Some ancient religions required human...

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Some ancient religions required human sacrifices, others animal sacrifices, still others the annihilation of “unbelievers”. To that extent, religion sometimes does cause wars. The problem comes when all religions are lumped together and summarily rebuked, ridiculed, rebuffed or relegated to the scrap heap of human experience. This is a form of religious “profiling” that those who oppose religion would very often abhor being used to fight crime or prevent terrorism.
I struggled as a young man with the phrase “Christian guerillas” as it was applied to one of the factions fighting in Beirut, Lebanon. As a Christian myself, the two terms seemed antithetical to each other, but they were strung together never- the- less by reporters and news editors covering that struggle.
Religion and religious people have often been used and abused, twisted, misguided and manipulated by callous (and often non- religious) politicians (or power- intoxicated religious leaders) to initiate and/or seek justification for war.
But saying that religion causes war is like saying that vehicles cause accidents. Yes, from time to time wars have been fought in the name of religion. And at times religion was the pivotal cause or justification of such wars. But religious people have also done much good for their neighbors, and strangers alike. Did anyone notice the number of religious organizations what were already on the ground in Haiti even before the earthquake struck?
Those who oppose religion for any reason are quick to blame religion for every war they can, but they refuse to notice the good that religious people have done and the billions of dollars that are quietly given every year by religious people to religious organizations and used to improve communities, minister to the hurting, the sick and the needy of all sorts.
Every coin has two sides.

Religion (162)
Tim wrote on February 7, 2010

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