Religious Growth . . .
Pew forum came out with a new study on religious projections and . . . it's terrifying. It's not really the numbers that scare, it's wondering if the current trend of textual literalism will follow with the population trends. Will the number of people clinging to groups like ISIS grow larger and more powerful, becoming difficult to stop. Will the number of states in the US making similar religious freedom laws, like Indiana, continue to pass the laws while not understanding that there are other religions than christianity.
There is this idea that religious text is sacred and that not only the text should be venerated, but that an individuals belief in it should also be venerated. If that were true, then every person of every religion would have to venerate the sacred notions of all other religious peoples. Religious groups can't respect one another in that way though because, fundamentally, they think the other one is ultimately wrong. While there is a decent COEXIST and secular movement out there, there is an even larger movement, it seems, of those who want Dominionism or Theocracy. There is a massive amount of people out there that willfully deny science and medicine and art and free expression (when it undermines their free expression) and historical studies, etc. In so many places, it is religion that is holding back our intellectual and peaceful advance as a global community. Outside of religion, people hold many personal beliefs that we understand to be morally bankrupt. No dogma should go unquestioned.
A book of shitty scholarship does not get to determine the faculties by which we live our present lives. No one book THE WORD or THE WAY or THE CLEAR MESSAGE. These names for sacred texts go on and on. The way we determine how to live our present lives is to share history and the pains that our predecessors endured and the pains we are still, collectively, undergoing; share science and test one another with honesty; love one another as equals; continually strive for the path of least suffering. I mean, this list goes on. Our social and moral philosophies have been continuously guided by the mistakes we have made and the sciences that followed up on them, and that is why the world is a much better place today than it was yesterday.
Anyways, the above study isn't conclusive, but it could be damn close. If you think that any of these people are interpreting their sacred text incorrectly, then I beg you, read it again. Every religious text proposes atrocities and there are those out there that want to commit them in the name of their god.
NOTHING IS SACRED.