A recent ISIS video begins with a group of men as they come into focus, beating on the door of a Syrian policeman’s home at midnight. He answers and is grabbed, shackled, and blindfolded with a bag over his face. He is dragged into his bedroom where the executioner of ISIS pulls out a razor-edged knife and saws off the Syrian cop’s head.

In the past months, ISIS has severed the heads of journalists, aid workers, minority groups, and lined up soldiers in a pit just as Adolf Hitler did 70 years ago. This is just the latest in a string of religious extremists who justify their bloody violence through the Muslim faith. The Quran calls on believers to“slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites! …Hell shall be their home, an evil fate,” [Quran, 9:5].

Ever since September 11th, 2001, Americans have been on high alert against Muslim crazies who would seek to eradicate anyone who does not subscribe to their brand of religion. It may not be P.C. to say, but many of us at some level view them as appeasing a blood-thirsty deity.

The Gods of Gore

David beheading Goliath

David beheading Goliath

Beheading and killing is not isolated to the Islamic faith. Condemn them as we might, they are not the undisputed champions of spilling blood. In his book, Where God Was Born, Bruce Feiler writes that “Jews and Christians who smugly console themselves that Islam is the only violent religion are willfully ignoring their past. Nowhere is the struggle between faith and violence described more vividly, and with more stomach-turning details of ruthlessness, than in the Hebrew Bible.” We find that more than one hundred passages of Judeo-Christian holy texts contain divine commands to murder the non-believers.

Christian Beheadings

  • Judges 7:25 – And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb…and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon…
  • 1st Samuel 17:57 – And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine…[he] brought…the head of the Philistine in his hand.
  • 2nd Samuel 4:7-8 – And they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head…
  • 2nd Kings 10:7-8 – [T]hey took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets…

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and sometimes God wants more than just the heads of his victims. Consider the Book of 1st Samuel, when God instructs King Saul to attack the Amalekites, “and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Of course, much of this is conveniently swept under the rug. “Kill the bastards and lay waste to their lands” doesn’t make for a nice Christmas song compared to “peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

A History of Violence

Vlad Dracula

Vlad Dracula

It is not just the holy texts themselves that provide examples of religion-based killing and taking of lands. These beliefs have inspired similar actions throughout history. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church sanctioned a holy war, the Christian name for a jihad, to capture Jerusalem from the Islamic forces that had taken it over.

One famous Christian crusader known as Vlad Dracula (which means “Son of the Dragon”…and yes, that Dracula) was infamous for his cruelty. His calling card was the forest of spikes, each stuck through a mangled body, that he left in his wake – all in the name of God. This earned him the nickname of “the impaler”.

In more modern times, notions of Manifest Destiny compelled settlers to kill and take the lands of American Indians, believing it to be their God-given right. Indian scalps were also ripped from their heads in bloody takeover ordained by Puritanical believers. Blankets infested with small pox were handed to the Indians in a diabolical conspiracy to eradicate their people.

Even today, abortion clinics are being bombed and doctors killed in the name “pro-life”.

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins

ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the African group,Boko Haram, are the religious fanatics wreaking chaos throughout the world today, in the tradition of the Israelites, the Crusaders, and the American settlers that came before them. Does this history of righteous violence in any way excuse our inhumanity? Certainly not. But it does give some perspective on how most religions can be perverted by some in an attempt to glorify their personal murderous natures as being part of a so-called divine purpose.

 Looking Within

Holy texts of course are not merely tales of death. In some passages, the Quran explicitly condemns religious aggression and the killing of civilians. It also makes the distinction between jihad (legal warfare with the proper rules of engagement) and irjaf (terrorism). Many Muslim scholars have publicly spoken out against the actions of ISIS, refuting their call to arms line by line.

The teachings of Jesus often focus on forgiveness, with well-known passages calling for those that are wronged to “turn the other cheek” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

god hateBelievers read both these parts along with the violent counterparts and decide how their religion compels them to act. Many internalize the conflicts; instead of wiping out the enemy, they chose to wipe out their own sins. Instead of judging others, they judge their own actions.

The Universal Life Church Monastery emphasizes this internal struggle. Our mantra, “do that which is right” means your beliefs should not be used to harm others. If man can find proof in the universe that one or all of the divinities to whom we pay homage actually exists, and is an active force affecting our behavior, that force would be a protector, not a demon who commands death and destruction. We will reclaim the term divine to refer to that which inspires awe and goodness, but will the bloodlust of “heaven” ever end? Perhaps we will continue to shed blood until we realize that we are all alone and still children of the same universe.

95 comments

  1. Dean Wilson says:

    I stand and give you a heartfelt clap, clapping so hard my palms go red! WELL SAID! Well said!

  2. jhoward0000 says:

    Are there any examples in these other religions mentioned in the article of their scriptures asking followers to kill non-believers? For me the article does a good job of showing violent anecdotes, but that main difference is not mentioned. The Quran asks followers to carry out actions, while other examples given here are stories.

    1. Willie newman says:

      God does not require this of us anymore. We do, however, must understand that just like the tribes in the book of Judges, we are polluting our land by allowing other cultures to infiltrate our country, founded by the word of God. We want to allow the building of mosques and these people want to impose their religion in our land

      1. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Unfortunately the “our” land you speak of is by birth right that of the Natives, regardless if Canada or USA. The world is to be shared, honoured, respected and kept in good health. End of.

