How Religion Can Let Loose Humanity’s Most Violent Impulses

Looking at the subject of peace and the subject of religion and violence, Valerie Tarico’s article just arrived in my inbox. She does a far, far better job of writing about this subject that I would, so here are her thoughts on the matter.


violence - religion as drugReligion is just one part of the lethal cocktail, but it is a powerful intoxicant.

The year 2015 has opened to slaughter in the name of gods.  In Paris, two Islamist brothers executed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists “in defense of the Prophet,” while an associate killed shoppers in a kosher grocery.  In Nigeria, Islamist members of Boko Haram massacred a town to cries of Allahu Akbar—Allah is the greatest!  Simultaneously, the United Nations released a report detailing the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the Central African Republic by Christian militias, sometimes reciting Bible verses. On a more civilized note, Saudi Arabia began inflicting 1000 lashes on a jailed blasphemous blogger—to be doled out over 20 weeks so that he may survive to the end. In media outlets around the world, fierce debate has erupted over who or what is responsible.  Is monotheism inherently violent? Is religion an excuse or cover for…

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About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
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10 Responses to How Religion Can Let Loose Humanity’s Most Violent Impulses

  1. Jerry grant says:

    Can’t she is wrong here…even the Buddhists are killing Muslims in miramar/Burma…however I feel she is trying to cover up the far more incompesing terror and death operations of the Muslims being put open their own and in the rest of the world…..

    • gwpj says:

      Everyone does this Gerry, Buddhists in Myanmar, Hindus in India, anti-gay Christian missionaries in Africa, and Jews in Israel, notably Knesset members Ayalet Shaked and Moshe Feiglin in the Knesset, with Ms. Shaked calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes,” and Mr. Feiglin calling for cleansing Gaza of its Palestinian residents. It’s all of us Gerry, not just “them.” You and I are in this together, like it or not, so we might as well work together, right? Early morning here, with dishes to wash and writing to do to get ready to leave with my wife a bit later this morning. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Jerry grant says:

    Hey…your welcome..hope you and the wife have a good trip ,whether hours or days…mans cruelty is never ending,…however there are many bright spots out there ,so lets look for them and enjoy life every day….shalom

  3. Jerry grant says:

    Hey George…what’s your view of the Isis crazies thinking of beheading the two Japanese fellows?….why pick on Japan…?

  4. Jerry grant says:

    George…maybe?….but why make Japan mad at you…?…it seems not to compute…except that this constant barbarism brings them recruits,and sets them off against al Qaeda and other terror groups…no offense ..but is there no low these Islamists can go that you …yes you ..would condem them for?…I understand your Israel /Palestinian positions…but why overlook or excuse these crimes against Americans..Brits..Frenchmen..others…and now Japanese innocents

    • gwpj says:

      Who’s overlooking or excusing these crimes against people, Gerry? It ain’t me.
      ISIS (etc.) loves to brag to and extract money from people that have it while showing how big and powerful they are. These people continue to show themselves as beasts, and beasts like them (Moslem, Christian, Buddhist, narco gangs, political opponents, North Korea — the list goes on and on) have a toxic appeal to other angry, abusive, resentful and sadistic people who join them.

  5. Jerry grant says:

    Looks as though I was wrong….it just must seem that way,not only you,but all the uber.liberal moral narcissists who seem only to preach against Israel …while overlooking the outrageous crimes being committed all over the world by Islamist terrorists

    • gwpj says:

      I’ll continue to criticize Israel Jerry, as long as it continues persecuting Palestinians by stealing their land and other crimes. As you know full well by now, I also criticize other entities, organizations and governments for crimes against humanity, injustice, and so forth. Hopefully I also suggest alternative behavior that supports justice, equal rights and so forth. Make sense to you?

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