Religion creates conflict

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Dear Editor

Re: In response to “We are living in a time of prophesy”

As I understand it, this discussion is about whether your country should be a “Christian nation” in the same sense that Iraq and Iran and “Islamic nations” and that you are debating over which particular denomination of Christianity should run the show, just as they kill each other over which of their denominations should run the show (Shia vs Sunni). 

Is that the essence of the discussion?

Europe used to be full of religious nations, of various denominations and suffered centuries of war as a result. 

It’s a good thing you aren’t close enough to many other countries, or sure as heck, you’d probably end up at war with them if they didn’t worship the same god. After all, you’re already verbally at war with each other. 

It’s the nature of the beast. 

The holy books themselves say that non-believers should be killed:

“They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

“Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

“Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. 

In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. 

If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. 

Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. 

Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. 

Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. 

He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “

The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

“But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’” (Luke 19:27)

These and other passages from the bible have been used to justify violence for thousands of years now. 

Enough is enough.

There can be religion or there can be peace, but you can’t have both at the same time when the whole nation is based on it. 

It has never worked, so why would your country be any different?

America was so very different, because it was the, or one of the very first western countries to be founded without specific religious affiliation - and it worked. 

Let me repeat that. It worked! 

We fought over slavery, but we never had a religious war.

Europe, after 500 years of killing each other over whose god was in charge, quickly caught on and began to dispense with religious affiliations and religious wars dropped off to almost nothing. 

They are dumbfounded that some Americans want to go back to those days and make America a “Christian nation” which of course means we’d have to fight, just like you are, over which version of Christianity should be selected to run the show.

There’s just no way around it - religion creates violent conflict. Look anywhere in the world. Why would you want to do that to yourselves? 

You have the opportunity to sit back and look at the history of the rest of the world and learn from its mistakes, and you choose a strategy that has always failed to bring peace. 

You choose the same strategy that explains why we have war in Syria. 

What are you smoking?

 

Patrick Gannon

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