“We have enough religion to hate, but not enough to love one another”
This Jonathan Swift quote is often used to make the point that religion is no good, as it is just spreading fear and because of that fear: hatred.
Another a quote by Jonathan Swift:
“If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!”
Jonathan Swift was a dean of st. Patricks Cathedral in Dublin. Though these days people seem to assume that when he spoke about religion, he was speaking about all the different religions in the world.
Fact is that he wrote these words at the beginning of the 18th century. Chances are that he didn’t just logged off his social media and other outlets of clickbait news. The most likely interpretation of Swift’s ‘religion’ is that he was speaking about Christianity. There wasn’t really any other religion bar Christianity around in those days.
What he was saying is that many people he saw were outwardly presenting themselves to be religious (meaning: Christian), but they failed to act from the love that spirituality brings about inside. He wrote sermons on the topic of people turning up in church, just to fall asleep in the benches and not getting anything from the message Swift was trying to teach them.
In my opinion the statement that religion creates division and hatred as opposed to love is not fair on all those billions of good people that are part of a religion.
Around me I see many people that have food drives with their church, who go out and welcome refugees in their midst, and who always have coffee ready for anyone walking into their religious home.
Saying that religion spreads love is not a popular opinion. We collectively do not want to hear it.
We heard about the terrible things happening in the catholic church with regards to abuse of young people and unmarried mothers. We hear daily that Islam is nurturing people that want to kill thousands. In Myanmar Buddhists are even showing cruelty towards Muslims. Where does it all end?
I strongly feel that fear based decisions will only end if we finally connect to love.
How about we start telling each other about the great things that religion has brought us.
Many people will tell you about their personal journey in despair, until they we accepted into a particular faith. Mother Teresa and her sisters of mercy helped many poor. Today many religious buildings are open for anyone as a safe haven, to pray and be heard.
The kindest and most hopeful people I know are part of different organized religions.
Religion to me is a path to God. The path might look completely different for all religious people, but all crave to get closer to the divine. Not one religion at its heart tells its followers to hate, all of them include a message of love. Most people get the love bit, a few don’t. Let’s start focusing on the many instead of the few.