OP-ED: Reclaiming True Religious Decorum


By Richard Wembe Johnson, Folsom Prison


It’s time that people stop with the veiled innuendos and a subtle jab toward each other’s professed religions. Not only is it irresponsible and disrespectful, it is dangerous.


There are certainly enough religious beliefs, faiths and denominations to reach every single person on earth.


A close examination of unrest and turmoil in the world, putting aside the almighty dollar, will reveal that religion is the root cause of most of the carnage and evil toward other faiths in the name of devotion, love and religious fervor


The two most exalted and glorified are Islam and Christianity. For example, during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, the Christian Crusades were launched against the Muslims to take the Holy Lands.


Within the Christian faith there are numerous separations and denominations with unresolved differences, often creating chaos and disorder.


This same characterization of internal differences can equally be attributed to the State of Islam throughout the world. And, also here in America, we observe numerous variations such as the Black Nation of Islam, Sunnis, Shiites and other believers, all following different edicts of Islam.


With so many opposing factions there is a basis for eventual violence and mayhem, and this is exactly what is going on all over the world and in the United States.


Even though people are entitled to their differences, they are not entitled to disrespect other religions or beliefs under the guise of free speech.


You don’t have to agree, like, or practice someone else’s religion in order to show them the same consideration that you would like to be afforded for your belief or non-belief.


I was raised a Christian, yet I respect all others religious beliefs. I believe that they also have the fundamental right to practice their beliefs.


I firmly disagree with anyone trying to cram their faith down another’s throat by means of intimidation, coercion, force or violence.


The very core essence of any religion is supposed to be about a real connection to God, Allah, or whatever you choose to refer to as God.


Through this understanding, your life is supposed to be guided by divine righteousness in compliance with showing love, respect and tolerance toward one another.


Instead, we are witnessing conflicts over the Bible and guns, the Torah and precision guided missiles, the Koran and I.E.D, (improvised explosive devices). This is blasphemy under any examination.


According to some reliable sources of religious data, there are at least 72 different sects practicing Islam and untold versions of Christianity. At the same time, research shows the fastest growing segment relative to religion is the masses are abandoning religion out of pure disgust.


George Jackson, the renowned prison activist and revolutionary author said, “Settle your quarrels, come together, and understand the reality of your circumstances that poor half-butchered lives can be saved. Reclaim your humanity:”


These words are even more meaningful today than they were many decades ago.


The fate of religion rests not on what is said but rather what is done to ensure that all religion is given its due diligence, unfettered by crookedness.


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