There are times when I am struck – appalled, frankly – by the small-mindedness of so-called “religions of the book,” and now is one of of them.
Human experience is one of migration. In the course of our species’ evolution, our ancestors spread across the globe – in many cases becoming isolated from other human beings and developing more distinct views of community, political association and, perhaps most significant of all, transcendence.
Society, culture and religion are the inevitable outgrowth of human migration and settlement.
Why do so many of us feel compelled to distort the sacred scriptures that emerged in some cases from this separate development to marginalize or to denigrate other people whose forebears developed different views of transcendence?
There is an element of tragic comedy bound up in all of this unremitting hatred. The basis of the hatred stems from a simple happenstance of history: the fact that our human forebears, in search of food and better living conditions, settled new areas and, in the course of which, developed new ways of viewing the transcendent.
This migration and development didn’t occur under the influence of Satan or another malignant deity (or deities). Our remote ancestors were driven by a simple human desire to improve their lives and those of their offspring and to render the vicissitudes of life more endurable.
That behavior so essential to the advancement of our species ultimately formed the basis for an unremitting hatred that still plagues humanity even today truly bears the mark of tragi-comedy.