Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and
and whatever it sees it must put out of sight,
and wish to know nothing but the word of God.
Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the
clergy than reason and common sense.
From the age of six or seven, from
elementary school until high school, when we reach the age of 18, and even
later, when we go to university - we memorize, memorize, and memorize. Whoever
dares to argue or to question anything is called upon to ask for Allah's
forgiveness. He is told that this will get him into Hell. You, who frighten
people with Hell, have brought them a hell upon earth. You have banned books of
the various intellectual streams. You've prevented the mind from operating,
thinking, comparing, and choosing
Saudi TV Newscaster Buthayna Nasser Slams Islamists over Initiative to Prevent
Women from Appearing on TV
“When it came time to go forward and commit
certain acts — I was invited to go Afghanistan, to train for jihad, to die for
Allah — I felt this struggle between my conscience and the religious teachings.
I started to think. “And this word, thinking, probably is what saved
me. I began to question. Dr. Tawfik Hamid (frontpagemag.com
When you start believing, you stop thinking
The history of mankind is the story of
"perpetual war between belief and unbelief."
Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of Osama bin Laden's closest associates since
the early 90s.
Minarets are our
bayonets, domes are our helmets, mosques are our barracks, believers are our soldiers.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey at a political rally in 1999
Religious delirium may seize small groups, but faced with a
choice between this life or the next,
even the devout cling to their mortal
Polly Toynbee in an article
What we need is not
the will to believe but the will to find out
So many Gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind, When just the art of being kind Is all this sad world needs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The following page shows negative aspects of
different religions. I do not wish to imply that all believers in these religions
are bad or that they should be punished. There are good people of all
religions. Many of these people focus on the good commandments of their religions
and find a way to reinterpret or ignore the bad ones. Unfortunately there are
many who take their religions literally and some of these religions encourage intolerance
and hatred toward the non-believer. This hatred of the non-believer can create
a vicious cycle that leads to more and more hate.
Such intolerance can develop through weekly or more
frequent indoctrination at services in houses of worship. These religious buildings
are scattered throughout the world in almost every city and town and in the name of God
and goodness and love many continually indoctrinate the
faithful that the non-believer is bad. This dichotomy is what makes them so
persuasive and so dangerous. Many people are drawn to the religion because it preaches
goodness and love but are taught the nonbeliever is evil and so are taught to hate while
they believe they are being taught to love.
The Muslim Moroccan cleric Al-Maghili (d.
1505) said that "Love of the Prophet, requires hatred of the Jews".
Although many Christians currently believe they should love everyone including
the Jews, if one loves Jesus and believes that the Jews were responsible for his
crucifixion that often leads to hatred of the Jews and has resulted in barbaric
persecution of the Jews by the Christians in the past.
leaders have used religion to justify immoral behavior that they wanted to do.
These justifications become part of the religion and lead to immoral behavior long after
the religious leader is dead. So religion which many people believe helps believers
be good, may actually make them a lot worse than they would otherwise be. Many
examples of using religion to justify immoral behavior can be found on the Who Was Muhammad page.
It is important to note that intolerance of the
non-believer does not stop with religion. Often people with strong political
ideologies are intolerant of the non-believer of those ideologies as well and believe in
them as strongly and as blindly as any religious zealot.
G.K. Chesterton said: "When
people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in
anything." Albert Camus drew the
analogy between ideology and religion when he described Marx's writings as the scriptures.
He said that no one has ever become a communist because of reading Marx. He
"first they convert, then they read the scriptures."
Benjamin Kerstein in an article titled My Road to Damascus
(frontpagemag.com 9/22/04) wrote that in the Boston suburb where he grew up:
Liberalism in its post-Vietnam form, a kind
of quasi-pacifist libertarian socialism shot through with a ferocious strain of racialism,
was in every way our state religion.
Mr. Kerstein wrote about the tenets of his religion and why
he left it as follows:
I believed, first and foremost, that the
United States was an irreparably corrupt and wicked society, founded on racism,
consolidated through genocide, perpetuated through oppression at home and tyrannical
imperialism abroad, and fueled by a psychotic machine capitalism which was, through its
environmental destruction and cultural hegemony, destroying the world itself...
The idea that America was fundamentally
racist, and, indeed, that we were fundamentally racist, and that we ought, if we were
decent people, to hate ourselves and our country for it, was simply an article of faith
which no one, for very good reason, ever had the will, reason, or courage to question...
Ultimately it was the idea of universalism,
of totalism; the idea which Judaism so rightfully, I now realized, rejected; that
disturbed me the most. The demand for an absolute uniformity of thought and opinion; which
I had experienced firsthand in the liberal surroundings in which I grew up and to which I
had, at one point, wholeheartedly consented; struck me then, as it strikes me now, as
little more than petty tyranny at best, and the wholesale annihilation of the human soul
None other than The High Priest of Global Warming (Al Gore)
has decreed it as such...
In regard to dissenting opinions Tim Thorstenson wrote:
If global warming is now
a moral matter, it would seem to suggest an associated implication that
these inconvenient viewpoints are immoral. Apparently it is now the duty of
"good" people to reject these opinions on this "moral" basis and without
regard to whether they are factually true or false...
The message of these
pseudo-moralists is that "good" people must start by accepting the
pre-ordained orthodox conclusion and then work backwards through the claimed
facts, making not an intellectual assessment of whether they are indeed
true, but rather a "moral" assessment of whether or not they agree with the
conclusion. Things claimed as facts which are "good" (in this moral sense)
should be embraced and those which are "bad" (in this same moral sense)
should be discarded, not because they are factually false, but because they
This message that Tim Thorstenson discusses is
exactly the one sent by religions.
In the December 9th edition of Medical Journal of Australia,
Professor Barry Walters urged a one-time "baby levy" of $5,000, followed by an
annual tax of $800 per child, on Australian families with more than two
Dr. Walters calls childbearing "greenhouse unfriendly behavior."
He wrote that
baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for
an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate
consumption of resources typical of our society."
In Britain, a group called The Optimum Population Trust has
the same agenda. Human population growth is the paramount environmental issue,"
says Ric Oberlink, a spokesman for the ominous-sounding Californians for
Population Stabilization. In 1989, David Graber, then a biologist with the
National Park Service, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times observing: "Human
happiness and certainly human fecundity are not as important as a wild and
healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of
nature, but it isn't true... We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon
Earth. Until such time as homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature (by
wearing natural fibers and living in trees?) some of us can only hope for the
right virus to come along."
The political belief of the left in
Israel and in the American administration that Israeli land concessions to
terrorists will bring peace can be thought of as a religion because all the
overwhelming evidence that this is wrong is ignored and in Israel the
non-believer is treated as evil. Carolyn Glick wrote (The True Believers
and Netanyahu, The Jerusalem Post, 9/1/05):
In its quest to maintain its absolute faith in its pagan god
of peace in our time, the Left internationally and in Israel has abandoned
reason for rage and has exchanged rationality for mocking paranoia and hatred.
Reverend Louis P. Sheldon, the chairman of the
Traditional Values Coalition wrote an article titled Atheism has Fueled Greatest
Mass Murders in World History. He wrote:
The fact is that while religious wars have been fought
for centuries, militant atheism has slaughtered more people than religious
zealots ever have. The greatest mass murders in history have been committed
not by Christians but by Communists Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. More
than 100 million have died at the hands of these militant atheists since the
early 20th century.
Dictatorships often take on the form of a
pseudo-religion with the dictator becoming a pseudo-deity.
on the escape of a North Korean man from the bondage of that nation's
dictatorship, who reported many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-il
actually is a god.
The Christian, now living in South
Korea, was identified only as Mr. Kim. He told
Voice of the Martyrs that Kim Jong-il, and his late father Kim Il Sung, both
are portrayed as gods.
"All North Koreans really believe that
Kim Il Sung is a god. He [hid] the bad things he had done, to preserve his
godlike status to the people. I think 70 to 80 percent of what is said about Kim
Il Sung is similar to the Bible,"
he told the ministry.
Several of the quotes at the
beginning of this article deal with the conflict between thinking and religion.
Tawfik Hamid a former Jihadi wrote that (The Herald Examiner, September 2007):
During my first year of
medical school a Jamaah member named Muchtar Muchtar invited me to join the
organization. Muchtar was in his fourth year, and Jamaah ahd given him the
title amir (prince or caliph) - a designation taken from early Islamic writings
that is associated with the Islamic Caliphate or Amir Almomenin (Prince of the
Believers). I accepted his invitation, and we walked together to Jamaah's
mosque for noon prayers. On the way there Muchtar emphasized the central
importance in Islam of the conept of al-fikr kufr, the idea that the very act of
thinking (fikr) makes one an infidel (kufr).
is a threat to religions that try and brainwash people.
Negative Aspects of Common Religious Beliefs
The most dangerous religious belief is that the
non-believer is evil. We all know how hatred of the non-believer fuels
wars between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as between different sects of Islam
(Sunni and Shiite). The Protestants and Catholics in Ireland have been at
war for a long time and Christianity has persecuting the non-believing Jews, the
Spanish Inquisition being one example. A news item that demonstrates this
hatred of the non-believer appeared in Worldnetdaily about Arthur Shelton who
killed his friend Larry Hooper because Larry didn't believe. (Detroit
Free Press 12/29/05)
Before the shooting, Hooper had
told Shelton that Shelton couldn't say anything to
convince him to believe in God, according to police
Shelton left the room, took off his shirt, shaved
his face and tried again to convince Hooper there is
a God. But at that point, Shelton had a 12-gauge
shotgun. "How long would it take you to
believe in God?" Shelton said he asked Hooper.
