Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Religion and Violence
One of the problems with religion (of any sort) is they don't always deliver what they promise. It would be nice to believe religions generally make for better living, that they involve godly urges, and improve the cultures they impact. Except history shows that that for every Gandhi or Mother Teresa, there are examples of something else religion can arouse.
Muslim extremists aren't the only ones using violent means to achieve their ends. In the United States, we have, in the extreme Christian right, the militias. A recent story was about one with the idea of killing people to bring on the Apocalypse. We all know the gods can't take care of business without some human help.
Religions encourage their adherents to believe they are right-- sometimes with a simple sense of moral superiority but sometimes at the point of a sword.
How widespread do you expect this kind of thing to become?
(This week-end we watched 'Goya's Ghosts' which is about the Spanish painter Francisco Goya and the Spanish Inquisition. It is about how religion, when it has too much power, can become abusive. It's not a pleasant film but it is a powerful one.)