Thursday, 5 November 2015
Today is November 5th, Guy Fawkes night here in the United Kingdom. Fireworks displays in various places, including here in Lewis, and warnings about safety for people as well as animals. Guy Fawkes is credited with the gun-powder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Nowadays, he would be called a terrorist. If he had succeeded, he would have been a hero. With all the talk of terrorism around the world, it reinforces the old adage that one man's terrorist is someone else's freedom fighter. Which brings me onto those that abuse religion for their political ends. At the moment, it is "Islamic extremists"; 500 years ago, it was Roman Catholic extremists. I mean, burning at the stake, exterminating the population of an entire continent in the name of God, isn't that any better than "Islamic State" in 2015? Before Columbus felt the religious imperative to conquer what became known as America, people from Europe were trading quite happily with folk in East Africa, without batting an eyelid at the colour of their skin, or having qualms about their religion. Trade was the name of the game. Soon, it became exploitation. In the name of God? I don't think so. Want my take on it? God is setting us challenges, and we're failing abysmally. Why do I say that? I paraphrase the Qu'ran (yep, that Book): God gave man the Torah, and he ignored it. God gave man the Gospels, and he ignored it. God gave man the Qu'ran - and he ignored it!