Living Ethics: It's all in the Rhetoric

We are obliged as Muslims to make the whole galaxy subservient to almighty Allah, who has created all living beings to obey him and worship him. ~Omar Bakri Mohammed
When I see or hear a statement like the one above, my hackles go up immediately. Words like "obliged," "subservient," "obey" and "worship" rub me the wrong way. When I think through my instantaneous, almost violent reaction, I realize that it is an instinctual survival response. I have the same sort of response when I hear of or see a child or animal abused or neglected. So, my response is not for my sake, but for the sake of the innocent, unknowing and vulnerable. Playing a huge role in my response is the undeniable, absolute truth of free will and freedom of choice.

As much as my reactions, my heart, have led me to respond  less than positively to such a statement, I turn to dictionary.com for the socially accepted definitions and meaning of the words, to look at it as objectively and logically as possible:
  • Oblige: to require or constrain, as by law, command, conscience, or force of necessity.
  • Subservient: excessively submissive; obsequious: subservient persons; subservient conduct.
  • Obey: to respond conformably in action to a command, restriction, wish, instruction, etc.
  • Worship: reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
I almost soften a bit and calm down - until I read the definitions closely.Words like constrain, command, force, excessive, restriction, person and object just don't quite jive with free will and freedom of choice.

'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'

Sure, I chose a statement made by a Muslim instead of a Christian. It was conveniently there and I grabbed it. I have the feeling that, perhaps, you would have slammed the door in my face if I did choose a Christian statement. But, these sort of statements are made often, vehemently, in the popular US religions. Christianity is not lacking in these kinds of man-made, control-imposing rhetorical assertions!

So, I will assert that today's organized and institutionalized religions have lost their originally intended purpose and meaning. They have lost touch with the symbolism and individuality of the sacred teachings and writings and have reduced themselves to literal interpretation. Today's religions are no longer alive and relevant.

What do you think?


  1. Choose something controversial to write about, why don't ya?

    If you really want to know what church is all about, then read this column by Rick Reilly.

    This is as good as it gets.

  2. Well, I don't believe Jesus ever said 'convert or kill them'. [sic]

    As I understand it, that's mohammad's province.

  3. I agree with you 100%. When I hear people here say things like "if you've not been baptised, you will burn in hell" or if you "haven't been saved you will burn in hell" and all sorts of other like type comments. I always think to myself don't they understand that its this small minded tunnel vision religious preachings they swallow hook line and sinker that its the same sort of brain washing that led to airplanes flying into buildings on 9-11??? Sure.. I will give modern Christians the thumbs up for not having done anything like that, but for Krists sakes ( haha) just how much better are you really for condemning another human being to eternal hell for....belonging to the "wrong" church, denomination, or even listening to the wrong preacher??? That's pretty low and evil if you ask me. I cant help but to feel in my heart that a God intelligent enough to create the world around us, be it by Darwin's way, or some other, would in fact be more than a little angry with this sort of small mindedness that nearly all mainstream religions use to condemn people that don't agree with their flavor of how things are.
    God gave us a mind so we would use it, and God gave us total freedom of our own thoughts so we cold have them. God also must be pretty disappointed with the large numbers of peoples all over the world that swallow what religious crap they are fed without questioning it even for a minute. Man wrote all the "holy books" and claimed them to be the divine word of God. Dante made up his version of hell is like while locked away in prison that many people believe even to this day is the way it really is. Now tell me what in this world has man not changed, twisted, manipulated, and even down right perverted to suit himself? So...we are to believe every word of any "holy book" is the words of God because MAN says its the word of God? HELLO! Use your brains people! Or...watch the history channel at least!

  4. Those of us who live in nominally Christian societies, most of the western world, know Christianity as the average person we meet. I dare say that the majority of people who live in Muslim societies know Islam as something different from the Islam we think we know. There are, or have been, some very extreme Christian views. Equally there are very extreme Muslims.

    I will declare my hand. My son has married a French girl of Egyptian/Algerian descent. She is Muslim. The wedding ceremony was conducted by an Anglican vicar with readings from the Bible and the Koran. It was beautiful. Both "sides" (isn't that a dreadful thing to say?) thought it wonderful, we all thought so. There was no mention of anyone killing anyone else. There is no mention of anyone converting anyone else.