Top 5 Most Evil Religions.
Okay, so we know all religion is irrational. However, some brands are more actively harmful than others. We might mock the wishy-washy "cake or death" Anglicans, but it's hard to call them evil.
If only this held true for all religions! But the sad fact is that some religious brands clearly are not only immoral but actively anti-moral, and pose a grave threat to civilisation.
So here's a good discussion point - how about a Top 5 Evil Religions chart? I'd be fascinated to hear your lists, and your reasons for selection. Here's mine:
1) ISLAM. September 2009. British police apprehend a group of terrorists including one Assad Sarwar, who were planning to detonate hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as water bottles on passenger airliners. They discover that Mr. Sarwar, having initially bought his stash of hydrogen peroxide, decided to bury it for safekeeping in some nearby woodland. In order to do this, he logged onto Google and typed in "how to dig a hole". Having safely buried his stash, he then promptly forgot where, and had to go and buy a new batch!!! It seems to me like the only reason civilisation has survived so far is that most would-be Islamic terrorists seem to have learned their skills from the Marx Brothers.
Ok, so most of them don't actively support terrorism. However, "moderate" is a relative term, and many moderate Muslims still seem to have some ideas that, were they to be held by anyone else, would be considered pretty extreme. And even the moderates feel an inexplicable desire to keep making excuses for the behaviour of the extremists.
Enemies of civilisation? I think so.
2) THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Well, they don't help themselves by making their leaders dress like the bad guys in science fiction movies, do they? The church hierarchy's continued presumption of moral authority in the wake of revelations that the Church enables paedophilia, promotes AIDS and shelters terrorist suspects is disgraceful. In the 19th Century, when Western Europe and America were busy creating modern secular democracy, the Papal States were still literally burning heretics in Italy. Nobody should have been surprised that they were so amenable to the Nazis. The good news is that the Church no longer has any meaningful claims to secular authority outside their own little Mussolini-endorsed tinpot theocracy. If they did, the poor bastards under their control would no doubt still be living in a thirteenth century nightmare state.
3) ZIONISM. I know it can be argued that Zionism is a political rather than religious movement, but its underpinnings are entirely religious so as far as I'm concerned it's legitimate. I also know that there are many types of Zionism. However, Zionism lurks behind the attitudes and behaviour of the more extreme members of the Israeli government, the types who'd like to see Palestinians wiped permanently off the map. This has perpetuated and exacerbated the Middle East situation to no end. Before any spurious allegations of anti-Semitism are raised, I'm well aware that not all Israelis or Jews are Zionists, and I'm not a Hamas apologist (let me refer you to item number 1 in my list). Zionism is the perfect example of what happens when extreme religious views impinge on politics, and it ain't pretty.
4) SCIENTOLOGY. What makes Scientology qualify is its sheer cynicism. It was an invented religion, invented for the profit of L. Ron Hubbard, presumably because nobody was buying his terrible science fiction books. They dress like the Men in Black, slap lawsuits on anybody who dares speak out against them, but never hesitate to smear their critics publicly in the most disgraceful way possible. The US Government ought to feel ashamed that it grants these manipulative clowns tax exemption. Dianetics? Thetans? Xenu the Intergalactic Warlord? My arse!
5) FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANITY Evangelicals, Baptists etc. Doesn't seem to have caught on here in the UK (it's all terribly vulgar, don't you know?), but we hear about it in the US and it's alarming. They seem to be rewriting American history, trying to turn a secular, Enlightenment-rooted democracy into some kind of Christocracy based on homophobia, the denigration of women and an atavistic fear of scientific progress. So crazy it would be funny, if it wasn't actually happening.
I'd like to hear your lists, or what you think of my list. The disturbing thing it it wasn't hard to think of five evil religions, but it was incredibly difficult to determine which ones should qualify for the top 5!