He made the Box. Its four walls, floor and ceiling are the boundaries He set for his subjects. For His subjects, the Believers, the Box is their universe. The dimensions of the Box are given in the His recorded words and the written life and times of His Prophet. Everything outside the Box is forbidden…except when Believers use force or deception to acquire converts, land or resources outside the Box.
He wishes to see the Box expand to encompass the entire world, for all people on earth to emulate His Prophet and submit to Him, to worship Him, to behave as His Prophet, the perfect man. There is little appeal to reason or faith, just demands to enter and dwell in the Box.
Early on, few were interested in the Prophet or His Box. The community in fact ran him out of town for his bothersome proselytizing. Settling upon a new town, the Prophet’s teachings transformed from a spiritual nature to a political doctrine. Here the Prophet proceeded to convert to His cause, bringing new people into the Box. They also began to regularly harass unbelievers and raid trading caravans. The sharing of this ill gotten booty with Believers may have become an allure to draw people into the Box. With his followers, the Prophet crossed the homeland robbing, intimidating local leaders, slaughtered unbelievers, raping and/or enslaving those not killed or exiled.
Upon the Prophet’s death, the followers advanced into neighboring lands on horseback, spreading their belief in the Box. These methods varied with circumstances, but included an invitation to submit to Him and dwell in the Box; or to live in subservience, subjugation and taxation as second class citizens in the Box, or finally to be warred upon until they submitted to Him or died. The Believers expanded from the homeland to the west, into the lands of Egypt, Northern Africa and Hispania which fell to Him and grudgingly entered the Box. The Believers also expanded to the north, into the lands of the Levant, Anatolia and Eastern Europe, and to the east, the lands of Persia, India, central and southeast Asia, also inviting or forcing admittance to the Box.
His followers struck at the heart of Europe numerous times. They occupied parts of the Iberian Peninsula from 711 to 1492; until the Spanish Reconquista expelled them. They were repulsed in 731 by Charles “the Hammer” Martel in France. Constantinople defended itself against various onslaughts for hundreds of years. By 1095, the Byzantine Emperor requested help to resist invading Believers and the Pope urged a counter-campaign as an effort to protect Constantinople and take back the Levant for some People of the Book, although they had only a temporary effect. By 1453, even the great Byzantine Empire in Constantinople fell to invaders. In 1683, the final major battle of Vienna halted the advance of the invaders.
By and large, the People of the Book and other non-believers in the Box were subjugated to a lowly status and heavily taxed. A few prospered due to their skills in science, technology or administration. Native peoples that chose not to submit began to decline precipitously at the hands of the Believers: the Copts in Egypt, the Zoroastrians in Persia, the Hindus in India, the Buddhists in Asia, the People of the Book in the Levant, in Africa and in Asia, and the polytheists everywhere all suffered and were diminished in numbers through relentless persecution. Frequently, the Box surrounded them, though they resisted.
Inside the Box the rules are ancient, strict and immutable. One must abandon intellectual curiosity, the pursuits of science and the study of philosophy. Music, dance, art, even laughter are frowned upon; pets, liquor and certain foods prohibited. Interpersonal relationships must be confined to the most banal and formal of customs. The interplay of male and female restricted, with marriage arraigned for social purposes and seldom for love. Prayer and ritual are required and time consuming. Submission and repetition; submission and repetition; submission and repetition.
At the border of the Box is an eerie interface between what is inside the Box and what is outside. The face of the Box as presented to the rest of the world is one of peace and harmony, of acceptance and enlightenment. The faces looking back at the Box are of two minds: accepting or skeptical, welcoming or defiant; generally representing two sides of ‘understanding’ about the contents of the Box. One group seeing an unschooled, imagined vision with curiosity; drawn to the new and interesting, which may offer safety and community. The other group seeing a vision formed from knowledge of the contents of the foundational documents of the Box, being His words, and the words and deeds of His Prophet. The former is acquainted with only a bit about the Box, assuming much about its contents. The latter is familiar with more about the Box, its language, its culture, its politics, its demands and its 1400 years of violent history and persecution.
Whatever behavior He and His Prophet require among the followers in the Box is of little concern, in general, to people outside the Box. It is the treatment He and His Prophet demand of Believers toward those outside the Box (and those non-believers inside the Box) that should be of concern to those who do not submit to the Box. The treatment of non-believers by Believers can be of a most unkind, discriminatory even barbaric nature. Believers can deceive unbelievers or tell half-truths; they can cheat, harm, rape and kill unbelievers without fear of retribution. Unbelievers have no civil rights to speak of within the Box and none outside the Box, they are barely considered human.
The Box debases, restricts or diminishes humanity; disavows freedom, unity, honor and integrity, science and technology, music and dance, sculpture and painting, the mutual respect of man for woman and woman for man, self-determination and liberty, earthly beauty and grace, joy and exuberance, inquiry and striving, kindness and caring. For in the Box equality is unheard of man to woman, believer to non-believer; and liberty is extinguished.
So then, what has the Box brought to humankind as a whole?
Duality and division, slavery and subjugation, contradiction and abrogation, mockery and distain, assassination and exile, stoning and amputation, beheading and torture, conflict and war, pedophilia and rape, duplicity and discrimination, deception and perfidy, poverty and backwardness, barbarity and bigotry, supremacism and apartheid, false glory and petty spirituality.
There is little faith involved; only physical slavery and mental submission remain to shackle subjects to Him. In short, perpetual confinement in the Box.