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how many wars have been ignited by religion?

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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:54 AM
Original message
how many wars have been ignited by religion?
i'm not an expert on these historical matters, but i'm sure that all through human history, untold billions have died in the name of some diety or another. shias versus shiites, catholics versus protestants, jews against muslims, chrisitans against hindus, it seems neverending.

which god has been responsible for the most megadeaths? christianity has got to be up there on the top of the list. many times, the enemie's gods are the central point of the fight. my own mother calls for a holy crusade against ALL Islam, and calls muslims worshippers of a false god. i think she's deluded and mentally disabled by her own zealotry.

the gods must really laugh at us sometimes, up there from their lofty cloud cities. the sun god battles the sky god. the christian god battles the muslim god. and we down here on our little dirt ball in the cosmos keep attacking one another for no other reason than our invisible gods can't seem to kiss and make up.

imagine no religion. it's easy if you try. no hell below us, above us only sky.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Way too many
It's been a way to marginalize someone else's humanity and escalate violence when mixed with political differences.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. A couple
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DIKB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Mel Gibson summed it up best.
"... oh, and our enemy. Ignore his heathen prayers and help us to blow him to pieces."

People want their deity to bless them and ONLY THEM.
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Captain Absolut Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. ONLY two reasons for wars
Power(insanity) or Religion
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. Death Tolls for the Man-made Megadeaths of the 20th Century
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatz.htm


maybe not all religious.







We pray that someday an arrow will be broken,

not in something or someone, but by each of humankind,

to indicate peace, not violence.

Someday, oneness with creation,

rather than domination over creation,

will be the goal to be respected.

Someday fearlessness to love and make a difference

will be experienced by all people.

Then the eagle will carry our prayer for peace and love,

and the people of the red, white, yellow, brown, and black communities

can sit in the same circle together to communicate in love

and experience the presence of the Great Mystery in their midst.

Someday can be today for you and me. Amen.
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. great picture, great link, and great prayer
thank you
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Thank you
I miss you when your gone.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. But certainly used to some extent
except maybe pol pot and a few from the Russian revolution.
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Mistress Quickly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. All of them?
Even Hitler was a "religious" man.

And I'm only being sort of sarcastic about "all of them". I will bet you can find religion somewhere behind almost every war.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
27. Religion is a tool in most of them to get the masses behind the madmen
lusting for power and resources. Religion is a great way to cloak bigotry. For instance, that beatiful child in the picture above would easily have been butchered because he or she would have been a godless heathen. It's why murdering Iraqis and Afghans comes so easily to most Americans.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. Its not religion specifically
It is any system that maintains a position of dogmatic authority over its adherants. Any time such a system interacts with a another system it will use whatever tools it has available to overcome or absorb the competing system. Thus we see systems such as Hardline Communism acting in the same manner as Orthodox Hardline Dogmatic Religions.

A religion need not be dogmatic or authoratative. But when they are they run the risk of becoming domineering. If they gain control of the power of the state they become dangerous. They can still exert pressure even if they do not directly control the powers of state.

Whatever the source of such systems may be, they are played out in the hands of people reacting to social pressures and learned systems. Thus even if there is truth at the heart of a religion, it may become lost in the social evolution of the belief over time within the cultural development of the society itself.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. true n/t
:-)
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KC21304 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. Most of them, by a large margin.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. None - but desire for power/control/wealth has been covered over by
religious slogans/overtones/and God told me to lead you this way.

Then again some on the DU board define a "religion" as s concept that always includes a desire for power/control/wealth, proving you are correct, ....sigh.... some of us see the life of Jesus as not an example of the above.

but whatever floats your boat...

peace

:-)
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I disagree
it has been part of cultural differences that help push war. Look at many conflicts in India, middle ages Europe, Indonesia, etc.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. cultural differences = religion as a cover for greed/power - IMHO
In MY Humble Opinion - IMHO -

we are actually in agreement.

I guess it comes down to "what is religion"

and what is a war about the others not being from our village - or not being "like us".
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
15. Wars Are Started By People & NOT Religion
Religion is a system which in and of itself doesn't kill anyone.

Now there seem to have been a whole slew of leaders who have perverted their religion's tenents to make the case for war... and to use the emotional power a religion's followers have invested....

But then people have died for other "causes". Like Democracy and Freedom from monarchies for instance.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. your mom thinks the Muslims
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:20 AM by rchsod
worship a false god. now that is what is wrong with any fundie religious belief. these people refuse to question what is told to them by those who claim to know the word of god. i personally believe in what Christ said,not what Paul said or anyone else. yesterday i read the passage in the Koran where it states Muhammad's belief in how Christ died. i believe they may have written the truth. does this make me less a Christian? no-by reading this passage it gives me a deeper understanding of his life and his teachings. the Muslim religion believes Christ is a prophet, of course your mother and millions like her could never accept that the Muslims believe this-they are evil. of course these people have no idea of what the Coptic Church is-they would not accept that this church was founded by st. mark right after the "death" of Christ and is closer to what Christ may have had in mind instead of Paul`s greco-roman-pagan- brand of Christian belief.

god doesn`t wage war-mankind does.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
18. How Many?
How many wars have been fought because of differences between and among people?

