HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

The Excuse-Makers for Religious Violence and Violent Religion
 
Believers would say that religion is all about being honest and truthful and good.  What else would you expect?  If religion was about hypocrisy and an excuse for violence they would still say it.  And it is possible for a religion to use nice teachings in order to make its members feel superior to other religions so that they will plot to eliminate them with bloodshed.

We have to be careful that we are not enabling religious evil by taking them at their word. It is too serious for that.

Most religious people, indeed the vast majority, will do nothing about the bad side of a religion. That alone suffices to condemn a religion. It is to blame when that many are so indifferent or preach but take no action. 

When members of a religion commit evil randomly over religious belief many try to make excuses.  It is bewildering when these voices are non-members and when the voices are sometimes the voices of politicians there is grounds for worry.  Part of the problem is stupid insincere people who don't or won't see that religious texts that applaud evil can contribute to some people becoming violent.  With some people it may be the only motivation they need.  People do obey religious revelations you know!

What about the thought, “If things have been bad with this religion we don’t know if it would be as bad or worse without it.” If no difference is made then there is nothing special about religion or this particular one. It is overrated.  For religion to say that if it was bad, it would be worse without it is just a rationalisation and excuse for the evil it has done.  The statement fails to give any justification for religion. Religion, by its posturing and praying and preaching, implies the statement is true and good and that makes religion inherently dangerous. It is dangerous in the sense that it does not care enough about thwarting evil.

In our world your statue can be pulled down if you have advocated slavery while somebody evil like Moses or Brigham Young might be honoured with a statue.  When people are outraged at one evil and not at a similar one or enraged at people for doing things they do themselves that is a clear sign not just of hypocrisy but also of projection. There is something in the dire events that triggers a fear of something in themselves and a wish to oppress a certain kind of person while their equal or worse will be getting off the hook.  Religion and politics are guaranteed to get respect for those who do not deserve it.  Criticism of the respected idol becomes off-limits. Rage say against one evil religionist and not another who may have led his people into genocidal action against another religion is a sign that you have dehumanised the victims. You don't care or are happy deep down that they were destroyed.

Nobody cares that it is Muslims who blow themselves up to kill hundreds and not Buddhists.  Its interesting how it is considered by many to be a duty to say it is cultural but not religious! What are those people trying to hide? Why does religion always get excused for its role in evil? Surely if the abuse could be cultural or religious and we do not know which it is better to blame religion when we can for automatically blaming culture can be racist?  And religion is a form of culture which makes the defenders look totally stupid.

Some believers say, "The bad people in our religion give all of us a bad name."  At least they admit that the bad are in the religion.  And if the religion is man-made and not from a maximally good God or gods then the religion is to blame.  They are rebuking those who give the bad name to all the religion but blame the bad members for it  But why are you not blaming those who tar you all with the one brush?  Clearly the believers know the religion or church has a toxic bad side.

Whatever is not a need, is still to blame if people use it as an excuse for evil.  All religions are different and some claim to be needed but others are more easygoing.  A particular religion is to blame when it can be done without.  We hold that no religion is needed so it is religion itself not just particular religions that are disgraceful.

If people are using religion as an excuse for violence then why that excuse and not another one? Why is religion so good at being an excuse?  It is too good at it.  Thus religion should not be supported or given money.  Do not plant it in your children!

Every religion has its liars and self-appointed public relations goons who lie about the religion's teaching to make it sound more humane. Not all these defenders are in the religion. The politically correct defend bad religion too.  This furthers their political aspirations.  For example, offend Muslims or tell the truth about them and you will lose Muslim votes.

If many religious people are violent and cruel, those who enable them are worse. They do the evil by proxy by being complicit in it. No dictator stands alone. No monster can be an island. Some say that if a religious person is evil that he would have been evil without religion. Maybe. But he wouldn't be able to wreak evil in the name of religion. Religion gave him a means with which to bully. He would have had less options if there had been no religion. And nobody has the right to say he would have been just as bad without religion. Nobody can know that. It is better to lay the blame at the feet of his faith more than him. To say he would have still been bad without religion is to ignore the fact that he will not agree - he will say his faith endorses his evil. Why not believe him? Do not be too biased in religion's favour to disbelieve! What is so darn special about religion? 

