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Sun Aug 3, 2014, 11:56 AM

Religion has taken center stage in America's political debates

By David Horsey
Near the banks of the Clearwater River in Idaho there is an earthen mound that members of the Nez Perce tribe, by tradition, believe is the center of the world, the place from which all people originated. It is unlikely that very many Nez Perce believe this is literally true but, even if they believed the myth with all of their heart and soul, they would find it impossible to impose their belief on the rest of the country. There are just not enough of them.

There are many more Muslims in the world and a fair share of them feel compelled to enforce their version of religious truth. The Taliban in Afghanistan, the army of militant Sunnis in Syria and Iraq and numerous radical, religiously motivated factions in other Islamic countries simply can’t stand the idea that other people may not see things the way they do. They are willing and eager to imprison and kill to enforce their beliefs.

In Uganda, political leaders who claim to be Christian think it’s perfectly fine to execute gays and lesbians. They are inspired by a narrow reading of the Bible and cheered on by zealots from the United States who think modern-day persecution of homosexuals is justified by a few passages taken from texts written in distant millenniums. Oklahoma state legislator Scott Esk has said “we would be totally in the right” to stone gays to death because that is what God desires. In the ranks of America’s religious right, Esk is more outspoken but not alone in his interpretation of Scripture.

Many people observe the world’s multiple sectarian conflicts and look back at the religiously inspired wars, pogroms and persecutions that have scarred history and conclude that religion is the source of most human misery. Really, though, religion isn’t precisely the problem. People who hold fervent beliefs and want to inflict them on everyone else -- they are the problem.



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Reply Religion has taken center stage in America's political debates (Original post)
n2doc Aug 2014 OP
KurtNYC Aug 2014 #1
LWolf Aug 2014 #3
Zorra Aug 2014 #2

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 12:45 PM

1. It is not really religion so much as bigotry

Religion gets used as an excuse for immoral bigotry and oppression. Rather than stand up and say "Hi, I am a fearful bigot that wants to take things from other people" they use references to religion as an excuse.

It allows them to dress up their oppression as something moral rather than owning it for what it is.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:24 PM

3. Except when

their "holy" books ADVOCATE that bigotry and oppression.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:09 PM

2. One of my favorite sayings regarding religion is

"Everyone must learn for themselves the highest wisdom; it cannot be taught with words".
~ Smohalla

So many words, so little understanding.

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