Faith Kills

An excellent letter-to-the-editor of the Richmond, VA Times-Dispatch is worth disseminating far and wide. It can be found here.

Richmond, VA Times Dispatch:

Faith Caused 9/11, And Much Else

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Five years ago, nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans were reduced to burnt dust in the rubble of the Looming Towers.

They were not killed by ignorance or poverty or because “terrorists hate our freedom.” They were murdered by faith — faith in unseen gods, in invisible paradises, in the ancient fairy tales of desert tribes, their myths of creation, sacrifice, redemption, and eternal life. Faith caused 9/11.

Oh how easy for us to scoff at the outlandish, misogynistic beliefs of the 19 “holy warriors”, the shaving of their body hair, the 72 virgins awaiting each assassin, the eerie willingness of these highly educated children of affluent families to slaughter and die for lurid storybook endings in the happily-ever-after.

But were not 300,000 burned at the stake in Madrid’s main square over the course of the Inquisition? Did not all of Europe’s Catholic and Protestant armies slaughter and starve to death one-third of the entire German people in the horrible war of 1618-48, fought over whether the Holy Father or the Holy Bible was inerrant, over whether Communion wafers were truly the very flesh of the Living Lord or just a symbol of his gory sacrifice? And did not our German cousins, in living memory, grind 6 million unarmed men, women, and children into wet mud in the crematoria of Central Europe because of their peculiar pagan faith in an omniscient Fuhrer?

Chosen People, Elect of the Lord, Master Race — on and on, faith in fanciful tales, embellished and handed down for a hundred generations — these are the lies used by priests, preachers, and politicians, by imams and rabbis, since the first witch doctor sought sway over his fellows in a cave at the dawn of our species.

Faith, its arrogant certainties, and its absolute imperatives caused 9/11.

Faith kills.

William Pinknoras. Midlothian.

Faith is the blind acceptance of ideas without concern for evidence and proof. It would have been good to point out the alternative — reason — but Mr. Pinknoras does a great job of identifying many of the effects of reliance on faith, across time and across (most of) the world.

–Ken

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