Saturday, August 27, 2016

Role of Religious Leaders in Guiding The World to Peace and Harmony

Role of Religious Leaders in Guiding
The World to Peace and Harmony

Dr. Charles Mercieca

The history of our earthly community has virtually been characterized by struggles and wars. This seems to be somewhat strange when we consider that people in general always opted for peace and harmony. If we were to go deeply into the matter we would soon discover that those that tend to promote struggles and wars consist generally of tiny minorities.

Promotion of Struggles and Wars

Such tiny minorities would be grouped into two basic segments: (1) those who occupy governmental positions, and (2) those that form cliques to rebel against any form of government. In addition, we may perhaps add another group that could be held responsible for the continued promotion of struggles and wars. It consists of religious leaders who do little or hardly anything to help replace struggles and wars with peace and harmony.

For all practical purposes, let us concentrate o­n this latter group that is commonly referred to as religious leaders. The primary job of religious leaders has always been to provide guidance to the various peoples of the world to live in peace and harmony. However, experience has demonstrated, as clearly witnessed in the USA, that such religious leaders are often hesitant to speak out loud and clear against the evil in our society especially when it stems from political leaders or leaders of various factions within our earthly community.

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that the secret of good life has been to promote and to preserve the good regardless of where it comes from, even if it were to have originated from a garbage man. o­n the other hand, this great theological saint stressed the importance for all of us to condemn evil by all means even if it were to have originated from the king, that is, from high government officials.

Religious leaders are obligated ex officio to investigate governmental belligerent policies that often lead to struggles and wars and that result in the destruction of the infrastructure of whole communities, the destruction of our environment and the destruction of human life itself. They need also to explore what kind of money that is being made by those who provide all lethal devices for the continued preservation of struggles and wars. This is often done under the guise of national defense and security!

No Justification for Violence

The world at large knows fully well today that the promotion of struggles and wars has turned into a lucrative business. The making of money by the elite few has taken priority over the sacredness of human life. “The end justifies the means” has become the slogan of quite a few governmental officials and a substantial number of organized rebels. Those in charge for the effective provision of moral leadership should learn from the Master Teacher of Nazareth that violence of any kind is never justified in no way whatsoever.

This great moral leader of all times taught us that violence breads violence and more violence breeds more violence. It explains why Jesus of Nazareth told Peter, o­ne of his disciples: “Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.” Religious leaders ought to instruct military officials to change their mission from o­ne of destruction into o­ne of construction, to realize that their first duty is to render themselves as good instruments in the hands of God to alleviate human suffering rather than inflicting it.

Military officials ought to defy openly political leaders when they are instructed to invade and attack another country, like it was with the case of Iraq which was considered to be a big mistake even by many American politicians. There was a time in history when struggles and wars were viewed as justified under various circumstances. Nowadays, under the guidance of many modern spiritual leaders we have come to realize that the promotion of struggles and wars has ceased completely to be for purpose of security.

The nature of struggles and wars became criminal and it deserves the condemnation of every responsible human being. What did many of the modern spiritual leaders have in common such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Sai Baba of India, the Dalai Lama, and Pope Benedict XVI, in addition to numerous others? They all condemned struggles and wars that are directed to the suffering and massacre of people as an evil that cannot be justified under any circumstance.

Also, Nelson Mandela, along with others, stated that at this stage of history, the “United States has emerged to become the most belligerent and dangerous nation o­n earth.” He based his statement o­n the fact that this nation manufactures and sells more weapons of destruction than all the nations of the world combined! The US government seems to have succeeded fully well to brainwash and indoctrinate the vast majority of American religious leaders to view American involvement in struggles and wars as positive and constructive!

Brainwashing and Indoctrination

Many of the American religious leaders have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to believe that the struggles and wars, which US government wages anywhere in the world, are geared toward the security and national interest of the United States and that the Americans who fight in such struggles an wars are heroes while those who support the cause of these belligerent and genocidal policies are patriots!

This explains why in the USA people hardly ever hear their religious leaders, as a whole, criticizing and condemn in the open the genocidal policies of their government. In their places of worship they opt to remain silent instead of demonstrating courage to condemn all kind of evil by all means. They often speak of peace and harmony but, at the same time, they hardly ever provide means to implement such elements among the various peoples of our planet.

In addition to what has been stated, religious leaders ought to instruct periodically and systematically people everywhere of their sacrosanct moral obligation not to work for the weapons industry by all means. They should also make it clear that all those who perish by the lethal product, which they produce will sooner or later back fire to their regret and with no hope of return, since we cannot ever reverse the clock of history.

Last but not least, religious leaders everywhere should instruct the general public that those who make money through the manufacture and sales of weapons should view such money as blood money. In essence, they are traitors and guilty of the massacre of innocent human lives same way as Judas Iscariot was with Jesus of Nazareth when he betrayed Him for merely 30 pieces of silver!

After all, in our earthly courts of justice not o­nly those who murder are condemned but also those who provide the means for such committed murders. They all share the same identical punishment. If we were to make it a point to fulfill properly our moral obligation to others, peace and harmony in the world may be achieved sooner than later, before we even know it.