In the name of religion
I try to keep religious debates off the pages of my blog due in part to my own mixed feelings about the subject that I would rather not discuss or debate publicly. But the recent murder of abortion doctor George Tiller and the coverage of this incident really got me thinking about some of the heinous acts that get carried out in the name of religion. It absolutely baffles me the types of acts people will justify under a belief that they are doing what God would want them to do. The absurdity of this type of thinking and the sheer danger of these types of acts is incredible. I wouldn’t call myself a religious scholar but I was brought up in (and continute to attend) church and based on my understanding of God I strongly doubt that God is behind any of these extremist acts. By strongly doubt I mean I feel like the people who carry out these acts are misguided at best, but could most accurately be described as overzealous sociopaths.
People have been hesitant to use the term terrorist to describe the groups that advocate violence against abortion doctors, but I fail to see the difference between the acts that they advocate and the acts carried out by the 9-11 terrorists. The 9-11 terrorists believed that they were carrying out the will of God by killing people that they felt supported views they found morally reprehensible. Anti-abortion extremists justify violence because they feel as though the are killing people who commit acts that they feel are morally reprehensible. Looks to me like the only difference is the scale of the acts. Is terrorism okay if it’s in the name of a cause you believe in?
How one can advocate life and murder in the same sentence is a mystery to me. I guess the same way people can be pro-life and pro-war or pro-gun in the same sentence.
It might be safe to say that religion, or the misinterpretation and misapplication thereof, has been at the root of more murders than any other source in the history of mankind. Then again that might not be the safest thing to say since some people will justify any action in the name of their religious beliefs. So let me be clear that I was not making those statements to condemn religion. As a side note I personally don’t think God himself even likes religion. But the religion versus relationship with God debate is a blog for another day on another persons blog. <end side note> I will, however, openly condemn overzealousness in any arena, including religion. I most strongly condemn overzealousness when it results in heinous acts committed in the name of God. If you’re going to commit evil acts don’t blame your dirty misguided acts on God. That’s the biggest cop out on the planet since I have yet to see anyone successfully bring God into the courtroom to defend himself.