globalconflict


This Does Not Fit
 
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I've tried to keep this site 'light' but recently ran across a piece I wrote in 2002 and thought it might spur some thought.
 
Global conflict as a topic really DOES fit if you think about retaining and creating wealth because it's possible to say that wars destroy and disable people, things, and systems.
 
The oddity of this piece is the title:  Where's GOD?
 
Many people think I 'lack religion.'  If you do not go to church (or a synagogue or a mosque, etc.), your beliefs in anything are 'suspect.'
 
I think that is why I do 'lack religion.'  God has existed far longer than any religious institution.  People have believed in God well before there were churches to join.
 
I'm not a preacher--I don't have any great desire to 'convince' people that I have all the answers.
 
Ironically though, when people tell me they don't believe in God, I never believe them.  I'd never want to tell them I thought they were lying so I just leave them alone with their thoughts.
 
But, I digress, I wrote a piece about INVITING God to the negotiating table when dealing with global conflict (in this instance, the Israelis and the Palestinians were 'thrown into' the text but it could be any two groups or any two 'men').
 
I've always thought God gave men and women an incredible ability to create wealth--and an incredible capacity to destroy it--along with the choice.
 
Anyway . . . I DO hope this spurs some thinking:
 
Religious Conflict in the Middle East:
Where’s GOD???
by Lisa L. Osen
 
Most Israelis and Palestinians say they want peace.  Men and women from both sides come to the negotiating table saying they represent the desire to create peace.  Men and women from around the world take ‘SIDES’ regarding who is right and who is wrong.
 
Religion is used as the dividing tool.  But most wars have nothing to do with religion (at least if people say their religion is based on the belief in GOD).  Most wars are about:
  • money
  • property
  • individual and group desires to control other people by making other people believe that their way of thinking and living is the only way—that they have all the right answers
Israelis and Palestinians will never have peace until they decide to invite GOD to the negotiating table.
 
To understand the relevance of this, let’s explore two scenarios:
 
Scenario 1
 
Two very religious young men are trapped in a freezer.  Each man hates the other greatly.  Their fathers taught them that the other is evil and the greatest ‘gift’ they can give to GOD is to kill the other.  Although neither man knows anything of the other’s past actions, both of their fathers have told them the horrors of how the other man will treat him.  Not only that, someone they cared for deeply in both of their families has been killed in a ‘religious’ war.
 
No one will be there to open the door until the next morning.  Two long heavy coats hang in the freezer.  Both coats belong to one man and the other man knows that the coats belong to him.
 
If you were an Israeli or a Palestinian or an individual watching their conflict, what would you expect to find in the freezer the next morning?
 
If GOD was in the freezer with those two men, do you think the outcome would be different?
 
Scenario 2
 
Two very religious young men are trapped in a freezer.  Each man hates the other greatly.  Their fathers taught them that the other is evil and the greatest ‘gift’ they can give to GOD is to kill the other.  Although neither man knows anything of the other’s past actions, both of their fathers have told them the horrors of how the other man will treat him.  Not only that, someone they cared for deeply in both of their families has been killed in a ‘religious’ war.
 
Neither individual knows when someone will come around and open the door.  One long heavy coat hangs in the freezer.  Both men carry guns and extra ammunition.
 
If you were an Israeli or a Palestinian or an individual watching their conflict, what would you expect to find in the freezer when it was finally opened?
 
If GOD was in the freezer with those two men, do you think the outcome would be different?
 
Inviting GOD to the Negotiating Table
 
No man can pretend to be GOD and yet I do believe that most people who believe in GOD have a fairly clear understanding of what the resolution to the first scenario ‘should’ be.
 
The second scenario is not so easy and is more akin to our real lives:
  • limited resources:  one coat
  • the ability to harm:  guns and ammunition
  • lack of knowledge regarding the future:  when will someone finally open the door?—how ‘at risk’ is each man?
  • lack of knowledge of the other:  is this a person who can be trusted to help find a solution to this dilemma or is this a person who will do everything to look out after his own interests at the expense of mine?
  • bias and pre-instilled hatred:  why should I have to get to know this man when I already know him?  How can I take the chance that he is a better, more worthy person than the man I already know him to be?
Once again, no man can pretend to be GOD but let’s explore ‘non-violent’ options:
  • Is the coat large enough that, by using their collective body heat with the coat as a blanket, both men can prevent freezing to death?
  • Is it possible to use the guns and ammunition to ‘blow’ the lock on the freezer door?  Can whatever is in the freezer be used for personal protection against anything that ricochets or splinters?  Can the coat be used in some way to protect the ears?
  • Are there any controls inside the freezer or equipment which would shut the freezer down?  What tools are available to do so?
Collaborative solutions to any ‘war’ are virtually impossible to find (or even recognize the existence of) if adults ‘desire’ to harm their children by teaching them hatred.  No ‘common’ solutions exist when only one man out of two is supposed to have the right to exist.
 
Now, it is hard to believe that any man could truly believe that he gains points with GOD when he wants his children:
  • to blindly hate others
  • to believe that everything belongs to them
  • to believe that he (versus GOD) has all the answers
Yet, this is what many religious leaders (the ones who desire to control money, property and others) want their followers to believe.
 
Once again, Israelis and Palestinians will never have peace until they decide to invite GOD to the negotiating table.
 
Copyright © 2002 by Lisa L. Osen
 
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P.S.  Sometimes I think that people who ARE actively involved in religious organizations get 'off track.'  The 'common thread' among all religions is people tend to believe the Ten Commandments provide excellent 'guidance' and are a 'key' to stable, peaceful societies (and they certainly provide the base for many of the laws societies expect people to obey across the world).
 
I myself believe that if you can explain your actions to 5000 randomly selected people, you won't have any trouble explaining them to God on the day that you die.