Avoiding a descent into the abyss…

So which do you think I’m going to talk about in this post?

Here are some clues. The following are some of the attributes that tend to be present…

A power base and followers. A perceived need to control and expand their influence. A highly competitive nature that seeks to limit or destroy the influence of those who disagree with their particular philosophy, heartfelt beliefs and ethos. Extremes of opinion and polar opposites, each of which are utterly convinced that their moral view is unquestionably superior to that of their opponents. A willingness to fight, kill and die for that moral view.

Politics and religion both have had a great deal to answer for in the past and it seems in the 21st century also. So why do I consider them together? Aren’t they completely separate topics?  I’m not so sure. If you look at the above mentioned attributes, are there any that you can honestly say don’t apply to both?

Whatever the history and however strongly the beliefs are held, it always still comes down to the same thing. What I’m talking about are common denominators that apply to all denominations. Conservative or Labour. Christian or Muslim. Republican or Democrat. And many others, as I mention only a few current examples.

Age old differences in opinion and ethos separate otherwise good people, keeping them in conflict and mistrust. Wars are fought; innocent and vulnerable human beings suffer and die because of a selfish few power hungry individuals and their followers.

Our world is in a very vulnerable position at this time. Extremism and extreme views are sky rocketing all around us, both in the religious and political spectrum, as polar opposites feed on the conflict and mutual mistrust, using its increasing presence as justification for their own escalations. This vicious cycle is out of control in our world and threatens us all, regardless of our faith, political view or ethos.

With elections looming on both sides of the Atlantic, some political views and rhetoric fuelled by fear and ambition could become as great a threat to us all tomorrow, as religious extremism is today. We must when we have to, defend innocent and vulnerable human beings both at home and elsewhere. We must also take great care to keep a balanced perspective on a very complicated set of issues, lest our world descends into the abyss, taking us all with it…

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