How Religion Can Let Loose Humanity’s Most Violent Impulses

Amidst all the Islamophobia and the scapegoating of ordinary people of faith comes this insightful analysis of how religion, any religion, can bring out the best or worst in human nature.

ValerieTarico.com

violence - religion as drugReligion is just one part of the lethal cocktail, but it is a powerful intoxicant.

The year 2015 has opened to slaughter in the name of gods.  In Paris, two Islamist brothers executed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists “in defense of the Prophet,” while an associate killed shoppers in a kosher grocery.  In Nigeria, Islamist members of Boko Haram massacred a town to cries of Allahu Akbar—Allah is the greatest!  Simultaneously, the United Nations released a report detailing the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the Central African Republic by Christian militias, sometimes reciting Bible verses. On a more civilized note, Saudi Arabia began inflicting 1000 lashes on a jailed blasphemous blogger—to be doled out over 20 weeks so that he may survive to the end.

In media outlets around the world, fierce debate has erupted over who or what is responsible.  Is monotheism inherently violent? Is religion an excuse or cover for…

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