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God delusions cloud a world of wonders

Thanks to Vicar's Daughter for the link.
Her e-mail notes that - "I know it's a case of preaching to the choir but I thought this was a very well written and balanced article."

Reposted from

MOST weeks I read The Sunday Age's Faith column, out of professional duty. Most weeks I am left perplexed, unable to reconcile what I am reading with anything I see around me.

What I see is a world slowly tearing itself apart for the sake of one faith or another. A world where an extreme faction of Islam wishes to put me and mine to the sword for my unbelief, and to shackle half the world for the crime of being born female. A world where an extreme faction of Christianity wants to throw away science for the sake of millenniums-old superstitions, and is prepared to kill in the name of life. A world where an extreme faction of Hinduism wishes to religiously purify India. A world where people are unashamedly trying to fulfil the biblical conditions for Armageddon.

Moderates say that these factions are perversions of faith, but that too jars with what I know of the past: that it took until the 20th century for humans to devise a secular philosophy, in the form of communism, to rival faith's destructive power. From the Egyptians enslaving the Israelites to Nero lighting the streets with burning Christians, from the slaughter of the Crusades to the bloodbath of India's Partition, violence and religion have always gone hand in hand. And the record of societies governed by religious law, from the Aztecs to the Taliban, tells us that theocracy is a synonym for barbarity.
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