    2. bill speerage says:

      these “wars,” beheading videos, and other nasty things in the world are not the product of islam, christianity, judaism, but of satasnism. Many of the world leaders belong to that old cult dating back to babylonian times. They are mostly of the same bloodline too. (Bush family rumered to be traced back to Vlad himself. Jesus said judge a tree by it’s fruit. Obama is cousin to Bush(10th) and Cheney. (8th) No coincidence bad stuff is happening.But at the same time there is a huge awakening happening worldwide. Never before have so many millions of people been united against war and hate.Nevertheemind the ignorant bad guys. Pop will eat itself…..they will self destruct.
      ps Polarity might be necessary to keep a physical reality going,otherwise there is only infinite love.

      1. Jim Jacobson says:

        I have to say that as a Satanist I find your post ignorant and offensive. Do you have ANY proof that these people are Satanists masquerading as Muslims? Or that leading politicians are guilty of anything more than intermarrying to keep the power in the hands of the rich?

        The sad truth is that it doesn’t take a someone worshiping evil to commit atrocity. There are enough verifiable acts of evil that have been done in the name of good by people who fervently believe their intentions are righteous. We need to look to history and see where they went wrong instead of inventing comforting conspiracy theories that only serve to convince us that our organizations are blameless. As soon as we say, “It couldn’t have been , it must have been ” we leave ourselves open to making the same mistakes.

      2. Shepard Ofpeace says:

        Agreed, I don’t recall being instructed be behead anyone in the scriptures. This is human error not religious error.

        1. Cardinal Rodney Firkins says:

          the words of God and Christ are spoken clearly in the bible. and the words of “Profits” who claim to hear God are easily identified. It is the minds of man who have put to paper the supposed commands of God to kill other to paper.
          God said to Adam to care for all the creatures of the earth and to care for the earth. God gave us free will. and i don’t believe for a minute that God would command the destruction of a people just because we exercised that free will. It was the minds of mortals and the hands of mortals who determined Gods mind after Eden and Christ. It is still the mind of mortals ho determine the will of the Gods. but what they had to say was said clearly. And we should not forget that. It is not for us to decide what is meant when they speak. it for us to reveal what was said and to allow the people to determine what was meant as far as our individual lives are concerned. remember.
          ” and it harm none do as you will”. this is said differently in all the books of organized religion but is is there. and thes are the words of God(s) anything that says differently is from the mind and hand of mortal men. It is time to stop hiding the hate and evilness behind religious doctrine. Christ said, ” judge not lest i judge you with the same measure’. well that is what these fanatic’s are facing. they cannot hide their hearts and minds from what ever God they follow. and they will be judged as they judge others. but step back and see it for what it is in our own lives. those of the world who seek peace and harmony are united against these atrocities, and in order for peace and harmony to come into to being we must be and remain united.
          Blessed Be
          Cardinal
          Firkins

          1. terry lay says:

            Well said Cardinal Firkins! There is one rule that you never hear about any more; The Golden Rule… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These people killing in the name of religion, or god have not died of the first death, death of the self [ the ego ]. Therefore, they will suffer greatly of the second death, [ that of the body ]. They will die self righteous. Scary thought to me.

    3. rev fern says:

      I’m new how do u blog

  3. Rev. Gail Ellen Smith says:

    Most of the writings in the Holy Texts is talking about slaying the enemy inside of ourselves. NOT outside of ourselves. Some people read this and think it means to kill others. The message is to kill off the ego or evil inside of ourselves.

    1. Anhun ap Siarlys says:

      If you refer to the Bible of Judeo-Christian beliefs, then you are off target. To deny that Yahweh was a vicious, vindictive, jealous deity who ruthlessly called for his followers to slay and destroy unbelievers, is simply to lie to yourself and others.

    2. Wibil says:

      Thank you Rev Gail Ellen Smith. If more people realized this, the world would be a much better place.

    3. Jim Jacobson says:

      Which holy texts? Can you provide some examples?

      I haven’t read the Quran, but I have read the bible several times through and I cannot recall even a single mention of killing the inner enemy. The God of the old testament can’t be described as a “good will towards men” kind of guy, and he tended to be pretty forthright concerning killing people instead of going in for metaphors. There are several places in the old testament where he tortures his most devout followers, (Job, Abraham, Moses) for trivial reasons (a bet with Lucifer, just to check that he is REALLY obedient, and for idiocy that occurs when he is absent). In fact, it is chock full of “God says kill these people” or “the penalty for doing this is death”. It isn’t until the new testament that a people friendly doctrine is espoused, and it uses Jesus as the focus. Yahweh retains the judgment role, and Jesus takes the people friendly stance.

      1. terry lay says:

        “He who dies of the first death, shall not be harmed of the second”

    4. terry lay says:

      Yes Gail, despite all the texts, all the historical trivia written and mistranslated by man for his own purposes, the only true quest for us is the reigning in of the ego. The I, Me, Mine, in us.

  4. Walter allbritton says:

    Peace and Blessing , it is very informative to know such things synchronized into we are all committing the same Act. I’m African descent to here that my ancestors were kidnapped by people who felt they were doing a act of God ( nonsense) were one Soul, we all live by Air if it stops no race or social status will be able to stop it from taking place. Satan is the Arthur of confusion !

