How do you separate harmless belief in religion or superstition and … well, harmful belief in religion or superstition? We have been having a bit of a go-round* between some of my regular blog readers, including my Catholic but not anti-Evolution niece whose daughter recently acted in a commercial for the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Sondrah and I respectfully agree to disagree about certain issues, but clearly do agree on the importance of having real science, and not creationism, taught in public schools. That is what a lot of people who think of themselves as religious prefer, although we have seen a severe erosion of that pro-science form of religiosity over recent decades. My question is, how does a religious community (or populace) stop itself from going over what are, at least to me, some pretty clear lines that divide believing in God and a few other religious concepts from doing something that is just plain, and specifically harmful?
For the sake of clarity, I’ll give an example. Suppose a person is religious and thus believes in Satan1. Add to this the idea that Satan can possess a person and make them into an atheist. So then, if this religious person meets an atheist, they may feel justified in killing them because they are possessed by Satan. That would be crossing a line, to say the least. And, that is not a fictional example.
Continue reading Religion crossing the line: “God is not so silly to allow people to perish” from floods and storms