So this story is a couple weeks old at this point, but I’ve been mulling it over since I first read it. The New York Times ran an article back on January 8th about three different Christian churches in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia being attacked. For full details, check the article. The situation basically breaks down as follows: a Catholic newspaper translated God as Allah in the Malay-language edition. Well, the Malaysian government has a standing ban on Christians using the word Allah. Thus, a protest ensued. And one Catholic church was nearly destroyed while two others had minor damage from fire bombs.
The violence, the oppression of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, all of that aside, this is a fundamentally ludicrous fight. The Muslim community is holding that “Allah is only for us.” How do you ban a word? Especially a word that is a mere translation of a word fundamental to not just the Islam religion but to the three most influential religions in the world?
By engaging in this fight, the Malay Muslim community is basically saying their god is different than the Christian god. But this is not true. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all worship the same God. The differences are the significant people in their various mythos. Fights like this demonstrate to me that these religions are less concerned with god and more concerned with fighting each other. And if the only thing you are fighting about is the word you use to name your diety, is it really a fight worth having.
On a different but related note, Leah has expressed an interest in going back to church. Not because she has started believing in Allah again but rather to experience the social spirituality. I told her I don’t have a problem with it, just that I do not plan to go with her. In all honesty, though, I wish she wouldn’t go. I don’t want her to support religion. It seems like such a major step backwards after she has left the church. I won’t actually tell her not to go, of course, because I want her to be happy. I just cannot see the appeal of so broken a system, such obvious lies.
We’re all searching for truth. Religion has no truth to offer. It is misdirection and deceit, the promise of salvation and the deliverance of ignorance. If your personal truth means god, then you are as right as I, but do not corrupt that belief with adherence to a religion, to enslavement to a church. Worship freely, pursue truth with your every breath.