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Man vs Religion

In: Historical Events

Submitted By dudeitsesther
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"The idea that a country or a people could somehow be ordained by heaven to commit unspeakable acts in God's name is insane. Unfortunately, history is full of inhuman acts by religious leaders in the name of their dogma or holy war. Only when the world accepts there are no chosen people and no chosen religions will we earn the right to call ourselves human beings." – Zain Winter

How people use the name of God as some sort of excuse or alibi to cover their tracks and clear their conscience is rather disappointing and a bad reflection on the part of humanity. About 800 years ago, powerful nations sought after the Holy Land and waged wars against each other. “This war is God’s will” or “Allahu Akbar” (glory to God) was their battle cry, and religion was the justification as to why they were causing chaos and conquering lands. Priests played very important roles, for the Kings often sought advice from them, thinking that the priests communicated directly with God. Not only did the Christians resort to religious practices, but so did the Muslims, for they were also fighting in the name of Allah. The main dispute was that the people believed they were the chosen ones by God, whoever they conceived him to be, that’s why it was necessary for them to rightfully reclaim what’s theirs and convert everyone in accordance to their religion. Religion is the key component as to why people are divided. Religion is supposed to be a good thing, but how humanity perceives it to use it for its own selfish ends is what makes it disheartening. In terms of perspective, each side will always insist that they are right and that those who oppose them are wrong and ought to be punished because they are going against the “chosen” ones. Because of such fixated intolerance, power struggles, restlessness, greed, and pride consume them that they go through means that will go as far as brutal murders, rape, and barbaric wars, believing that they were God’s requisitions all along and that the aftermaths are all from God. History goes to the extent that humans kill their own kind and they have become immune to it.
The movie Kingdom of Heaven gives the viewers a clearer picture of what happened in the year 1118 and it historically reflects the Crusades that occurred. It was evident that the promotion of religion was not the ultimate motive but, instead, religion became the smokescreen for the acquisition of power. It was all colored by fanaticism and whose side God was on determined the victor. When King Baldwin IV died, his successor, Guy de Lusignan waged war against the Muslims. At the end of everything, the Muslims won and Jerusalem was surrendered to their authority. Balian made mention that he may have surrendered Jerusalem physically, but Jerusalem will always be in the hearts of the people, which only means that Jerusalem is not in the possession of the Muslims permanently, for other nations will keep launching more Crusades. People will always be repressed and will always want to conquer the Holy Land.
Calling it the Holy War or the Jihad makes it more plaintive. How can it be a Holy War when everything they did went against everything else they believed in? Killing people in the name of God and all for God’s glory is insane. It is rather ironic because God would never command his people to launch attacks and kill each other, but instead, he encourages everyone to love one another, friend and foe. The same goes for Islam, their Qu’ran tells them to subdue hatred.
It has almost been 900 years and to this day, nothing much has changed. The Christians and the Muslims are still in conflict with each other. Jerusalem is still being pursued. Internal struggles are ongoing. History has a great effect on people that even those who were not alive back then look back on the events and precariously carry the grudge in their hearts as they live, seeking revenge and hoping to avenge their forefathers from the offense that was done unto them.
There is no particular remedy to end this continuous struggle among religions but when people learn to respect each other’s beliefs and practices and only when they learn to break free from their superiority complex and accept that everyone is equal despite the differences, will peace and humanity be restored, for religion has turned everyone against each other and using it as a scapegoat has driven people to be so sadistic that the grudge in their hearts will never be erased and the blood on their hands will never be washed away. This was actually portrayed towards the last part of the movie. Upon meeting King Richard the Lionhearted, Balian insisted that he was a blacksmith; turning his back on his past as a knight because of the horrors and futility he went through. This simply meant Balian had finally detached himself from the foothold Jerusalem had on him. It was only then that he reflected how it is to be truly human that concerns itself with promoting peaceful coexistence rather than the brutal power play of war at the expense of unnecessarily causing harm and loss of people’s lives.
To be truly human would be to respect the dignity of our fellowmen and see each other the way God sees us.


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