What is the most dangerous idea in religion?
What is the most dangerous idea in religion? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wanted to know.
Religion is one of the most potent forces in human affairs. It has inspired some of history's most sublime moments, but also some of its most barbaric.

The Inquisition, the bombing of abortion clinics, suicide bombings in Iraq - all have their roots in some form of religious ideology.
To get a grasp on just what is so dangerous about religion, writer John Blake asked five leading religious thinkers to answer the question. Obviously, he didn't ask me, but I'll answer at the end, anyway.
1. Violence in the name of God.
--Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

2. Follow our rules or else.
--Wayne Dyer, prominent self-help speaker

3. My religion is right.
--Rabbi Harold Kushner, influential Jewish thinker

4. Converting others to your religion. (Some things seem to keep popping up around here.)
--Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naiim, internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights

5. A tribal view of God.
--Depak Chopra, chairman and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Well Being
The illustrative quotes are, well, illustrative and well worth reading, even if they are being used as yet another attempt to cast religion as the root of the world's evil.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they are all wrong.

Let's look at these points again, from a different angle.
1. Violence in the name of turf. Also known as gang violence.

2. Follow our rules or else...mass executions, also known as the Red Terror.

3. The state is right. Also know as Tiananmen Square.

4. Converting others to your...disbelief. Also known as the Cambodian genocide.

5. An evolved view of human relationships. Also known as Darwin's body snatchers.
The problem is not religion, per se, but men seeking power who subvert religion to gain that power. It has historically been a convenient means to gather people around a cause, but certainly not the only means. The real problem with religion is that it is frequently controlled by humans.

As we seem to be moving out of the age of moral relativsm and into the age of scientism, these are moments of human history which cannot be forgotten. And exactly what we are dealing with cannot be ignored. From PBS' Faith and Reason glossary:
Unlike the use of the scientific method as only one mode of reaching knowledge, scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scientism's single-minded adherence to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scientific worldview, in much the same way that a Protestant fundamentalism that rejects science can be seen as a strictly religious worldview. Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.
In other words, they are guilty of exactly the same type of absoultist thinking so often attributed to the religious. They see in those who believe otherwise as a danger which must be eradicated.

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