It seems as though my last piece has upset some and confused others and so I would like to try and put the record straight on the message I was trying to put across.
First and foremost I must state unequivocally that I am not for one moment advocating that we laugh at ANY religion. Far from it, as I argue in my book, religious belief is fundamentally necessary to us as a species and essential to help us cope with the challenges Life throws at us with monotonous regularity!
We are all different and as such need different beliefs to meet our own particular makeup, hence the wide variety of beliefs today. Unfortunately these well-meaning beliefs are subsequently distorted and abused to provide a power base and this has been the case for millennia.
Each belief has argued it is the ONLY TRUE belief and all others are ‘sinners’. If this were remotely true, with each religion giving the same message, then it is obvious that we are ALL sinners and ALL destined for hell! Hence the satire they have generated and which they have ALL endured with good grace. Only the radicals have reacted, sometimes in the grossest fashion because their own shallow power bases are easily threatened.
The major religions today became powerful by persecuting the other beliefs until the most powerful came out on top. The cost in human life and misery of these religious power struggles over thousands of years is a tragedy of monumental proportions and a permanent blot upon our history as a species.
As we have evolved we have come to recognise these abuses and that there may be more than one way of gaining religious succour. The internet is certainly making us more aware of both our sameness and differences and through this we are making great strides in global religious tolerance. A true accolade to our contribution to this evolutionary process.
However the old ways die hard and today we see the traditional abuses of religious belief being perpetrated, yet again, in a blind lust for power. Today however it is not applied by a myriad of religious labels but simply by one . . . Terrorism! These radicals are not working with the full blessing of their religious institutions, indeed they are being castigated by them and the genuine followers of those beliefs.
Here we get to the heart of what I was writing about. I do not seek to laugh and humiliate the religious beliefs that are so important to all of us. Instead I seek to isolate and humiliate terrorism. It is not a religious belief but an abuse of genuine religious belief. The manner in which it is being operated is to intentionally strike ’terror’ into the world at large in order to bring Society to its knees and take power.
As I read comments on Twitter over the last few days I am aware of people subduing their usually forthright voices or dropping out of conversations on the subject. That is fine but we must be aware that this bully boy tactic is beginning to rob us of our hard won freedoms, as fear takes over and we become frightened to speak our minds or walk freely in our streets with our families and friends.
Not only that but the current agenda is seeking to take us back to distorted values that would have women become no more than goods and chattels, as they were only a few hundred years ago. I don’t know about you but I for one could not rest easy with this. Women have a massive amount to offer and have been suppressed from playing their part in Society for too long now.
Crunch time is fast arriving as our security services now openly admit that they are struggling to maintain a safe environment in which to live our lives, as these groups gain some successes and attract more young naïve recruits as future bomb fodder. Hiding within Society these groups are able to carry out their atrocities, making the task no longer one for the security forces but for Society as a whole.
We have to stand up in unison and demonstrate to these groups that we will not be intimidated for much longer. They must be isolated from the religions they declare they represent and leaders and true followers must join with everyone else, as they are now doing, to put a stop to the spreading cancer they are now inflicting upon Society.
It is here that I am advocating laughter as a powerful tool with which to defend ourselves and discredit the distorted values these groups operate under. By standing up and using the humour of cartoonists, as was so effectively achieved by Steve West in the Guardian last week, I believe we can break its sinister image and growing hold over us . . . but it will take a united global Society to do this.
We are in unprecedented times and this could represent the catalyst with which to re-empower the 99% in manner none of us has previously contemplated, bringing a sense of pride back into Society that has been knocked out of us by the 1% over the last few decades. What have we possibly got to lose?!
May I also suggest that, in the light of what I have written here, you go back and reread my previous post (See ‘recent posts’ on the right here) and the powerful message to terrorists the original cartoon by Steve West gave out. Hopefully you will see these messages in a different and more caring light.
Until the next time
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes