It must have been disconcerting to see the rioters a the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Seeing Christians pray and then run through the halls yelling “Hang Mike Pence” must have been chilling. Yet, I am surprise how few Christians have mentioned those images. Why are they so quiet? Do they still support Trump so steadfastly? Evangelical Christians are among his most fervent supporters.
I have always taken the position that when religion leads to hate, it is not genuine religion at all. Hate makes religion heretical. However, my views are not mainstream. My views are far out on the fringes.
As Charles Kimball, a professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma-Norman, wrote a book called “When Religion Becomes Evil,” in which he said,
“History clearly shows that religion has often been linked directly to the worst examples of human behavior. It is somewhat trite, but nevertheless sadly true, to say that more wars have been waged, more people killed and these days more evil perpetuated in the name of religion than by any other institutional force in human history.”
I have heard such statements many times, but I am not sure such statements are accurate. It is undeniable that religion has produced many good things as well evil. It has been a force for both good and evil. Religion has often in the past led to violence and murder while it has also led to some of the best things humans have ever done.
The effect of religion is complex. We should remember that. Life is rarely simple. But perhaps religion show stay away from politics. It might be good for both!