A commenter named Logic Ninja just posted a comment that made a couple points in the discussion thread to my article “Haha. Imagine that.” The second point concerned the linking of religion and violence. Logic Ninja wrote:
“If there were no religion, do you think there’d be MORE war, or LESS? If you answered “more,” I can recommend a good remedial history course in your area. If you answered “less,” then what the hell’s your point in the second paragraph?”
Interestingly, I’ve been teaching graduate level history courses (in my area) for more than ten years, so there is a certain irony with an anonymous commenter condescendingly suggesting that I take a “good remedial history course”. Haha. Imagine that.
But more to the point, I replied as follows:
“if there were no pacifistic Quakers and many more secular Neo-cons, do you think there’s be MORE war, or LESS?”
Hopefully Logic Ninja will get the point. If not, I’m happy to spell it out here. The statement “Religion causes violence” is about as meaningful as the statement “Eating causes cancer.” The threat of violence depends on the religion you’re practicing as surely as the threat of cancer depends on the food you’re eating.
To be frank, I would have thought that point to be rather obvious. But then, blinding anti-religious sentiments have a way of obscuring the obvious.