agree entirely with your "three very important issues" and you really have a very important and powerful point to me. I believe it not only can be made without singling out Islam, but that it should be made without singling out Islam.
Im my opinion - it would be a far more powerful and valuable message if it focused entirely on the actual problem of anti-reason fundamentalism or extremism. That is the actual principle that we need to be wary of in our lives.
Once again many have taken your work out of context Randy. I want to thank you for this post as it again causes me to look inward and question my beliefs in everything I do. It's challenging, to say the least, but an ongoing necessity.. Thanks.
very insightful great job Randy!!
David Hennig I think you are missing the point. The point is when people get infected with memes and make life and death decisions on myths and superstition, it doesn't usually end well. And that is an issue with all the world's major organized religions. And when you mix in the Muslim beliefs on jihad, which many take literally, it becomes dangerous for the whole world.
@jstewart Please read it again. I did not specifically claim the brothers were responsible. I said, "It apparently was those beliefs that led Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to detonate the explosives..." I'm more than happy to let the criminal justice system play out.
But I think this discussion serves as a distraction for you. It allows you to change the subject off the harmful effects of religious programming. I don't think that serves you or anyone else. If the two brothers just happened to be walking by the marathon to get an ice cream and were wrongly accused, it wouldn't change the pattern of attacks from extremist Muslims for the last 15 years, and the dysfunctional and delusional beliefs many organized religions have been indoctrinating their followers with for thousands of years. That's the whole point of this post. -RG
1 word: think.
Think why you believe what you believe and you will quickly see that in many cases, you are just believing what people told you, you should believe.
1quran Yes killing innocents is forbidden. Unfortunately there is an element in your faith that defines those innocents and infidels and uses Muslim beliefs as justification to kill them.
Randy_Gage David Hennig
Yes, I agree that the radical side of any religion always ends bad. However, where religion gives people comfort, hope and lessons like treating others as you want to be treated then it's a good thing in my opinion. There is certainly no doubt that radical Muslims have nothing but hate and destruction for others. As in anything moderation is key.
@Iza Ahmad I have studied all the world's major religions, including Islam. And I do write about what I am good at. Which is helping people identify limiting beliefs that hold them back from success, health and happiness. And that is exactly what this post is about: the many toxic beliefs being spread by organized religion.
I am grateful that you forgive me for criticizing your religion. Just know there are others who would kill me for that.
Brother Mark You make an excellent point. Great insight.
you are completely wright Randy, great article
Critical thinking. A lost art.
Slow Clap..........BRAVO! I love you Randy Gage. The Humanist in me is proud of you!
Really...don't throw all religious belief systems into one set! Without religion you would be living in a world of chaos. After all, take the 10 commandments out of the world and we would have more murder, theft, raps, adultery,etc. What a pleasant thought that would be...why you could not even go out the door of your home without being robbed or bludgeoned to death because someone would be there to steal everything you own. Take God out of the world and there would be more of the killings and murder that was seen in Boston. These people who did this were not God fearing people...they are haters!
While I agree with many of the points made in this post about religion, singling out religion is only getting at the symptom of what is problem with our human condition. Fundamentally, there seems to be a primal human desire for purpose and more specifically, to identify some entity in the world which is evil and committing their lives via some ideology to fight it.
There are many things we as humans will fear and threaten our survival, but the creation of a greater evil is allows us to take up arms against a greater "good".
Whether it's through religious extremism, political extremism or other. Even an environmentalist can become extreme and resort to violence in their mission to protect the planet.
I'm not quite yet sure how to identify and breakdown this primal human component, but clearly it is in constant conflict with modern movements of enlightenment, logic and intellectual advancement.
Just like any other man, I observe someone who is a potential physical threat to myself or friends, my primal impulse is to pounce and hurt the man so he is no longer a threat. There is also the lure of fantasy and potential pleasure derived from being dominant over another human being.
But thinking about the consequences of such action in the moment, compels me to figure out if there is a peaceful resolution, before resorting to violence. That is why despite growing up in a rough neighborhood and being trained in the martial arts over the past 7 years, I can still count the number of physical altercations I've been in, with 1 finger. That is a simplistic but clear example of the constant everyday battle between human instinct and the human mind, but how mind can win through reason and throught.
The problem is much deeper than religion, because clearly peaceful forms of religion do exist, so using logic and a process of elimination, that would conclude me to understand that to say religion is the problem is simplistic and naive as well.
Instead of "creation of a greater evil is allows us to take up arms against a greater "good"." I meant, "creation of a greater evil is allows us to take up arms in defense of a greater "good"."
millsw I think you're forgetting that mankind has existed on this planet for roughly 200,000 years....and the Ten Commandments only showed up approximately 4,000 years ago.
Think about it: surely you're not suggesting that the Hebrews thought murder, theft and perjury were all okay until Moses told them otherwise? Of course not. They couldn't have existed as a civilization WITHOUT knowing that.
Besides: do you really need religion to tell you that theft is wrong? That murder is wrong?
Personally, I'm genuinely baffled when people point to the Ten Commandments as the cornerstone of morals and ethics. Have you READ them? Do you really believe that these are the MOST IMPORTANT commandments that an omnipotent creator could give the human race?
Four of them have nothing to do with morals and ethics at all. And, of the remaining 6, the commandments not to kill, commit adultery, steal and lie were nothing new. And one of them is just silly. (Don't want something that your neighbor has? There goes capitalism....)
As for what would happen if you "take God out of the world", two things come to mind:
A. Which god are you talking about? There are several thousand to choose from.
B. One needs only look at the most atheistic countries in the world to see that -- by any measure of lifestyle -- they actually fare much better than highly-religious countries: longevity, life expectancy, education, per-capita income, healthcare, crime rates, etc.
Clearly these countries aren't overrun with the kind of barbarism that you claim would exist "without God".
I'm Jewish by ancestry and culture. And yes, I do have friends and associates who are Muslim. We've managed to be friends without killing each other. It's because in an open and inquisitive society, belief systems evolve. We're seeing it now in much of the prosperity consciousness that Randy and others advocate for.
The different is the leaders and many of the followers are willing to let go of the more strident and obviously hateful fear-based and just plain wrong parts of the religion, while not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. When a culture has opportunities to grow and is more concerned with the welfare of its people than keeping them under control, the need for the intolerant parts of religion will gradually disappear.
We're seeing two sides of this play out: leaders who need an enemy to rally the troops around, and followers who need to create an us vs them to feel OK about their place in the world.
I love all people. And I will be thrilled when the Islamic need to kill the infidels goes the way of the Crusades and smiting of the first born.
I came to America as 12 year old after escaping a civil war in
Somalia. I saw my own people kill each other in barbaric fashion. Women
getting raped and murdered . Children getting sliced with machetes
because they belonged to the "other" tribe. I've witnessed things as a kid
that most adults couldn't bare. Ever since, I had this question (and I still
do as an adult today)..."why do people hurt each other?"...I mean, what
do they get out of it.
Why did the Nazis torture the jews?
Why did over 2million people suffer (execution, starvation) during the Khmer Rough Period in Cambodia?
Why did we Nuke Japan?
Why <Fill in the blank, not short on choices>?
My question to you is: is religion the only way people justify violence? Is it ok with you if our government kills hundreds of thousands of innocent people just because "it's in the name of the democracy"?
Let's not even go that far. Why can't we be afraid of young white adults who go into schools, malls, workplaces, and movie theaters shooting up the place for no reason. Surely there's been waaaaay more of these kinds of acts then terrorist attacks in the US over the last couple of years. Right?
I bring this argument because one hand you say "religion" is a tool for violence and on the other hand...there are kids, for no apparent reason, killing innocent people. How are you going to stop them?
One other point:
When I was 14 years old, I did exactly what you asked in your post. I was in my parents room getting ready to pray the 3rd prayer of the day and I asked myself..."You know, I could've been born into any religion. Why should I follow Islam just because my parents told me so". From that moment, I became open minded to other religions. I learned about he bile and the Torah...in the process, my faith in Islam became stronger. I learned that we believe in the same GOD even though we might get to him in our own way.
Now Randy, sure, there are some passages that condone violence against non-believers in the Quran (just like all other religions as you've mentioned). However, is the Quran a book of peace or a book of violence? If you've actually READ the quran, why don't you post some of the good things it teaches? Why position it ONLY as a "dangerous" tool people can use to cause violence?
