If You Believe in Peace

We live in a violent world. A world filled with hate, greed and avarice. A world filled with many different kinds of religions of which the big three each of which essentially profess to worship the same God which may or may not be the only God all three religions tend to be somewhat vague on that issue. These three religions are forever at odds with each other and have been pretty much at odds with each other, since the dawn of religion.

They are all connected in some form or fashion to a man who is universally known and accepted as ‘The Prince of Peace’. But to cop a line from Patrick Henry’s famous speech, there is no peace when it comes to belief of and about ‘The Prince of Peace’. It is to my mind a world gone mad that makes absolutely no sense at all.

If you believe in peace (and the big three all do, or at least profess to) then why wouldn’t it make sense to seek peace and not war? Jesus Christ The Prince of Peace taught and preached a doctrine of peace, love, compassion and hope. He did not exclude anyone from that mantra. And yet each religion who revere him in one way or another seldom follow his teachings of peace, love, compassion and hope.

Every since the dawn of time human kind has been at war with one another. Peace has been an illusion, something that is professed but seldom put into practice as a way to live. It is said we cannot live by bread alone. That’s true we also need water and air to live. But why do we need war? Oh yeah so we can go out and kill those people over on that ice floe who don’t agree with us, who don’t look like us and who seem to be inferior to us even though we sprang from the same place.

We kill people in the name of our God which for many religions is the same God. We kill people because they don’t worship the way we believe they should and we go into our sacred houses of worship and pray for peace, seek peace and profess to believe in peace.

It’s just that we don’t believe that those other fellows over on that ice floe actually believe like us and therefore that makes them in need of a whooping to straighten out their minds and put them on the fast track to paradise and proper belief. Except it doesn’t work and it never has. We can’t force religion down the throat of others either by forcing them to believe like we do or by murdering half of their population in order to make sure they get rid of all of those heathen ideas and worship our God which is of course the true God and may be the only God.

On the subject of the only God no religion is confidently sure of themselves nor can they conclusively prove that there is beyond a shadow of a doubt just one God. It requires faith. Faith that often defies all reason but if you don’t have it then you ain’t a true believer and you are suspect on so many levels as to perhaps be, in the terms of the old Hank Williams Jr song, in desperate need of an ‘attitude adjustment’.

And boy do we have the weapons and the army to enforce one upon on you. We’ll show you just how faith is supposed to work whether you accept it or not or whether you believe it or not. Just stand back Starbuck is gonna make it rain. Not water but bullets. And after a long hail of bullets you will have faith.

I am not a cynic. I am not an atheist nor an agnostic. I believe in a supreme being but with a lot of reservations not always shared by everyone who worship in the same religion as I do – that would be Christianity. But I do believe in the teachings of Jesus. I also believe in the teachings of Mohammed. I believe in the teachings of Gandhi. I believe in the spiritual religion of my Native American ancestors. I believe in the teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King. All of these men believe essentially in the same God as I also do. I believe they are all connected in some way!

But when I begin to think about my God I never see Her (and yes I am a heretic in that I see my God as a woman for many reasons mostly because having been raised by a woman I have come to the belief that women are smarter in almost all things than men) as a mean vengeful God. A God who hates. A God who expects abject allegiance on every idea or subject.

I see my God as something or someone (I’m not real clear on that point) who expects me to think for myself (which I do). Who does not hate. Who does not believe that killing others over religious differences or for that matter any differences makes this world we live in a better world. I see my God as someone who has compassion for everyone. Who cares about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and who believes all of that can be accomplished without killing another human being.

In today’s world that seems to leave me at odds many people who profess to believe in the same God as I do but who believes that there are those, you know like those people over there on that ice floe who are children of a lessor God and who deserves to either be punished for their lack of faith in the one and only God or at the very least need to have an ‘attitude adjustment’ to help them have the faith they seem to lack.

I don’t believe that way. Call me a non-believer or whatever you will. My God isn’t a killer and She isn’t steeped in the romance of a religion that teaches peace and yet condones killing in Her name. My God doesn’t see things that way and neither do I.

Bob Bearden


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