2014 in review: An unsettling year, with religion in a starring role

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The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's flag incorporates the shahada and the seal of Muhammad in its design.

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The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's flag incorporates the shahada and the seal of Muhammad in its design.

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(RNS) Remember Bishop Bling? Mark Driscoll? Brittany Maynard? They all helped shape the top religion headlines of 2014.

  • At least one major oversight in this article.

    “The Only Cure for Homosexuals is that they be put to death”
    Pastor Robbie Gallaty
    Tennessee Megachurch
    Sept. 2014

    Religion remains a threat to peace, equality, science, decency, democracy and culture.
    Civilization is imperiled by these ancient bogey gods.

    One thing is certain: the number of “Nones” will continue to grow next year. May it reach 40% of the population.

    For Peace, Civility and The Separation of Church and State

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  • Bill Steo

    Max, please retire. I suspect y\ou would not have so much to say about Catholicism and religion if you were not so deeply disturbed by your experience with it.
    I do not say you are not justified, only that this and similar web sites are not useful outlets for you to vent your feelings or retaliate.
    a. Probably many readers disagree with you.
    b. Certainly, no one will change anything because of what you write, if they finish reading it.
    c. Result: You merely embarass yourself with your diatribes and waste the time of readers at this and any other site showing your posts.
    If the parents, priests, preachers, teachers or whoever who have affected your life need to be corrected, you won’t correct them here. If they need forgiveness, foregiveness is the beautiful act that you seem called to offer, privately, not here. That is what, I pray, God will inspire you to do and give you strength to do it. God bless you.

  • @Bill Steo,

    “You merely embarass yourself with your diatribes and waste the time…”

    I’m touched by such caring /

    Sorry, but I think it is important to call attention to evil.
    Maybe You never saw a murdered homosexual – so you don’t care?
    I get that.

    And your son isn’t gay, I guess? So you don’t have a reason to care about other people’s sons. I get that.

    I have never written anything that would ’embarrass’ me.
    Religion is primitive nonsense and a profound danger to the world.

    I’m not gay. But I care.

    So I’ll wave my Atheist freak flag, thanks.
    But thanks for caring about my time and not wanting to see me embarrassed.

  • I suspect y\ou would not have so much to say about Catholicism and religion if you were not so deeply disturbed by your experience with it.

    No, Bill. He’s just disturbed. Any contact he had with the Church, the gas company, the postal service, or the CBS Evening News is purely incidental.

  • @Art Deco,

    “He’s just disturbed.”

    Because I have empathy for VICTIMS of religion – like these:

    James Foley and others beheaded, by ISIS in 2014
    220 Million women world-wide need access to contraception
    47,000 die of unsafe abortions worldwide
    The states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas have outlawed science education and replaced it with Creationist garbage.

    Religion puts the world in danger – for nothing good in return.
    If caring about such things makes me disturbed, perhaps more people should be as disturbed as I am.

  • R. de Bruijn

    Dear Max,

    I don’t claim that religous people do horrible things, but that’s what the atheïst do to. Like in China, where there still is a atheïst governement gays are prosecution and ten of millions girl are aborted, because they are girl. In the atheïstic Sovjet Union tens of millions people were tortured and killed. They killed more people than all the combined religious war combined. And no Stalin wasn’t a christian, he saw faith as opium for the masses, like Marx.

    Does that make all atheïsts dangerous or primitive? Of course not, just the crimes commited by some religious people doesn’t make all the religious people in the world primitive or dangerous. But that’s exactly what I hear everytime. People blame me for the crusades, but that’s a 1000 years ago. I wasn’t even alive back then, so I couldn’t possible be held accountable. Just as I can’t hold you accountable for what happened in the Sovjet-Union or even in Korea or under Mao in China.

    I don’t mean you mustn’t speak out of things that are clearily wrong, but stop generalising. Generalising is dangerous and leads to nothing good. Sadly there are people who are nuts and sadly violent, but all we can do is to try to live together and respect eachother. That’s the only cure for this world falling apart. I hope you agree.

  • “Generalising is dangerous…”

    First, you are breaking your own rule.

    Besides, generalizing is extremely helpful when confronting a bad idea.
    How else are we to cure cancer? Except to say all cancer is bad.
    How else are we to confront rape? Except to say all rape is bad.
    How else are we to confront slavery? Except to say all slavery is bad.

    There are some things which are generally true.
    Religion is a despicable practice and has shown itself to be a threat to the world.

    Religion is a danger to humanity. This may be generalizing – but I am calling on people to question the claims of religion, question whether God makes sense!

    Religion is not the only danger in the world.
    But it is a primary danger in most countries.

    You are being a little sloppy with your comments about Atheism:
    China, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – you must be very careful about your claims that these are ‘atheist’ regimes. They are Agrarian Religious Cults, Absolutist and Totalitarian in nature – they claim absolute knowledge and absolute adherence under penalty of death – these are traits which occur only in a religion.

    Just because Agrarian Religious Cults are not Christian, that does not mean they are without a Dogma or Deity! They are not examples of Atheism!

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