I'm sorry but that is SO Fox News.
Same way I can read all the Network Marketing books in the world but it won't make me a better MLM'er than you because you've been in the trenches...
You can read the Quran 1000 times but at the end of the day, you've NEVER practiced Islam. I do. I live by the book. And like most people who live by the teaching of Islam, I want nothing more than peace and happiness for everyone in this world (although I'm not gonna lie, I do hate the Miami Heat. I hope they lose). I'm not going to kill you because you're a non-believer. I'll give you a BIG hug and a thank you because it was a "non-believer" who gave me and my family an opportunity to start a FRESH new life in Boston after my country was drenched in violence.
So in the name of Islam...Peace.
Millsw you make an excellent point.
Very good post Randy, even when it incited the predictable replies ... yikes!
Islam is doing today what the patriarch of the old testament did several thousand years ago. Perhaps it was the way then. It is clearly not the way today. "Religious" wars are an aberration from aberrant cultures.
Fundamentalist religions do have a massive hold on individuals and are responsible for most if not all anti-values in people's minds.
I however will go on a limb and say that when it is true that church style religions are backwards and created for the sole purpose of mass mind control the new upcoming religion of Environmentalism is way more dangerous and holds a way bigger weight against personal and national prosperity even when they are not hurling bombs ... yet.
Good work Randy,
it's great to see someone with rational thought, using sense and reason
to come to a logical but plainly obverse conclusion.
Nido Rather than looking for "others" who are "worst", if you believe your religion is a religion of peace, you should condemn the teachings of Islam that produces and justifies the killings all around the world in the name of your religion. Oh yes, there are others just as bad. Your point being?
The Boston bombers were "inspired" by a muslim teacher. No one is talking about that yet that person and his teachings are the real murderers.
Muslims are blowing each other apart in the thousands because they belong to "the other" sect. Both sides justified by their religious teachings. Show me one religion that is doing that today even in 1/1000 scale.
Your teachings are 5000 years behind the times and require a severe editing of all that incites others to kill in the name of Islam.
FernyCeballos That could be a whole different blog post, but I agree with you. Some people love to create evils to rail against, because it allows them to have a more heroic journey and feeds their victim-hood.
@Shawna Van Schoyck No, I am a fundamentalist agnostic.
indian Guru Sai Baba said "It is good to be born into a religion, but not to die in one" in other words, you need to learn to think for yourself and define your own mores and beliefs
Unfortunately our education system trains us NOT to think - but to accept without question.
One of the saddest events in my life was in discussion with a 78 year old high church anglican believer. We were proposing that we are all part of the god spirit but she said, "NO! We are all unworthy. We were all born with original sin" How sad to live your whole life believing that you are inherently and fundamentally unworthy. Yet 'original sin' is an integral part of Christian belief
I know when my young son once came home from Sunday School and said, "I was born with original sin - where is it?" we told him we sold it years ago and he'll get the money later!!
This is why questioning is SO important - as the article is all about.
So many views posted here. All are valid in their own way and shows the deep search of individuals all over the world for the truth. Is there God or not? Is there a purpose for life on this earth? Is there a plan for humanity or are we no better than animals - born, grow, procreate, tend to our off spring and die? If there is a purpose for life, what is it? Each individual on earth will have his own view on what life's purpose is. The Boston bombers had their own purpose for life which they believed to be true, albeit skewed in the eyes of the generality of mankind. What is good and what is bad? Whose version? When we do not have a standard of what is good and what is bad, how are we going to agree to anything at all? Reason all this in your mind and search for the truth. Do not say my religion is the true one. As much as you believe your religion to be true, so does the other believe his or hers to be. In most scenarios, birthright beliefs do not make anything the absolute truth. True, sincere, unprejudiced search does. Feel free to contact me and lets search, consult, and understand the truth together.
Our Government is doing that 1Marc. Our government.
And you might want to read my comment again because clearly you missed my point. I condemn the marathon bombings...I'm from Boston, this is my city, and what happened here was not right. But don't tell me my religion is responsible for it when there are over 1billion muslims in this world living in peace.
Yes, there are some people who proclaim Islam in as their religion and are violent, prey on the souls of young kids who lack self-confidence and advice them that they'll "Praise they're lord and enter paradise by blowing yourself up". That happens too often and it saddens me as a muslim. But don't dare to include me in that group simply because I share a religion with them.
