Religion is not an unambiguous notion. When meeting religious fanaticism we are often assured that these fanatics do not represent the “true” religion. But what is “true” religion, really ?
The True Teachings
By definition no religions are of course true, by the very fact that they advocate incredible assertions and magical stories, with no evidence or slightest probability. “Truth” normally implies something “ that is in accordance with reality.” The very strong wish for something to be true, does neither make it true nor real. The probability of, or degree of truth in the religious wonder stories is not the issue here. The core of the problem with religion are their teachings, their dogmas and their anti intellectual tribalism.
The large majority of followers of any religion are “moderate”, i.e. ordinary people who see themselves as religious without making a great fuss about it. This “moderate” majority is usually not especially well versed in the scripture of their own religion. What they know of their own religions' teachings and dogma, is usually only what they are told by other believers, or in the church/mosque.
Very few bother to actually read the boring religious texts themselves. Fanatics on the other hand, are often very well versed in the scripture of their religion. In this regard, one would think they are better representatives for their religion, than the moderates. Since they almost always know their religious texts much better than the half hearted moderates. The fanatic's interpretations may be crazy, but at least they know their verses.
It is actually with interpretations of the verses, the teachings and stories, the problems starts. Which verses are to be interpreted figuratively, and which verses are to be taken literary. What God given law shall we abide, and which laws do we ignore? Within all the monotheistic abrahamitic religions, there are a lot of different schools, which all have different interpretations of the same holy scriptures. The different schools are usually in relentless strife with one another, and have been so for centuries. Which of them can be said to represent the “true” teaching? All of them cannot be right at the same time. So there is of course no “true” religion, but still all religious insist that they are following the only true revelation. Some are willing to kill you, to prove their point.
“Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.” Blaise Pascal
Every time religious fanatics put their religion in disrepute to the whole world by committing vile atrocities in their God's name, as we have seen much of from radical muslims the latest years, - moderate fellow-believers solemnly declaring that the fanatics are an fringe group who have misunderstood the religion. The fanatics on their side think that it is the “moderates” who have misunderstood, and are just not religious enough. Reality is that both groups represent the religion. You`ll find the whole spectrum within every religion, from liberal opportunists who have a light and relatively loose connection to their belief, to zealous literalists and uncompromising fanatics.
Moderates tend to have a pick and choose symbolic approach to the dogmas, and the more zealous believer it is more all or nothing literal interpretation approach. For the monotheistic religions it is an obvious relation between the more absurd dogmas and stories you believe literary, the stronger is your faith. The abrahamitic religions are also manically keen on sacrifice and bloodshed, and promise a glorious reward in all eternity for those who are willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of god. With such dangerous delusions, it is only a question of time before another mental underachiever and bed-wetter, becomes so overpowered by religious righteousness that he runs out in the street with a machine gun, or blow himself up, trying to kill as many others as possible.
Or, for example start killing staff at abortion clinics.
Christian Morality ?
In the West we have finally distanced us from centuries with burning heretics, crusades, torture, death penalty* (*except Christian US of course) and persecution of Jews in the name of God. Today the Church and the Christians shamelessly like to represent themselves as keepers of humanism an morality. They are not at least affected that their own holy scripture is brimful of blood vengeance, mass murder and ethnic cleansing, and manically engaged in promising terrible suffering and death for all who don`t believe in their “loving” god. Humanism and the declaration of human-rights were, on the contrary, something the Church fought against every step of the way.
Today the great majority of Christians luckily chooses to disregard the Bible`s demands of death penalties and bloodshed in the name of God for numerous different “sins”. That doesn't mean that Christianity no longer are dangerous. It is still the exactly same fucked up inhumane teachings that sent hundreds of thousands into a blazing death for being branded “enemies of God” in earlier times. The Church would still be burning witches and heretics, if they still were allowed to do so. Our humanism, progress and development as a civil society, have come about in spite of and opposition to the Church and religion, not because of it.
The same way it does not help the dead victims of radical Muslim terror today, that the great majority of Muslims are peaceful and decent people. Most civilian germans during the WW2 and Holocaust were also peaceful, decent citizens, - that does not excuse the Nazist ideology they supported. Their support of the ideology, made the Holocaust possible, in much the same manner that moderate muslim's support of the Quran's primitive vitriol teachings give authority to inhumane medieval Sharia laws, and spawn radical fanaticism.
The main problem is that the monotheistic religions have the seed of fanaticism built in, no matter how “moderate” the great majority interpret the bad verses as symbolical and obsolete. There will always be some fools interpreting the verses literally and feel called upon to carry out God`s “righteous” judgment for him. Within their own confused religious inner logic, even the worst misdeeds seems glorious and good. This is why the monotheistic religions are dangerous.
