why are these two so often twisted?

@jb78000 (15163)
September 22, 2009 4:28am CST
what do islam and christianity have in common that means that they are so frequently used as an excuse for violence, atrocities and even genocide? will start by pointing out that i know most members of them are peaceful and do NOT do terrible things. however whenever religion is abused it nearly always appears to involve one or the other. why? and if you think another religion should be added to this very short list then please tell me and let me know why.
4 people like this
18 responses
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Well I think it's like everything else, people inturpet the Bible/Quran as they please. More like inturpet to suit their life.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
however other religions have holy texts too. why are these ones so often (mis)interpreted to provide a handy reason for doing bad things?
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Because they are the largest of the religions therefore more people cause more inturpetations leading to extremeists.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15163)
24 Sep 09
fairly reasonable point - they are the largest. so you think it's basically down to numbers then?
@CJscott (4182)
• Canada
23 Sep 09
It is all religions, but it is not necessarily religion. Many people through out history have used the pretext of religion for political gain, monetary gain...etc etc. It is more a difference of opinion then the actual religion itself, for if people were being good proper Christians, which means tolerance and forgiveness then there would never have been the crusades or the Spanish inquisition or a separation from Catholicism into however many hundreds of different sects there now are.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15163)
2 Nov 09
this is true but my question was why do these two religions seem to be abused so much, more perhaps than others.
@CJscott (4182)
• Canada
18 Nov 09
It is my belief that these two are the most commonly cursed upon, because they each have the highest followers that are more likely to start a war based upon their religion. When was the last time you heard about a Buddhist in a holy war?
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Sep 09
Most if not all religions have had either a violent start or a violent period, including the very peaceful buddaism. But understand that most of the violence committed in the name of that particular religion was usually enacted by certain leaders perverting that religions doctrine for their own personal gain. Heres the problem with your question: Im not sure that any other religion should be ADDED to your list, but I am confident that Christianity should be removed from that list. Heres why; The US was attacked by a radical muslims. The US retailiated by going after the terrorists. That is a policy that ANY government SHOULD have regardless of religious affiliation. Understand this, it was NOT the Christians that attacked OR retaliated, it was the US. As an American I support the retaliation, one MUST protect ones self. As a Christian, I support the retaliation, but grow frustrated with how the war is carried out. Im not talking about waterboarding or so called 'torture', Im talking about, get in, get it done, and go home. We should not be nation building. But it was the Muslims that started calling it a 'holy war'. It WAS a war of US v Radical muslims, not Christians vs muslims. So what do they have in common? Very little. As a Christian and an American, I vehementily denounce any act of unprovoked violence, atrocities, and even genocide, by anybody claiming to be a Christian. I've yet to find a muslim who will say the same of the acts committed by the muslims on 9/11 or any following terrorists acts.
@wmraul (2554)
• Bucharest, Romania
22 Sep 09
Hi. Prior to answer to your intriguant question above, I must add something to what you said here. As a chiristian, if you want to detach yourself from contemporan so called "christians vs muslims" fights, is your option, yet ones who wanted that war sure used religion as background. Whorst even. If somehow you can prove the war you particulary mention (and I won't count you reff to just a part of it, while is an older issue ..) has NOT been started by "religious people" (be them christian or muslims, it does not matter) so therefor you think is not a religious war, well .. not only that is also what I said above, but does not answer to hunderths of wars and violences wa made in the past in the name of God, thru or with religion support. I can give you a list long enough of those kind of things that before half you will turn off pc and throw it on thru the window (I'm joking ..). Oh, btw .. is not christians vs muslims. Is muslims vs christians AND jews. This time. In the past WAS both types - proving who started first is itself a reasons for an war ..
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
22 Sep 09
hi..6TB. Us attacking terrorist bases was a prestige issue and certainly not linked to religion. however if you review history you will certainly find instances of 'Christianity wars'. no offense but today they have graduated to more peaceful methods. they do it under the pretext of charity. Asia and Africa is full of examples where poor people are lured to convert to Christianity. they are offered food, health care and even jobs if they convert. (i personally know of at-least one such example). also for your information Buddhism was always a peaceful one. if you are referring to king Ashoka, he embraced Buddhism 'after' he was disgusted by his own violent acts.
• Philippines
23 Sep 09
Why exclude Christianity? I'm also a christian but I won't say that Christianity would be excluded from this issue. Christianity had it's share of violence and the evidences are all recorded throughout history.:)
@mathss1 (1181)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I do not think a religion can be held responsible for the atrocities committed by so called followers.Jesus preached love and I do not know of any Christian at present using Christianity as an excuse for violence. Have a gr8 time Njoy
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
well there's people who you may not describe as christians but they certainly do doing pretty awful things in the name of christianity the world over. now i'm certainly not saying that the majority do and i think it's twisted thinking considering what, as you said, jesus actually preached but it still happens.