"Not until I hear Gabriel blow his horn," replied
Hooper. Hooper tipped his hat and Shelton
fired the shotgun at Hooper's head. "I did it
because he is evil; he was not a believer," Shelton
It is fairly well known that according to Islamic
law the infidel, must be subjugated and live in degradation. It is less
well known that 16th-century Catholic Tridentine Mass - recited every Good
Friday - refers to Jews as "perfidious," and claims they live in "blindness" and
"darkness." That mass
Encouraging people to believe encourages them not to think.
If we believe we are controlled by those who tell us what to believe. We
become vulnerable to believing evil beliefs such as the belief that the non-believer is
evil, a belief that many religions teach.
If we believe in an all powerful God and
we witness terrible things happening we may feel that we must do terrible things in order
to appease him so that he won't hurt us and will protect us. This may be the reason
that some ancient religions believed that the way to influence God was to make human
sacrifices to him. The Aztecs cut
out the hearts of their brethren as an offering to their gods.
Apparently they did that
every day to make sure the sun would rise. The Khond (kahnd)
people of eastern India used to invite "honored guests" to their village for a
week-long festival. At the end of the week, one selected "guest" would then be
tortured, tied to a tree and killed by the village priest.
Lenten Christians in the Phillipines voluntarily have
themselves nailed to crosses with 10cm nails as a form of penance for sins, to pray for a
sick relative or to fulfill a vow (iol
4/9/04). A movie of this can be viewed by
Many Muslims celebrate the holiday of Ashoura by
cutting themselves. A graphic article with pictures
Never To Young to Bleed (1/29/07) was written by David Melle.
Belief in the afterlife can also lead people to do terrible
things. When a king from the Shang dynasty of China (1750-1040 BC) died more than 100 slaves were
killed to join him in the grave. Hindu wives of men who died would lie
beside them on the funeral pyre and be burned with them. This practice
called Sati was deemed an act
of peerless piety,
and was said to purge the couple of all accumulated sin, guarantee their
salvation and ensure their reunion in the afterlife. In modern times a Moslem who sacrifices himself in
Holy War is believed to go to heaven. Some religions promote self flagellation in
order to earn paradise in the afterlife this is discussed on the Happiness
is a Virtue web page.
Pascal said that "Men never do evil so
completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. "
I would add to that statement "especially if they do it with religious
conviction that there is an afterlife." On June 26, 2007 Metro New York
carried an article titled "Boy escapes role as Taliban suicide bomber."
Taliban fighters put a vest on 6 year old Juma Gul which they said would spray
out flowers when he touched a button. They told him to go to American
soldiers and push the button. I'm sure those Taliban didn't think they
were doing anything wrong. They probably believed that they were
guaranteeing Juma a ticket to eternal paradise not to mention that they
themselves were scoring points with Allah at the same time. One of the
concerns of the Taliban is probably how infidel American soldiers endear
themselves to the Afghan population by their kind treatment of children. Taliban
probably were hoping to put a stop to this by making it to dangerous for
American soldiers to get near children. Fortunately in this particular
case Juma realized the vest he was wearing was a bomb.
On Palestinian Authority Television in 2002 two eleven year old
girls who had been thoroughly indoctrinated by the warriors of Jihad went so far as to
exclaim that they would prefer death by suicide bombing to justice and peace for the
One of them explained:
We don't want this world, we want the Afterlife.
One day some Jihadis may commit the ultimate suicide
bombing by setting off nuclear weapons in Western Cities with the firm belief that they
will be rewarded in the afterlife. Nuclear war might end all life on the planet.
How ironic that belief in the afterlife could lead to the end of all life.
Belief in a Messiah can motivate people to take
actions to hasten the coming of the Messiah. One religious group that did
this was called the "Army of God," an Islamist group whose stated purpose was to
cause injustice in order to hasten the return to earth of the Mehdi, the 12th
Imam, which according to some Muslims would mark the beginning of the reign of
Islam over the earth. Before being destroyed by Coalition forces,
Army of God was notorious for randomly torturing and killing Iraqis, in the
most horrible ways. Iran may hasten the coming of the Mehdi with nuclear
Many religions describe God as an all powerful and
omniscient judge who rewards those who are good and punishes those who are bad.
