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PAT - It has been said by some, "[it is] religion that is evil. More people have been tortured and killed under Judea-Christianity and its blind allegiances, than by any other group or ideology throughout history."
I'm sure you don't believe religion is evil for the most part if it encourages people to do good works. I'm mostly wondering what your response would be to more people being killed in the name of religion. If it is true.

JOEL - Actually there are only a few wars in the history of mankind that have been fought solely based on religious differences (Crusades, French religion wars, Thirty Years war, Islamic wars, etc). Most wars are fought for power or accumulation of land or wealth. Unscrupulous leaders of countries or political causes might try to use peoples' religious beliefs to get them to fight for their causes, but deaths caused by non- religious based reasons far out-number the religious based wars. In fact if you put all the religious wars in history together, you get under half the death toll of WWII alone:


The bottom line is that people are simply exagerating when they say "more" have been killed in the name of religion. The numbers simply don't support this claim.

Generally speaking most religious tenets teach some form of love for others and encourage peace for all. Mankind himself is solely responsible for the evil acts performed in the name of religion; twisting God's word to somehow justify some wars that have been fought throughout history. Man is the cause of so-called religious wars, not God.

Jesus said:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matt 5:43-44)

Refering to this scripture President David O. McKay said:

"War impels you to hate your enemies.
The Prince of Peace says, "Love our enemies."
War says, "Curse them that curse you."
The Prince of Peace says, "Pray for them that curse you."
War says, "Injure and kill them that hate you."
The Risen Lord says, "Do good to them that hate you."
Thus we see that war is incompatible with Christ's teachings. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of peace. War is its antithesis, and produces hate. It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity." (McKay, Pathways to Happiness)

God said:
"Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace"(D&C 98:16)

There are very few situations in which god would support the participation of his children in any kind of war or aggression, as explained in D&C 98: 23-38 for example.

President James E. Faust said:
"So, how do we preserve the essence of our humanity? How can we hope to avoid future wars? Perhaps this may not be possible, but try we must; and we must begin in our homes. Our children and our grandchildren must be taught moral responsibility. The moral teachings of all of our churches of every denomination must find an honored place in our society. The general decline in the moral fabric of the citizenry places a greater responsibility on homes and churches to teach values—marriage, morality, decency, family responsibility, respect for others, patriotism and honoring the sustaining of the law." (James E. Faust, LDS Church News, 1992)

A religion, truely sanctioned by God would hold to these principles and would never be the aggressor in any type of conflict.

On a side note, God never asks for blind allegiance. From Moses to Gideon to Job, God respects questions, and provides answers. He teaches us His correct principles and allows us to study, ponder, and pray to obtain our own personal witness of the truthfulness of it all. We choose to follow based on our own intelligence, faith and witness from the Holy Ghost. Any religion that does not allow that operates contrary to His plan for us and its adherants are in jeopardy of falling under the condition of blind obedience.

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