If religion is about peace why are some of the worst wars caused by religion?
Look at the Romans waging war against the Jewish stronghold at Masada. Hunting and killing because of religion not land, they had already fled their homes and lands. Through the years so much hate. The pagans of Ireland were persecuted by the protestants, young families stolen and killed; lands and merger dwellings stolen; then those that were shot for their beliefs, refusing to conform.
Unfortunately, Gabriel, religion is also a powerful platform. During the French wars, and many other periods of history, religion was THE greatest power, even over kings and queens. Of course, rich and corrupt people wanted to be the ultimate Ruler. As you dig into history you will find that religion was, and still is, a very powerful tool to manipulate and control the masses - all in the name of God. Only the few, and truly godly, understand that God's true kingdom vs "religion" shows itself by the fruit an individual bears... Love, grace, and peace or a self-righteous, dictatorship-style personality.
I view it as religion being used as a justification to do immoral and savage things by humans tending to their barbaric side. People say it's all in the name of religion, when the religion itself doesn't necessarily preach that. It's how we interpret it, and some twist words to suit their own mischievous behaviors. I don't say wars are caused by religion, but they are caused by humans using religion as an "excuse".
If you want to influence mass number of people then you have to have that one thing that is common about all of them and in such cases it all boils down to religion.
Not really Puneet. The most effective 20th century mass murderers were atheist (or "neo pagan spiritualists"). Hitler 15 million. Stalin 56 million plus. Mao 78 million plus. Pol Pot 7 million. Not counting soldiers/civilians. None were "religious".
Could you say that is because they were killing those that were religious? Hitler killed Jews?
Religion have taken a broad view these days. The name you mentioned like Hitler Stalin Mao Pol Pot became such great leaders in fact gods for their followers. They invented the religion of their own.
Interesting position when we ask "what is a religion". Certainly most think of atheism as a religion. No clear cut definition. The following of a mass through faith seems fair. Communism is a religion.
You start your question with two false assumptions:
1. Religion is about peace
2. The worst wars are caused by religion.
Religions are not always about peace. Some are very much about war and conquest and boiled down to little more than "My God is more powerful than your God." Most of the pagan religions were not about peace but intimidation of the masses. The Romans had Mars. The Greeks had Ares. Islam's Allah demands conquest. Molech consumed 25,000 Caananite babies a year just prior to the Israelite conquest. The Berbers had Agurzil, the Ethiopians had Maher, The Aztecs had five violent gods that required massive human sacrifice and acts of conquest. The Irish had Anaan. The Chinese had Chi You and dozens upon dozens of other warrior deities. The Egyptians Anhur and several others including Manhet whose name meant "she who massacres". The Hawaiians had Ku. The Hindus have Mangala, Murugan, Shiva and a whole bunch more. The Japanese have several including Futsunushi the god of conquest. The Babylonians had Belus, a male god of war and Ishtar, the goddess of sex and war. All of the Norse gods were gods of war. Even the Hebrew God, Yahweh was perceived by other nations as a warrior god. And there are a lot more of them than that.
In most cases religion is used as a tool by governments - leaders who wish to control others in order to support their lavish lifestyle. Even the war that most anti-religionists cite - the Crusades - wasn't strictly a religious war. The kings of Europe faced a huge threat from invading Muslim hordes. Muslim armies reached the gates of Paris and the walls of Vienna in their attempt to conquer Christian Europe. The kings appealed to the pope to command Christians to take up arms and push the Muslim hordes back. Once that was done, you had tens of thousands of leftover heavily armored knights romping around Europe abusing the peasants. To valve off that extra military might so the peasants could get back to tending the fields, the mills and the smithies, the Pope sent off armies of them to reconquer the Holy Lands.
Turns out all that religion was merely an excuse for kings and emperors to protect their turf while keeping the workforce subdued. Meanwhile, those who had access to the Scriptures began to actually read the original Bible and make copies. When people read Scripture, the feudal system began to die and the idea that all men are created equal took root. Christianity did that.
Cool conclusion. I think we mean "equal in the eyes of God". My neighbor is much more crafty than I. Thank you for a nice answer.
We may be created equal, but God also gave us freedom to make of ourselves whatever we wish. To those who see themselves as our natural rulers, the opportunity for the proletariat to rise in the world is seen as a threat to their position.
And this happens at the Parish level. Vigilance is at a premium.
That's an amazing answer, one that will keep me thinking a while. I appreciate it.
Because religion isn't about peace, it's about control and preventing people learning the truth about spirituality and the nature of the higher All Father God, Goddess and Son. Instead they are misled by a god who would be God, but who isn't.
Much is revealed in the Gnostic gospels, those the Church and early religion tried to destroy and ban and prevent us from seeing.
The god of supposed Christianity is also the god of Islam and Judaism, the god of Moses and Abraham. So why the division. Divide and conquer. Divide and rule. Divide and hide the truth. Islam, Christianity and Judaism and all the sect within are too busy fighting between themselves to even begin seeking the truth. But its out there and it is not for the truth to seek us, but for us to seek the truth.
The idea of controling people and preventing them from learning the truth about the real God seems a little off the wall, but then you think about it: and that really is what is happening today. People killing in the name of their God.
You can't just say that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are too busy fighting between themselves to seek truth. Billions of religious people are seeking truth. The fighting happens when evil people become governments and start wars to get rich.
twayneking. It's not religion people need to seek the truth, its spirituality.
Islam is unique for marrying religion and politics - the Koran specifies a legal / governmental system that privileges Islam so people want to convert and demands that the whole world be converted or submit to second class status, by the sword if not willingly.
Aside from Islam, no other religion has wars to convert people, but many kings have used religion to bolster their claims to rule - divine right. Constantine, for example, tried several faiths before he won under Christ and then started spreading THAT faith.
So while Christianity, Buddhism, etc have often been a reason for going to war, the more common one is King X of faith A and King Y of faith B are fighting, and they use their faiths as justification for political acts, but the faiths don't call for the wars.
So if there was no religion it would just be another belief of sorts that would be the governing factor. Ah! the world we live in. Thanks Tamara.
Islam unique for marrying religion and politics! What about all the Christian Bishops sitting in the House of Lords? And what about Israel. That's surely a marriage between religion and politics.
Power attracts the corruptible. Plenty of evil bishops, Imams, rabbis, kings, cardinals, popes and emperors to go around. Look at the hundreds of millions murdered by atheist governments in the 20th century. No religion there at all.
Atheist communist China and Russia had a cold war of their own.
Atheist communist Cambodia had a genocide that killed a third of its people.
All people want to be happy. On planet Earth, the more power the more happiness. Christianity is religion of suffering. Christianity can not stop all the wars in the world! Only universal weapon can stop all wars on Earth. And only Jesus Christ knows the formula of universal weapon.
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