Josephus when explaining the law of Moses argued that the only way religious teachings
would promote virtue would be if they
taught first of all, that God is the Father and Lord of all things,
and sees all things, and that thence he bestows a happy life upon those that follow him;
but plunges such as do not walk in the paths of virtue into inevitable miseries.
If one's situation is bad, then the belief that God is
controlling events, implies that God wants one's situation to be bad. The natural
conclusion for a person in these circumstances to draw is that he is bad and that he is
being punished by God for being wicked. In this way the belief that God is
controlling everything encourages people to have low self esteem, to hate themselves, and
to give up hope. What hope is there if Almighty God himself has turned against
oneself? The natural conclusion for other believers to draw is that God is punishing
the person and that he must be bad. This will give believers the incentive to
abandon or even to turn against the person in time of need. If the person who is
going through hard times is a nonbeliever, believers are likely to believe the hard times
are due to God punishing him for being a nonbeliever, and will abandon him for that
reason. I personally experienced this. I didn't get married till late and a
religious Catholic friend of mine told me when I was still single that maybe God was
punishing me for not being Catholic by preventing me from getting married.
Many religions describe God as an all powerful
benevolent being who controls everything that happens and that has preordained all that
will happen. It's God's will is a common phrase.
If everything is God's will
then there is no point in trying to change things for the better. If everything is
God's will then it can't be better. So this belief is a motivation to do nothing to
improve one's situation or the situation of others. Or it may lead one to spend
one's time praying instead of taking precautions to protect oneself from threats that one
faces. One may think that praying will convince God to protect oneself in which case
there is no need to take precautions.
I was once told that if I
prayed God would save lives. I'm a doer not a prayer. There probably
are a lot of people who spend a lot of time praying when they could be doing
The belief that others may have magical
powers is a step toward believing that they used those magical powers for evil.
In India A tea garden worker in Assam killed two people and chopped their bodies
into pieces because he suspected they had cast evil spells on his sons. (Cut
Into Pieces For Allegedly Practicing Witchcraft, newkerala.com 11/21/05)
Even if a believer is suffering other believers may
conclude he is being punished for his sins. On Sunday Aug 6, 2000 Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
the leader of the biggest ultra-Orthodox political party in Israel said the six million
Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust died because they were reincarnations of sinners.
He said the six million ``were reincarnations of the souls of sinners, people who
transgressed and did all sorts of things which should not be done. They had been
reincarnated in order to atone.''
If one believes in an all powerful just and benevolent God
then Rabbi Yosef's conclusions are almost inescapable since how else can one explain how
God could have allowed the Holocaust? This is an example of how belief in an all
powerful just and benevolent God leads to blaming the victim. Another
example is the explanation given by senator Hank Irwin for hurricane's Rita and
Katrina. He said (worldnetdaily.com
"New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have always
been known for gambling, sin and wickedness," wrote Sen. Hank Erwin,
R-Montevallo, in a column, according to the Birmingham News. "It is the kind
of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God."
The behavior that brought on the devastation of
the hurricanes was environmental suits that blocked safety measures to prevent
storm surges, not building New Orleans above sea level, delayed decisions to
evacuate New Orleans and so on. If everyone were to go back to New Orleans
and stop gambling they would still be vulnerable to the next hurricane.
If you are a believer in the wonderful powers of Kabbalah then how
do you explain the Holocaust. Rabbi Eliyahu Yardeni told Tony Donnelly, an
undercover BBC reporter (New York Post 1/12/05):
Just to tell you another thing about the 6 million Jews that were
killed in the Holocaust. The question was that the Light was blocked. They
didn't use Kabbalah."
So it was their fault!
After the World Trade Center massacre of September 11, 01 Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said efforts "to
secularize America" were at least partially to blame for Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
If one believes in an all powerful God, then he must have had a reason to allow such
a horrendous attack to occur and what more reasonable reason than that given by Jerry and
After the tsunami that hit Indonesia
and killed over 150,000 people, the preacher of the Baituraman mosque in Banda Aceh,
Indonesia told about 2,000 worshippers that (worldnetdaily.com 1/8/05):
"Maybe this disaster was because we have forgotten him and his
teachings and failed to implement [Islamic] Shariah law."
Lankan Muslims even claim to have found proof of this belief. After the tsunami in the
Indian Ocean Mohamed Faizeen, manager of the Centre for Islamic Studies in Colombo, said
that a satellite picture proved that Allah was punishing Sri Lanka for ignoring his laws
since the waves spelled out the name of Allah "This clearly spells out the name
'Allah' in Arabic," Faizeen said, pointing to the shape of the waves - a gigantic
"E" complete with whorls and sidewaves that do indeed appear to combine to
resemble the Arabic script for the name "Allah" (God
Signed the Tsunami News 24 1/10/04).
