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As an dedicated pro-peace activist, I frequently encounter anti-war proponents who have the idea that religion is at the heart of most wars. They cite the Crusades, the sectarian violence in the Mideast and "religious" riots in Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and elsewhere.
What they do not recognize is that religion is not the problem. Abuse of people's faith in religious leaders is. It is one thing to put your trust in God, but if you trust any leaders to tell you what God wants you are going to find that those who seek power will often abuse this trust. It doesn't matter if they are priests or politicians, imans or idolators praying at the altar of corporate profits.
With some 80% of Americans and most of the rest of the world professing belief in some sort of God, it is foolish and short-sighted to demonize the faith of the majority of people who we need to build a united international front against fascism and war. War was outlawed by the Kellogg-Briand treaty only because religious leaders put aside differences to work together with secular groups and individuals in the common cause of peace. That is a lesson we all must learn from.
On Saturday, January 18 at 9 AM PST/ 12 PM EST SFPI Radio will host Pastor Mary Sue Evers of the United Church of Christ. We will talk about what churches are doing to build an ecumenical and interfaith partnership to work for liberty and justice for all people of faith and those of no faith.
Invite some friends, join us in the chat room and give us a call to share your thoughts.
?Know the truth and the truth will set you free.
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It's good to talk.