“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Whether it’s the environment, politics, or the basic innocence of another living being, we as humans find ways to corrupt whatever we lay our hands on. And as taboo as it is, ‘God’ and religions are not immune to this practice. From the Catholic Crusades to the Salem Witch Trials, Muslim terrorists to violent Buddhists in Myanmar, Gay Christian conversation camps to Women’s Rights, we do a lot in the name of our ‘God’ and religion. We twist and bend religious doctrine and scripture to suit our agenda and biases in an attempt to justify the unreasonable and unthinkable—slavery, discrimination, oppression, colonization, and much more.
It’s somewhat ironic: those same religions that preach about love and peace have in turn committed and legitimized some of the world’s most atrocious acts. In a sense, religion is like a gun; in the right hands in can bring peace, disarm the unjust, and restore order, and in the wrong hands it can leave a path of destruction, suffering, and tragedy.
As Georgia Harkness once stated: “The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” And so the next you hear a politician using religion to push or justify an agenda, or you find yourself using religion to negate or dismiss someone else’s, I hope you take a moment to pause, look deep down inside and ask yourself: “Is this one of those moments ‘God’ and scripture, subconsciously or overtly, are being abused and exploited in a way that is insincere and contrary to the role religion is supposed to play in helping make our communities and world a better, kind, more just, and more fair place?”
Kwapi Vengesayi is an Amazon bestselling author whose books explore captivating musings and thought-provoking conversations about love, relationships, life and our human experience. You can find his book on Amazon. You can also follow him on Twitter @kwapiv or subscribe to his blog at kwapiv.com