A Christian minister, John MacLeod of the Free Presbyterian
Church of Scotland claimed that the tsunami was direct result of "pleasure
seekers" breaking God's Sabbath (Sabbath Breaking-Caused Tsunami wnd.com 2/13/04).
The financial crisis that swept the United States
in 2008 was Divine Punishment for the war in Iraq and other "sins," an American
member of Al Qaeda charged.
Adam Gadahn, a California native living in Pakistan who has
been indicted in a Los Angeles court for treason, said in a half-hour video
speech that the economic woes serve as evidence of punishment to the "enemies of
(Israel National News 10/12/2008)
"A crisis whose primary cause, in addition to the abortive and unsustainable
crusades they are waging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, is their turning
their backs on Allah's revealed laws,"
After Hurricane Katrina Muslims rejoiced
believing that the hurricane was divine punishment by Allah of America.
The following is an excerpt from Sout Al-Khilafa,
Al-Qaeda's new on-line weekly news broadcast. TO VIEW THIS CLIP VISIT:
"The entire Islamic world
overflowed with joy when Hurricane Katrina struck in America, which seemed
to reel from the strength of the hurricane and went asking for aid from all
the countries of the world. Broken and completely humiliated, George Bush, a
fool who is being obeyed, announced his obvious incapability to deal with
the wrath of Allah that visited the city of homosexuals.
In the Islamic world natural disasters are
either Allah's punishment of the fault of the Zionists and the Americans.
After Hurricane's Katrina and Rita "an Imam said: "Allah has punished America
with winds and water". Another imam reportedly quipped that America, as
evidenced by the natural disasters, is "under the curse of the Jews." (worldnetdaily:
Al Qaida nuke reactor threat, 10/8/05)
Notice how in the case of the tsunami which
bought disaster on Muslims, Allah was punishing Muslims for not being Muslim
enough whereas in the case of the hurricane America was being punished
presumably for not being Muslim. If a disaster hits Muslims or non-Muslims
it always is evidence that people should be more Islamic or that the evil
infidel is responsible. Another theory for the tsunami of Sri Lanka was
that the infidels caused it with an underwater nuclear explosion. Religion
can always find evidence proving that God hates the non-believer.
The belief that everything is
preordained robs people of the will to do anything, if everything is predestined, why make
an effort, whatever will happen will happen anyway.
Many religions include the belief that those who do
not believe in the religion are doomed to go to hell. This is a very dangerous
belief. This belief in my opinion encourages believers to view nonbelievers as bad. They
must be bad if God will send them to hell. Often they believe they should convert the
non-believer which leads to hostility toward the non-believers who reject the faith. Once
believers view nonbelievers as bad it is only a matter of time until the believers
persecute the nonbelievers.
Religions often try and force people to be moral by
creating rules to remove temptation or punish those who give in to it. One example
of this is commandments that women should cover themselves. This has been carried to
such an extreme in some Muslim countries that women have to wear burkas with a screen in
front of their eyes through which they can barely see and breath. In America I have
come across Muslim women with just slits for their eyes and I find it quite frightening.
I enjoy seeing beautiful girls and I think it's a tragedy to hide their beauty.
There is a poem with the line Full Many A Rose is Born to Blush Unseen, and Waste
it's Sweetness on the Desert Air. Radical Islam covers up the roses. By the
same logic of protecting us from temptation roses should be covered up so that we won't be
tempted to pick them from someone elses garden. Rules by definition mean a loss of
freedom and religions in order to make mankind moral, impose rules that reduce freedom.
Differences in religious observance frequently cause
misery in romantic relationships and often lead to an end relationships of people that
otherwise might have lived happily together.
Christian Scientists and Jehovahs Witnesses believe
that if one has faith in God than he will take care of you and there is no point in taking
medicine. The result is they don't get medical treatment they need.
The belief in an afterlife can lead people to devote
their lives to scoring with God so they will be in heaven instead of devoting their lives
to living in the here and now. If someone loses a loved one they may wish to die so
that they can join their loved one in heaven. They may stop taking medications they
need. Many religions forbid suicide and that counteracts this type of reasoning.
The prohibition against suicide may not always be a good thing however. The
terminally ill may be better off if they can turn off the respirator. Also although
a believer may be deterred from suicide they may not take the precautions they would
normally take to keep themselves alive if they believe that death will unite them with
their lost loved ones.