The attempts at ethnic cleansing, whether in Burundi or in what used to be Yugoslavia, were fought because one grouop of people saw another group of people who were simply different.

THe wars of nationalism -- like WWI and WWII -- were fought because of differences not so much of religion, but of conflicting national interests. Even Hitler's campaign against the Jews was not so much fueled by any antipathy to the religious message that Jews adhered to. Rather, it was because Hitler felt that the Jews were not truly Aryan. A big reason for anti-semitism throughout Europe has historically been that Jews were "wanderers" -- not members of any nationa other than the Jewish nation. Ethncically different.

Our own Civil War -- which included the one day in which more Americans lost there lives than any day in history (The Battle of Antietim) was not about religion (unless you wish to concede that the abolitionist movement was fueled by deeply religious people who sought not to impose their own religion upon other people, but who insisted, rather, that the nation in which they lived could not abide an institution which their religion instructed them to be so immoral as that of slavery). It was fought over states' rights and whether the Union of the United States could or could not be dissolved.

We do indeed keep on attacking other people. Sometimes it is because people speak a different language. Sometimes it is because people were clothes that are different. Sometimes it is because peoples' skins colors are different. Sometimes it is because other people have access to scarce or desirable resources. The hatred that leads to war has many, many sources. Not just religion. Not by a long shot.
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. i didn't say ALL wars are relgious wars
i said that many wars have been motivated by invisible beings.
a long war was fought over salt, another over spices, so any reason will do. but i suspect that religion is one of the major factors.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I Did Not Mean To Suggest
I did not mean to suggest that you said that all wars are startedfor religious reasons, sop please accept my apologies if that implication was made in my post. It was not intended that way.

You are certainly correct to point out that wars have been ignited for relgious reasons. And, for all I know, it may indeed be correct to say that the God of Christianity is one of the leading contenders for the title of "Deity whose worshippers have, through going to war, brought more death and destruction to the World".

But if that is so, then it might also be useful to ponder (although not on this thread) just how many lives that god -- or any other god -- have saved or liberated because his/her worshippers have done things like build hospitals, worked to end hunger, worked to end homelessness -- things like that.

I would bet that there are some of the gos in the lofty spaces above who do not laugh when they see what is going on down here. My guess is that there are probably a few gods who cry at how their worshippers distort the messages they have tried to send to humanity. At the same time, I would bet that these same gods who cry over what we humans do to each other - often in their name -- well up with divine joy whenever they see any of their own followers, and probably even when they see the followers of other gods, perform simple acts of caring and love -- in their name, and as an act of obedience to the message those gods have sent.

That's just a guess.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
20. A brief...
... version of my personal belief is that all wars are fought for money/gold/lucre/land - and in most religion is used as the ostensible justification.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
22. No matter one's position on the matter
religion is a force that many people justify their positions in times of war and dehumanize the other side. Sometimes, it allows a side to kill without conscience since "God is on their side" and the other side "infidels", "heathens", "barbarians", "idolators", "godless", etc.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. But Not Just Religion
sometimes adherents of belief systems that are not at all religious in nature do the same things you mention -- use their beliefs to justify the de-humanization of people who are different.

Right now in the world, there is a lot of trafficking in human beings -- people, mostly young women who are, for all intents and purposes, slaves to men who use the women as prostitutes in order to enrich themselves.

I would submit that the men who traffic in women in this way most likely have a pretty low view of women -- and, in all likelihood, think of women as being sub-human. And I would bet that very few of those men have deeply religious points of view. They most likely use words such as "b****" or other de-humanizing words to describe the women they have under their control.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
23. religion is a tool to create war,
but no war gets going untill the bankers back it.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
25. Religion has been heavily involved in several
though few have been religious in their primary justification - the Crusades, the initial expansion of Islam, the French Wars of Religion, and perhaps the prolonged fight over the Iberian penninsula. The Thirty Years War had a large religious component, and the British Civil Wars (the Irish part of which has basically simmered ever since). I'm sute there are more someone can add.

Often, religion is one more excuse for a power struggle. I don't know how accepted the theory is in anthropological circles, but in "Guns, Germs and Steel", Jared Diamond suggests that religious beliefs tend to develop to support the authority of whoever decides the local rules and laws. Since, until the development of democracy, the state and religion were nearly always closely linked, it's not surprising to see religions used as the excuse for war as well as internal state power.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
26. As long as God is Jealous and a God of War there will be war
Ain't it sweet?
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