2008-04-24

Karen Armstrong's TED Prize acceptance speech



And we are living in a world that is -- where religion has been hijacked. Where terrorists cite Qur'anic verses to justify their atrocities. Where instead of taking Jesus' words, "Love your enemies, don't judge others," we have the spectacle of Christians endlessly judging other people, endlessly using scripture as a way of arguing with other people, as a way of putting other people down. Throughout the ages, religion has been used to oppress others, and this is because of human ego, human greed. We have a talent as a species for messing up wonderful things.

There's also a great deal, I think, of religious illiteracy around. People seem to think -- now equate religious faith with believing things. As though that -- we call religious people often "believers," as though that were the main thing that they do. And very often, secondary goals get pushed into the first place in place of compassion -- the Golden Rule. Because the Golden Rule is difficult. I -- sometimes, when I'm speaking to congregations about compassion, I sometimes see a mutinous expression crossing some of their faces because religion -- a lot of religious people prefer to be right, rather than compassionate.

Wikipedia: Karen Armstrong


(An interview of Karen Armstrong on MeaningofLife.tv)