Is religion behind all the violence in the world? Is the cause of all fighting somehow rooted in religious beliefs? Some say it is.
For example, God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected that of Cain. “This,” the Bible says, “made Cain very angry” (Genesis 4:5). Later Cain killed Abel. The first act of violence among humans that the Bible records was rooted in a religious issue. Many more acts of violence have followed throughout human history that are directly or indirectly related to religion.
Author and professor J. Harold Ellens’ 2007 book The Destructive Power of Religion points to religion as the cause of violence in the world. The following web post introduces the book:
Whether they fly airplanes into the World Trade Center or
Pentagon, blow up ships, ports, and federal buildings, kill doctors and nurses
at abortion clinics, exterminate contemporary Palestinians, or kill Israeli
soldiers with suicide bombs, destructive religionists are all shaped by the
same unconscious apocalyptic metaphors, and by the divine example and
imperative to violence.