• United States
22 Sep 09
People can call themselves anything they like, it dosent mean its true. It seems to me that you have just lumped any violent act done by anybody who isnt a muslim as a christian.
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
read carefully torch. my question was that why do these two religions frequently have nasty people using them as an excuse for awful actions. will restate that this does not apply to the majority of either in any way.
• Singapore
23 Sep 09
I believe a world without religion will be a far safer, more peaceful one. Any comments/challenges to my statement are welcome. Peace.
@wmraul (2554)
• Bucharest, Romania
23 Sep 09
I will challenge your comment. It won't be safer, it would be far BETTER.
• Singapore
23 Sep 09
I stand corrected.
@jb78000 (15163)
4 Oct 09
skipper - you can get rid of religions but you can't get rid of that way of thinking. alternatives will spring up in their place - we've already had some - communism, the business is business blind worship of money, etc.
• India
22 Sep 09
It is just my thoughts but I think the geographical terrain might have to do a lot in making the people of middle-east Asia violent towards others. That area is inhospitable in most parts except pockets of oases or the occasional river making the adjacent land fertile and habitable. In most parts, settle agriculture was not possible so people were nomads with cattle-rearing as the mainstay. Now for the cattle too, one needed water and grasslands, which is scarce in the desert. Hence, the various tribes were always fighting amongst each other for dominance of territory. That particular area was also an important part of the silk route and trade was flourishing…plundering the passing caravans was also another means of livelihood and for that too, expert fighting skills were required. I think that the people of that area has been fighting for survival against the odds for so long, that war has become a part of their genes. Any religion born in that are is bound to exhort its followers to fight for their own cause and usurp other’s properties in the name of religious sanction. And YES, most members are peaceful people coz with the progress of human civilization, each era has its own understanding and interpretations of religion. We now know that many of the things written in medieval times can no longer be applicable in today’s world and if we continue with killing others for our own beliefs, one day our children will no longer be there to inherit that over which we fight today.
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
well very interesting point - although i would change it to perhaps the terrain had a certain influence when these religions were developed. it definitely has nothing to do with genes - violence in the name of islam/christianity been committed by people who are certainly not from the middle east. look at northern ireland for starters. or the spanish inquistion if you want a famous historical one.
• India
30 Sep 09
Spanish inquisition came later and of course north Ireland is much more recent incident. I was talking about the roots of these two religions and the impact of the terrain on their collective lifestyle and history. Life in that particular area is so harsh that you wont survive long if you really ‘turn the other cheek’ everytime you are uprooted from your little oases…they had to fight real hard to survive and maybe somehow this fighting spirit got imbibed in their genes and violence became a natural part of their religion.
1 person likes this
• India
30 Sep 09
and I must add that Christianity and Islam spread all over the world from the middle east through people who were inhabitants of this inhospitable land…their forefathers have been fighting for survival and violence was in their genes…it’s the same genes that passed on to the later generations of the areas where these religions spread and also the fact that violence had by then become a natural part of their lives and religion. Why only the crusades or Ireland, look at the colonial times and how ‘enlightened, Christian’ Europe ran over the ‘dark world’ all in the name of taking Christianity there and ‘liberating’ the natives of those areas!
@andy77e (5161)
• United States
23 Sep 09
As opposed to Buddhism, Taoism and any other religion including Atheism? Every religion can, and has been used as an excuse for violence. It is not even remotely limited to Islam and Christianity. In fact Atheism has killed more people in the last 100 years than any other religion. Most members of all religions are peaceful too. Not all Atheists run around forming Gulags like the USSR did. Here is the real answer. Humans are inherently sinful and evil. They rationalize every evil deed they do, with whatever excuse is most convenient.
@wmraul (2554)
• Bucharest, Romania
23 Sep 09
You are perfectly right, with just a small adjusment: Is not "humans are ...". Is "humans/people 's leaders". Which, once in leading position, among others but with a bit priority, they create tools to stay there in top position. They allowed to a limited number of others to stand close and get few extra provilege just for the hidden purpose to be an "armour" between them and the mass .. and so on ... And do not forget the (Sofocles ? Machaivelli ?)'s "the ends justified the means" ..
