Hatred of religion
Judge a religion by its adherents, not by those who betray its principles. Jesus is betrayed in every generation by those who have said that they would serve Him.
The Invention of Lying.
Hatred of "institutions"
Many people say, "I hate organized religion."
This is insane. Would any sane person take these views?
- "I hate organized medicine. Who is to say what medications and surgeries are safe and effective? Anybody should be allowed to do anything to anyone at any time. We don't need doctors, nurses, or certified technicians."
- "I hate having an organized body that can detect and cure its own illnesses, recover from injury, act against infections, metabolize food, and eliminate waste. Life should be spontaneous and unlimited."
- "I hate organized society. I want a world where there are no laws, in which everyone can do whatever they please whenever they please. We should not condemn murder, incest, rape, adultery, lying, cheating, or stealing. The natural man is good. We should do what we feel like doing. Whatever anyone thinks is best is best. There should be no traffic laws at all. We should be able to drive however we want to drive and park wherever we want to park. If you can take something away from someone else, help yourself!"
Jesus without the Church
"I hate the Church but love Jesus."
What would we not know about Jesus if there were no Church?
- No gospels.
- No parables.
- No sayings.
- No "good news" of His saving death and Resurrection.
- No Baptism or Eucharist.
- No apostolic authority to sort out conflicting interpretations (e.g., Acts 15).
What would be the history of Jesus of Nazareth?
Roman history: We executed a man who claimed to be "King of the Jews." His followers promptly disbanded and were never heard from again.
Jewish history: The Romans executed a man who claimed to be God. That was the end of that. His death is perfect proof that he was not the Christ.
"Kill Them All"
Needs a good name. Something derived from "Lump Them All Together"?
This is a logical fallacy. Hasty generalization?
- Tiger Woods is a golfer.
- Tiger Woods has been unfaithful to his wife.
- Golf destroys marriages.
- One of them does the standard sleight-of-hand trick of saying, in essence, “The murderers were Muslim, and by Muslim, I mean Christian.” This is magicked by the expedient of reducing all acts of Islamic violence to the work of “religion” and then declaring “religion” to refer to Christianity. He writes:
- To imply that organized religious has furnished these people with the mental, physical courage to perform these acts of kindness to a fellow human being, seems a bit big; under the circumstances. The countless acts of barbarity and cruelty perpetrated worldwide every day, in the name of god, does not support this theory. Furthermore, was this very act of inhuman depravity not also committed under the cries of ‘God is great,’ even if uttered in Arabic?
- In short, if you’ve seen one religion, you’ve seen ‘em all.
Anatagonism toward Religious Certitude
- One such book is The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris, which repeatedly—mantra-like—uses words such as "ignorant" and "irrational" in making the case that religious faith is not only outdated, but overtly evil. Every religion, Harris muses, "preaches the truth of propositions for which no evidence is even conceivable. This puts the ‘leap’ in Kierkegaard’s leap of faith" (Harris, The End of Faith, 23). He adds: "Religious faith represents so uncompromising a misuse of the power of our minds that it forms a kind of perverse, cultural singularity—a vanishing point beyond which rational discourse proves impossible" (Harris, The End of Faith, 25).
- In 2004, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) met in Paris to examine how governments could fight the harmful effects of hate speech on the Internet. Anti-black, anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic, anti-women, anti-American, and every kind of hate in between can be found on the Internet. Moreover, hate groups are not limited to written messages. Hate music, interactive video games, and streaming audio broadcasts can be found on many of the estimated 4,000 hate-oriented Web pages.
- With all of that true hate to be concerned about, one non-governmental representative at the Paris meeting argued that evangelical Christian sites that reach out to Jews in an effort to bring them to Christ were anti-Semitic and should be banned from the Internet under hate speech restrictions. More incredibly, when the Russian delegation had its turn to speak, it identified only two Web pages as promoting hate: those run by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Hare Krishnas. The argument was that both of these groups purported to set forth "the truth." According to the Russians, anyone who claimed to know and set forth the truth was necessarily engaged in hate speech.
Religion is the root of all evil
- According to the Encyclopedia of Wars (Phillips and Axelrod), of the 1,763 major conflicts in recorded history, only 123 of them can be classified as having been fought over religious differences. That’s less than seven percent.
- The encyclopedia also explains that the number of people killed in these conflicts amounts to only two percent. This means that even when wars have been fought over religious disputes, they tend to be less bloody than when they are fought for other reasons.
- Religion is a powerful motivator, and thus is often invoked in wartime, but the real reasons most wars have been fought have nothing to do with it. Instead, they have to do with political control–either allowing certain political leaders to gain or remain in power (e.g., who is the rightful heir to the throne) or they have to do with gaining political control of resources (e.g., land, money, food supplies, transportation and trade routes) or they have to do with a particular leader’s ambitions (i.e., being remembered as a great man, or not being remembered as a weak man). When leaders aren’t being totally naked about those things, they dress them up with national pride or religion, but ultimately they are not at the root.
- The reason political leaders invoke religion when going to war is that religion is a powerful motivator that is built into human nature, which is why religion appears in all human societies. It’s a human universal, and religion in that sense is not something Jesus came to abolish. He didn’t come to root the religious impulse out of mankind but to shape it and channel it properly (e.g., “Blessed are the peacemakers”).