The myth of religious violence should finally be seen for what it is: an important part of the folklore of Western societies. It does not identify any facts about the world, but rather authorizes certain arrangements of power in the modern West. It is a story of salvation from mortal peril by the creation of the secular nation-state. As such, it legitimates the direction of the citizen’s ultimate loyalty to the nation-state and secures the nation-state’s monopoly on legitimate violence. In the United States, it helps to foster the idea that secular social orders are inherently peaceful, such that we become convinced that the nation that spends more on its military than do all other nations of the world combined is in fact the world’s most peaceloving country. The myth also helps to identify Others and enemies, both internal and external, who threaten the social order and who provide the requisite villains against which the nation-state is said to protect us. The myth of religious violence is false, and it has had a significant negative influence. The myth should be retired from respectable discourse.William T. Cavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence (via bilmishmish)
Leftover pizza, wine, and tumblr…and Myriam Fares on repeat..