  5. Judy Weismonger says:

    You on the Left caused this mess…by your delusional, utopian beliefs that if you just “believed” and “prayed” then an imaginary god would bring peace to the planet. “Peace” is not a concept of nature. Peace is when your enemy prepares for war against you. War and conflict is how “Mother Nature” sorts out who is the most fittest and who can adapt the quickest to survive. Nothing fails like prayer.

    Now, instead of voting for the next pacifist Obama-type Marxist and Socialist twit, demand that all of your members vote for someone with winning and successful military experience to get us out of this fucking mess with Islam, Russia, China, and all the other America-haters. And “NO,” being nice to this scum is NOT going to make them less hostile or be “nice” to us.

    The delusions of religion ARE the cause of all the wars in the world….from believing your god is the only one to be obeyed and kill everyone else who doesn’t believe in your god….to believing that ‘peace’ can be achieved by surrender and martyrdom.

    The very next bumper sticker to be put on cars should be:

    STOP RELIGIOUS DELUSIONS

    Judy Weismonger Phd
    Atheist Curmudgeon

    1. Ceadda Agon says:

      @Judy Weismonger:

      What a pity. Another black and white, us versus them mindset. This is the mindset that causes violence and seperates people. It is not a function of left politics or right politics. It is not a function of one religion versus another. It is agnostic and apolitical. It is a function of a mindset that one human or group of humans is fundamentally “more correct” than another.

      The human potential is only realized when a great number of individualists strive to better themselves and their positions and in doing so come to understand that cooperation with other individualists serve their own purposes. When this is applied universally, the entire human potential grows exponentially. Humans are unique in their capacity to cooperate in this way. Indeed nearly all fruitful human ventures are born of this collaboration. It is a mutually beneficial contract.

      I’m not sure what you got your PhD in, but one would surmise that it would have helped elevate you above this petty “party” bickering. I’m sorry it hasn’t. Please take my hand and I will lift you toward a more evolved spirit.

      Ave Satanas!

    2. William Farris says:

      So Judy, do you know what Stalin, Pol-Pot, Hitler, Ho Chi Min, Ivan the Terrible, and a dozen more of history’s biggest blood letters have in common? They were also atheist curmudgeons. The religious certainly have no exclusivity to murder and mayhem. And I am a Veteran of these United States and I for one disagree with you on the “mandatory” military service. Some of the worst Presidents in country’s history had military service(Bush 1&2, Carter, Grant etc). You sound like another illogical angry atheist to me. I also find it funny that you blame the “Left” for having Utopian belief, (I can only assume you mean religious) when most of the Right are Christians in this country. Plus how should we really take you serious when you think James Woods who supports George W. Bush and the Iraq War should run for office. He has never served in the military(and I would bet you haven’t either) so that goes against your statement above.

    3. Wibil says:

      We are here to learn. The message of religion is that the fall from grace must be fixed. We must learn how to fix it. To that end, we have choices to make, We can fill our lives with hate and cause more pain or we can fill our world with love and change it, positively, for good and forever. Your perspective fulfills one of those.

    4. Debbie Berg says:

      WOW, Judy Dear, fascist much? PhD of what? Department of Divisiveness? You might not be as bad as Isis, with their murderous ways, but you surely do seek to emotionally behead anyone who sees things differently than yourself. News Flash- people do have the capacity to coexist.

    5. Jim Jacobson says:

      You’re on the right track, but are putting your chicken WAY in front of your egg. The common denominator in war is not religion, it is power. More specifically those in power attempting to retain or increase it. I’m not saying people don’t do dumb things due to religion. However, your post is analogous to saying that drunk driving accidents are the fault of the cars.

      As for the rest… Wow. I’m honestly amazed to see an atheist with a Phd try to equate Darwinism with socio-political causality, given that the former has no moral attachment. Additionally, you’re giving into the urge to marginalize people who disagree with your politics by acting as if they are a single organization. As an atheist I should think you know better since that is EXACTLY what the Christian Right does with atheists.

      Finally, have you considered that the first step should be to clean our own house? We have given other countries plenty of reason to hate us. In the last decade we have been ousted as torturers and spies who blithely violate the very international rules that we originally championed. Further our “successful military” leaders haven’t restricted those activities to people we are at war with, but instead have practiced them on our allied countries and our own citizens! Mass murder, torture and privacy violations didn’t even merit a slap on the wrist for right wing leaders, but somehow a sexual indiscretion was cause for the impeachment of a left wing leader despite an excellent foreign relations and fiscal record. There is a foul odor here, and it isn’t coming from Denmark.

  6. jack l. finney says:

    Just a great newsletter. Those who would pervert religion deserve not its benefits. Compassion and understanding should always be the rule. Taking lives by beheading or from 30,000 ft above should always be condemned by caring and feeling people of all religions.

  7. Jim H. says:

    Amen to the last six words!

  8. Chad says:

    Wonderful read! I learned something and it caused me to think. I wish the religious would see the contradictions within their texts and give God and religion credit/responsibility for the harm they do and not just the good.

  9. Kevin says:

    The last sentence raised my brow. Are you saying that in us being all alone that There is no God ?

  10. Scot W. says:

    The Biblical passages quoted are a written history of warfare between nations and political struggles. They are not spiritual recommendations. In the same books mentioned, David refuses to kill King Saul even though he has been appointed king already. In war this is expected, but not condoned. ISIS has declared war on others on the basis of religious belief in the guise of a geopolitical struggle, even other Muslims are not safe. The Golden Rule still applies today. Mercy is highly valued, not slaughter.

    1. Paula says:

      Very true, Scot! And spiritually astute.

    2. Jim Jacobson says:

      It wasn’t a spiritual recommendation – Genocide was a command that was punished when it wasn’t carried out to the letter. Go back and re-read 1 Samuel 15:1-33. Yahweh demands the genocide of the Amekalites, specifically calling for murder of infants. Saul is eventually replaced with David because he spared the live stock (despite getting the baby killing part right).

      Don’t confuse the old testament, where written warfare history is mainly located, with the new testament where the people-friendly message is located. The only golden rule in the old testament was obey or suffer the consequences.

  11. berny conley says:

    I have been asked if God was here. would this go on in so many countries. they say he is mercyful, forgiving, has put out 10 commandents. Than why are these people whom think they are following Gods laws doing these things? How do u explain this to children coming up in the years?

  12. Dennis Wilson says:

    Wow. And Yes we were at one time a primitive society, but we are now a civilized society. Unlike the enemy. In the last 3000 years, we have grown and changed. They have not. This enemy is living today as people did then. Dredging up past behaviors can not justify what is going on in the world today. Lastly, where are good and moderate Muslim. They have been silent which in my mind is complicit.

  13. Dr. EAN says:

    Sisters and Brothers
    To Whom it May Concern,
    I say to whom it may concern with heavy heart, because the people of God becoming complacent on the things that are happening to the churches and other people in the Middle East. Now the Christians less than 1.5 percent left in the Middle East, and the plans are inhalation of the Christian and the name of Christ in the Middle East.I am very concerned if the Christians in America are alive still and concerned about what is happening not to the Christians in the Middle-East only but also to all other ethnicity and indigenous people, who have suffered at the hand of aggressors and criminals who have raped their babies and women , killed and crucified Children, decapitated men and played succor with their heads. The world need to cry for this atrocity. We are calling on everyone of you, especially I am calling on every preacher and concerned Christians for the Christians in the Middle East, whom have been targeted even more than ever in the 20th and 21st century, and for world peace.

    I am asking you to pray with us each Sunday worship service at your churches, so we can pray in one voice to call on our Father, God and pray for these people who have been left behind homes and security, food or covers who are sleeping on dirt instead of a mattress. I call on every man, women and child to pray for God to intervene and stop these criminals and convert them to him. We are commanded to pray for our enemies. We are commanded to pray for those who persecute us. But I ask you also to call on your representative in the House or the Senate to do their utmost to stop these vicious criminals. Call on the President of the United State to stop these men. Call on the United Nation and every human loving entity to stop these crimes against humanity.

    I am reading this letter begging you to spread it all over the United State and abroad, to every Church, Synagogues, and Mosque asking you to aid these men women and children who have left homes, schools and places of worship. I ask you to send this message to all your friends and families to pray with us for them at your worship service specifically for the people of Iraq and Syria. I am asking you to pray also for our Senators and Representatives and our President that they will serve justice and not prejudices. love and not hate, kindness and not war, human aids and not financial gains at the cost of the weak and the helpless.
    Pray, pray and keep praying that the mighty hand of God be upon the Christians and others in the M.E. and everywhere to protect them, encourage them, and defeat the evil.

  14. Ken McClarty says:

    You wrote little about Current Isis violence but Much about long ago Christian violence. I think that was VERY UNFAIR.!!!!!

    1. joseph says:

      shooting abortion clinics and wiping out Native Americans or forcing them to convert to Christianity isn’t exactly “long ago”. I guess the proportions of how much the two groups are discussed reflects the proportions of how much violence the groups have committed.

  15. Mark says:

    This is a very good article with much truth. It seems to me that the “Holy Eradications” were used only for the attainment of more riches and not for religious reasons. If people would just condense what is in their own “good books” they would find out it simply means “Why can’t we all just get along?”

  16. Jennifer Burke says:

    Great article, puts it in perspective how Christians historically are not without fault as well. Honestly had not thought about our history and the brutality caused all in the name of God. Thank you for the broad perspective.

  17. nivek5913 says:

    This entire issue has me completely confused. I have always advocated freedom of all religions but as time goes by as far as Muslims, it is getting increasingly difficult. I’ve prayed about it but I still am unable to resolve the issue.

    1. Karim Aref says:

      Keep in mind, nivek5913, that these “Muslims” (and I use quotes because the many, many Muslims that I know would never condone the atrocities ISIL members are perpetrating) are just a minority of a minority of a religion that has over a billion followers. One commenter above stated that it was unfair that the article above referenced similar atrocities in Christian and Jewish history to compare to today’s violence, however, the “dark ages” during which these past events occurred are sadly very similar to the current state of affairs in some of the remote regions of the Middle East. An impoverished and uneducated group of people is being preyed upon by manipulative and very convincing figures who tout a bastardized version of an actually very peaceful religion (to wit: read up on the Ottoman Empire and how Christians and Jews flourished under Muslim rule) in order to get the uneducated masses to do their dirty work.

      Kind of what the Church did to their followers (a mostly uneducated, poor citizenry who put all of their trust in the clergy of the most powerful organization they knew) during the Crusades.

      Unfortunately, all we see here in Western media is the worst of the worst, on repeat, day in and day out. There is no other side. There is no mention of the silent majority.

