In a world of constant violence it is difficult to focus on just one type. Thomas Hobbes said that “people are naturally evil,” and based on today’s statistics on fatalities due to terrorism alone, that idea doesn’t seem so farfetched. Throughout the course of history, religion has been known to shun those who express different beliefs as opposed to what the current religious leaders of the time want to enforce. Homosexuality and abortion, which are seen by religious extremists as acts of “sexual immorality” are often a trigger for terrorist acts. Mr. Juergensmeyer, scholar and author of Terror in the Mind of God, discusses how religious groups use violence to punish those acts seen as “sexual immorality” with terrorism such as the bombings of Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinics, as well as the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. When religious texts such as the Bible and Qur’an preach concepts like love and empathy it is quite hypocritical for religious leaders to interpret those texts in a way to promote violence against homosexuality and abortion.
The word pro-choice is a problem for most religiously devout people, as the issue of free will is one which borders the line of contradicting religious morals and values. According to Johan Galtung’s, Religions, Hard and Soft, he classifies a “hard religion” as one where God chooses its followers rather than a “soft religion,” where the people choose to believe in that God and faith. Focusing on religions that fall under the “hard” category, like Christianity and Islam, the concept of pro-choice is one which doesn’t exist. “Christianity- like most traditions- has always had a violent side” (Juergensmeyer 19). Since the God of these religions has dominion over their followers, women and minorities are typically the ones who suffer the consequences. Pro-choice refers specifically to supporting the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to elective abortion, or the right to terminate her...
Bibliography: Juergensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence.
Berkeley: University of California, 2000. Print.
Galtung, Johan. Religions, Hard and Soft. N.p., Winter 1997-98. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
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