When Justification Is Not Sufficient

I think it is ironic how people pick and choose what of a religion to honor when it suits them to do so, but ignore the parts that do not fit so well with their perspective. I have studied several cultures who practice several religions and I have repeatedly encountered the sobering fact that regardless of what is written it is interpreted in many ways by many people. Not that I am not arguing that religion is bad, here I am just asserting an observation: If a person looks hard enough, they will find some line or other in a religious text to justify an act; or likewise to un-justify an act.

The point is that there is a difference between practicing a religion and “using” a religion and religion can be highly dangerous when it is used, no matter what religion it is.

For example: It was used to justify slavery, to justify the subjugation women, to justify colonization, to justify witch hunts and burning, and now it is being used to foster hatred of people who choose or are with someone of the same sex. In all of these cases religion has been “used” as a tool to justify some form of oppression which drives a wedge between human beings. To be fair, religion has also been the impetus for much good in the world, but for the sake of this conversation wherein the propagation of hostile views are being justified by religion, I feel that these points bear a lot of weight.

Regardless of the justification for it; hatred is still hatred and oppression is still oppression. Religion, as a moral standard does not give people a blank check for their behaviors, they are still morally responsible for their actions however ‘right’ they believe themselves to be.

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