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Religion has been used in various times and places – not for good, but for evil. It would seem that religious fanaticism represents a faith hijacked by those who would use it for judgmental, political, and sometimes murderous purposes. For those of us who see religion as a positive – as something that can heal, restore, and uplift the world – it can be difficult to understand WHY religious fanatics would use religion for anything but good. It can also be hard to understand how killing can ever be a good thing, particularly when it is done in the name of religion.

If you’d like to understand the motivations behind modern-day terrorism and grave acts committed in the name of religion, I recommend When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball and Terror in the Mind of God by Mark Juergensmeyer.

I would also recommend a new film, Not in God’s Name: In Search of Tolerance with the Dalai Lama (South Carolina ETV/Paradise Filmworks). This movie was released to public TV stations this spring and is now available on DVD.  The film explores India, which houses eight religions. The film explains how those religions peacefully coexist…and why sometimes they do not. The filmmaker interviews the Dalai Lama (no stranger to conflict resolution) who recounts the causes and solutions to conflict in the name of God. Here is the trailer:

Through these media you will learn how religious violence often starts with political conflict, economic hardship, or socio-cultural divisions and disagreements. If we as humans can get to the root of these problems, we may find that religion can be a catalyst for peace and relationship-building – instead of a device used to tear down, judge, and destroy. We may find, as the Dalai Lama says in the film, that we are one family. And that we don’t have to blame religion for tearing us apart.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

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6 Responses to “Killing in the Name of God”

  • .. The answer to psychotic religious terrorism will not be found in India or in religion! As the film (NOT a ‘documentary’, too dishonest in its premise to be a documentary) points out, every religion has written orders to kill anyone not of that religion! Even Jesus says, “I bring not peace, but the sword…” -Leviticus .. India has only 8 religions according to the film, the USA has EVERY religion living in it more or less peaceably side by side, because secular/atheist/Normal People who set up the USA demanded that 250 years ago!… NOTHING about the USA says to kill everyone who is not an American! So the secular USA (or similar France) is THE PLACE to look for world peace… NOT in religion…!

  • Great post you have going here. Just wanted to say that my wife and I throughly enjoyed your comment. Any chance of getting a copy of the theme? Hehe

  • Julie Roebuck:

    Just watched this film last night in Seattle. Was very moved and plan on purchasing the video. This film should be required viewing in the schools and for all that adhere to a specific religious tradition. Fundamentalism and religious intolerance are misguided emotions. Passion for ones faith is fine as long as it doesn’t make the other an enemy. We know in our hearts that God is not of any one religion. All faiths lead to multiple paths to the divine. God loves us all equally in our quest. Lets celebrate our commonality, and as the Dali Lama says, we are all one family.

  • buy nrg-2 now:

    finally someone who understands, great blog, ill be passing my friends the link, keep up the god work

  • Big thanks for posting this, I didn’t know about it before I can’t wait to watch it now!

    Great site by the way, we’ll be following! :)

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