There are lots of definitions we could probably agree with, but I choose something simple:
Evil is the lack of, or non-application of love.
So, why do I think ALL religion is evil?
For that I'd have to define love, and again, to keep it simple:
Love is the unconditional acceptance of a person's unique worth (including our own), without judgement or conditions.
ALL religions fail on the definition of love. Many blatantly, such as fundamentalist Islam and Christianity. But many on a far more subtle level, such as the rest of christianity. I'll stick to Christianity because it's the religion I'm very well versed in.
By it's very nature - it's foundational doctrines that define the essence of christian beliefs - Christianity is judgemental and conditional. Consider the following:
- Everyone is unacceptable to God from birth (yes some are changing their theology around this)
- God cannot accept anyone without them having "faith" in Jesus
- Non-christians are rejected by God
- When you become a christian you must change to be acceptable to God (this is still implied even in the most liberal doctrines)
- Christians can extend loving actions and attitudes to un-saved people, but they are still excluded from God simply by being human.
- Christians are told to judge others, to separate themselves from the ungodly (this is changing in more liberal circles)
- They "love" others with the sole purpose of getting them "saved"
This is not love. In fact it's the opposite, it's evil. Even by the bible's own definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, most christians don't have a clue what love really is.
I know there are many of my christian friends who do genuinely feel empathy and compassion without judgement for a lot of people, but when I think of myself and so many others, we always had an agenda. We didn't love people simply because they were human beings worthy of love. That agenda was deeply ingrained and coloured every thought and action.
Christianity is starting to evolve thank God (irony intended). Many are recognising this glaring paradox and adjusting their theology and doctrines. But that in itself raises bigger questions about the foundations of the faith in the first place.
So back to my premise...
Christians aren't evil people, but the foundational doctrines and theology are! The bible is not a book of love, despite the odd gem. It's a book of conditions and control, of subtle and blatant abuse, of ancient cultural bigotry and primitive uneducated mindsets, lacking the combined wisdom of 2000 years of moral/social/philosophical evolution.
We are now, as a species, far more moral than the God of the bible. Christianity keeps trying to pull us back to that ancient mindset, creating the exact opposite of what this world needs to grow.
But I understand the attraction of Christianity. I really do! I'm not dissing the people, I'm encouraging us to open our eyes to the lies we are deceiving ourselves with. Perhaps we need to see that our beliefs may have served a primitive bunch of Jews, but that they are utterly irrelevant now, to the point of being destructive and yes, evil.
Having said all that, I'm not saying Christians are evil people. But I am saying their whole foundation for love is screwed.