Holy War?
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 by Frank Shortt
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Recent bombings and killings in New Zealand and Sri Lanka have brought about memories of the Crusades in 1095AD.

The Crusades, which lasted from 1095 until 1291AD, was for the purpose of capturing sacred places in the Holy Land that the Muslims had laid claim to. Purportedly, the wars fought were intended to right wrongs done by the Muslims against Christianity. There were between 1million and 3million deaths, counting both factions.

A war can be called a Holy War by the following factors:

·       To achieve a religious goal. Some religions say that other religions cannot remain on the earth as long as their religion abides.

·       Must be authorized by a strong religious leader. Pope Urban the Second authorized the Crusades He even absolved all who participated of all their sins. Can a man do this?

·        Participants are promised a spiritual reward. Usually an instant entry into Heaven or whatever the particular religion believes about life beyond the grave!

There have been many killings by avid adherents of religious movements in the past. Religious groups have chased out other religious groups, and if they did not leave, they were hunted down and tortured until their demise. There are no religious groups who are exempt from having engaged in religious wars. As civilization moved, so did the conquest for power among religious sects.

What is hard for most people to understand is how that the god of these religious groups impels the adherents to kill in the name of their particular god. Some sects demand the genocide of other sects, even in the same religion and having the same god. There have been many treatises and essays written by men of religion asking, “Why?”

It takes two to make a fight! What would happen if one of the great leaders of religion in the world would suddenly say, “Lay down your arms?” Would this give the other faction leave to kill all the ones who had laid down their arms? There seems to be no end to the bloodshed. Are all the different gods happy with all the wars?

The killings in New Zealand were allegedly done by Brenton Tarrant, who is not a member of any particular religious group, but had his own ideas about ridding New Zealand of “immigrants, Muslims in particular”! This is “taking the law into one’s own hands” to the highest level. He had no regard to the aged, children, or any other age group.  The question that remains is, why did bombers choose Sri Lanka to carry out their special brand of hateful revenge? Also, why did they do it in the name of their god? Why did they choose Christians in order to wreak their havoc? They said they did it to avenge the killings in New Zealand, but the killer in New Zealand had no religious affiliation! The senseless killing of worshippers, including innocent children, seems to say that these butchers have no ultimate ruler to which they can point, as being their instiller of conscience.  Islamists, as a whole, have condemned these senseless murders. Will they assist in bringing these killers to justice?  When is ‘enough, enough’?

It seems as though the Crusades have resurrected! Who will ultimately answer for all these murders in the name of religion? Also, are the recent Synagogue shootings included in this Holy War? While watching newscasts recently, I have come to the conclusion that there is more hate than there is love in this United States of America! If radicals keep killing people at the rate they have been, pretty soon there will be no people left to kill! Holy War? Could be!