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Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Hatred in the name of religion

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 10, 2013 3:03 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Wednesday, September 11, 2013:

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September 11th, 2001 -- the day when terrorists commandeered four passenger aircraft and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center in New York, another one into the Pentagon outside Washington D.C. and a fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania that was apparently on its way to Washington.  Just under 3,000 people died.

Many of the questions that were asked 12 years ago are still relevant today -- why would a group of men hate America so much that they would resort to killing innocent citizens?

The hijackers have been described as Muslim extremists who were fighting a holy war in the name of their religion.

The 9/11 attacks were just one of many acts of violence and hate carried out using religious beliefs as justification.  

It'd a perplexing question and one we will explore on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk -- why do we hate in the name of religion?

Joining us on the program will be Imam Dr. Yahya Hendi, Founder and General Secretary of Clergy Without Borders and the first Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, Sister Carol Zinn, a member of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Erik Love, assistant professor of sociology at Dickinson College and a civil-rights advocacy scholar.

Listen to the show:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-11 09:14

    Thomas emailed:
    None of the major world religion's doctrines actually instruct hatred. Hate is an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness. Because hatred is believed to be long-lasting, many psychologists consider it to be more of an attitude or disposition than a temporary emotional state. The neural correlates of hate have been investigated with an fMRI procedure. In this experiment, people had their brains scanned while viewing pictures of people they hated. The results showed increased activity in the middle frontal gyrus, right putamen, bilaterally in the premotor cortex, in the frontal pole, and bilaterally in the medial insular cortex of the human brain. Given that hatred is a purely human state and therefore can be perceived as irrational by an outside observer the person executing this emotion will seek to rationalize it. Religion has historically been the sponge that soaks up this irrationality shift.
    AGAIN NONE of the major world religion's Doctrines actually instruct hate not the Koran Not the Torah and not the Bible

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-11 09:15

    Li emailed:

    Both the Bible and Koran contain many passages of divinely mandated violence, discrimination, and hate. Not addressing them is ignorant at best, and disingenuous at worst.

  • Jim Foster img 2013-09-11 09:56

    What a wonderful program to listen to on the anniversary of 9-11. The truth is that none of the major religions teaches hate or terrorism. Instead, every religion has people who have hatred in their hearts and twist whatever religion (Christianity, Islam, etc.) in support of their evil purposes.

  • David Ritter img 2013-09-12 21:10

    This was an excellent program, and I thank you all for your contributions.

    I wanted to follow up on something that Sister Carol mentioned about hatred being fear-based. I agree that fear is the underlying emotion, and the next layer is anger. So, when people encounter something that they are unfamiliar with, they fear the "unknown" and try to attack it, in an effort to keep themselves safe. Or they may huddle together with those in their inner circle, whom they know and trust, and label the unknown as "them."

    I know that organized religion provides many benefits, but history has shown, and if the above premise is true and consistent with human nature, then would the very existence of different religions foster this sense of "us" and "them" and therefore have some negative consequences as well?

    I don't know how many religious communities there are in the United States, let alone the world. But, most of these have a leader or a group of leaders who "preach" or "teach" based on their worldviews and learned understandings and interpretations of their holy books.

    Would it make sense to strongly encourage these leaders to take multicultural awareness/counseling courses?