Islam encourages suicide as a part of holy war. It
does this partly with the doctrine that those who die in holy war will have a wonderful
afterlife. In fact an article that appeared in the June 4, 01 New York Post entitled
"100 Suicide Bombers Await Orders to Die" told how "around 100 would-be
suicide bombers are waiting in line for death missions through Hamas and the Islamic
Jihad". The Chief Mufti of the PA's Police Forces, Sheik 'Abd Al-Salam Abu
Shukheydem, described the seven rewards the Martyr earns according to Islamic tradition:
From the moment the first drop of his blood is spilled [by the
enemy, the martyr] does not feel the pains of the injury and is absolved of all his [bad]
deeds; he sees his seat in Paradise; he is saved from the torture of the grave; he is
saved from the fear of Day of Judgment; he marries [seventy beautiful] black-eyed [women];
he is an advocate for seventy of his relatives [to reach paradise]; and he earns the Crown
of Glory, whose precious stone is better than all this world and everything in it. (Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida, September 17, 1999)
The New York Post article "Monster's Manual For
Murder" 9/29/01 tells how:
At least three of the Islamic militants who took part in the
kamikaze hijack attack on America had copies of the same handwritten set of
"instructions" - a spiritual and practical how-to of terror. It repeatedly
assured the hijackers: "You will be entering paradise. You will be entering the
happiest life, everlasting life."
The belief that disembodied spirits may be permitted to revisit this
world has its foundation upon that sublime hope of immortality which is at once the chief
solace and greatest triumph of our reason. Even if revelation did not teach us, we
feel that we have within us which shall never die; and all our experience of this life but
makes us cling the more fondly to that one repaying hope. But in the early days of
"little knowledge" this grand belief became the source of a whole train of
superstitions, which, in their turn, became the fount from whence flowed a deluge of blood
and horror. Europe for a period of two centuries and a half, brooded upon the idea,
not only that parted spirits walked the earth to meddle in the affairs of men, but that
men had power to summon evil spirits to their aid to work woe upon their fellows. An
epidemic terror seized upon the nations; no man thought himself secure, either in his
person or possessions, from the machinations of the devil and his agents. Every
calamity that befell him he attributed to a witch. If a storm arose and blew down
his barn, it was witchcraft; if his cattle died of a murrain-if disease fastened upon his
limbs, or death entered suddenly and snatched a beloved face from his hearth - they were
not visitations of Providence, bu the works of some neighbouring hag, whose wretchedness
or insanity caused the ignorant to raise their finger and point at her as a witch.
The word was upon everybody's tongue. France, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, and
the far north successively ran mad upon this subject, and for a long series of years
furnished their tribunals with so many trials for witchcraft that other crimes were seldom
or never spoken of. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy persons fell victims to this
cruel and absurd delusion.
The Children's Crusade of 1212 is remembered today as
one of history's cruelest and most absurd examples of how adults will sacrifice children's
lives on the altar of religious fervor and political ambition.
That year, inspired by alleged child visionaries, two
armies of children set out from Europe in an attempt to retake the Holy Land from the
Tens of thousands of French and German families
allowed their little boys (and some little girls) to set out for Palestine, convinced God
would lead the innocents to triumph in the righteous cause.
Even the pope told them to go home, to no avail. Most
died of disease, hunger or drowning at sea. The few survivors were taken prisoner by the
Muslims and sold into slavery.
Religion and Money
Religion is a way to make money.
Pilgrimages to Mecca have been and probably still are a big source of revenue
for the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. (Aaron David Miller,
Search For Security, Saudi Arabian Oil and American Foreign Policy 1980).
In England, prior
to the reformation, there was anger at the Catholic Church for making money
off the peopleTo get married you had to pay; to get a child baptised (which you
needed to be if you were to go to Heaven - so the Catholic Church preached) you
had to pay; you even had to pay the Church to bury someone on their land (which
you had to do as your soul could only go to Heaven if you were buried on Holy
Ground). Peasants worked for free on Church land. This proved
difficult for peasants as the time they spent working on Church land, could have
been better spent working on their own plots of land producing food for their
They paid 10% of what they earned in a year to the Church (this tax was called
A failure to
pay tithes, so the peasants were told by the Church, would lead to their
souls going to Hell after they had died.
In the Middle Ages, Priests sold indulgences which they
claimed absolve a confessor from the guilt and punishment of sins in hell.
There was a theological problem with this and that is that if
you accept Christ you are forgiven of your sins and go to heaven and saved from
eternal damnation. So there is no need for a priest to intercede. Ah
but you are not saved from temporary punishment. You still have to undergo
temporary punishment for your sins in Purgatory which is almost as unpleasant as
hell until you are purged of your sins. Indulgences could spare you
punishment in Purgatory. The practice of indulgences was
brought back by Pope
John Paul II.
