The Truth (Not the Press) about Religion

I’ve heard plenty of people ask, “If Islam is a religion of peace, why aren’t they speaking out against terrorism?” My answer is and has been for a while, “They are.” Just one example of this can be seen here.

Muslim congregation

Now, why didn’t you hear about this? Muslims speaking out against terrorism. This should be big news. Especially when it is over 30,000 of them. The press has covered much smaller protests. Why not this one?

Because we have a press corps that seems intent on spreading terrible things about virtually every religion.

Some of the most heinous crimes against humanity had nothing to do with religion. Hitler tried to wipe out anyone who didn’t fit his ideal German. This included Gypsies and Russians along with Jews. Stalin had over 20 million people killed for any old reason (including violating labor laws). Saddam Hussein’s numbers sit at somewhere around one million people killed in a country of just over 20 million.

Where would we be without the Mother Theresa’s of the world?

But apparently whoever is in control of mass media wants you to believe that it is the religious people of the world who are frightening, that Muslims are either terrorists or that they condone terrorism. That Christians are racist. That religious people of all faiths are less intelligent than those who don’t believe, even though science has disproven this resoundingly. My own church has been attacked viciously with lies so ridiculous I can’t believe anyone would possibly believe them. Yet some people do.

I have seen so few stories about the good that churches do and so many about those few churches who have a radical agenda or have violated the tenets of their own faith that I must conclude that “the media” just doesn’t like churches.

The bad gets all the press.

We have seen many a news story about the Westboro Baptist Church and its hateful agenda, but does anyone know the good that churches do right in their own neighborhood? If they do, it isn’t because they saw it on the news.

Religion has been a force for good in the world for thousands of years. I have personally seen churches engage in food drives, clothing drives, disaster relief, literacy programs, human rights education and alcohol and drug rehabilitation, all in addition to the spiritual lift they offer parishioners.

Where would we be without the Mother Teresa’s of the world?

Your local church probably helps more people than you would believe, and every religion I have ever come across preaches that helping others is vital for your own spiritual progress.

But, like the gossip who lives on the corner, someone must feel they would benefit from destroying the reputation of others. This is what our media has become, at least when it comes to religion. So, before you listen to or pass on “gossip” about anyone’s religion, find out for yourself what that religion is all about. You’ll find that, by looking beyond the surface, you will free yourself from prejudice and open your eyes to the possibility that there is a great deal more good than bad in the world and its religions.

Deanne Macdonald
Business consultant and student of life.