      Now, coming from a culture that is predominantly Muslim, I have it on pretty good authority that most actual Muslims- those who pray 5 times a day, who make pilgrimage to Mecca, who give to the needy at mosque every week, who believe that a clean body and mind result in a clean soul, who fast every day for 30 days during Ramadaan, who believe in Heaven and Hell, and who simply want to live their lives with their families and friends as we all do- don’t support any of the purported visions of Islam that ISIL and other like-minded terrorist organizations portray as being true Islam. I’m pretty sure that if you talked to the majority of Muslims, you’d find them in that category, whether they are Arab, Phillippino, Indonesian, African, British, or American.

      Anyone who can’t accept that this is more likely the truth that the hate-mongering that you see on TV will find me in disbelief that they are true men and women of faith, and especially not faithful to the tenets of this Church.

      Respectfully and humbly,
      Brother Karim Aref,
      Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church

      1. Susan says:

        unfortunately the fanatical minority, whether it be Muslim, Christian, Nazi, etc. can do major damage, while the silent majority does nothing to stop it.

        1. Cardinal Rodney Firkins says:

          This is very true what you say about the silent majority.
          I believe that taking no action in a time that requires action is in it’s self an action. and to remain silent is perpetuating the the actions of those who are doing wrong.
          thank you Karim for your insight. now if only more would step forward and educate as you have perhaps these fanatical leaders would not be able to prey upon the ignorant.

  18. Brenten Stevens says:

    Thank you for posting this information . I’ve often placed these facts in the path of so called religious zelots to which I get , well that was a long time ago . I’m not going to dig into our current hatred , judgment , condemnation put forth by political so called Christian Right . I detest any group to judge and use our construction of the nation under the constitution as a tool or weapon . We were created Equal , to choose our own path to God not a forced by law religious zelots using their own international ideals to create a wicked christian state . Most of the followers of these wicked people are not willing to read the facts they are so blinded by politics they simply follow their evil leaders . If God had the chance to judge these wicked people they are in for a shock upon their passing over . That’s just on the Christian level there are many splinters of Christianity claiming only their interpretation is correct . I see in the Dark ages a time of mass murder by these same people now rising in our country waging war against non believers . What is the difference between ISIS and the Christian thugs ? We have not yet seen mass killings here in the US as of yet not on our soil . But on other soil these 2 groups are still battling killing thousands of innocent people over religion . We’re in a modern Dark ages again ! Most of the George Bush war was over religion not weapons of mass destruction but fear of Muslim leaders . I’m 1/2 Choctaw and my family has the records of mass murder by the Christan thugs that murdered much of my past family members . We were called Animals , savages , monsters with no god . Wrong ! Grandfather ( our chosen name for the creator of earth) was our God of creation . When I was a child in the 60s often I herd children spew out their parents / grand parents judgment out of their children’s mouths , I was called a Red Nigger ! Perhaps most of you have not suffered such judgment and with time as I got older the new generations finally understood the native tribes ways . Today we’re proud of our heritage but not so long ago we were taught to hide our bi racial heritage for fear of retaliation by the Christans mostly in the southern and S western states . Christans need to study History and pull their head out of their collective ignorance . Texas recently forced schools Not to teach history over 100 years old it’s law now in that state . Why ? Because the new generation could see where that states religious right are hiding truth . They decided history of their own past will expose what they are currently doing again under Christan State rules . This is done to attempt to elude truth of their own past and current path . Hate laid out by Christan thugs in office against our Gay brother and sisters , abortion , anything they deem UN Christian . This is wide spread among mostly Republican Christian states who completely ignore constitutional rights for all . Yet they want that same doccument and law to only pertain to their brand of hate . Yes blood is being spilled in our country right now most are Christan children taught to harm others by their parents . Everyday people of color or other promised rights are being attacked even imprissoned by Police , judges , prosecuting attorneys to silence truth . No were no better than ISIS other than we don’t exacute non believers openly they do it quietly , in prisons , dark streets so on . This was the reason I rejected my own Christan up bringing as I got older read history and fully understood Many Christans are Murders past and present . I joined our church here because it’s a much much brighter future to join every ideal peacefully and enjoy our precious life given by the creator . This was why I became a minister here . God bless all his children to means does not matter what you believe in as long as your not killing or harming others then you are my brother and sister or something in between . Bless be your path in this life and Yes I love you all !

    Brother Brenten Stevens . ( I use brother because we’re all brothers or sisters in gods eyes)

    1. Terry says:

      As a white man I’m Terry, as a Cherokee/Comanche, I concur with everything you said!

      1. Terry says:

        Sorry Brenten! I have a habit of hitting the enter button instead of the shift button. I’m Terry Blackhawk Lay. Me too to everything you said.

  19. EJ Gabriel says:

    An EXCELLENT article. Well said.

  20. Warren Taylor says:

    I appreciate the fact that you are trying to be balanced in your critique of violence in religion. The fact that our ancestors used violence to conquer the wilderness doesn’t mean that we should stand idly by while ISIL runs roughshod over helpless people. Scalping was committed by a minority and never in the name of God. That is so not like what ISIL’s doing. When they cut off a young man’s head they are doing it to glorify their god. You need to read what Sam Harris has to say about Islam. He writes, “Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression and murder?” (http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/sleepwalking-toward-armageddon)

  21. Dawn says:

    This was man’s choice to be violent not god or the gods!

  22. shiningwolf9 says:

    I believe ALL truly spiritual persons should raise up with one voice and proclaim, “Damn the holy books; and seek the True Spirit within us all”!

