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Religion War or Hate?

Autor:   •  March 21, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,058 Words (5 Pages)  •  759 Views

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By Shaun Edmonds

Disclaimer –it is not my intention to cause offence! If by the off chance I have my sincere apologies

Religion continues to be one of the most influential forces in the world. It has been seen to provide great peace and harmony to believers, but it has also been the cause if not an actual reason for some of history's greatest wars. It can be used as justification from leaders of war, can it also serve as an instrument of resolution as well?

Religion has come to be a much stronger force than any material incentives. It is far better at directing positive behaviour towards social betterment than any laws or physical force. For instance, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr conducted non-violent protests based upon religious beliefs. Religion can also be used to help bring people together as they are more willing to work together. By contrast, places that reject religion, such as Revolutionary France, communist Russia and China, or Nazi Germany are often very brutally oppressive. However, it is not always the case. For example, Iran: a country where religion is so prevalent is equally as oppressive as these countries.

Incidentally, religion can be very dangerous because it can and has been used to justify horrific acts. Crusaders not only killed many Muslims, they also massacred many Jews and Eastern Christians in the process of attempting to win control of the Holy Land. Adolf Hitler's followers - among them the so-called German Christians - were believers in their Fuhrer. The Inquisition carried out its torture in the name of God. Religion should never be involved in politics because it can then be used as an instrument of control.

However, in places where religion develops freely and people have free access to places of worship, it provides people with a sense of hope, praying serves as therapy and members of a congregation feel a sense of community and friendship. Some of the greatest works of art were created in the name of God. Woodrow Wilson (President of the US during ww2) suggested that a strong affinity exists between religious commitment and patriotism. Love of country, just like the love of God certainly inspires good deeds but not always.

Furthermore, religion may have led to the creation of the world's finest art, but it has also caused its destruction. Religion can be a source of extreme nationalism. In Christianity, Islam and Judaism, God is described as "mighty warrior, "just king" and "righteous judge." He apparently punished the unjust, the unrighteous and the disobedient. The idea that a nation is the instrument of God's will has led to war and the subjugation of people viewed as ungodly. Fundamentalism clouds everything. There is a need to be right and superior, which develops an ego and once we fall foul to it, we are lost.



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