Monday, June 4, 2007

A Religion In Need Of Redemption

Generally, religion figures human beings need redemption. Now, we note, at least one religion is in dire need of redemption: Islam.

The explosive evidence speaks for itself – unfortunately, louder than any other voice in Islam.

But can enough Muslims be convinced that their religion needs salvation?

If a humor magazine can't do it, who can? Here's a short course, called Good Religion 101.

Is a religion supposed to be an enhancement of life or a liability against it? What is its merit to the living when it becomes a liability against life? For that matter, what is its merit to the ultimate source of life – in this context, taken to be Allah, the one true pal of us all?

To be meritorious, a religion must be primarily about the sanctity of life, not the sanctity of death. The more it subordinates life, which is what we have in our care, the more it has gone wrong.

To be fair, we do hear or read an occasional Islamic voice that has not lost sight of what a meritorious religion must be, but where are the voices of Islam's millions, most notably its multitude of mullahs?

To the extent that Islam's we-know-better members do not raise their voices against their religion gone wrong, they permit it to be denigrated in the service of death.

The question is, can it be put pervasively in the service of life? Can it be made exemplary for the lives of Muslims themselves – men, women, adults, and children – as well as good for all the infidels who just wish it would go away?

If it is to be transformed into a religion that doesn't need to be saved, it must become one that is good for all the living. After all, only behavior that is good for everyone can be held up as a standard for everyone or as proper reverence to the ultimate source of us all.

We leave right-minded Muslims with the question wrong-minded Muslims have forced into the foreground. Can Islam be redeemed?

A lot of good people don't think so. They think the religion is a hopeless case. Since their opinion could only arise from ample cause, it's all the more urgent for right-minded Muslims to bestir themselves on behalf of their religion gone wrong.

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