Monday, 8 June 2009

Anti-religion prejudice (1)

As a retired Christian priest I am a sitting target for the “shots” fired by my atheist, agonistic, and semi-believing friends.


Sometimes their pot shots are so silly as to be laughable. Sometimes I think that their comments are simple rude or impolite. Sometimes I know that they are wrong, or stupid, or irrationally biased against religion.

For instance, I often hear “there have been more wars caused by religion than by any other thing”.

This is set forth as if it were a fact, and that the record of history would bear it out.

If this is so, where is that record of history? Show it to me please! I need data!

And as you search for that data, do please look into the history of wars, and find out how many have been caused by colonialism; by the expansions of empires; by the hatred of other tribes; by racism; by tribal conflict; or by non-religious ideologies ( e.g. Nazi-sm, Fascism, Communism, Nationalism, Monarchism and the like).

Do the math(s), and get back to me!

Of course, most wars are indefensible, and wars of religion are particularly horrid. But is it a fact that “there have been more wars caused by religion than by any other thing”?

Perhaps I am naive, but it still shocks me when my liberal friends who express the most wonderful sentiments of tolerance and acceptance regarding many social and political issues become quite intolerant with regard to religion.

I was most uncomfortably as a guest at a lunch the other day, when I was subjected to anti-religious, and specifically anti-Christian views from my host and from another guest.

At the very least I thought that they were disrespectful. At the most I thought that their prejudice had led them into stupidity. I’ll write more about that tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. "...how many have been caused by colonialism; by the expansions of empires; by the hatred of other tribes; by racism; by tribal conflict; or by non-religious ideologies ( e.g. Nazi-sm, Fascism, Communism, Nationalism, Monarchism and the like)."

    (Irony alert) Wasn't it that God that no one believed in who was behind all that?

    Ack. These conversations drive me mad. I get them too, although not nearly as often as you likely do. And worse yet, when I say something they say "Oh, but you are different, you are (fill in the blank) nice, intelligent, reasonable, kind (etc)!"

    "Really," I reply, "So you mean that I am just like someone who is black but also articulate? Like someone who is a Jew but not cheap?" And so on, whatever strikes me that day.

    And ultimately, since I mix it up with so many so-called "liberal" (*snort*) bloggers I have really had some bad run ins in comment boxes.

    *Sigh*

    The command to forgive is the hardest, no?

    Looking forward to part 2.

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  2. I have sometimes been tempted to say such things out of frustration with religion when it is used as a weapon. I often wonder if some "liberals", otherwise hurt BY Christianity, lash out at it in the only (perhaps feeble) way they feel they can -- by denying it altogether? And even moreso, by challenging someone who represents an authority figure in that religion -- a priest.

    I guess you know all that already, but when faced with such talk from atheists or agnostics, I often have to realize their assault comes from a place of woundedness, not logic.

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