09 November 2008

Religion at its best: punch the one who disagrees with you

The annual rites of the ancient Christian churches in the Middle East are turning into annual rites of exemplary fighting among those who are supposed to be behaving otherwise.

The Associated Press reported that there was fighting between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem (also on BBC). The reason? Petty claims of ownership of ancient structures of dubious significance.

The last year's priestly fight was at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

There you have it, folks. Tolerance, respect, peace...the virtues of religion and the religious? Love your neighbor? Yeah, right!

Stinking hypocrites.

Here is Hyphoid Logic's take on it.


xoggoth said...

Yeh. Let's get shot of it.

These people could well be fighting over those buildings even if they had no beliefs, religion gets blamed for much that is just human nature.

Still, for all the claims the supporters make, religion brings no benefits at all, try and correlate crime and violence in societies to extent of beliefs and there is no relation whatever. Best to be shot of it so we can at least start to consider issues rationally.

In some cases, like this one,


religion definitely appears to be the source of the problem, rather than just the excuse for it.

Anonymous said...

of course, just because these individual humans are falling short of their religion's aims, doesn't really refute the message of the religion itself...


It only shows that being religious doesn't necessarily make one a good person and it follows that one doesn't need religion to learn to love one's neighbor.

m.e. said...

love this post! thanks for a good laugh and a most astute commentary on the reality of religion. we may talk about god, but we're human through and through.

vanessa cardui said...

These religious folk are worse than gardeners at a plant sale squabbling over the last specimen-sized Agave or whatnot. At least I've never seen gardeners come to blows; after conceding the find one makes plans to arrive earlier to beat out the competition next time.

Jannavi said...

So true, Aydin! I wonder what Bill Maher, director of Religulous would say :)
Here's an old cartoon from an Indian newspaper
If you are interested in learning more about religious squabbles in India, here's a wiki entry

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a point you seem to miss: religions are not political ideologies or philosophical systems, religions are religions and, unlike politics and philosophy, they consider human nature as it is, i.e. with all its fallacy and contradictions, which include also sin, intolerance, and other such stuff. This means that being religious does not mean that you "must" be good, it simply means that you are expected to be good, but, of course, you are a man/woman and you have a fallacious nature, hence "sin" is contemplated as an unpleasant obscure side of our nature. The main difference between a philosophical system and a religion is that religion has tools for coping with this "obscure side" of human nature, while philosophical system tend simply to deny it.

Anonymous said...

I admire the above comment. Unfortunately, I believe it will, and will continue to, fall on deaf ears. Those who make sweeping, angry statements such as 'stinking hypocrites' to indict an entire sector of people, dismissed as rubes and idiots, for adhering to a comprehensive belief system often have little else to contribute to dialogue. But the fact remains that for some reason, they have the mic 90% of the time.


ery well, if so, let no religion ever to burn a person at the stake or stone him/her to death for not following its principles.

Your comments simply underline my point that religion doesn't necessarily make one good and one doesn't need religion to be good.

A person who gets offended by the accusation of hypocrites as hypocrites would have to be one of them.

xoggoth said...

I would like to add that most snails, in the UK anyway, are Buddhists.