Understanding Religious Fanatics – Non Violence

Yesterday morning in the city centre of our city we were being entertained by the Pan Pipe band from Peru. They come to the city two to three times a year to bring a touch of South America music. However as they were playing a band started to set up. After two songs by the Pan Pipe Band from Peru the other band started their music. The music did have a nice sound to it, and was reasonably entertaining. They were from a local church set by an African Group worshipping Jesus with everyone being black. The music involved dancing and singing. At first i was impressed but it seemed like the same songs was played over and over. After over two hours of the same song it was apparant they had no plans to stop, and no plan to let the Pan Pipe band start from Peru. After speaking to the head of the Pan Pipe band he advised me he thought they were going to play song about but this was never going to happen. Even though it was a public space, when the Socialist Party set up a table to gather votes and petition against the BNP, they were soon forced to leave by the Jesus Church Band.

A year a go the same group were in the centre and they wanted to speak to me about their church. However after listing to their sales pitch, i asked what they thought of the Bhagavad Gita and the Qu’ran, and it was as if I spoke of the devil. They didnt want to discuss anything with me but continue to preach the same point over and over. I beleive that the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Qu’ran and other religious scriptures all contain and speak some truth to human life. If you look beneath the written text, they all justify good moral living in that culture. You to have understand the one that speaks the truth is probably going to be the one that relates to you best or maybe a combination of a number of them.

Now i think it is good that people are very happy about their faith, however surely they should be taught to be tolerant of other peoples believe and be Godly and kind to others. I dont think the band were kind to the Pan Pipe Band or the Socialist Party. But today on the Sabbath this will not even cross their mind as they have being preeching their brand of faith and converting more people to their church. A balance has to be found.

I found the following excert in the Internet about ‘How to deal with Religious Fanatics’ which even though i dont agree with all of it has a number of truths regarding Non Violent Religious Fanatics

Despite most of our Western Societies feverent wishes, there still exists a group of people who are totally dedicated to converting us to their beliefs. They are, for the most part, entirely sincere in their conviction that we are knowingly travelling a road of destruction, & will do anything in their power to protect us from ourselves.

It must be said, in all fairness, that there are many religious groups & individuals who will not attempt to convert an Atheist, or anyone else for that matter. These groups respect other religious beliefs, & respect even the lack of religion as a legitimate religion in its own right. It is not these people that we must respond to; rather it is those people (especially extreme Christian fundamentalists) who feel that they have an absolute lock on the truth, & that anyone who disagrees with them must be in complete opposition to them & their God.

In their fervour to “save” humanity from Satan, these people travel the world, seeking to expose Satanic cults, whilst parading “Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors” on talk shows, & packing auditoriums with the gullible Masses, feeding them the most ridiculous lies about the evils of straying from ‘The One True Path,’ which is naturally accepted as gospel by the audience.

These are the people you see on street corners, passing out Bible tracts, & those little booklets. These are the people you see in everyday life who walk around with massive smiles on their faces, who pass out “Miraculous Medals,” & cry “halleluia, we are saved!” These are the people who go door to door, trying to convert people to their particular brand of religion, regardless of whether or not the person wishes to be converted! They are the most heinous of individuals who feel that they have an absolute lock on the truth, & it is their mission to spread that truth.

How then, as adults capable of making informed decisions about our own lives, should we deal with these pests? There are a number of approaches that may be taken.

The most direct (& preferable) approach is to politely say that you are not interested, & send the fellow on his way, clutching his booklets in hand. Unfortunately, this approach does not always work, & they will try to entice you into a conversation on an intellectual level. The means through which they will try to do this varies, but when it comes down to it, the whole argument comes down to the statement that by not following their faith, you are going against the will of God, as expressed by their Bible.

The obvious counter to a statement like that, is to say that you don’t believe in their Bible, any more than you believe in the Ghita, or the Koran, or the Vedas, or any other religious “divinely inspired” book. All such books, you should explain, are merely the works of human beings which are presented as divinely inspired in order to gain legitimacy. They are fable cleverly couched in fact, & as such are nothing to base a life on.

At this point, expect a gasp of astonishment, a little flustering, & then prepare to be bombarded by quotations from the Bible, supposedly supporting its legitimacy. Of course, if the Bible itself is suspect, how can it be used to vouch for itself? That is circular logic at the extreme. They will claim that the Bible documents events that have been historically confirmed by archaeology. This may be true, but it is also irrelevant. Just because some of what the Bible claims is true & supportable, does not make all of it true. Furthermore, claims that prominent people in the Bible are reported in other historic documents are similarly irrelevant.

In any case, provided you keep your wits about you, & remember that you have the freedom to decide your religious beliefs, you should be able to deal with these people, no matter what the outcome of the encounter is.


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Filed under Abou Ali, Religion

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