Watching the media report about the current crisis in the middle east and Eastern Europe is about as painful as actually being there to witness these events unfold. So many news outlets just love wars, after all it kicks up in viewers, readers and revenues!
What is so shocking to me, after having watched so many political roundtables and reporters discussing what can we done, with many blaming one side or another, one thing that is never touched on is the root of all this evil. Religion!
You can balk at this as much as you like, but one thing should be clear, no treaties, peace talks or the like will ever be worth the paper they are written on until these countries enjoy governments that are completely separated from their religions.
A separation of church and state should be the bulk head that all constitutions begin with, this should be the first article, followed by the free exercise of, and freedom of, said religions. Then should follow, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the the press, equal rights for all under law, and the right and compulsion for all citizens to vote.
Anyone could not argue (aside from compulsion to vote) that these should be the basis of any constitution, yet none of these are broached, even when The West pour billions into rebuilding these countries after such conflicts. The West should be a beacon for these things, yet we sit idly by and try to negotiate peace with no real meaningful caveats.
I have always been of the opinion that nothing will ever get better in these regions until religion is given a back seat to law in any government and collectively by the people, and that a clear separation of church and state is the only salvation these countries can have from what we have seen unfolding over the past few decades in the middle east.
So I turn to the late Christopher Hitchens and great Salman Rushdie’s conversation from 2010 for a refresher on why this is and always will be a basket case that no one will fix until these things are addressed.