Every Thursday I attend a round table discussion with a group of 20-30 other men. Any topic can be on the table, and the free flow of ideas is fascinating. The meeting takes place at a senior center. Some attendees are as young as 50, but most are in the 65-75 age range.
Today one of the men brought up the old saw about more people dying in the name of religion (or as a result of religious intolerance) than for any other cause. I quickly responded by asking him what faith was Genghis Khan espousing – or Hitler – or Stalin.
If one examines the historical record carefully, one finds that even the so-called religious wars were usually waged for reasons other than matters of faith. Religion is often used as a mask for racial intolerance, desire for territorial gain, or other nefarious purposes.
True Christianity certainly teaches against intolerance and war. Muslims appear to have a mixed message.
I doubt that I won the point. People will continue to believe what they want to believe.