A sold-out concert planned for June 3 in Jakarta, Indonesia has been canceled by Lady Gaga due to threats of violence by religious hard-liners. This has started me thinking about extremism, and God.
As far as I understand, most religions teach that God is love, and this infinite love (both in size and duration) accepts everything and everyone. Religion also teaches that God is omniscient and omnipotent. That’s when you realize that God is a loving, non-judgmental being because knowing all there is to know about us and having the ultimate power to annihilate us, he chooses to let us be.
Now if a being so immensely superior to us gives us free will, so that we may live our lives as we see fit, then sends his son with a message of love, tolerance and non-judgment, as in “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,” why is there so much hatred and intolerance, directed at those who are different, from some of those who call themselves religious? How can there be judgment against another human being for the religion they practice, for the color of their skin, for the personal choices they make, or for the person they choose to love? How can any of these be considered sinful?
I am always saddened to see that some do indeed use the name of God in vain to defend their ignorance and close-mindedness, their prejudice and their hatred. I was shocked to see this photo of a religious group of people in Indonesia sending Lady Gaga to hell:
I have one thing to say to extremists, wherever they find themselves in this world: May God bless you and forgive you. It’s a lot harder for the rest of us to do so.