I can perceive religion as a force of good. At the same time,  anyone who reads history can see why it can be a source of destruction. In fact, anyone who has been living on this planet recently can see that as well.

I am not surprised at all  that World Vision leads all secular organizations in relief efforts worldwide. Well-intentioned ,  religious people probably muster a lot of passion. They can tap into deep resources of  moral traditions.

At the same time, they can be manipulated by  profiteering institutions,  religious oligarchy,  and  hypocritical leadership that benefit from the status quo. They can be bullied by radical elements that fear openness and recoil from exchange of ideas.

Take the evangelical-based organizations in the U. S. A., for instance. Recently, they have been engaged in commendable relief efforts worldwide. Haiti, Congo, Rwanda are all but few examples. One  may question their motives but not their effectiveness.

What makes me question their motives is simple.  Absent from  the picture is their clear and unequivocal stance against the support for the seemingly never-ending wars this country engages in.  Their leaders such as Graham, Robertson, Dobson, Farwell, all support wars. They never see a war they dislike. The ones who don’t, opt to play it safe and keep quiet. (See this web site  for documented evangelical support for wars.) They fuse wars, nationalism, and patriotism as good as any demagogue.

War is unquestionably  the most egregious violation of the ethics they purport to champion. Isn’t it all supposed to be about “saving” humans and bettering the conditions of living? Isn’t it why, supposedly, they engage in all those relief efforts across the globe? Yet war after war, they’re either avid supporters of that killing enterprise or silent at best. “Often in the Bible, God sanctions and even encourages war and invasion”, claims one of them.

They are like the rock stars and the Hollywood fakes they much despise. They look for “safe”, trendy,  issues to engage in. But they predictably cower from substantive issues that require courage. Issues that may cost its advocates their careers, reputation, and their life of luxury.

It is a sad state of affairs that this religious energy that can be used to do much good and spread meaningful peace around the world, is diverted to support personal ambitions,  wealth and fame agendas of such hypocritical leaders.



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