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Op-ed: What is it that defines us? (by Peter Children)

This news story was published on February 18, 2012.
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If you were to put fifty men in one room and they were all naked, you could not tell them apart. Stay with me here, do not jump to conclusions.

My point is simply this; what is it that defines us? What is the single most important aspect of civilization today?  Some would argue origin, that it is where we came from,  but that would not be true. Some come from Italy, some from Greece, some from Israel, some from Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan along with other like countries where racial similarities are close. But when this group is stripped and their manner of dress is eliminated, you cannot tell the Jew from the Greek or the Israeli from the Muslim.  This group all have similar physical characteristics.  Some of the men could be from Northern Europe and be more fair skinned and have lighter hair, the Nordic countries for example.  Same is true of Latin America.

The same thing could be done with women and the same principle would apply. So it is not origins that rank as the most defining, the most important factor in these peoples lives, and these people also include all of us….keep that in mind, the most important aspect in life today is religion, faith…a belief in things unseen. This seemingly benign factor in our lives causes wars, catastrophic conflicts that result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. In Ireland it was Christian against Christian, school buses were blown up. Catholic vs. Protestant. In the Balkans it was Muslims against Catholics and Orthodox, and all three factors against each other. The ground there is drenched in blood. The Middle-East Jews against Islam has been non stop since the time of Christ.

Faith can cause divorce, stop people from marrying altogether.

When you are born you are conflict free until you are taken to the church to be anointed. In many churches the vanacular is not always the same but this ritual is suppose to seal your commitment to that particular faith.  When you marry it is that same church, and when you die the same church sends you on your way.  Often that same church will consecrate the ground they put you in.

What is that cause people to reach for a gun when religion is on the table?  Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington has stated in his book; The Clash of Civilizations and the remaking of the World Order that wars will no longer be between countries but rather between religions. We witness that in the Balkans and in Ireland.

We all have a deity that no one has ever seen; would you kill someone over yours?  Could your faith cause you to blow up a school bus?

Peter Children

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8 Responses to Op-ed: What is it that defines us? (by Peter Children)

  1. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Pete, what defines us is our belief system. I call it our moral compass. The next important question is, “how do we develop our moral compass? What shaped our beliefs?

    I know people that define themselves through their belief in Islam, Scientology, Humanism, Political Correctness, and even Shirley McLain. I know others that even define themselves with NBC and Hollywood.

    My observation is that those beliefs become very destructive and self-centered. I don’t see them wanting or causing wars but they do experience a lot of plain old personal destruction. I see people everyday using the above mentioned beliefs and I witness a lot of misery.

    On the other hand those that “live” by the teachings in the bible appear much more content and happy. I never hear them advocate war, or what to take what others have. They are giving and helping others while asking nothing in return. They also have much more ambition then what I witness in those with the other beliefs.

    These are just my observations about how people define themselves.

    • Arbincita Reply Report comment

      February 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Unfortunately Watchdog, some who “live” by the teachings of the bible choose to take the wrong message from it.

      • Watchdog Reply Report comment

        February 20, 2012 at 3:23 am

        I have to disagree here, there are no wrong messages in the bible, only peace, joy, and healing but never misery. I have never met a believer in the Holy Bible that have used their beliefs to hurt anyone.

        On the other hand I have witnessed those armed with their belief in Islam, Scientology, Humanism, Political Correctness, NBC, Hollywood, ect. bring much misery to many.

      • Watchdog Reply Report comment

        February 20, 2012 at 3:32 am

        You can’t live by ‘teachings’ in the Bible and take the wrong message from it. If someone is putting out a wrong message then they are NOT “living” by the teachings of the Bible!

  2. Axman Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I think the better question would be would you die for your beliefs…..rather than kill for it?? I have a belief that I cant and wont force on someone else, likewise they shouldnt force their “religion” on me. I have strong convictions and my own personal way of handling things(according to my “nature”) would run contradictory with what my “religion” teaches. Ultimately I know everyone will answer to God Almighty. He says in the Holy Bible that “Vengeance is mine(God’s) I will repay.” My job is to be the best living example of what He teaches, this is what convicts people to live or believe like you do. Wouldn’t you much rather be moved by love than fear? Now on the other hand giving the circumstance that people are going to kill or hurt/harm innocents….lets just say it may be a different scenario….I will protect “innocents”. Let your mind ponder these verses(paraphrased)…An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And He who kills by the sword…, shall die by the sword! Conflict does begin at birth not by going to a church. It’s the age old war of Good versus evil, Heaven versus hell. I was “born” to lutherans supposedly “babtized” there as a kid too. It doesn’t mean anything binding to me (good or bad) when someone else made a decision for me at such a young age where I didn’t even know what was really going on!Same with everyone else for that matter! But this one thing is true in the end …You will all give an account for your life, good or bad.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    A thoughtful essay, but to correct you, Islam did not come about until about 350 years after the death of Jesus. The conflict between Christians and Muslims began about 100 years later. Interestingly, Jesus is the most oft-mentioned prophet in the Qu’ran. No, my faith will not lead me to blow up a bus or kill in it’s name. Threatening my children would.

  4. taxpayer Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Peter – Good Editorial, and OH so true…