Mark Juergensmeyer in his lecture makes some obvious observations of religious terrorism. If there is one common link in religion and faith, it’s that humans will fight at any cost to preserve their belief. Like it or not religious terrorism has existed since the first man killed another over which belief was true. In this post 9/11 world we live in the definition for religious terrorism seems to be only applied to those of Middle Eastern decent. The truth is that religious terrorism exists as soon as a person believes that they are murdering another human in the name of a deity. I can’t help but think of all the soldiers who say they are doing the work of the Christian God. What’s funny is that the other side is praying and worshipping to another fictional entity in hopes of winning. No matter how you look at it some sort of terror is being implemented via faith.
While I agree with Juergensmeyer on his observation it’s his other viewpoints that baffle the mind. Even after admitting to the harmful effects and the cost of religion he tries to rectify the path of the faithful. He makes claims that religion has helped people and if utilized properly could help many more people. This is such a cop out and frankly reeks of playing nice. The whole argument of what if should not matter because it can be applied to almost anything and everything. If everyone watched 12 Angry Men they might become Spencer Tracy fans, it akin to that. Instead of making excuses for a religion it should be judged accordingly and fairly. Although some good has come from it, the simple fact is that religion has caused humanity more suffering than any other invention of man. The justification of the justifier of mutilation is foolhardy at best.