@andy77e (5161)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I respectfully disagree. The masses, are exactly who create the monsters. It was the masses of people in Rome, that allowed Nero to toss Christians into the Colosseum to be eaten by lions, and pay money for tickets to see it, and cheer in the stands. It was the masses that supported Lenin and Stallin, which allowed them to oppress the entire nation and take over country after country. It was the masses that supported Hitler into power, and butchered millions of Jews. Leadership is a reflection on society. Every leader is a product of the societal system they evolved from. In each case, those people assumed power with the blessing of the people. They are just a guilty.
@jb78000 (15163)
2 Nov 09
yes but leaders can also manipulate societies - often fairly easily. cuts both ways - i think you are both right to some degree.
@hexeduser22 (6692)
• Philippines
23 Sep 09
I think the answer is idealism. This two religion had been competing for their ideals way way back never realizing the other thing that they have in common was God. Religion could really not be held responsible but the followers who have succumb to their ideologies. Always trying to prove something to outlast the ideologies of each other:)
@jb78000 (15163)
30 Sep 09
well that would explain why they are always squabbling but doesn't really explain any of the other things done in their names...
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Sep 09
I think man is accountable for the other things done in their name. Greed and the lust for power is in man's nature. People who lust for power saw the advantages of using this two powerful names. No one can move people best than God that is why they tend to manipulate people's mind to join their cause using religion as a front.
@jb78000 (15163)
1 Oct 09
of course. my view is that these two in particular appear to be fairly open to manipulation. the heaven/hell idea is a very easy way to scare/bribe people into doing what you want.
@pillusch (1148)
• Mexico
22 Sep 09
Because both of them, and most others, believe that they are the holders of the truth, and the ONLY holders of the truth. In that sense both are evil, since both have a very fundamentalistic view of the world and life in general. If you belong to a religion you usually have to believe its tenants, which includes the belief that all other religions are wrong. It really scares me. I like Roman-Catholicism, and I sometimes pray to the virgin mary, but technically I´m not even a Christian, since I don´t believe in Christ's resurrection. It's just that this religion has very intelligent tools, like all other serious self-development techniques. And that's what I believe religions should be for, to teach us how to live better. But tell that a fundamentalist, any fundamentalist, and you'd be called a heretic.
• United States
23 Sep 09
I guess you'd call me a fundamentalist and I'd call you a heretic. Actually, I just think we need to understand the nature of truth. I'm not going to try and convert you or anything - all that is up to you. You see truth is, by definition, exclusive. Since the OP is talking mainly about Christian/Muslim, let us use them as examples. "...believe that they are holders of the truth, and the ONLY holders of the truth. In that sense both are evil,..." It is possible that BOTH are wrong, but it is NOT possible that both are right. So then what is you definition of evil? Those who hold the truth? or those who dont? "And that's what I believe religions should be for, to teach us how to live better." How does that happen if a particular religion does NOT hold the truth?
@jb78000 (15163)
30 Sep 09
i think truth can go a bit deeper than that. there are many spiritual paths and you can say that all can be right or none are right or all are partily right or hey mine is right, rest are wrong. without meaning to offend you i think the last one is slightly simplistic.
@jb78000 (15163)
30 Sep 09
at at the risk of annoying possibly both of you i'm not sure that all christians and muslims do subscribe to the last view either...
