Some ways in which religion leads to violence without obviously inciting it

Some say religion at least in some forms is the cause of violence and dangerous fanaticism.  Others say they disagree but instead say it is the breeding ground, the psychological and perhaps spiritual climate in which intolerable problems and harms arise.

Jesus famously said there is nothing for his true follower to fear.  Nothing.  The Bible doctrine that you must never be afraid does not fit how God’s intervention to bring about the greater good may be centuries off. Knowing that fear leads to trouble, religion says you must not be afraid. But everybody who wages violence on the grounds that they are afraid does it for they think the better life is too far away. They are about today, tomorrow and next week. The advice is a lie pure and simple and tries to put all the blame on the violent person. If you are really against violence you do not exploit tragedies like that.

Other dangerous doctrines are, “God is in the evil working for good so it is not as bad as it looks. We must trust.” That would be outrageous in the face of Auschwitz.

Making such excuses for God for letting evil happen and his sending his grace and love as medicine are as unethical as the following.

Jane is treated for cancer at a clinic.

The treatment proves useless.

She goes back to the clinic to complain. They tell her, “The therapy does work but only for another version of you in a parallel universe.”

The fact that if you want to go as far as to set up religious systems and churches and temples to take the worship of God seriously meaning you take his supposed purpose very seriously indeed, you throw away any right to warn against the clinic.

Another conversation needs to be formed around how the use of mere religious words such as sacred, God, providence, holiness seem to have remarkable power to get a conscience to justify atrocities.  If religion leads to evil, religious words separately lead to evil too.  Think of how reassured Putin was in 2023 when Kim Jong-Un said to him that we support your "sacred fight" against the west. Let others discuss that for now.  Suffice to say if holy words, words that trigger some kind of sense of divine protection program us and grip us, have such power religion is dangerous indeed.

If religion has harmful doctrines and good ones, harbours good individuals who act in its name and ones who harm in its name then it is neither good or bad.  Ignoring the bad to look at the good instead would be evil.  It needs to be looked at as a whole.  But when it aims to initiate children, get privileges from the state, get access to children's minds, money and run the lives of its priests, ministers, nuns and monks it is implicitly claiming to be good and special.  That is evil for it is not.  And it has allies who ignore the harm. Whoever ignores the harm is an evil person in their own right.

A bad social entity or person can cause untold harm without even trying.  It may not command harm for it knows it does not need to and in secret laughs into its sleeve at the people within and without who have been corrupted by its moral arsenic.  And as people have moral arsenic of their own religion only needs to push certain buttons without looking like it is in any way responsible.

If a religion or scripture does not strictly lay it down that x must be done and the religion tends to do x then don't let anybody say, "X is bad but it is not really part of the religion."  Each religion has to be more than what its doctrines and scriptures say.  Take for example, Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet did not decree by law that Mormon males must spend two years on mission work.  Yet who can deny this practice is part of true Mormonism.  It is too ingrained and it's allowed and endorsed by the principles. It expresses Mormon beliefs so that is enough.  As a religion surely has to allow for mistakes it follows it is still to blame if some believers wrongly think they should start wars to overthrow secularism.


You cannot fight an ideology of religious violence. You can bomb but it will always come back. The violence is a symptom of the ideology. Nobody says, “Okay we want terrorism and war and suicide bombings so let us invent an ideology that demands it.” Any ideology can lead to such evil. But if you say your ideology is not yours but given to you by God or Jesus or the Archangel Michael you lay the responsibility on it and the reasons for it on somebody else - somebody who may not exist or have spoken at all! Such ideology has special power to do evil for it is protected from tests that may show its human origin. Anything that is protected from testing is telling you to believe and close your mind. A religion having a God who creates violent feelings in people, who lets them be enslaved by hate, who inspires bloody prophets and revelations, that uses its good works to get you to ignore its bad side and which approves of people having lost their lives over God (eg Christianity says that though it is now wrong to kill people it was okay under the guidelines left by God in Old Testament times) should be abandoned like it was on fire. Its worship of God is trampling on graves. Some say religion is not the worst warmonger. That is nonsense. It is. But even if it were not, the fact remains that a system that condones evil though it acts non-violent deserves all the rancour that a warmongering religion does. Today's people who do not hate murder and violence enough become killers tomorrow or if they get the opportunity. A religion not being belligerent means nothing if that religion condones evil.