A Muslim who may not know her religion is terrorist is a potential sympathiser in the sense that if she knew she might sympathise. A Catholic who may not know if Jesus left it up to people to decide if he discontinued the murderous laws of God  is a potential sympathiser too.  And he is okay with the murders Jesus supposedly commanded in the Old Testament.  What does the whitewashing by defenders of violent religion do to say Islam? It encourages people to stay Muslim and raise their kids as Muslim. And then whey they find out the violent teachings of the faith they end up following them. The terrorists are able to get followers from them and the followers feel supported by the fact that people stay Muslim despite the evil done by the religion with the blessing of its God. Less people would stay if the spin doctors stopped giving them hope that the violent teachings were wrong. If you are in a violent religion but your community is anti-violence, the terrorists will come to you to recruit and they will succeed simply because you are all, at least in principle, one community. Terrorists will recruit from Muslims not Catholics. See the point?
 
Suppose a religion murders heretics and wages war. It is a strange argument that the religion is good but individual religionists are bad as religionists. It is mere whitewash. If being a bad religious person is possible, then it is possible for there to be bad religion too. Those who claim to think that religion is never bad but some members of a religion can be are dishonest for at best one might think that some religions are bad but not all.
 
It is obvious there have to be religions that command violence and murder. The trouble is that these faiths get their strength to do these things from people who won't terminate their membership even if they are not directly involved. The bloodletters rightly see this as tacit approval.
 
The statement that religion only causes trouble when its cuddles up to politics makes no sense. What other way is religion going to wage war?
 
It is good and the accepted policy to take the best possible interpretation of what some religion does. If it thirsts for blood, perhaps we should not accuse the members of being evil but of being somehow deranged enough by their faith to enable atrocities and to participate in them? Should we blame the religion not the people who comprise it? If religion says we must love sinners and hate the sins they commit then why not hate the religion but not the people who comprise it? Why not blame religion and condemn it out of love for the people in it?
 
Some say that there are no conflicts between religions but only seeming conflicts between religions.
 
It doesn't make any sense how everybody agrees that seeing a group as "other" is a baby step to discriminating against and persecuting them and how some can say that there are only seeming but not real conflicts between religions. In fact, a group claiming to be God's group accelerates the "us versus them" or "we are us and they are they" kind of thinking. It worsens it and is a catalyst for progressive division.
 
Those who say that the wars have nothing to do with theology or religious belief and that religion is being made to serve as a convenient label for opposing groups. That is only a guess. Why would you guess that? Why would you want to give religion a squeaky clean CV? The argument is based on lies too. Whoever says all religion is good by nature is simply insane or lying. Even Catholicism denies that religion is necessarily good. The Bible is full of criticism of evil religion. The argument contradicts the fact that if a religion is less good than the next one, that proves that religion can harm. It is based on assuming that just because some religious warmongers get oil and power and wealth from their bloodletting activities that this means religion and faith has nothing to do with it even if they say it has got everything or a lot to do with it!!!! If religion does harm, then anybody who lies about that is participating in that harm and enabling it. It is too serious a matter to tell lies about. It is not a guessing matter.
 
The argument: "Religion never causes wars. It is only when it is used by a political regime that it may be used to excuse or wage war. The problem is with politics". This overlooks the fact that religion has teachings about how politics should operate. It ignores the fact that the religion lets members get involved in politics. It does not tell presidents of the nation to be men of peace but to wage war if they deem it just. And if religion can be used for political warmongering that proves that it can be an expert at the religious warmongering.
 
A harmful religion often gets off the hook for warmongering because do-gooders reason, "Many of them do not interpret their faith or religion or holy books in a belligerent way. Some do. But we cannot blame the religion for the problem when there are peace-loving members in it." But if a religion has doctrines or scriptures that lend themselves to a nasty interpretation then the religion is to blame - period. The peace-lovers could actually be in denial that their religion really is nasty. Those with their benevolent interpretations cannot prove they are the authorised and infallible interpreters of the religion. They cannot expect or ask the violent others to take them seriously. They cannot expect or ask them to adopt their benign interpretation. And if you interpret God's violent word in a sweet way you will have no credibility and will be seen as a do-gooder hypocrite.

