Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Religion = War

A lot of us with a historical bent have always "got it" -- religious differences cause wars. Fortunately up until recently that's been an almost quaint historical phenomenon, at least from an America-centric point of view.

No more.

Not when the putative leader of the strongest military in the history of the world invades -- embarks on a crusade against -- two foreign countries -- both of whom coincidentally (not!) exercise their faith in a religious doctrine that is fundamentally different from ours -- and says that "god told him to do it"...

Yeah, I'm talking about Baby Doc Bush, Der Monkey Fuehrer himself, and his glassy-eyed reliance on superstition and the supernatural for "guidance". But that's not the half of it.

Larry Beinhart over at Alternet has just started several serial essays on this very topic. The first installment, We're Witnessing the Return of Religion as a Principle Cause of Warfare was just posted today, and we are promised a continuing series. It's worth the read, not only the first article, but I'm also eager to read the rest of them:

  • Looking at God: Belief, Agnosticism, Atheism
  • Belief & False Beliefs
  • Why We Believe in God
  • Why We Believe Enough to Kill & Die
  • What is Spirituality?
  • Morality: What Is It? Where Does It Come From? What Is Its Relation to Religion
  • The Competition Between Monotheisms, Polytheism and Nontheistic Societies
Kudos to Larry Beinhart for taking this on. The rest of us? Forewarned is forearmed.