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

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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