Thomas Gascoigne…complained that “sinners say nowadays: ‘I care not how many
evils I do in God’s sight, for I can easily get plenary remission of all guilt
and penalty by an absolution and indulgence granted me by the pope, whose
written grant I have bought for four or six pence, or have won as a stake for a
game of tennis [with the pardoner]’ (Durant 23)
Religion and Sexuality
Religion tries to control people's behavior.
Given that sexuality and passion have a strong influence on people's behavior
religion tries to control that or diminish it. As a result some religions command
circumcision. The 12th century physician and rabbi Moses Maimonides advocated
male circumcision for its ability to curb a man's sexual appetite (Moses Maimonides. (1135-1204).
The Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Dover Publications 1956: 378. ). Further, he
implied that it could also affect a woman's sexuality, indicating that once a woman had
taken a lover who was not circumcised, it was very hard for her to give him up.
Female circumcision is practiced widely in Muslim and African countries to control women's
sexuality. There is evidence
that circumcision decreases sexual pleasure and makes it harder to have children.
There are many honor killings by Muslims of
women who they considered defiled by sexuality. If a woman has been raped
her family may kill her because of the dishonor to their family. Catherine
Woods, a beautiful stripper, was killed by her boyfriend who was into Hinduism.
In his diary (New
York Post, 1/10/06):
He talks about cutting her throat. It's because
she won't change her ways. She won't quit her stripping, and she's living a
life of sin.
"The impression is, he's freeing her from her earthly bounds that are just
so distasteful to him. It implies that she would be better off dead."
Here the belief in an afterlife, may have
played a role in the boyfriend thinking that what he was doing wasn't really bad
but even good.
Religion and the Apocalypse
Christianity is not the only religion that believes in an Apocalypse. The
danger of this belief was discussed by Charles Krauthammer in an article titled,
In Iran, Arming for Armageddon (12/16/05):
Like Judaism and
Christianity, Shiite Islam
has its own version of the
messianic return — the
reappearance of the Twelfth
Imam. The more devout
believers in Iran pray at
the Jamkaran mosque, which
houses a well from which,
some believe, he will
unexpectedly won the
he immediately gave $17
million of government
funds to the shrine.
Last month Ahmadinejad
said publicly that the
main mission of the
Islamic Revolution is to
pave the way for the
reappearance of the
And as in some
second coming will
be accompanied by
the usual trials and
the verge of
weapons of the
the end is not
only near but
nearer than the
This kind of man
would have, to
put it gently,
a normal person.
incentive to, as
they say in
hasten the end.
According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year
941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven
years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.
He sees his main mission, as he recounted in a Nov. 16 speech in Tehran,
as to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may
Allah hasten his reappearance." (Iran
leader's messianic end times mission, worldnetdaily.com 6/1/06)
Missed by some observers in Ahmadinejad's
speech at the U.N. was his call to the "mighty Lord" to hasten the
emergence of "the promised one," the one who "will fill this world with
justice and peace."
Religion and Crime:
The word thug
comes from an
were engaged in
century) to the
were known as
for gain was a
for them, and
was considered a
feelings did not
come into play.
According to the
When a favorable opportunity arose, the Thug strangled
his victim by throwing a yellow scarf or Rumaal (symbolic of
the neck, and then plundered and buried him. All this was done according to
certain ancient and rigidly prescribed forms, and after the performance of
special religious rites, in which the consecration of the
and the sacrifice of sugar formed a prominent part...
According to 19th century writings about
thuggee, the will of the goddess by whose command and in
whose honor they followed their calling was revealed to them
through a very complicated system of omens. The colonial
writings further state that in obedience to these, they
often travelled hundreds of miles in company with, or in the
wake of, their intended victims before a safe opportunity
presented itself for executing their design. When the deed
was done, rites were performed in the deity's honor, and a
significant portion of the spoils was set apart for Her.
They believed each murder prevented Kali's
(their goddess's) arrival for 1000 years. ..
Kali represented destruction and death.
Apparently the Thugs feared that when Kali came she'd bring death
and destruction. Therefore by appeasing her by robbing and
killing victims they were in effect saving the world.
Religious wars have killed millions of people.
Perhaps the most victims of a religious war were the Chinese who died during the Japanese
occupation. Garry Greenwood in his web page
All the Emperor's Men wrote
that the Japanese emperor was considered divine and his will was considered the will of
God. Mr. Greenwood wrote:
Simply by following his command, you were
saved. As time passed, Japan, with its Emperor securely enthroned upon his divine seat,
began to see the whole world in a state of global anarchy. They were of the opinion that
there could never be peace in the world "as long as every nation had absolute
sovereignty". The outside world simply wasn't living in accordance with the
indigenous divine principles deeply ingrained within the very fabric of the Japanese
nation...Japan, with its God Emperor at the helm, and with around 90 million followers,
was, in reality, one of the world's largest and most dangerous religious cults, complete
with a large and well-equipped military.