For the moderates who take their religion serious, you get the feeling there often is a certain unspoken understanding for the radical fanatics. They are surely extreme, but they do really dare to take God`s words literally and act upon it. They dare to face the consequences and the demands of the religious texts, without regard of the cost. Even death. This unspoken understanding for fanaticism is manifesting itself in the how seldom there are loud outrage and protests from the “moderate” in muslim countries every time someone blows up a bomb on a market, or women are stoned to death. However when non-believers made cartoons – CARTOONS - of the prophet, or a non-muslim teacher in England lets the children call a teddy bear Mohammad, droves of presumably “non-fanatics” are out in the streets in raging demonstrations, and are calling for blood and death.
When Muslim countries regularly execute people for being homosexuals, execute people accused of deface a Quran, whipping women for adultery, or Saudi Arabia behead people - the “moderate” muslims keep quiet and think obviously that it is in perfect order. Of course it is, it is in accordance with Mohammad`s flawless teachings.
The religions are a completely unnecessary and perilous loaded old weapon,- you can of course choose to merely have it hanging on the wall as a decoration, celebrate its aesthetic form, admire its strength and symbolism, be lost in thoughts about all the good old stories about the weapon, - but there will always be a possibility that a devout religious retard, one day takes it down from the wall, and use it with deadly and tragic consequences. No one should then be surprised.
The Abrahamitic Religions
The basis of the Abrahamitic religions are their texts. The Bible for Christianity, the Quran for Islam and the Old Testament writings (Tanakh) for Judaism. In addition there are a number of other texts and interpretative writings, but these are only supplements to the main scripture and not canonical.
All three religions have the same mythical background, the same God, and all of them consider Abraham as their first ancestor. The three religions are quite similar, and in reality just varieties of each other, Christianity is based on Judaism, and Islam is based on both Judaism and Christianity.
These religions contain the same primitive tribalism, from primitive patriarchal goat herders societies, and are brimming over with pettiness, intolerance, revenge and sacrifice. A relentless propaganda of divine authorized hatred, that always can be of inspiration for pious bastards, who feel inclined to express their religiousness by exercising violence and death on others in the name of God. The examples from history are countless, and still today there are no scarcity of tragic evidence of this happening. We have seen religions violent consequences over and over again for nearly 2000 years, but it seems mankind never learns. We are as a foolish child who is fascinated by a flickering candle and put its finger into the fire and burns itself badly, but nevertheless puts its finger in the fire again and again, in the firm conviction that the flame is not the cause of the pain. The child's misery do not stop until some responsible adult blows out the candle.
Monotheism is indoctrinated in the believers from childhood, teaching that to not end up in a burning hell, they are to follow God's commandments and rules. Those who are not with us, are against us. This tribal thinking, dividing people into us and them, - the righteous against the spawn of Satan, based on what imaginary deity you believe in, have no place in modern society. Still, these religions urge and demand their followers, this way of thinking. The relentless intolerance we find in the monotheism, becomes extra perilous when it is mixed up with blind religious conviction that it is good and right to carry out God`s will on earth.
Religion poisons everything
We are all born atheists, and then brought up in a religion. Every religious fanatic has once been a moderate, perhaps even a doubter or freethinker. Religious indoctrination from “moderate” religious parents, family, acquaintances, friends, by religion in school, by a society with a publicly educated and approved magicians (priests). What is to expect when you from your childhood is indoctrinated by religious “tribal-thinking”, that one`s own “tribe” administers the only “true” teachings. That an cruel but “loving” God in heaven, punishes with torture all who doesn't believe in him. This is the kind of religious thinking, dumbing society down.
Religion is the problem
The moderate adherents of these religions, do not seem to understand that it is religion itself that is the core of the problem, not the fanatics. Religious fanaticism and extremism are the bitter fruits of the same tree which is watered and cared for by the “moderates”. The clue is in the Bible itself by this Jesus passage: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Mt.7:17-20). And the fruits of Christianity and Islam has all to often been fanaticism and death.
It is often claimed that radical religious people abuse religion for political reasons. Yes, and so?? Of course, it is in the nature of religion to be used politically. It is the way they function and work. Nothing has been so successful as religions to fuel conflict, intolerance and hatred and escalating political conflicts. That said, without religion conflicts and war would still be a part of our history. But religious tribal-thinking has usually made the bloodshed much worse.
Christianity has been political since emperor Constantin in the 4th century, and the priests and imams have never let an opportunity to exercise political power pass by. As a rule God`s will and interests have usually been indistinguishable from the interests of the clergy. If exactly the same tribal religious manifestos found in the Bible and the Quran, was held as an political ideology for any secular political group, they would swiftly be outlawed and prosecuted for hate crime.
But under the guise of “religion”, the western governments obviously have endless tolerance for misogynistic inhuman tribal ideologies, and religions can freely propagate their gospel of intolerance, hate, discrimination, damnation and death and get away with it. They can even preach it to children, with the governments’ blessings.
At what time has religion not been willingly used and eager part of political conflicts? During the crusades? During the persecutions of the heretics and witches, the centuries of persecutions of Jews, during the many religious wars, colonialism, the slave trade, during WWII, northern Ireland, the Balkan conflict, the war in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan?
If religions could not be used or abused politically, the world had probably not still be standing in religious shit up to its armpits.