Warning: this deals with a contentious issue. But, what good is a blog, if you can't express opinions?
Current events in Bahrain got me thinking today about the underlying cause of the unrest. It's reported that the majority of the population is comprised of members of one arm of Islam (Shia), while the ruling minority (which allegedly treats their Muslim brothers poorly) follows a different reading of the Koran (Sunni). I have yet to figure out, or even be interested in, the difference. But, hey guys, all worship the same Allah, don't you? You should be one big, happy family. You have enough enemies, without fighting amongst yourselves.
(I'm not going to get into the bigger issue of all three major religions--who hate each other--worshiping the same god of Abraham.)
Back to my line of thought...
Considering the family squabble on the sunny shores of the Gulf led me to think of another family squabble: folks of the Christian persuasion are no different. How many people have been persecuted for attending the "wrong" church (I'm looking at you, Northern Ireland). How many wars have been fought between Protestants and Catholics? Too many to count...or even worth the time researching the answer. Many fields (and hallways and dungeons and...) of Europe and beyond have been irrigated with the blood of unfortunate followers of the "wrong" faith.
Many blame religion, but such strife is not the primary cause: it's arrogance.
One person believes that he is right and feels compelled to force his opinion on all others, even at the point of...pick your weapon or torture of choice. Think of the arrogance of missionaries, who cram their god down the throats of weaker peoples. Or the bombast of television preachers screaming their dire warnings of eternal damnation or promises of salvation (at cost, thank you very much for contributing to my personal wealth).
As far as I am concerned, people should be allowed to believe what garbage they want to believe. Just do not try to force that belief on me or anyone else and use my beliefs against me. Sadly, there are few places on this planet where one is free from opinions of others and one can live without fear of persecution, bodily harm, or death.