  23. Jon Dixon says:

    It’s hard to talk about this because your comparisons are a little lopsided. To say because Christians killed people in the name of religion in the past some how is the same is what the radical Islamist s are doing now is hard to take, because it almost sounds like a justification, and there is no justification for they are doing now. It is not a fair comparison because, I believe that what our ancestors did to the indigenous populations, in the guise of religion was used to mask the real motive of economic gain. I think it is fair to point out that there was slaughter perpetrated in the name of God, especially in the Old testament. I don’t believe it is encouraged in the New testament. What bothers me is that their (radical Islam) goal seems to be world domination and subjugation to the point of suffocation of any individuality. And any variation, punishable by death. The past notwithstanding, Christian preachers are not advocating this kind conversion.

  24. Br. Saul says:

    Don’t forget that as we speak the settlement construction in the West Bank promoted by the Israeli government is a modern day manifest destiny which appeases the beliefs of the orthodox Jewish population and the Zionists and is polarizing the entire world stimulating religious and political extremism like ISIL. Commenters claiming this is all 2000 year old news did not read the article, are not paying attention to the real world or refuse to accept the culpability of their own faith in the inhuman treatment of ‘The Other’.

  25. Ingrid says:

    Thank you. Very thought-provoking and well written. Life on earth is about creation and destruction as it naturally occurs such as with volcanos. The violence and hatred in the name of religion is driven by men who have written what they call holy scripture and then use what they have written as a place to hide their own greed and thirst for blood.

  26. Ron Young says:

    It all started with Able & Cain, and we still haven’t leanered.

  27. Don King says:

    But do we not learn from our past and do better .

  28. h2o says:

    The will of God interpreted by many men and women. How entertaining this must be and pleasureful for God. You have a choice to believe what you want yet you live by the sword and die by the sword. Brother against brother neighbour against neighbour all business. Power to the people of the earth who shall inherit it but they will not take it with them but will it to absolutely destroy another. I will be gone. You can all have it but you can’t take it from me unless God wills it.

  29. Rev. Wayne Gibbons says:

    It is my belief that God loves his children. Too many nations and people use God to further their own agenda and beliefs. A tragic end to what is suppose to be a loving and caring call to “do what is right”.
    Thank you for the wonderful article.

  30. Brother Terry says:

    ““Jews and Christians who smugly console themselves that Islam is the only violent religion are willfully ignoring their past. “.,,,,, Why do people seek to justify their Atheistic/ anti Christian-Jew rationalizations by reaching back several hundred or thousand years? eight years ago i was a convict. but i am not today. do my past actions and beliefs invalidate my present Actions and beliefs?? Do my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfathers Actions invalidate my present actions and beliefs? Of Course not.. it is ludicrous to even suggest so. ISIS and the other radical islamic groups need to be judged according to what they are doing today. If they are cutting heads off of people for religion today….. They are far more worthy of condemnation and repulsion than things that occurred before the Industrial Age. This is a lame attempt to mitigate their ostracization and offer an “understandable rationalization”. The Goal of the article seems to encourage all religions to wear the same mantle of ‘Understanding’ and steer them to the not so religious conclusion that “we are all alone and still children of the same universe.”

  31. Dan Niemeir says:

    This all brings to mind the simple passage from the Bible that says “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” The Bible is full of bloody happenings that are meant to teach of the mistakes of men and the wisdom and understanding that came from those mistakes. How can other religious sects claim to be good and judge people, then kill them based on their human judgement. almost every religion says that judgement shall come on the other side, where true condemnation comes into play. These radicals are driving their own version of these religions to their own ends, they are not following divine guidance. I pray that they find true guidance at some point so that all may be at peace until the next one comes along.

  32. Don says:

    But Jesys came with a message of peace and love. So did God change ?

  33. Rev. D.H. Zielinski says:

    The article and all of the comments posted are very thought provoking. The Isis group of thugs is just that, thugs. They don the cloak of religion to justify their terrorist actions and savagely destroy human life on a viral scale thinking that this behavior will intimidate others into stepping back and cowering before them in fear as to make their opposition cease their efforts to stop Isis from taking over the Middle East. History has shown that the more you try to shock a nation into submission, the stronger it becomes in its determination to defeat the evil that has caused the terror and destruction. Isis thugs cover their faces with masks so that when the defeat comes to them , they can take off the masks and slip back into the common population without being persecuted themselves. What a cowardly act indeed. Real, courageous warriors, would step forth and use their knowledge and fortitude to make their world a better place, not a place of death terror and dishonor. They would fight to make their world a better world for all people not just a small plot of dry, bombed out desert. Truly these beings are fools who do not follow the teachings of Allah and the Quran, but of some idiotic ruthless fool who shares only a lust for blood and power. No one, absolutely no one in their right mind would be so cold and evil as to do the things they have done in the name of any God.

  34. Reverend Ron Mason says:

    the bible refers to many passages and if we concentrate on what Jesus said we cannot go wrong we must condemn IS for its violence the koran does not teach violence and many Muslim people hate this violence. Jesus said he who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword this will be judged in the kingdom of God

  35. Drew says:

    I used to be in the UK Special forces and have seen the horror of war first hand. These men ( in a very broad term! ) have no light to guide them they have no reason or no god to guide them. They don’t follow religion, all these animals can do is try to frighten people into following them. They are the lowest form of life.

  36. Reverend Joe says:

    What if the tables were turned?

