“But love ye your enemies, and do good…” (Luke 6:35)
In the wake of the deceptions of the age in which men are trying to put forward religion as the problem of humanity, I notice that people try to point to the 80 years war as a supposedly classic example of the devastation religion can cause. But I wish to talk about this 80 years war and point to the true origin of the sad event.
First the 80 years war, if it had not been a war, would have been a massacre of innocent people. What broke out into this war was a resolute decision to save innocent from this massacre. For this reason, while the war was a sad event, sadder still would have been that which it averted. People try to see it as a war between groups divided along religious lines, but there was no religious division in this war. It was a war between good and evil of which the evil ultimately lost in its sinister quest to massacre innocent people. This article would explain why.
The protagonist of this event was William I, Prince of Orange, a Lutheran by upbringing. His father was a protestant but because of the condition attached to estates and titles he was to inherit, he was required to have a Roman Catholic education which his father acquiesced to while he was still young. Though he received a Roman Catholic education, his education was not enough to destroy the human part of him.
When he was grown he had a discussion with King Henry II of France in which the king intimated him on a secret understanding between Philip II and himself on the violent extermination of Protestantism in France, Netherlands, and the entire Christian world. He told William this probably because he thought William was aware himself, or that he was convinced that William would allow his Roman Catholic sentiments to be happy with the agreement. However William did not contradict the king while they discussed and it seemed as though William was in agreement with them. But he in his heart was determined within himself that he would not allow such evil conspiracy to slaughter innocent and honourable men. It was the effort of William to avert this evil conspiracy that resulted in the 80 years war, not religious sentiments, as ignorant people would like to see it.
Why did I say it was not a religious one? Of course it has a lot of religious elements in the conspiracy. Roman Catholics wanted to destroy protestants. But the war itself was between two Roman Catholic parties, not Roman Catholic vs Protestant parties. One of the Roman Catholic had not let his religious sentiments destroy the human part of him and would not watch the slaughter of innocent and honourable men, and wicked men who wanted to slaughter innocent people quite unprovoked. William justified his conflict with Philip by saying that, even though he had decided for himself to keep to the Roman Catholic faith, he could not agree that monarchs should rule over the souls of their subjects and take from them their freedom of belief and religion.
If people wish to criticise religion they have to look for another example in the futile strife to prove that religion is the problem of humanity. I know that wicked men often hide behind a religious banner to champion their evil cause, but there is never enough reason to conclude that religion is the problem of humanity. The true religion of which Jesus is the author and finisher that teaches us to love our neighbours including our enemies is the solution for all of mankind’s troubles and not the problem. Let us gladly embrace this religion and live our lives according to its dictates. May God help us all. Amen.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us not to be deceived that religion is the problem of mankind thus advised to flee from that which is the solution of all our problems. Teach us to love our neighbours including our enemies. Foil the schemes of the evil ones who like to hide behind the goodness of religion to achieve selfish and sinister schemes. Thank you dear Father. Amen.