In discussions of violence by religious groups, one current debate is whether, over the course of history, Christians have been more violent than Muslims or vice versa.
But there are exceptions even to that rule of thumb.
Just now in Myanmar (Burma), for instance, we are reading stories about Buddhists engaging in violence against Muslims.
Just the other day, for instance, the Associated Press reported that a Buddhist mob of 1,000 or so people "torched dozens of homes and shops in northwestern Myanmar."
The roots of the conflict seem not to be directly religious, but nonetheless the reporting is identifying the groups in conflict by their religion.
And, as a result, Buddhism's reputation for peaceful coexistence is taking a hard hit.
Here's a pretty good rule of thumb: When you read or hear about violence with religious overtones (undertones?) learn first about what that religion teaches about when violence is permitted and learn what history shows about how well that religion's adherents have stuck to those teachings.
Then see if you can figure out whether religion itself is the issue that has ignited the violence or whether religion is simply a side matter in something that has more to do with political or other kinds of disagreements.
Finally, avoid assuming that all adherents of the religion involved in this or that incident are inherently violent. Otherwise you wind up blaming silent monks for KKK cross burnings. And how stupid is that?
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RIDICULOUS RELIGIOUS VOICES
There's an outbreak of measles in Texas that includes several members of a church whose pastor has been critical of measles vaccinations. This is the kind of nonsense that gives religion a bad name. It's about as goofy as flat-Earthers.