It was supposed to be a simple homework assignment. It was all for a simple homework grade. This assignment was to read a book and summarize the events that unfolded. The book was Ishmael. In my environmental science class, analyzing the views of environmentalists and formulating opinions of our own are essential. On that day, I found something else.
The story of Ishmael is about an educated gorilla teaching his pupil how to shift his thinking from a man bent on destroying his world, to a man actively fighting to prevent his fellow men from destroying his world. The homework assignment was to read Chapter 5 and write an analysis of it. I read the chapter up to the point where Ishmael, the gorilla, tells the pupil, “Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live?”
Before this assignment, I used to believe everything that the priest said in his homilies. Catholic proclamations, parish periodicals, diocesan pamphlets, they were all considered true in my head. I have learned to respect many leaders and hate many enemies of the faith, all from these publications. Then came that one night. Ishmael’s statement just clicked in my head. That night, everything religious that I had read or heard concerning my faith took a deep blow. In my head, all the voices of seventeen years of devout faith and respect were pleading their cases. Despite their cases, I started to pull away. A gorilla teaching his pupil decided my verdict.
A topic like capital punishment is an argument that will never end because there will never be an argument to end all arguments. Because of this, people depend on prophets. According to Ishmael, the purpose of a prophet is to stand up and teach people how to straighten out their lives and give them new rules and principles to live by. These people have gained enormous influence because of their teachings to the point of millions backing their prop...