@wmraul (2554)
• Bucharest, Romania
22 Sep 09
Most of religious people would deny or reject what you say. They will try hard to prove their religion is peacefull, but the otherone is agresive and .. they have to defend. To start understanding an effect, first you must isolate the cause. First step is to know WHAT happen. Mean the effect. That is clear: agressions, killing, conquerers, violence, lyings, cheatings, in order to gain and maintain .. control and power. Mean POLITICS. side-note: please first be awared that any of this 2 religions you mentioned have a solid background of violence. Both comes out from direct the hollybooks. "torture, burnings" and similar stuf, toward "enemies" and "sinners", while sinners may be people practicants of that religion. From here to practical violence toward anybody is against even slightly, is less than a step. But why ? There is only one answer: need to have POWER, need to have CONTROL. end of side-note Once you understand the effect (WHAT), is simple to find out HOW, which is the activities and actions leading from cause (WHY) to effect (WHAT). So, How ? Well, simple. While the goal is to have control and power, there are only 3 ways to reach there. - violence and all that imply - murders, torture, killings, exterminations, wars, holly-wars, poisoning, mass destruction and so on; - make belive - lying, cheating, inventing, announcing "divine laws" that must be unconditionally obey, faking, building up big misteries and so on; - gain respect - build an image, gain trust, being honest, supporting the truth no matter consequences and so on. Is obviously for anyone really want to really understand things that the third way is the most difficult and - very important - require a good answer to the fatal question : "why you ?". Now, let's watch the other 2. Take a shallow look around you and watch only parents. How do majority of them get along with theis childs's missbehave ? First, they LIE, CHEAT, MAKE BELIVE: "be quiet or the ugly man will come and take you", "be nice or big bad wolf will come and eat you", "if you are obedient, santa claus will bring you nice toys, if you are not, you won't get nothing" and so on. C'mon, all are LIES ! CHEATS ! Enforcing FEAR in the childs's mind, instead of self-trust and will to progress .. But things won't stop here. Same parents using those above are also using violence against their own kids. Beatings, reprisals, punisments. Very good parents .. indeed .. but yet they are not guilty, they are the product of .. education. Made by them parents. Which - somewhere at begining were educated by .. PRIESTS and RELIGION. Because THAT is what priests and religion proclaim: Obey and santa claus will bring you eternal life. Disobey and you will burn in hell. Up to now, all is HUMAN things which only connection with GOD is that they USE the name of GOD, without actually respecting will of GOD. Because religion is just a form of politics and, if someone doubt, just take a look in history at small circle of people around leaders: the big leader, 2-5 counselors and advisers, wife/husband, very reliable guards and .. a priest. It's now easy to "see" the cause, the WHY: NEED FOR POWER AND CONTROL. /// Phylosophy is the art of thinking. For the sake of understanding world around. Beliving in God is the art of see things as they are, for the sake of understanding world and respect life. Politics is the art of thinking in order to LEAD others. Thru lies, cheat, make things up, kill enemies, enforce thru violence .. Religion is the art of enforce beliving in God in order to LEAD others. Using lies, cheats, violence, punishments, false promisses, kill enemies .. I love phylosophy and I belive in God. I hate politics and religions. For more details and more refferences, I suggest to see why were crisades, why treaty of Saragossa and some prior to that was made, why muslims attacked and conquer along Europe, Asia, Africa .. All are "holly wars" but the hidden reasons being greed, need of power, economical reasons ... Anything but not God.
• United States
22 Sep 09
You said one thing that intrigued me. "Beliving in God is the art of see things as they are, for the sake of understanding world and respect life." Since you love philosophy, and philosophy is the art of thinking. I am going to ask you to apply the 'why and what' questions of philosophy to believing in God. I ask this for as much of an educational purpose as anything else. So if you could help me understand please answer: 1 - What is 'believing in God'? You gave us the why, so the next question that naturally follows is 'How do we believe in God?' 2 - What is the purpose (why) of understanding the world and respecting life? Once again the answer to that question begs a follow up, "How?". Respectfully, 6TB
@jb78000 (15163)
28 Sep 09
not being ignoring you. deliberately left this discussion to mature - exceellent and very detailed response there - you are making a more general point about all religions rather than just these two. valid enough but i think some religions are more peaceful that others. all can be twisted mind you.
• United States
23 Sep 09
1.Islam and some forms of Christianity are considered as Fundamentalists. Fundamentalists live by the stories in the Bible. In the Old Testament, they preached an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. So, if it was good for them then, it is good for them now. It wasn't until the Christ came did the instructions on life change - turn your cheek away from violence and hatred. 2.In the Old Testament, they fought for the territories that were given to them, therefore they are still doing that today.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Oct 09
turn the other cheek often seems to be ignored by certain professed christians. i will agree that christ had some peaceful ideas - which a certain type ignore when it suits them.
• United States
17 Oct 09
First, Having the name "Christian", because you were born into that faith/religion, does not make you a Christian....real Christians know that. Secondly, Being Christian does not make you perfect...Christians are sinners just like everyone else. The difference is, real christians strive to follow Christ in their actions and words...and it is only thru daily help from God, that it becomes a little easier. For some it is a long road, however, their desire to be like him, is what makes them a Christian. The idea that Christians should be perfect comes from those who have no belief or faith. They're the ones that assume we think like that. They're the ones that assume we believe we are greater than everyone else. They're the ones that are very mislead, because real Christians know they will never be perfect.