    What would we do? Lets assume a isis muslum nation was the world super power. For decades they have been entering our country and putting puppet governments in control of us.
    They have their own corporations come and take our natural resources. They make us bow to their will and law. They kill our elderly, our women and children with missle strikes from unseen flying robots. They kidnap anybody they suspect of not falling in line with their rule and imprison, rape and torture them without a trial.

    The questions I must answer, “would I join a radical militant group of Christian Americans and fight them in any way possible? Would I make them pay for bombing my family, my parents, my children? Would I be a rebel and capture all of them I could and publically execute them as brutally as imaginable to strike fear in there hearts and rally my fellow Americans to rise up and fight them? Would I have the courage?

    Does anybody hold the moral high ground? I think not. specially self rightous Religious believers.

  37. Mack says:

    I’m just put all my faith in God’s hand and try to do My best to deliver his word,..
    I cant fix what happens over in other countrys
    It bad we live like this but soon God will come and separate Good from Evil,.

  38. Vernon says:

    LET US BE CLEAR……..The Bible does not direct the believer to kill any nonbeliever….EVER….

    1. Richard K Sellars says:

      That means Moses acted against God when he had his own people kill the Hebrews who were worshipping the golden calf, but, if that were true, why didn’t God tell Moses he was wrong when he went back up the mountain? Wouldn’t God’s silence be in a sense condoning the actions of Moses?

    2. Cardinal Rodney Firkins says:

      Thow shalt not suffer a witch to live.
      comes to mind. please read the bible before you defend it. and remember as i have said it was written by the hand of man.

  39. Bill D says:

    Although the writer correctly (perhaps) lists the horrible transgressions that Christians initiated several hundred years ago and also linked the criminal misconduct against Native Americans to Christians, I am at a loss for words as to the almost dismissive attitude articulated against the ISIS terrorists..
    Where is the outrage from “Moderate Muslims”. Where is the outrage from the 1.6 billion followers? Where is the writers outrage?
    There is not too much I or we can do about those listed atrocities from the past. But shouldn’t we all voice our outrage, dislike, distaste or displeasure of these hideous and horrid attrocities??
    what kind of a world do we live that to call a (religious?) criminal is in itself is a form of racism or islamaphobia???
    This example of ( to be kind) journalism, that is offered by this organization as a legitimate piece of literature is a slap in the face to all who read it.. I had to force myself to complete the article in the hopes that there was something of value in it.. I was proven wrong.. This was another soapbox that someone with a keyboard can stand out and spout vile and hateful rhetoric..

    1. Karim Aref says:

      @Bill D- the outrage is there. It really is. There are numerous videos and blogs and whatnot written by hundreds upon thousands of Muslims of all color and nationality who decry this behavior. We just don’t get it spoon-fed to us on the news like the rest of the stuff that “gets ratings.”

      For a small example, go to Google and type #notinmyname. The complaints about “bigotry,” “racism,” and “Islamophobia” complaints are directed at people who lump in the rest of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world with the animals and savages in IS. Most of them are profoundly offended by the group’s use of the name of their religion in their organization’s name.

      Furthermore, I don’t think that this article is meant to be a scathing review of Christianity or Judaism. In fact, I dare say that it was meant to make exactly the point that these acts and individuals or small groups of individuals should NOT represent the majority of people who have the misfortune of sharing a label with the wrongdoers.

      1. Bill D says:

        Karin Aref. Your point is well made and reinforced my argument.. Where are the 1.6 billion Muslims that are in agreement with us? A small solitary group of hashtag slingers will not make a difference against these terrorists. Where are our religious leaders?? Where are our political leaders? Their silence is deafening and well noted..
        In response to your comment that this does not make good ratings, I say that if enough of our religious or political leaders stood together, there would be media coverage..
        Christian and Jews are afraid of the #islamaphobia issues that always follows and Muslims are are afraid of the issues that they “think” will follow is they go against these terrorists..
        Say what you may, the silence and inaction are why these terrorists are as numerous as they are today.. But then again, the nazi party got away with it for years..

  40. steverock100 says:

    The scriptures you have shown from the Holy Bible are talking about a war which the Israelites did not start. Where as in Islam, al**h tells them to make war and kill EVERYONE. Yahweh does no such thing unless of course you take things out of context.

  41. RANDY C HAMILTON says:

    Moses, Hitler, Isis ALL THE SAME!!! Read the bible (Numbers., etc). Mark Twain said that the bible has lies by the thousands. It also has 250000 killed on “god’s orders” while claiming “god is good.” Yeah, right. All religions are EVIL.

  42. David W. White says:

    Free will is a bitch!

  43. Tony Villari says:

    I have been saying this for months now. However, we need to constantly remember that “radical” Islam does not represent Islam, it represents Imams that reinterpret it to fulfill their own agenda.. For those that think all of Islam is the same, I would direct them to #NotInMyName for another view.

  44. Doug says:

    Many people have walked the land now called America. One after the other, they were conquered by those who came after.

  45. Bob Long says:

    You cuted nothing but Old Testament examples yet you called them Christians. I firmly believe in self defense but the New Testament is the new covenant and it is peaceful

  46. geroge01 says:

    I was brought up as a Christian. I was thinking, could this not be a plan of satan to get the verious religions to fight against each other? This would bring turmoil to the established religions. The Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religion are connected; so we also have the same God. That being, we also have the same “satan.”