Starting around 1930, this cult began an
expansion program aimed firstly at its neighbours. Although Japan had already annexed
Korea in 1910, it soon became clear that its final goal was to secure all of humanity
within its divine hierarchical pyramid. Japan, of course, was to occupy the position at
the top, since they were a divine nation and this was believed to be divine providence.
This divine crusade meant that all other nations of the world would then be placed in
correct order somewhere below them. Only then would global anarchy cease and peace would
finally be established. It was essential that each nation be given its proper place, and
only then could a nation prosper and finally find peace.
Before long, their Imperial forces were to
commence playing out this awesome fantasy. In 1931, their army, under the command of its
fanatical cult-mentality officers, including Yoshikazu Okada, began their jihad, or holy
war. Manchuria was easily overrun, with virtually no condemnation from the rest of the
world. Soon after, China was invaded, and again the world did nothing. The League of
Nations did, however, protest over the invasion of China, and this prompted the Japanese
government to withdraw its membership. Indo-China was occupied in 1941, Pearl Harbour was
attacked on Dec 7th, 1941, followed soon after by attacks on Guam and Singapore.
Their fanatical crusade was now in full
swing. There could be no greater honour than to die in the name of God and the Emperor.
Each soldier was issued with a booklet, the contents of which was to leave "no doubt
as to why they must fight, whom they must fight and how they must fight." It reads:
"The new restoration of the 1930s had come about in response to the Imperial desire
for peace in the Far East. Its task is the rescue of Asia from white aggression. Already
Japan, the pioneer in this movement, has rescued Manchuria from the ambitions of the
Soviets, and set China free from the extortions of the Anglo-Americans..."
The consequence of the Japanese was was massive
bloodletting. Mr. Greenwood writes:
The victorious Japanese officers and soldiers
systematically murdered and tortured to death 300,000 surrendered Chinese soldiers and
civilians, and raped 20,000 women in the ensuing months at Nanking. It became known as the
"Rape of Nanking". The world was outraged, since up until then it was the worst
act of atrocity the world had witnessed this century. So hungry was their lust for blood,
that even the Nazis at the time tried to mediate with the commanding officers to quell the
blood-letting. During the fifteen years of Japanese occupation, it is estimated that up to
35 million Chinese were killed..
often persecute members of other religious groups. Today there is widespread Muslim
persecution of Christians. In Burma Buddhists persecute Christians . Both
Christians Arrested in Egypt 3/31/04) and Buddhists (Christian Children Forced to Become
Buddhist Monks by Burmese Regime, Christian Solidarity Worldwide 4/1/01) kidnap
Christian children to convert them to their religions. A group of Hindu
extremists warned that they would burn more than 60 Christian converts in
northern India to death if they refuse to return to Hinduism by the following
threaten to burn Christians to Death, worldnetdaily.com 11/17/05).
Rajan was a
Hindu who became
have dug up
He was recently
$100, a large
sum in Nepal),
after water from
would not be a
problem, but the
because he is a
reported that A
Hindu Mob in
India attacked a
former Hindu who
became a Pastor.
A hundred of
Pastor Gowda in
a room in his
house, and began
in front of his
wife and two
One of the
kerosene on the
Someone tossed a
Gowda, but he
did not catch
pastor naked and
hung a board
around his neck
that said, “I am
the one who was
this time, the
mob had swollen
to about 1,000,
as more people
joined in to
police in India
and pressured to
were also warned
that if they
fail to return
to Hinduism the
Act of Rajasthan,
would be used to
In the U.S., the
Hindu American web site has a hyperlink to a report by Vinay
"Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry
Against Hindus," in which he expressed his hope that
Internet Service Providers will start censoring Christian
postings of their beliefs, "a necessary step as we continue our
balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that
leads to violence in the electronic age." He said: "We must
vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the
Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles
of pluralism and tolerance." This is truly doublespeak as
he is the one who is intolerant of the Christian point of view
and against the pluralism that would allow it to be expressed.
The following are links to pages or books outside of
this web site that are bring out the negative aspects of religion. There are some
who would argue that some of these are cults and that cults are different than
religions. This argument is often made by people who feel destructive cults do not
deserve the tax exempt status that more benevolent religions do. One argument I
have read is that religious beliefs are arrived at by one's own free will whereas cult
beliefs are forced on people. I have experience pressure from people who wanted me
to believe different religions so I I'm more inclined to see religions as a low key cult
which in some historical cases have done more harm than any cult.