Naturally, it takes some mental gymnastics to figure out how Middle East Muslim countries and Islamic radical political parties indoctrinate elementary school children with hate, teach them arms, and instill a willingness to kill and die, and still call that “peaceful”. Nor is it easy for the Western mind to reconcile peace with strapping a bomb onto two Downs Syndrome Muslim women and remotely detonating them in a crowded market place. I guess the simple answer is they find peace in death. Yippie! Never mind the riots and deaths due to Muslim furor over Danish cartoons of their prophet (pig turds be upon him). As for their scripture, the Koran is rife with references to killing in the name of Allah, too many to be dismissed simply as problems of context.
So, if Islam isn’t the religion of peace, which religion truly deserves the vaunted title?
Well, the Jews never were in the running. A cursory perusal of the Old Testament with its numerous horrendous acts of murder, rape, infanticide, genocide and enslavement committed by the chosen people at the behest of their God, sort of disqualifies them as peace merchants.
Of the Abrahamic religions that leaves Christianity. What can we look to in Christianity that qualifies it for the Peace title? Well, let’s see.
Christian dogma is as exclusionary and intolerant as they come. The New Testament says all who don’t believe like them are condemned to suffer eternal torment burning in a lake of fire in hell … the ONLY religion on the planet that espouses such an intolerant, exclusive, and hideously obscene point of view. Hardly a peaceful message there.
And what does that intolerance and exclusivity generate? With the Jews' rejection of Jesus as the true Messiah (the deliverer of Israel from foreign oppression as promised in the Old Testament) Paul plays the “Gentile card”, and gives the prospective new Roman converts a pass. Instead, he condemns the Jews as the scapegoat for their mythical man-god’s demise. Presto !!! 2,000 years of anti-Semitism is born, and with it every pogrom in Europe, every extermination attempt, every religion tax, every exile of Jews, every Jewish joke, every “restricted” country club, is laid at the feet of Christian doctrine right up through, and including, the Holocaust. Thanks to Paul for that peace inducing doctrine thats never fully gone out of style.
Then there are the Crusades, the blood bath bestowed on Jews, Coptic Christians and Muslims; the extermination of the Cathars; the murder of the Templars; the torture and death of the Inquisition; the forced conversions of native peoples; the torture and burning of “witches” right up into the 18th century.
Now, moderate Christians, just like moderate Muslims, will say the evils that are done in the name of God / Christ / Allah are perversions of their religion. That Christ was the “Prince of Peace”, even while he clearly stated he hadn’t come to bring peace. They will tell us that the zealots who committed those horrendous acts down through history, or who profess violence, intolerance and hatred today pervert scripture and use it for their own purposes. They will say we are reading the Bible out of “context”. Well, how convenient. Seems to me their god might have seen that coming, would have made its wishes more clear and concise eliminating any points of confusion as to his dictates and intent. After all, they claim their god is perfect and omniscient. Evidently, he sucks as an author and editor.
No, I’m afraid the title “Religion of Peace” has no legitimate claimant. Religion has left death, pain and misery in its wake since man invented god/gods. Indeed, the very phrase “religion of peace” is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron – like