NICE PEOPLE

I wrote and directed this film as an Interactive drama for use in diversity training focused on racism in rural communities. Thank you everyone who was in the film or who contributed in any way. It was commissioned by DCC and was used in police training. Perhaps it is time to promote the film again?

The massacres that are being carried out across the world have their sources, like the tiny stream that becomes the Nile, in small events. We have to have the courage to speak up about racism, fundamentalism, hate, greed and hypocrisy. I was moved by the march in Paris yesterday, but we must not forget what is happening in other parts of the world where violence goes unrecognised and largely unreported.

 

WHY RELIGION?

imagesGOD – He is causing a lot of problems at the moment  – or should it be She? One thing is certain; millions of people believe in Him/Her.

Something about all this bothers me. In the same way that I have no answer as to the gender of God, so I do not know why each religion defines their God in a specific way that is particular to their rituals and beliefs?

In the Christian religion, God has a son, Jesus, who carries out his work on earth under several religions embraced by Christianity. For Muslims, Muhhamad was the last prophet sent to earth by God. Here are two quotes about these two individuals who represented God,  from Wikipedia:

1) Jesus.

(/ˈdʒiːzəs/; Greek: Ἰησοῦς Iesous; 7–2 BC to 30–33 AD), …  Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity,[12] whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah (or “Christ”) of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ,[e] a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts.

Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically,[f] although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the biblical Jesus reflects the historical Jesus.[19] Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi from Galilee who preached his message orally,[20] was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate.[21] Scholars have constructed various portraits of the historical Jesus, which often depict him as having one or more of the following roles: the leader of an apocalyptic movement, Messiah, a charismatic healer, a sage and philosopher, or an egalitarian social reformer.[22] Scholars have correlated the New Testament accounts with non-Christian historical records to arrive at an estimated chronology of Jesus’ life. 

2) Muhammad

Muḥammad (Arabic: محمد‎; c. 570 – 8 June 632[1]), full name Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (ابو القاسم محمد ابن عبد الله ابن عبد المطلب ابن هاشم), from Mecca, unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. Believed by Muslims and Bahá’ís to be a messenger and prophet of God, Muhammad is almost universally[n 1] considered by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind.[2][n 2] While non-Muslims generally regard Muhammad as the founder of Islam,[3] Muslims consider him to have restored the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets in Islam.[4][5][6][7] Muslims discuss Muhammad and other prophets of God with reverence, adding the phrase “peace be upon them” whenever their names are mentioned.[8]

If you research other religions across the globe, they all have one thing in common; they  believe in a spiritual being and his representative on earth who must be worshipped, venerated, feared  and defended. Linked to this is a set of values and a moral code.

Each religion worships their own interpretation of God. Yet, if we believe in God, He/She is surely the same GOD for everyone, regardless of the way you package Him/Her?  The difference in how we interpret the notion of God. That is where the conflict lies.

The recent terrible events in Paris show how skewed and dangerous religions can be. The arrogance of the murderers involved in the killings in Paris, in thinking they have adopted the mantel of protectors of God, who after all, if you read religious teachings,  is all knowing, all powerful, knows all our thoughts, controls the universe, made the world etc etc etc…. How arrogant were they, to presume their God needs their murderous help? How arrogant is any religion declaring they will kill those who do not agree to their version of God?

All religious wars have bleated the same propaganda; take up arms to protect your God. It has occurred to me that God doesn’t need anyone’s assistance. We, as complicated animals with large brains, have used religion as a focus to gain political and economic power, indeed the acquisition of power seems to be at the heart of all religious conflicts. Continue reading