Archive for the ‘Religious Violence’ Category

Jihad defined

November 8, 2011

In law, according to general doctrine and in historical tradition, the jihād consists of military action with the object of the expansion of Islam and, if need be, of its defence.

“Jihad” in the Encyclopaedia of Islam

Don’t be fooled when told that Jihad is only or primarily one’s internal struggle with sin.

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Nowhere does Jesus teach that it is right for his own disciples to offer violence to anyone

October 3, 2009

Nowhere does (Jesus) teach that it is right for his own disciples to offer violence to anyone… If Christians had owed their origins to rebellion, they would not have adopted laws of so exceedingly mild a character. [These laws] do not even allow them on any occasion to resist their persecutors, even when they are called to be slaughtered as sheep.

Origen  Against Celsus, book 3, chap.7, 3rd Century.

NB This does not preclude the posibility of Christians in military service etc. The Church is disarmed and the Kingdom of God advances without carnal weapons. However, the Kingdom of Man has also been established by God. The State has been armed by God, as it were.

Dogma blamed for wars

September 14, 2009

How unjustly, therefore, do you reproach religion with loving persecution, with being malignant, with overturning society, and making blood flow like water. Blame those who corrupt religion, who flood it with an army of formulas and definitions, and seek to cast it into the fetters of a so-called system. What is it in religion about which men have quarrelled and made parties and kindled wars? About definitions, the practical sometimes, the theoretical always, both of which belong elsewhere…But religion does not, even once, desire to bring those who believe and feel to one belief and one feeling. Its endeavour is to open in those who are not yet capable of religious emotions, the sense for the unity of the original source of life. But just because each seer is a new priest, a new mediator, a new organ, he flees with repugnance the bald uniformity which would again destroy this divine abundance.

Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, Second Speech, THE NATURE OF RELIGION

Doctrine causes wars – those who feel religious emotions are, of course, the good guys. How postmodern, even though he said it 200 years before postmodernism.

But Scheiermacher was wrong to lump all ‘doctrine’ together: to lump the ‘hope’ of paradise through Jihad with the beatitudes or the money-grubbing ideas of penance that lead to indulgences to build St Peter’s with the true faith once for all delivered to the saints is daft. It’s a daft as when Boris Johnson equated the ‘fanaticism’ of Christians willing to die for their faith in ancient Rome with those who kill in the name of religion today.

Religious Belief as Cause of violence

August 17, 2009

Religious belief, meanwhile, whatever it might do in comforting the fearful in the dark, has always and everywhere brought war, intolerance and persecution with it, and has distorted human nature into false and artificial shapes.

A.C. Grayling, in The Guardian, date unknown

Of course, he’s right to a point (allowing a little for hyperbole). But ‘religious belief’ is vague (Humanism, Buddhism, Scientism included? Why not?) And the abolition of religion brought more ‘war, intolerance and persecution with it’ (Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia etc.)