"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend."
~Yasir Arafat, on going to war over religion
Religious warfare is just about as old as religion, which is as old as basic civilization, if not older. Now, I don't think war makes much sense in general, but, for obvious reasons, I think this excuse is the most nonsensical of all. Even less apparent is why religious warfare so often breaks out between sects of the same religion (take a look at the Middle East), or extremely similar religions.
And let's face it. I'm sorry, but Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same fucking God. Look at the scripture. Deal with it.
Religion, unless your gods demand human sacrifice, is never an excuse to kill. It's a poor excuse to fear someone, as well--unless that someone is planning on sacrificing you for religious purposes. There are plenty of better reasons to hate people than who they pray to and how they go about it.
Please note the slight sarcasm in the previous paragraph.
Many religions teach that their followers are the Good and everyone else is Evil. Clearly, they can't all be right. Furthermore, there are generally shades of grey between the two extremes (well more than fifty of them...sorry. Couldn't help it), which means that none of the religions that claim this can be entirely right. "Good" people can, under the right circumstances, do terrible things. Take Milgram's groundbreaking psychological experiment with fake electric shocks, for example, where, following orders, the vast majority of participants flipped the switch that they believed would deliver an innocent man the maximum voltage possible--a switch beyond the ones marked extremely dangerous and labeled only X X X. In a survey prior to this experiment, other psychologists expected only psychopaths to go this far.
Also, on the other extreme, bloodthirsty killers can be loving family members.
I realize that I may have rambled away from my original topic a bit. Do I have anything else to say about religious warfare? Not really. I mean, I could rant about the Crusades for a while, but that a.) wouldn't be particularly interesting and b.) wouldn't show as much about religion as it would about my obsession with medieval times.
So. Until next time, then. Anyone want to join me for a Jovian gelato?