14 December 2009

Religous Power

Reading again about the atrocities of the medieval church and religious wars and acts of terrorism since, it occurs to me that we ought to have a very simple rule about religious power.

Any religious group is allowed to exercise as much power as they wish - power to damn or kill abortionists, gays, atheists, Anabaptists, Muslims, politicians, people who walk funny or people who reject Joseph Smith. Seriously. Of course, given that it is religious belief we're talking about, it seems only appropriate that there be one catch to this: exercise all the power they want as long as it is supernatural power. If you can direct the wrath of God, you ought to be taken seriously. And further, you don't even need a political process.


Big Al said...

"exercise all the power they want as long as it is supernatural power". Aah, but therein lies the rub. There are simply too many religious zealots who believe they know what their supreme being wants and therefore believe it's their moral responsibility to carry out that will here in the physical world.

Ron Davison said...

If someone can do perform their act of terrorism through an act of prayer, there is not much we can do to stop them. But that ought to be the burden of proof of your religious claims for other people - supernatural outcomes.

Lifehiker said...

Good suggestion, Ron.

Hopefully prospective cold blooded killers like those who terrorized Mumbai are reading your blog.

I watched part of Fareed Zakaria's "Terror in Mumbai" documentary the other night. Hearing the voice of the "controller" instructing the gunmen to line people up and shoot them in the back of their heads was utterly chilling. Of course, the instruction was given in God's name. Sociopaths - that's what they are.