Just look at the two Boston Suspects:
* The planted a bomb but were still in the city 4 days later, living in their apartment.
* They hijack a car, then bragged about what they did
These guys would've done this crime for a pair of sunglasses that went well with their tracksuites...never mind 70 virgins.
And have you ever been to a city like say, hmmm, Dubai and see how muslims live there? I'm sure Randy has been there....and he'll tell you it doesn't look like a place that's 5000 year behind.
Thank you Marc. Grateful for your response and much appreciated. I fully share and agree with all your comments. You would have noted from my posting that not once, never, did I mention that the alleged Boston bombers did what they did because of their belief in Islam or any other religion. I just made a general statement that they did what they did because they seem to have their own purpose of life which may be due to a multiplicity of factors and not necessarily due to their association with any particular religion. They may be atheists for all we know or even if they are associated with any particular religion, it may be due to their skewed understanding of their same.
Many years ago I discussed these issues with you Randy. At the time I was a very happy and enlightened fundamentalist Christian, very involved in a dynamic world wide organisation that was doing much good in teaching people how to live a better life. However I began to discover cracks in my beliefs in the Bible and in the teachings of my church.
Back then you weren't able to give me specific answers (although through the years I have witnessed quite a crystallisation of your thinking) ...but you did assure me that the answers would come if I practised critical thinking and was open to testing my beliefs.
Thank God you were right. Since leaving organised religion, what I thought was happiness, security and enlightenment I came to realise was all just a dangerous allusion that was actually preventing me from truly knowing real freedom, prosperity, happiness and humanity. Every day now just gets better and better as I discover more on this incredible journey unfettered with the blinkers of religion (well the scales over my eyes at least have diminished greatly)
While I understand why many here vehemently defend their religious beliefs and in particular all the 'good' that Christianity and Islam offers I only hope and pray that one day by the grace of God they are lucky enough to have the opportunity I had to discover an amazing new world.
Guys you should stop watching TV! Any information is from the media and "official" FBI statements. Did I miss the interview with the "terrorist"? How do you know that he did it because of religion? You should also think about believes like the "right" to carry a gun in the US. This believe is killing more people in one year inside the US than any religious motivated people EVER did.
This has had nothing common with religion. it was pure fanatic misuse of religion. Just human selfishness, intolerance and hatred.
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..
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.
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!
Dr Sree Nido 1Marc
My friend, from what is coming to light it is very clear that a muslim cleric was involved in showing this two characters the path to jihad against the infidels.
When I had to go to war, we knew who the enemy was. So did my father and my grandfather.
The biggest tragedy of today is that most people don't know who their enemy is....and if they know, they stay silent for fear of offending them.
millsw But were there all those crimes being committed in greater frequency BEFORE organised religions? I have lived in the PRC for 8 years where many have never heard of the 10 commandments but I walked the streets even at nite in major cities with far less fear than Western cities
Oh yes, Dubai. I was there for a business meeting. I was arrested by the religious police because I was in a public meeting with other women and not married to them.
Nice buildings don't make up for a religion that belongs in the stone age.
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.
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.
@LovestheLord Well, that added a lot of critical reflection to Randy's article !
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.
It's all about what YOU belief
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.
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.
IbtisamAli The basic idea of this BLOG-post is an open discussion, no judgement ;o)
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
@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.
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.
Fanatics in any belief system can be dangerous.
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.
What I see is that we need more love and less hate in this world! Thank you for your insights!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's an interesting article by Salman Rushdie about moral courage in speaking out:
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?
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!
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.
millsw Also, it's important to note that Moses represented to "negative aspect" of "the Divine mind" or God's mind, or God's conscience, in that the Ten commandments mostly all begin with "That shalt NOT".....
While Jesus's first commandment (paraphrasing) That shall love thy Father God and thy neighbor with all thy heart and soul, and all thy might.. these commandments representing "positive appropriation of thy own heart and beingness"..
To summarize: Have a heart of "flesh" (open) not a heart of stone (closed)
Moses didn't make it into the "fourth dimension" ie: the Kingdom of the Heavens; one has to be open to receive their birthright and prosperity.
