Throughout thousands of years, there has been one main topic of war until very recently: religion. Religious wars throughout our history have been bloody, as is examined in this article about the wars of religion from 1562-1598. This is a common theme throughout all of history; when you have a topic that people are insanely passionate about, they will be willing to put their lives on the line when it comes time to defend their choice. When different religious groups first began to meet, they began fighting almost immediately because they saw anyone that wasn’t with them as being against them.
Despite war being violence that many religions say that they are strongly against, many don’t hesitate to take up arms in the fight for what they believe to be true. More people have been killed in the name of God than almost any other topic, and I find that to be massively shameful for the religious community. Practicing what you preach should absolutely not include war because that is literally the opposite of what you preach.
Think about it: The Crusades, The Inquisition, Northern Ireland, and everything that is going on in the middle east. I am not saying that everyone that is religious should be ashamed by this. Many churches throughout the world do fantastic work, such as donating time and massive amounts of money to charities that do really good work. However, in the grand scheme of things, this will never be enough to take back what most of the world’s major religions have done to harm others throughout their history. For no good reason, the holiest people of the most fantastic religions have often times committed the most heinous crimes of war.
One doesn’t even need to look at war to see some of the negative impacts religion has had on some people. The level of discrimination that we have experienced as a result of hating other religions for almost no reason has become out of control. Just look at the middle east; there are only a select group of people that commit crimes of terrorism within the Muslim faith and yet for some reason everyone in America seems to think that all Muslims are responsible for these acts of terror. As a result of this, thousands of people are continually mislead about the intentions of the Islamic faith. Islam is a religion of peace, and the vast, vast majority of members of the faith don’t want anyone hurt, much less killed. That said, the perception of the entire faith has suffered as a result of the actions of only a small group of members, and that is not right.
This leads me to the broader point that I am trying to make: throughout the course of human history, religion has hurt humanity as opposed to helping it. People of faith are supposed to be accepting of all, and yet as a result of thousands of years of tension people are being ostracized as a result of the faith that they are a part of. Not to mention, people of religion follow rules that have been in faith for a very long time, despite them being outdated and in dire need of an update. For evidence of this, look no further than some Catholics’ view of gay marriage. It is obvious that the right thing to do is to allow all people that want to be together to be together. However, it says in the Bible that gays are not meant to be with one another and so many have been barred for years and even tried to be “healed” of their “ailment.” The world would be far less polarized and a far better place to live if religion had never surfaced.