Religion that Harms, Religion that Heals: Celebrating the Power of the Human Spirit, by Celia M. Murray Dunn
Crimson Light Books, 0971135444, 2002

Never have I been so inspired by a book which exposes just how much organized religions have invested in their own agenda rather than a spiritual one. Using the context of Christianity, this book reveals step by step the varying methods how the human spirit has been restrained under the threat of fear and damnation by those who would deem themselves followers of the gospel.

Troubled by the seeming discrepancies between religious teaching and the horrors of pogroms, holy wars and inquisitions which have plagued the Abrahamic religions since time immemorial, this book seeks to explain why those who sponsor good can generate so much evil. (And if we believe that it is just the extremists who are guilty, we need to think again.)

Reminded of the childhood terror experienced from listening to church sermons, the book reveals that the “terrible God” of the Old Testament (whom Christians pretend is “dead’ and who has been replaced by a gentler God) is alive and kicking, waiting to punish those who would dare to cross His path. Were it not so, the book contends, the church would have long banished the Bible from its list of required reading.

The fact that the Bible (with atrocities committed by a God whose chief rival for genocide is none other than Hitler) remains a “holy” and a “good” book only serves to prove that Christians are either stupid – worshiping a God with a history of cruelty, or they are so spiritually blind, they fail to see that the God of the Bible has, in the past, the very same characteristics of a mass murderer.

Totally irreverent, but vividly revealing this bold new work is worthy of much debate and might be on the cutting edge of a new look at what our religions really teach as opposed to what they say they teach. Move over Martin Luther, here comes Religion that Harms, Religion that Heals.