Reference: Prosperity written by Charles Fillmore ( a century or so ago)
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
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
(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.
"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...!!
Randy_Gage thank you for answering
Randy_Gage Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou..
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
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.
Randy_Gage I didn't skip anything, you have misunderstood the Qur'an verse that which u mentioned here. Allah mentioned that verse and many other verses with regards to self defense and defending the religion and the land of the Muslims if a disbeliever comes into territory. Its all about self defense. When the Qur'an was brought down by the angel of jabreel , God revealed verses of the Qur'an 'To Mohammed 'may peace be upon him' to protect himself from the battle of Makah and Madina, the holy place when the disbelievers where calling Mohammed a liar and wanted to kill him. I am 2000% sure you misunderstood this to mean to kill every person that is not Muslim. Oh my god no no no, please I will post to you English translation of Hadiths and Qur'an so you can understand what is clearly mentioned.
The Hadith is a also a book which talks in depth about every verse that's written in the Qur'an and why Allah mentions the verse in his book. Please randy, I really enjoy your prosperity channel, I am 100% Muslim, 26 years of age and will never lie to anyone god forbid. I beg you to give me a P.O. Box I will personally send you a Hadith and the Holy quran. Good night
So right on, Randy, and unfortunately the only ones listening are the ones who know.
TonyRush Sounds like you chafed someone's "political correctness" nerve, Tony.
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/
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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'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. 🙂
Hi SeifAbdulhameed ,
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.
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
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
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:
belief in jihad;
misogynistic discrimination against women;
belief in martyrdom;
dogma that death is suitable for non-believers and non-heterosexuals; and,
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:
are my core beliefs on these subjects?
did I come to get them?
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.
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 !!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
pandkenterprises karen7447 NatalieLamb Did I say I was christian?
karen7447 NatalieLamb I said FUNDAMENTALIST Christian.
Because religion is killing people. Again.
If you read the bible, killing 'infidels' is in there too. Maybe they don't do that stuff any more become catholicism is older than islam, I don't know. But I do believe it would be a wonderful improvement to get rid of all those belitteling fairy tales. Especially since the 'values' propagated are often pushed into legislation, thus also impairing the very people who denounce the lunacy from there lives.
To put it with another George Carlin quote: "Tell people the paint is wet and they have to check, tell them there's a man living in the skies and they believe you.".
Your speech in California a while ago pissed a lot of religious ppl off. Probably cause you spoke the truth...and that hurts sometimes. As Ghandi said "thank God there is no religion in heaven."
We value life; many value death.
Great stuff RG.
Absolutely superb piece Randy. Having heard you speak many times over the years, ... I'm slightly surprised, by the general tone of it, but then again, you haven't stood still ... We never stop growing do we?
I just wanted to say that I loved this. Really loved it.
I and my family are devout Christians. However, my father's answer to every question I ever remember asking was "Look it up." And then we researched. What was the historical context that was written in? The cultural context? Why is it still here? What was excluded? Is it still relevant? Why/why not. Etc etc etc. As a result, he and I have wildly different ideas about our faith and God and the authority of our religious texts, but agree on what we consider the ''goodness'' that should be essential to humanity and likewise agree to eschew any text that deviates from simple, plain, goodness. Kindness. Self-control. Personal boundaries. Education (wisdom). The things that any rational person from any faith or culture should be able to agree on (ideally).
I guess I just wanted to share that because I thought you should know that a praying, church going Christian thinks that more people should read your blog. Think about what they believe and why. Maybe, possibly, hopefully, adjust a few of their ideas rather than spew venom at someone who challenges their beliefs. It's a difficult thing for most people to understand that even if they can't quite shed all the things that were ingrained in their minds as children, they should still accept the concept that those were ideas ingrained in their minds as children. And now they are adults. And responsible for self-evaluation.
My generation was taught to start thinking for themselves. We were the kids of hippies. Rules bent for us. There are more religious people 'like me' than could have been possible 2 or 3 generations ago. Hopefully this "trend" toward questioning our own ideas continues to grow. I pray it does.
SpectrumLetters Yes, please, think for yourself. Most humans think they do but very few actually do it. They are controlled by the news media, prejudices, political figures, pundits, religious leaders, and on and on. Maybe we will have less cartoonists shot and more people helping each other out.