  47. DAR says:

    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
    JUDAISM* AUGUSTINE ORIGIN
    1 I am the Lord thy God. I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt not have strange gods before me. I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt not have other gods before me.
    2 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Thou shalt not make for thyself any graven image.
    3 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    4 Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Honor thy Father and Mother. Remember the Lord’s Day to keep it holy.
    5 Honor thy Father and Mother. Thou shalt not kill. Honor thy Father and Mother.
    6 Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill.
    7 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8 Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not steal.
    9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    10 Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Thou shalt not covet.
    God Law has never change and never will, I pray and weep for all the fear and struggles this country suffer, Lord I pray You protect them in Jesus holy name, AMEN

  48. Richard K Sellars says:

    I find it amazing that with all the religious people around the world praying to their own version of God for peace, and yet, no God has ever answered that prayer.

    1. Charlie Avila says:

      God has said in the bible that HE will NOT intervene in human events in these times. God told humans to do what we wanted until before His second coming. Man should learn that without God, he won’t solve his problems. But I do have a different view about God, it is NOT the same as what the bilbe says. Not the bible, but pastors, ministers and preachers are wrongly teaching the bible. The bible is the word of God, but these people are teaching it outside the hole!!!…

  49. Charlie Avila says:

    To me ISIS is one of the biblical seals that ‘ve been opened. The ebola is another seal and the red moon blood color is the sign that we’re living the begining of the end of times!!!…ISIS is to me also the biblical death angel. Obama is to me a demon working on behalf of the anti-christ. And the people who support him, and also demons. The USA government has been invaded by evil creatures as well as the left political party. This is God’s plan by the end of the days, which we ‘re already living!!!…

  50. Mark Muth says:

    This is neither about God or Satan This is as it has always been, about Power & Control. All of these so called scriptures that justify the reasons for killing comes down to pop culture excusing the position that people take for power & control. Look at it for what it is, not the excuses that we all make to justify the outcome. There is only black & white and that’s how to live a life. Everyone knows it, we just refuse to recognize it

  51. Richard K Sellars says:

    It’s amazing the number of loopholes that are found in religious texts, to exempt the Gods from proving their existence.

  52. Richard K Sellars says:

    Religious people have been pointing out signs of the end times for almost as long as the idea of end times have existed. I think people tend to see what they want to see, it’s too bad we don’t search for peace in this world, as much as we seek to see the end of the world.

  53. Jerry Miller says:

    Evil is something that needs to be recognized for what it is. No rationalization, no blame, no turning on each other’s beliefs. To understand what is going on may be good lessons for the future. But to look unto its ugly face and calling its name will help us overcome it today. Hiding our light under the bushel because showing the light will offend someone is also crazy. Evil only exists in the darkness created by hiding our lights. Let’s love each other and embrace each other’s light and shine our lights on the evil and say “no more”.

  54. Charlie Avila says:

    Every things, every events in creation are related to God vs satan. Since God created the angels, events started. No events are “outside” creation, otherwise, won’t be part of creation. Every things known and unknown came from God’s word and the Holy Spirit creation. The whole creationm is the universe and it is under God’s will and commands!!!…For example, God created the universe, when He said, “let the light be”!!!, “the God particle or Higgs particle”, the universe was created, and then, “evolution” started, so evolution is part and a mechanism of creation!!!…

  55. Pastor Tone says:

    Very Well stated. Those who see canon as something to support there motives are looking for justification instead of seeing the word for what it means or what it is meant for. It should be seen as a handbook for life instead of justification for actions.

  56. Charlie Avila says:

    Unfortunately, the same will happen here in the United States, because Obama’s administration is supporting protecting ISIS. To me ISIS is Obama’s agenda to invade Americans , the USA in the few years ahead!!…ISIS represent to me “the death angel”!!.. we are actually facing more violence worldwide, more plages, mjutant viruses, more natural disasters enhanced by men’s intervention against natural processes, and the “red blood color moon is signaling us that we’re living the beginning of the apocalypse times, entering the Armaggedon’s war times!!!…..

  57. james fletcher says:

    maybe it’s time for vlad to reappear.

    1. Lily'ane says:

      Very uplifting to feel that others are seeing what has been hiding in plain sight for centuries.

  58. Rev. J.D.Fletcher says:

    I said the last thing to see if I could get anyone’s attention.
    wow……….

  59. Gregg Wietstock says:

    I have read the Quran. It tells us to beat women, kill unbelievers, flat out. It comes from a time in history when life was like that. The Old Testament comes from the same era. There is a difference in that The Old Testament was written over thousands of years by numerous authors who documented stories of ancient oral tradition, prophetic authorship, and writings by seers of the evolution of human spirit. Violence was a common part of life. The Quran was written by one person who decide to be the new authority on the direction of the course of man. The shift in the evolution of the human spirit came with the arrival of the Christ who demonstrated thousands of years ago the human potential for Love. This is the evolution of the human spirit, that is all. Wake up people! Science has already proven the material world illusory. The spiritual is the only reality. “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free” Jesus.

  60. Charlie Avila says:

    Yes, you’re right!!..the material world, and physical life is an illusion. The real life is spiritual. Sometimes I think that the so called “hell” or “infierno”, is here on and in earth. To me most pastors and preachers are teaching bible wrongly. We ‘re living in hell and after the physical death, we will be “spirit free” out of hell. In spirit we ‘ll be living the real life if we follow Jesus Christ!!!…

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