The violence of religion

“The atrocities committed in the name of religion are undeniable. They stretch from the Christian holy wars that began towards the end of the Roman Empire, and continue through history right up to the present day of Islamic extremism.”

“ … Dave Andrews … (a) devout Christian has just published a book, provocatively titled ‘The Jihad of Jesus,’ which asks Muslims and Christians to examine their religions in practice, and to acknowledge the violence that lies at the heart of the construction of religion throughout history.”

“Holy wars were being waged by Christians for centuries before the present flashpoint in religious warfare in Iraq and Syria, and overall, he concludes ‘in the conflict between Muslims and Christians there have been more devastating wars among Christian states fighting each other than between Christian and Muslim states, and predominantly Christian states have killed more Jews and Muslims than predominantly Muslim states have killed Christians and Jews.’”

”’Are the atrocities that are done in the name of Christianity or Islam true indicators of the nature of Christianity or Islam, or not?’”

“ … a professor of anthropology … Paul Hiebert, raised the alarm at the dangerous implication of what he defined as ‘bounded set’ religion … “

“’I think in order to understand the violence of religion we have to understand that it’s a way of defining religion as a closed set, where you’ve got people who are in the right, people in the wrong,’ Andrews says. ‘Therefore the people who believe they are right feel they have the responsibility to impose their views on others non-violently, or if necessary, violently.’”

These are extracts from an article ‘Across a violent divide’ by Natasha Robinson in ‘The Australian’ newspaper of 14 August 2015.

Realistically, what hope is there for mankind surviving its contradictory beliefs about the path to God? And to kill in the name of the sole creator of all mankind?