The arsenic that eventually kills

Peaceful leaders of a religion that has violent revelations from God - either they show they secretly admire violence or they may blatantly command it - cannot make the religion a truly peaceful religion. Its version of God is still pro-suffering and pro-death. It is not your place to call a religion with violent revelations from God and ridiculous teachings and which produces at least some violent members who will make the innocent bleed in its name a religion of peace. It is up to the evidence to do that and it does it by looking at its scriptures and its alleged power to cure violent religious fanaticism.
The notion of a religion with a violent god or scriptures producing good people is too bizarre for words. Their goodness is not down to the religion and it will not last if it is.
The Catholic who teaches that God uses evil and lets people commit immense atrocities for it is his wise plan and the Muslim who thinks it is God's will to blow yourself up to take innocent people to death have the exact same kind of faith. They just act it out differently. Both say yes to suffering for they want to please God or want to feel they please God. Not all members are violent but the membership that lives within the law is making the violence possible and must take some responsibility. Without Catholicism for example, there cannot be Catholic motivated violence.
Only a religion that has scriptures that are intolerant of violence and lies and evil and which seems to have an uncanny power to lift man to higher degrees of virtue than you would expect can use the not all bad argument. Christianity or Islam is not that religion. The fact that their holy books portray a violent God settles that.

A person does not just do evil. The person absorbs evil influences and most of that influence will be absorbed without the person realising it. So the question is not, “How evil is x for setting out to be a religious terrorist and suicide bomber?” The question is what has influenced him to think it is okay and to feel he should do it? As he is a religious based terrorist the obvious answer is that the religious influence is the problem. His action raises the question, have others influenced him deliberately or unwittingly? Have others not given him the right influence.  Has the religion come across as permitting terrorism or inferring it is not a terrible wrong but an okay wrong?

If a person is conditioned to believe that killing people of other religions is not seriously wrong or not wrong at all or even good you need incredible evidence before you can trust that person in society. Conditioning is very powerful and can seem to be gone and then resurrect itself unexpectedly. The person themselves could end up surprised at what they want to do and do. The seeds of violence were planted in the child and seeds can grow when the person himself will least expect it.

Bullies thrive on the feeling that they are at least secretly approved and supported by those who matter to them.  They certainly feel supported by God whether or not they think he approves.  Many easily feel that God does not care if they do harm and even that in some mysterious way he is happy they are doing it.

A religion that makes it hard to trace how it leads at least some to violence is worse than one that makes it obvious.  If we are to blame the religious faith not the believer then we should see the violence and say, "His faith led him to do this and was his ruin even if we cannot tell exactly how."


Calling religious people who maim and kill in the name of faith terrorists is wrong. It accuses them of being about creating fear and discord not religion. Call them harmful religious believers or faith terrorists. That is what they are.  Faith in religion, its God and the men he commissions us to have faith in as his speakers, demands that we tell ourselves lies that they are terrorists.

Not all in a religion are terrorists. 

So what? 

Some recruit the terrorists.  Some train them.  Some fund them.  Some motivate them.  Some shelter them. Some offer them scriptural and prayerful support. Some provide them legal support and protection.  Some simply stand by to let them develop.  Some use politics to help them appear and act.  Some say outwardly they condemn their actions but are secretly happy.  Some are careful to make sure their condemnations have no real effect.  The main thing is the gaslighting, "only a small number of us are bad.  The bad ones do not matter at all."

Each thing in this list is a particular case of good people needing religion to get them to do harm or pave the way for it.


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