I wasn’t intending to write this article, but yesterday two suicide bombers walked into an airport and a train station in Brussels. Over thirty people were killed and many more injured in two bombing attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. On the news I saw footage of IS members handing out candy in celebration of the attack. Every sane person in the world is disgusted by this attack, and all other attacks like it. But the IS members aren’t sane are they? They have been driven mad by the tenets of their religion. They are fanatics. But interestingly, rather than appearing sad about the compunction to engage in these “holy wars,” the Isis members were rejoicing, they were happy. Their actions are not about submission or duty. When exercising such glee at the horrors instigated against innocent people, the Isis members reveal something about their motivations. They are doing what they do because they have a hatred for the other; the other being anyone who is not a radical, fundamentalist Muslim. They hate the West because they are culturally and religiously conditioned to do so. If these individuals had been raised in a religion free environment, the majority of them would probably be normal, well-adjusted citizens. They have been driven to lunacy by the tenets of an old world religion.
Sadly, our politically correct social environment tries to silence claims that religion is responsible for these attacks. Liberal fascists (ironic I know!) say that it is just this one isolated group that is responsible, and not all of Islam. But where did these “soldiers of Allah” glean their motivation for these acts? Was it not from the pages of the Koran? Indeed, the Koran instructs the oppression and murder of all infidels. If you are not a Muslim then you are an infidel, which means that the Koran instructs violence against all of the rest of us. These terrorists are just doing what the Koran has instructed them to do, and theoretically, the Muslims who aren’t joining them are not following the Koran. While I am not blaming all Muslims for the acts of one small group, I am saying that at the heart of the matter is the religion of Islam. The book is the problem! This is not an issue that we find elsewhere. While certain terrorising regimes may arise that are nonreligious, or only partially religious, it is typically only within the bounds of religious doctrine that we find such fanatical action. Even considering these nonreligious forms of oppression, they can only exist within the realm of unscrupulous thought control. Only where people are subjugated to manipulative arguments and where free speech is oppressed do we find such groups thriving. Religious doctrines and institutions are the breeding grounds for this type of mental oppression and zealotry. This article is obviously not focused upon Christianity, and I am by no means claiming that Christianity is in the same camp as Islam, but it is in the same category. It is only because the writings of the Bible do not explicitly cite holy war against non-Christians that such wars do not exist today. The fanaticism is still present. Certainly, there are a wide range of parties under the Christian umbrella ranging from fanatical loons through to extremely liberal, barely even practising devotees. Christianity is not, in the present day, responsible for the same type of atrocities, but the foundation stones are all there. The belief that one’s actions are motivated by a higher power gives licence to all sorts of behaviour. Because the commands of that higher power are so much more important than the laws of the land, or common civility, such an adherent is capable of grossly terrible things. The Christian may not pick up a gun, but they will propagate stories of the end of the world or tell a child about the existence of hell. This is terrorism of another kind, certainly not in the same league as suicide bombing, but a type of mental torture. You will adhere or you will be punished forever! I recall Christopher Hitchens saying that no one should be told about religion until they are twenty years old. I agree that all of the religions would have far less adherents if such a practice was undertaken. What about the other monotheistic religion? Judaism is no less guilty, their insistence that the land of Israel was promised to them by God has led to one of the longest standing conflicts in history. Indeed, no middle ground can be found once the Bronze Age holy book has made its proclamation.
The point is that religion is a type of poison. To quote Hitch once again “religion poisons everything.” While I don’t know if I agree entirely with this statement, I concede the following: religion is a poison for the mind. It alters one’s thinking about everything. The very way in which one sees the world is coloured through the lens of the belief system. Where humanism would tell us that all people have value and equal rights, religion dictates that some are “chosen” and that all people are flawed and in need of what their religion has to offer. To quote a Christian that I have been conversing with recently “we are all deserving of death.” This is not an unusual statement in Christian circles, I have heard it said, and to my shame, said it myself many times in the past. It is one of the central tenets of the Christian faith. But what kind of value can we truly place upon human life if this is our starting point. If everyone deserves death and as the Bible says “our righteous acts are like filthy rags,” what hope is there for us to value human endeavour? How can we regard human life with sanctity, value and honour? This is the very reason that religions are dangerous, they subvert the reality of our human experience, they undermine human life, they surrender logic to the will of ancient writings, and they subjugate human rights to the doctrines of manipulative belief systems. Ask yourself this, if the jihadists who bombed Brussels had never been subjected to religion, would thirty people still be alive today?
 Although history shows that interpretation allows for such holy wars to be warranted.
 Isaiah 64:6.