On Labels

I was listening to this story on the news this morning regarding a Chaplain in the U.S. Army who is Muslim speaking about what it is like for him and comments about the Fort Hood tragedy.

This chaplain’s words really touched me because his job is to help people and as he says he is a chaplain that happens to be Muslim but he can still help non-Muslim soldiers with life issues like divorce or death. Though we use religion during tragic events or even happy events, those things are things that all people experience regardless of religion. And it is his job to help these people with an open heart as God, no matter the name he is referred, requests and requires.

Another thing the chaplain said that also spoke to me is that the Fort Hood tragedy shows how in the U.S. we are very quick to label people. Does it really matter that the shooter was Muslim? The Muslim faith does not teach people they should kill others for no reason. It is a disturbed mind that makes that kind of connection. Just as there are people of numerous other faiths that have used their religion as an excuse to do horrible things. Those horrible things were done because of the people involved not because the religion.

And that is what I feel to often people who are angry with religion or a specific religion forget. People are fallible, people make mistakes, people can be disturbed or ill. But at least to me religion and faith in religion do not cause horrible things to happen. They are merely an excuse used. Let’s pretend for a minute there was no religion in the world at all. Do we really believe that would end violence between people? Of course not, because think of all the other labels we use to separate people from each other. Nation of origin is a label, skin color is a label, gender is a label. Religion is just convenient because what better excuse to say you are the best and everyone else is bad than to say that the creator of everything told you so.

Being Muslim didn’t cause the shooter at Fort Hood to do the things he did, being human caused it.

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