The aftermath of Osama Bin Laden



In the aftermath of the death of Osama, we have the first of retaliation with Al-Qaeda killing at least 80 in a suicide attack in Shabqadar, Pakistan. The question arises why would people do the unnatural, such as blowing themselves up with explosive vest filled with ball bearings and nails.

Meanwhile, further south, at the high court in Lahore, Pakistan, a special religious prayer meeting was held with some 350 lawyers in support of Osama. These were not some uneducated and fanatical mountain tribes but well to-do lawyers in a main city. Religion changes people even to do what is unnatural to support a mass killer.

The bible has unnatural incidents of people bowing down to idols to worship them even though they were created beings, or having anal sex with the temple priests in order to join themselves spiritually with the gods.  

Religious motivations cannot be separated from terrorism. It has everything to do with it, with the slippery slope of religious extremism not too far away. Outwardly moral just like the former nominated MP Thio in Singapore insisting that gays be put in jail, there is a deep hypocrisy under the veneer of religious extremism. Osama was going on a Holy war yet his house was filled with heterosexual porn, not that he needed any. He already had 5 wives and 20 children. At his final hideout, he was with 3 wives and 9 kids, the youngest wive being just 29.

We would have thought that it was against morality to have more than one wife. But that again depends on your faith tradition. In Christianity, they now even permit divorce and abortions, as long as you are not gay. Divorce and abortions have seldom been succesfully used as a vedge issue for political gains where the divorcee and those that have had abortions are not welcome in church!

 It would not be insightful to blame it alone on religion, for religion has been used as a tool to galvanized people to justify their militant actions so that they can leveraged on the real causes which are:-

a) Poverty

b) Corruption

c) Miscarriage of justice

d) Political dictatorship

e) Limited education, training to better themselves.

f) A missing Hope for a better life here or in heaven.

That said, these countries in the Middle East have substantial natural resources, and their religious faith if loving should have led them to display the fruit of their faith in taking care of each other. 

The root of it all is that they blame israel for all sorts of self created hardship. They could not blame themselves and their failings to take care of the country and their own peoples. Religion is used to blame others, and to justify their call to arms giving spiritual meaning to their struggles.

Religious extremism is not an isolated few radicals and is often institutionalised for example in Iran where a Christian Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, of a 400 strong congregation from the northern city of Rasht has been sentenced to death. In the southern city of Shiraz, another Pastor, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani faces indictment for apostacy. However, they hanged many for gays than Christian pastors.

We believe that God is calling Christians in the West to react in the opposite manner to the culture of the world which calls for an eye for an eye. Rather, our response should be to love our enemies, those who harbour ill will against us, by returning good for evil. We should be:-

a) Giving food, education, and work training to the poor in these countries

b) Not giving billions of aid to the already corrupt government and army, and businesses.

c) Giving them a spiritual hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ

d) Resisting against the miscarriage of justice and ill treatment.

 e) To start dialog to build up relationships and to treat each and everyone with humanity and dignity.

Sojourners has been calling for an end to the war in Afganistan not mindful that the religious extremist are still there with the Taleban fighting the Americans in the mountains. The solution is to help the poeple in the ground, the people that are suffering rather than give hundreds of millions to the corrupt politicians. Only the Gospel message can change the hearts of the people which must first start through giving aid and developing industries for long term jobs. It is not going to the mountains to fight the Taleban but winning the hearts and the Spirit of the people.

God is calling us to a holistic Gospel meeting the needs of the Spirit, soul and body, and a connection with a tangible reality and presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ gives us Hope for today, for tommorow, and for eternity. The violence will continue even with the death of Osama, but would Christians able to display the fruit of the Spirit, to love even though harmed.



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