Disclaimer: I do not write this article with intentions of offending anyone or their beliefs.
I was watching the news the other day where the religious leaders and political leaders of the Middle East(usually the same people) would use the words of an ancient text to defend their actions. While my knowledge of the Qur’an is limited, I decided to write about my thoughts on how politics and religion are intertwined. Understand when I talk about “religion” I am not talking about any type of connection you have with some greater force or higher power. I am talking about the cultural establishments that tells you what to believe, how to believe it, which days are more significant for worship, what books are more important then others, who the experts in these fields are, and the name of the person that you worship. In this aspect, I believe religion and spirituality are two completely different things. It is a hard stretch for me to think that an all powerful being would only send one savoir into the middle east 2000 years ago to save all of humanity, and then never interfere with the way the world works in any sort of way. Most religions have there stories about one particular savior, whether its Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed. I don’t have an easy time understanding the meaning of life through ancient scriptures that do not have the knowledge that we have today about the world and universe. While many people can comprehend that the writers of the time tended to exaggerate in their writings, and do not take everything written in their scriptures literally, I believe they add more meaning to the texts then is there. Understand, figures like Jesus Christ 100% existed. There is evidence that can prove where he has been; all I am saying is when you cut out all of the flattery, the story you receive is a political revolution.
In the Old Testament Moses spoke to God, freed his people from slavery and led them to the promised land: a land flowing with milk and honey. Now let me rephrase this and see if it has an religious meaning: After deep reflection on the hardships of the Israelites, Moses decided to lead a revolution to break the bonds of slavery and lead his people away from the oppressive Egyptians. This promised land they eventually settled in was taken over by the Roman Empire. As opposed to assimilating to the Roman way of life, the Jewish people wanted keep their culture. The developed laws to keep the community together. This is where Kosher derived from. They would not eat food prepared by anyone who wasn’t Jewish or eat at a table with the pagan Romans. How can you prove that your Jewish and not a Roman? Well, just lift up your robe because all Jewish born children are marked to prove this very point. This is part of religion, but does absolutely nothing to bring you closer to a God of any sort. Yet it is still practiced today because that is what we are told to do, and have always done it that way.
Now at the time that Jesus was born, the nation of Israel was largely ruled by the Pharisees. This was a political/religious party that was made up of the wealthiest people in the area. They tended to loan out money to the peasants before harvest season so people were able to buy seed and tools to plant their crops. Yet they charged such a high interest that these farmers could never repay their debt. Year in and year out, they would owe more and more money to the Pharisees until they basically became slaves to them. So when Jesus comes around preaching how no man is any different then any other, and how you live your life is more important then your social status, a revolution started and people started to follow Jesus. Jesus challenged the Pharisees and the hierarchy that they established. This lead the Pharisees to treat Jesus as they would with any other political leader, and crucified him. It is written in the Bible that on the third day after Jesus died he rose again and spoke to his followers. Now this is the leading point to why Jesus was more then just a political figure. This could also be interpreted as the ideas of Jesus can never be killed and that his message lives inside of us.
The point I am trying to make from this is when you take out the word “God” from the Bible what you mainly get is a story of revolutions. Usually, a charismatic figure who rallied his people to not except the conditions of their current life. In this aspect I view figures like Moses, and Jesus as revolutionaries just like I would with Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, or even our founding fathers.
If this is true, then how come the Bible has been a best seller for 2,000 years?
How does a book reach billions of people? It needs to be mass produced. Before the printing press was created monks would need to rewrite this ancient texts by hand. Monks were well respected in their society because of the fact they were some of the few people who had the ability to read and write. Understand in this era the Pope was the most powerful political figure of his time. With the outstretch of Christianity the power of the religious figures increased. In the end however, it was the kings who had the final say of what texts were allowed to exist in their society. Why would kings want this book spread across this land? Because it would actually do the opposite of what it initially intended to do. The Bible preached that Blessed are the Meek, Blessed are the Hungry, and Blessed are the poor, for they will inherit the world. By knowing and believing full heartedly that this is not the only life we live, and if we live this life as a good people we will be rewarded in the afterlife, it gives us hope. Hope makes you feel like the life you are living isn’t really that bad. So the fact that my children are starving to death and I am getting taxed completely unfairly can be overlooked because this is not the life that matters. The spread of this book helped to keep the peasants under control.
Now I write this article not to argue that their is no God and everything you learned is wrong. I write this because true spirituality comes from your connection with the world and your concept of God. By listening less to others and finding your own meanings sometimes bring you closer to a full understanding of the world we live in. I ask this question now to you: Is religion political? And is spirituality and religion the same thing?
For More Articles Visit www.checkzaza.com