Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Friday, August 24, 2007

"God's Warriors" have no faith

CNN's Christiane Amanpour did a sensational three-part, six hour documentary, "God's Warriors," on religious fundamentalists - Christian, Muslim and Jewish - who have declared war on the world - or at least some parts of it.

It occurred to me that as I watched these angry, vicious and desperate peoples fight to change the world to suit their philosophy or to force people to behave as they wish, that none of them had any real faith.

They apparently think that God or Allah is so weak and incapable of running the show, that rather than surrender to the universal commandments, tenants and philosophies of any great religion, these self-proclaimed warriors take matters into their own hands, see things in only a humanistic way and take physical action to harm or kill their avowed enemies.

An eye for an eye, never turn the other cheek. Wait, aren't both philosophies written in sacred books? I suppose it comes down to what you want to believe and practice.

Each group works from a core not of faith but of fear.

Fear and love cannot exist at the same moment. This fear is fomented with the perception of the world that, in their minds, insults - hurts - their sensibility. The primary feeling of fear, coupled with hurt, can develop into the secondary emotion of anger.

Fear, hurt and anger is what I saw over and over again in the series. Where is their true spirituality?

Where is any relationship at all to God and spirit.

It felt like the people fighting in the name of God or Allah - the vast, vast majority of whom are men - do not represent God at all. It all seems to be lip service - say the words, have no emotional, personal or real connection with what they're saying.

Finally, it hit me: they're not God's Warriors at all, they're My Own Religious Domination Warriors. They call themselves God's Warriors to rationalize their brutality, greed and psychotic need to dominate.

When I write my scripts, I am aware of each character's spiritual and material sides. Without a balance of both, the character will be lonely, addictive, suffer and/or die.

George Bush says God made him president because, he says, God wants the world to live in an American-type freedom, and to do this he is sending soldiers to commit a near-suicide mission to force Iraqi's to live that way. Well, in Iraq there are the Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis, each of whom may want to split up the country and NOT live in a democracy.

In fact, Islam is not as much a religion to fundamentalists as it is considered a nation. The Muslim religion=the Muslim nation, and fundamentalists want everyone to live the way they dictate. As in, there was no mention of women covering their heads or their bodies in the Koran - those are all "modern" rules declared by men who want to keep women subservient to men in the culture.

So of course their goal is to have the fundamentalist Muslim nation include the entire world, with women everywhere subsurvient to men, not permitted to drive a car, walk outside without a man at her side, etc. Women who have been journalists, broadcasters and held "men's" jobs have been brutally murdered. Likewise, if a woman "offends" the family men by doing anything Western women do freely - the men feel it's their "obligation," their duty, to kill these women, be they sister, mother or daughter, who stray from the near-psychotic need to keep women following the rules proclaimed by fundamentalist Muslim men, not Allah.

Just as fundamentalist Christian men believe women should remain subservient to them. At one time fundamentalist Christians used passages in the Christian bible as a reason to own slaves and consider black people "less than" white people.

Fundamentalist Jews believe they are God's Chosen People. Apart from everyone else. With Israel the chosen land. They do believe in the equality of women, however, including mandatory service in the Israeli militray alonside their Jewish brothers. Again, (is there an echo in here?) they believe there is one truth, theirs. And that the synagogue and state should be one.

A Jewish nation, just as Muslims want a Muslim nation (world), as Christians want a Christian nation (world).

Fundamentalist Jews believe theirs is the chosen religion.

Fundamentalist Muslims believe theirs is the only true religion.

Fundamentalist Christians believe theirs is the only true religion.

Actually, there are other religious groups who believe the same thing. That theirs is the only "real" "true" and "right" religion.

Christian fundamentalists have the same goal. Have Christians rule the world. There should be no division between church and state, with that ruling church being Christian. European nations and the UK went through this for hundreds of bloody years, finally realized it didn't work and have governed with a separation of church and state since.

Although fundamentalists ask, "How would Jesus vote?" It was pointed out that Jesus was never political. He was personal. He was spiritual. He related to God, not to gold.

But it's greed that moves people to try to rule the world. Power over people, their behavior and their money. Again, no separation between church and state.

I'll never forget interviewing an Iranian refugee living in the Pacific Northwest many years ago for a story I was doing on "sleeper cells" in the US, wherein he told me, "We thought nothing could be worse than the Shah. But the Ayatollah is a hundred times worse. We trusted that because he was a man of God he would work for the people, to show his love for people, to create peace and harmony among us and the world. He doesn't. It's just the opposite."

We had to photograph him in shadows because he said he would be killed for speaking to me if anyone discovered his identity. He showed me enough evidence to convince me this was true.

In case you don't know, the Shah of Iran was the constitutional monarch of Iran embraced by the US. He left to live in exile in 1979 during a violent revolution, replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who called himself (in the "true ego-less spirit" of Allah's servant) the Supreme Leader, creating the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I think what happens to a lot of religious leaders who don't understand the humility they should have at the very core of their jobs, that of being a spiritual leader, is that they actually believe they ARE God. They see people react to them in such wonderment, they go, "Wow! Lookee me! I can say or do anything because I speak for God!"

They don't understand they have broken the first commandment, "Thou shalt put no other gods before me."

No matter what they say, or even if they believe they are fighting for a religion or a righteous cause, their actions say they fight for a secular, material cause - whatever that might be - above God. It looks to me as if they foresake his commandment, then use God's name to break it.


God must be shaking his/her head wondering, "what is with these human beings that they are so frightened of each other and so mired in their need to be "right" they don't understand how to let me help them make the most of their short time on earth. Don't they know they live in eternity as a spirit and have to account to me for their actions?

"Their need to be right and control others is so sadly apparent. It's obvious they have no faith in me or that others are capable of thinking for themselves or creating their own spiritual relationship with me. So much so they will destroy their time on earth - and others - in a profane quest that is now, and always has been, futile.

"LOL. Even *I* grant everyone free will. Which is why I let them play their shocking, heartbreaking, hurtful games. Perhaps one day when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired, they will understand that their spirits inherently supersede and transcend religion, politics and the need to be right or control anyone.

"It's despairing to see them abuse, squander and destroy the gifts I have given them: life, peace, beauty, nature, water, food, emotions, bodies, hearts, minds and their very souls. Within that soul comes the answer to every question. Look inside - find the key to your soul, open it and you will understand how to use these gifts as they were meant to be enjoyed.

"The truly spiritual person courageously enhances the world for everyone, not just himself, his family, his community, his cause. He does this by being who he truly is and becoming all he is meant to be, and supporting others to do the same. By doing that, he shines his light in the world that makes it brighter.

"Instead of being that spiritual person, creating instead of destroying, he douses himself in the cloak of man-made religion, using my name in vain, because he is so fearful - because of his secular, harmful, soul-killing need to be right and control everything in my domain - which he never, never will."

By the way, unlike George Bush, I won't claim I actually heard God speak to me. I just thought, "What would God say?" And the words popped out as written. Except referring to God as "me" using a lower case. Originally, I had it capitalized, but was notified that God is not about ego or being "above" anyone. God is about the power of spirit and humility.

Just a thought.

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