Many of my readers don't care too much for religion, and others don't care too much for religions they view as opposed to Christianity.
Allow me to offer a different perspective: religion taps into an awesome well of human potential for personal growth, community renewal and transcedence of the barriers to same...or for depersonalization, fragmentation and a whole host of divisive and destructive 'isms'.
Consider the awesome potential of the hajj for Muslims who embark upon this spiritual quest, one of the 'five pillars of Islam'. It is a task that requires a significant commitment of real-world time and resources, rich in symbolism:
It is stunning to consider that perhaps three million of my fellow human beings are in the midst of this quest, and that this aerial view of worshippers at Mount Mercy is but a small fraction of this convergence:
Now, where there are that many people in one place there is opportunity for mischief, and so we see that some want to politicize the event, using it as a backdrop to draw attention to their concerns about the world. But, as news accounts show, the vast majority resist this tendency and appear to be focused on the pilgrimage. May the messengers of peace attend them.