And why doesn't it upset them enough to stop?
The worst thing about organized religion is that it gives people the idea that it's okay to fight if it's something they believe in.
Apparently, even when believing in the same god, and the same basic principles, the human interpretation and practical dogma is enough to kill each other for there. Funny, they all seem to forget believing in Christianity includes things like : " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, love your neighbor as yourself" (Lk. 10:27). These, according to the man BOTH groups proclaim as their savior, are the commandments upon which hang all the law and the prophets. Being a Christian shouldn't mean taking the little bits and pieces you like, and it shouldn't mean hating those who look at it only slightly differently. It's one of the cheif beliefs of their religion, and it's not complicated. And do they believe their god is so narrow-minded as to smile upon the destruction of the people who chose to worship in their own way? God has told them to hate what is evil and that "He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head" (Ps 7:15-16). Yet they continue to bomb Catholic schools and Protestant churches. And they think it's the right thing to do. They honestly think they are defending what they believe in. Yet, it defies everything they claim to believe.
There is nothing wrong with religion, and there is nothing wrong with Christianity's principles. But, to quote John Lennon, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're (The Beatles) more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first--rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." (Quoted from Ray Coleman's book Lennon, pg. 404). Ironically, that same twisting is what got him into big trouble when the statement was printed out of context. And it's that same twisting that causes things like the conflict in Northern Ireland. It isn't Christianity's ideals that fuck everything up--it's the people. Church doctrine wasn't carved in stone by the hands of God, nor even laid out in the Bible, it was devised by ordinary human beings. That kind of twisted version of virtue is what really sets me off.
And it's been proved religion can work in peaceful co-existence with different sects. Look at the Amish. They have taken up a lifestyle based on their religion that prohibits the use of technology. Do you see them throwing rocks at cars though? Do you see them forsaking all other Christians? No. You see them living as they see fit, but unassumingly, without hatred or pressuring the other forms of Christianity. And that's why they retain respect in my eyes, as little as that may mean in the grand scheme of things.
You can't fool me. I was raised Episcopalian, or Anglican Catholic. It's a Protestant faith in nature, but remains closely tied to the Catholic Church. I've read my Bible. I've observed services in many different churches and have studied religion carefully. I'm currently expanding my study by taking Religion 101 next semester in school, and continuing research in both the Western and Eastern religions. I'm not stupid. I can see how ridiculous this conflict is, so why can't they? And what can this type of Christian meme possibly gain from destroying another so nearly identical? One would think that sharing the belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would be enough to unite them. Yet, instead, they chose to abandon some of the most fundemental beliefs of their own choice to pursue a violent path that continues to lead them nowhere, religiously or politically.
So I've answered one question, but remain even more puzzled by the remaining one.
I know why Northern Ireland upsets me so.
So why can't they figure out the same thing?