Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Religion and Violence
To a friend wondering about the connection between religion and violence:
I don't think it takes quite so much effort to define "religion" nor does it take a lot of work to define "violence" ... and even less effort to connect the two of them.
Ever since Constantine turned the cross in a sword-hilt, christianity has been killing like mad ... so has Islam ... and Judaism - Samuel and Kings are bloody with conquest and vengeance ... and the rogue State of Israel ... god here, god there ... god everywhere in the bloody mix of religion and violence.
Both World Wars were for God and Country ... what with chaplains blessings bombs and soldiers marching off to war ... and Japan's soldiers blessed by the Emperor/God.
It's not that religion produces only violence, but if I had to weigh it in the scales of history, I'd say that religion has produced more violence than it has peace.
Jesus may be the prince of peace, but the church is the king of war.
Virtually all the big religions of the world, maybe even the smaller ones, avoid this issue like the plague ... it's always someone else's fault ... the cause always lies elsewhere ...
While religion, can sometimes, expose the human heart, mostly religion functions as a mask - the tired old mantra, "Jesus died to forgive our sins" is license for cruelty and violence without restraint. After all, we have to do what we have to do to defend our land, our way of life, whatever it may be ... and Jesus died for our sins, so we're off the hook ... home free and clear, and while we kill here with impunity, when we get to heaven, Jesus will smile and tell us how much his blood covered over our sins and washed them away.
Wow - what a gospel.
Anyway, that's how I see these days ...
Blessings and Peace ... and maybe some turmoil of soul, too.