For believers to encourage believers to read a book of violent revelations from God ignores the fact that they are being told to absorb bad example.  Also the people who first got the revelations acted on them and were meant to. That is not in the slightest commendable.  The readers are being told to interpret and that is a job each person must do for herself or himself. And what if the toxic literal interpretation is the right or intended one? Literal or not the Bible and Koran are a bad influence. To read stuff about God ordering people to be stoned to death is not good no matter what the interpretation is.
 
If you follow the Koran and the Bible then this is in your head even if it is not explicitly so, "This is the word of God. I interpret it as a beacon of peace. There are violent texts in it from God. He seems to endorse violence and even genocide. I admit that. Therefore my peaceful interpretation could be wrong. I want peace but I could be wrong. If my interpretation is wrong then I apologise to God for not taking up the sword."
 
Some blame politics for the bad things religion does. But religion is a form of politics. It is spiritual politics. Its members become involved in politics. Its leaders try to direct politics. The religion gets recognised as a religion by the state. Religion is always political both directly and indirectly. The state takes account of and is affected by a religion that is organised and that is big enough. Religion says it should be followed in all areas of life including politics.
 
Some people take advantage of the fact that not all people agree on how to define religion. Some define it too narrowly and others too widely so that religion can mean anything. So when a religion does bad they deny it is religion. They are never consistent. They call religion religion in so far as it does good but they don't refer to the local soup kitchen as a religion. Their dishonesty shows a lack of concern for the harm religion does and shows a desire to protect religious belief or religion at the expense of its victims.

Liberal Christians read the Bible God's endorsement of extreme violence and waffle about there being layers of interpretation and how complex it all is.  That is rubbish.  It is only an excuse for saying the texts are true but not literally true.  Politicians should start war mongering and say that their speeches are not to be taken literally and the lovely peaceful meaning is there behind the horrible words.  Liberals insult your intelligence and defend evil texts.  If interpretation is that complex then the Bible is really effectively useless.  And you can use the complicated interpretation waffle to get around peaceful texts too so that you can advocate terrible things.  There can be no conclusive interpretation so the liberals should not complain if some liberals start calling for holy war.  Liberals are not always peace and love.  Plainly even if there is a complex interpretation, who would want it?  It is easier to read the text as it stands.  Most people will naturally do that.  The writers would have known that too.  And it does not matter how complex a process led to the Bible texts being formed that does not imply a complex interpretation is being called for.  It has nothing to do with it.  Liberal Christians are just liars.

Cherry picking is not an option. The Bible never tells us it is okay to contradict it. Progressive Christians turn what they want to believe into the word of God and end up being immature relativists. There is no greater bigot than the one whose own word is put out there as the word of God.
 
Those who make excuses for religion only have the right to do so if there is no case at all to be made that its scriptures and doctrines imply that hurting others is fine. Otherwise they are only enablers of the problem.

When a religion or any group that claims to be a religion or supporter of peace condemns violence, could it be that its condemnations have no effect on its violent members because they detect an air of insincerity in the condemnations? Sinn Fein and the Catholic Church should be able to tell us all about that! There is enough to wage war about without religion making its input. Religion opposes this principle by merely existing. Thus its hands are stained with blood.

Religion makes its adherents more accepting of war in the sense that they embrace something that claims that it is sufficient to start a war over. Religion claims to matter more than education or food or the health service or anything else. Christ said man does not live by bread alone but by the word of God. Suppose a religion say Catholicism in some not so obvious way programs people to make them likely to persecute people of other faiths. If Catholics wage war over religion, those Catholics who disapprove will not start opposing Catholicism as such and so they become part of the problem.
 
People hurt each other and crave war. If a religion is human in origin, it can do that too. A human religion will invoke a series of differing human responses - and the responses will vary in how good or helpful they are. Saying things such as that any religion is a religion of goodness and peace is just stupid. And it is terrible when it is said despite some of the members of religion waging war in its name or becoming religious terrorists.

Those who say religious terrorism is not religious need to stop the lazy thinking. The Bible/Koran does preach violence. Believers in God hold he makes evil and lets it happen for good reasons thus opening the door to Bible and Muslim prophets like Moses who believed God was giving them the right to say have witches stoned to death. The Bible/Koran preaches violence and that alone is dangerous for human nature being what it is will be only too keen to be inspired by it.

If violence is preached by a divine revelation to a religion then the religion is to blame for any violence that happens in its name even if it never in the slightest sanctions it.  Those who excuse it are as bad and perhaps at times worse.