While the vast majority of those who practice religion do so for all the right reasons, gaining and giving a tremendous amount, sadly it attracts a small element of fanatics who use and abuse it and its institutions for their own gains.
From the crusades to the inquisition to suicide bombers, zealots commit the most appalling atrocities in the name of their god. This week the catholic establishment rails against a film that dares to express criticism of the church and nutters in Sudan go ballistic because someone innocently named a children’s bear Muhammad. Isn’t the whole point of religion forgiveness, turning the other cheek etc.
Idiots that get so angry about such relative trivialities fuel hate and wars, as they have throughout history. If a religion is so unsure of itself that it has to resort to threats, violence and draconian punishment to keep followers in line and intimidate non believers, then perhaps it’s not all its cracked up to be.
With regards to Sudan, Islamic scholars say that there is nothing in the scriptures to say that calling a teddy bear Muhammad is illegal. There’s nothing there either to say that blowing people up is a good thing either. But the zealots aren’t really bothered with such detail. By hiding behind religion they gain more power than they would every get in any other way. From the pope down, the zealots are a pretty divisive bunch.