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Austin Cline

Religion Hiding Hate, Racism

By July 19, 2003

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Religious believers typically see their faith as a force for good in the world; sometimes, however, it is readily used as a force for hate, violence, and evil. It isn't required that individuals actively participate in evil for this to happen - no, all that is needed is for peaceful and otherwise good people to tacitly accept and excuse the evil acts of others so long as those others are "good" believers or committed their actions in the name of their religion.

We may see this happening more often with Islam, but it can happen just as easily with Christianity - even in America. A recent example involves Scott A. Woodring, a man linked to Christian Identity who shot and killed a state trooper in Michigan:

"My husband and I are hoping (Scott A. Woodring) never gets caught. We certainly wouldn't turn him in," Marta Yeakey told reporter Amy Lee. Woodring, she said, was "an awesome, outspoken Christian person."

When believers make excuses for or simply accept the horrible actions of other believers like this, they only undermine any possible respect others might be able to have for that religion. If their faith can be used as a defense for violence and murder, then it isn't a faith that is moral to uphold and follow.

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Comments

This is really a disingenuous article. Everyone people group has used their belief system for evil purposes including atheisits (i.e. USSR, North Korea, China.) You really have to look at what the belief system really teaches.

March 4, 2007 at 3:25 pm

This is really a disingenuous article.

Perhaps you could point out what, exactly, is false in it?

Everyone people group has used their belief system for evil purposes including atheisits (i.e. USSR, North Korea, China.)

Atheism isn’t a belief system.

You really have to look at what the belief system really teaches.

Actually, you have to look at what believers really do because that tells you far more about their beliefs than anything else.

March 4, 2007 at 3:41 pm
PAPAT(3)

While I won’t argue that evil has been committed in the name of religion, most of that evil was just using the cloak of religion while the tenets of that religion did not promote the activities used.

However, in terms of the story of Scott Woodring you have inaccurate or rather incomplete data. While I don’t agree with most of Scott’s views, the excessive and foolish police force used to arrest him on a sex solicitation charge was incredible. He did not seek out to murder or kill any cops or anyone else for that matter. The police surrounded him (like Waco)with a standoff and used tanks and helicopters, etc. I can’t believe the MI State Police was the source of that kind of foolish endeavor toward someone who had antigovernment paranoia. It had to have been someone higher up trying to send a message to the people of MI regarding keeping arms to protect themselves. I’ve never heard of police using that kind of force for a simple (however wrong) sex solicitation charge when the man was not threatening the public in any way. There was more behind it than just a man who shot an officer. Approx. 6 officers were charging into his home with grenades, tear gas, etc. and he protected himself by shooting. Unfortunately an officer was killed but it wasn’t Scott Woodring’s intention to kill him or anyone else. The police I’m sure knew better but they were more than likely ordered by the government (that Scott Woodring distrusted, obviously for good reason in hindsight)in order to send a message to the people (who are the real government anyway).

As far as your atheistic blog is concerned, I don’t want to get into an argument about that. Evil is committed in this world everyday, sometimes people use the excuse of religion to commit it and other times they use some other excuse or no excuse at all, simply because they want to do what they want to do and don’t care who gets hurt.

November 12, 2008 at 10:28 am

While I wonít argue that evil has been committed in the name of religion, most of that evil was just using the cloak of religion while the tenets of that religion did not promote the activities used.

In fact, it’s always possible to find religious tenets that either directly or indirectly justify or encourage violence.

Iíve never heard of police using that kind of force for a simple (however wrong) sex solicitation charge when the man was not threatening the public in any way.

If the suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous, of course they would come with the force necessary to protect themselves. Clearly, their concerns were right.

November 12, 2008 at 10:38 am
Todd(5)

“Approx. 6 officers were charging into his home with grenades, tear gas, etc. and he protected himself by shooting”

No, he shot a cop who was doing his duty. You don’t get to choose when you will be arrested or what laws apply to you. Perhaps the cops would have used less force if they didn’t suspect the perp was armed or dangerous.

November 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm
Tom Edgar(6)

Forgive if I am somewhat supercilious about Police in the U S A being Gung Ho. Most Police in advanced countries would have had a long stand off before “Storming” the residence and even then only if they thought someone was in danger.

For the defenders of this, going by allegations, piece of trash with religiosity being his sole attribute, and presuming the sexual charges to be true, how does this equate to his upright “Christian” character? It seems the original charge, and reason for the Police involvement, has either been justified by his religion or is, in the minds of his contemporaries of no consequence.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

November 14, 2008 at 7:59 pm
Drew(7)

The first comment to this article is disingenous, while accusing the article of being so.

The level of religious belief in North Korea is much higher than in South Korea; in China and Russia it is much higher than in Northern and Western Europe. This myth of the populace of these nations being “atheist” is easy disproven by a quick glance at statistics. I recommend the pro-religious site adherents dot com. Just because the people in North Korea and China are not monotheists does not make them atheists, despite what religious apologists try to pretend. Just because the Soviet Union was non-religious does not mean that it was atheist – the Orthodox Christian and Muslim religions survived in the Soviet Union, and most Soviets remained adherents to these religions; they merely lost their previously priveleged place as a bulwark of the authority of the Czars.

November 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm
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