@flowerchilde (12533)
• United States
14 Oct 09
The inquisitions were the using of religion for political purposes and advantage.. The trouble between the Irish Catholics and Protestant British is a nation thing more than a religious one. I don't know of any genocides carried out by Christians, though some will claim hitler was a christian, but he was heavy into the occult, and evolution, the basis of his 'survival of the fittest'/eugenics and all.. Religion is not the root of all evil, it's flawed human nature that is, i.e. selfishness, arrogance, etc. And all types of groups of humans are guilty, not just some. There are some disputes between Muslim and Christian, but we cannot expect others of another land to simply lay down their lives and be slaughtered, or submit to violent conversion (as people like liberty). The Israeli palestinian dispute for Israel is a land dispute (after defeating three foes in '67 and gaining land from Jordan, Egypt and Syria) though Israel has agreed to a two state solution many times, but some seem to not want any part of that, but to annihilate Israel, and most nations are not aggreeable to being annihilated.
@jb78000 (15163)
2 Nov 09
christianity is used as an excuse for a lot of intolerance and nastiness (and yes killings). you probably won't see these people as true christians but that is how they see themselves. back to orginal point - this religion has been abused too. as far as i can see the teachings christians are supposed to follow are about being peaceful and tolerant so this makes this abuse all the more puzzling.
• United States
23 Sep 09
Well, my first stop is with Freud and the human ego..the 'I am' of human existence. I'll add in a bit of bibliology with God defining Himself as 'The great I am!'...and as we were created '..in the image and likeness of..' I guess we are the lesser 'I am's. OK, foundation's done.. We all want to believe that we are on the path to truth. We even quote text to prove it, even when such text is taken out of context, which is quite often I've noticed (with christian folk). And with these misinterpreted quotes we decide that God is on our side and supports whatever we do. Folks tend to overlook the fact that God is constant and we are fluctuating. He does not drift with the tide, we do...And because of that drift it is for us to be on His side, convenient as it might be for us to expect otherwise. It is our duty to match our stride to that constant. Until we learn that it is not for the world to be in obeyance to Freudian ego but rather for us to be obeyance to God, religion will be a hateful, abusive sword in the world..wielded by fools who think themselves gods.. ENJOY!
@jb78000 (15163)
2 Nov 09
losing the ego is a feature of many religions - buddhism maybe the strongest about this but all seem to in some way do this.
@Vaddiba (190)
23 Sep 09
Both religions are in COMPETITION to win the minds of people. And COMPETITION lays the foundation for conflict and war. Where there is explicit human CO-OPERATION, there is harmony, not conflict. Some believers can manage the appetite to convert others, while others find themselves out of control in their effort to spread the so-called "good news" so that their "god" can win against the "gods" of other religions. That's why you have clashes of civilisations: Both religions want to have more followers than the other. And some people will engage in violence in an effort to "ensure" that THEIR "god" wins the war for people's minds. It's as simple as that! And that's why religion will continue to fail humanity because the mainstream religions are based on competitively increasing the portfolio of followers. The mainstream religions are not comfortable with low ratings reflected in how many followers they have. If the ratings are low compared to another religion, an effort is made to catch up with the other religion. And that's a ... ... perfect recipe for conflict, violence, hatred, and war. The whole situation then becomes a giant tug-of-war, with world populations becoming the rope.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Oct 09
religion as a football match bascially? interesting point but i know of some big religions that do not try to attract new believers.
@ParaTed2k (22971)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
23 Sep 09
It all started with two brothers who just didn't get along.
@jb78000 (15163)
4 Oct 09
sometimes that's the way it looks - two siblings knocking the living daylights out of each other. and bullying the little sister when they take a break.
@sutent (1060)
• China
22 Sep 09
Hi friend, i come here for supporting. i am not interesting in any religions, although some religious teaching are very meaningful and helpful to our peace. But i respect every religion, as long as it offend the world massess of people. Go back to your question. Why some religions are violent? Mostly they do atrocity for the benefit of the high level leaders. Happy mylotting!
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
hiya sutent. haven't seen you for a while. well i don't actually think these religions as such are violent, however they are used by violent people as a justification for doing violent things.
• India
22 Sep 09
What You Say IS Somewhat Right .. I Don't think You Can Compare Islam With Any Other Religion .. It Is Governed By A Set Of Rules Which A Common Muslim Will Surely Find Confusing .. The Leaders Of this Religion Do Have A Say In Every Act Of the Whole Community Irrespective of their Nationality .. They Are More Committed to Their Religion Than Anything Else ..
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
well ok, although this does not really answer my question i'm afraid.
@med889 (5952)
22 Sep 09
Islam and Christianity have one thing in common as I read on the Internet, In Islam Abraham was asked by God to cut sacrifice his son for him and in Christianity Jesus sacrificed himself for his people so there are sacrifices and also blood.
@jb78000 (15163)
22 Sep 09
abraham was asked this in christianity too. ok their holy texts do have a good bit of blood in them but they also have extortions to be peaceful. you probably do have a point though.