Granted not all monotheists become terrorists, but the seeds for this kind of thing are planted firmly in the dogma they espouse. Religious assertions about prophecy and divinity inevitably end in turmoil and disaster. In their heyday centuries ago, the Christians waged war on the world. Now it’s the Muslims turn.

I think this is a dangerous idea that ignores much of the context of terrorism. I say this as an atheist and a Satanist. Not only do not all monotheists not become terrorists, but only a tiny fraction of monotheists become terrorists.

Who are these terrorists? By and large, they are victims of state violence against their own cultures. By and large, they are uneducated and suffer under harsh conditions of economic inequality. By and large, they lead incomplete lives where hate can fill the voids that the ceaseless erosion of uncaring social forces has created. Theism is a means to compel them. Theism offers paradisiacal promises and easy answers to the unkind realities of their day-to-day lives. Theism is woven into the fabric of injustice that creates inequality and irrationality, but theism is just one of many threads.

I would say perspective creates terrorists. Propaganda creates terrorists. Hopelessness creates terrorists. What one group calls a terrorist, another group calls a freedom fighter, a martyr, or a hero. Theism did not create the conditions for oppressed, hopeless people to be manipulated into acts of violence. Unjust authority did. Iniquity did. Imperialism did. Greed did. Theism, itself, is a product of the human condition, and a tool used to bolster those very same things. Theism and terrorism are a comfortable fit, but they do not create each other. We created both.

The solution to terrorism is embodied in the precepts of the Satanic Temple, an institution founded on the belief that we should work toward a world of benevolence and empathy. This may seem ironic to some, but the solution to terrorism surely lies in empathy, compassion, scientific reasoning, freedom from oppression, and justice. Telling other people to forgo their religion or that their religion is creating terrorism is never going to be the solution to anything; educating people and empowering them to be benevolent and compassionate citizens of the world is.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store