Religion and power make awkward bed-fellows. Speaking in January 2015 on religious fundamentalism, Pope Francis suggested that violence belies claims of religious validity. That is to say, actions speak louder than words, and harming other people effectively renders a person’s claims of religious motivation null and void. Unfortunately, the typical assumption that people have that they cannot be wrong when it comes to their own religious beliefs also operates when political ideology is the actual motivation. Such pride, which I suspect is rooted in self-idolatry, stands as a wall preventing such remarks from influencing potential culprits.
The full essay is at “Religion and Violence.”