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He questioned "how a culture formally dedicated to fulfilling the injunction to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' could move to a point where it sanctioned the use of violence against the alien both outside and inside society".The religious sanctioning of the concept of "holy war" was a turning point in Christian attitudes towards violence; "Pope Gregory VII made the Holy War possible by drastically altering the attitude of the church towards war...

The word genocide was first coined only in 1944, but the concept and the act are much older.Second, far greater numbers of people fall into conflict with one another because they define their moral community on the basis of their religious affiliation..." The Biblical phrase "Turning the other cheek" can be interpreted as an absolute prohibition on violent acts being carried out by Christians, leading to Christian pacifism.Interpretation in light of other biblical edicts or disobedience or simple ignorance can lead to violent action nonetheless.This history and these biblical images have provided the raw material for theologically justifying the violence of contemporary Christian groups.Attacks on abortion clinics, for instance, have been viewed not only as assaults on a practice that Christians regard as immoral, but also as skirmishes in a grand confrontation between forces of evil and good that has social and political implications." Murphy examined the Christian concept of Holy War.We all remember the story of how Joshua's men blew their trumpets and down came the walls of Jericho, the first of the Canaanite cities to fall to the invading people of Israel.

Children who are told Biblical stories in Sunday schools are not usually told what happened next.

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! First, people often kill other human beings because they believe that the creator of the universe wants them to do it...

, critic of religion Sam Harris wrote that "...faith inspires violence in at least two ways.

For, in order to keep the chosen people apart from and unaffected by the alien beliefs and practices of indigenous or neighbouring peoples, when God commanded his chosen people to conquer the Promised Land, he placed city after city 'under the ban" -which meant that every man, woman and child was to be slaughtered at the point of the sword.

Thus we read in the Book of Numbers that the Jews "waged the campaign against Midian, as Yahweh had ordered Moses, and they put every male to death...

So, when "the walls of Jericho came tumbling down", the Jewish warriors "enforced the ban on everything in the town: men and women, young and old, even the oxen and sheep and donkeys, massacring them all".