Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prayers for Norway

 The news from the normally tranquil Norway is horrific.  At last count, there are 91 people dead from what appears to be the actions of an angry right-wing Christian fundamentalist.   As with all horrible crimes involving bombings and mass killings, the initial reports were that a group with ties to Al-Qaeda was claiming responsibility for the carnage.  And, like many times before, that turns out not to be the case.

One friend on Facebook noted that when the fundamentalism is Islamic, we condemn the entire religion.  When it is Christian, it's the act of a lone mad man with a vendetta.  Point taken.   The tendency of the "we" is to see the "them" as a monolithic group where as we are able to make distinctions among our own "kind."

  But religious fundamentalism, no matter the religion, is dangerous and destructive to the tenets of the faith.   I don't believe that Islam demands of its followers that they strap dynamite to their bodies and blow themselves up in a market place in Jerusalem any more than I believe there's anything in the New Testament that says Christ wants us to kill socialist children in Norway.

Atheists will likely leap at the opportunity to knock all monotheism as fueling such madness as what happened yesterday in Oslo.  But this has nothing to do with what is actually in Scripture. Or Torah.  Or the Koran.  This is about madness.  Period.  The religion layered on top of that is just window dressing and used to nefarious ends that aren't in keeping with the vast majority of the people who practice said religion.

We, believers and non-believers alike, should be able to agree upon the basic idea that this world has got some crazy people.  And they will do crazy things. 

Prayers ascending for the country of Norway, the children, the families and the government workers that were directly affected by yesterday's terrible events.  Peace be with you.


phoebe McFarlin said...

Very well said. And peace be with you as well.

Anonymous said...

Very well written, Susan as always and well thought out. I hope the people of Norway survive all this, as they certainly are a peaceful country.