Imposing Truth by Force

“Violence is what happens when you try to resolve a religious dispute by means of power. It cannot be done. Trying to resolve ultimate issues of faith, truth and interpretation by the use of force is a conceptual error of the most fundamental kind. Just as might does not establish right, so victory does not establish truth. Both sides may fight with equal passion and conviction, but at the end of the day, after thousands or millions have died, whole countries reduced to disaster zones, populations condemned to poverty and generations to hopelessness, after the very enterprise of faith has been degraded and disgraced, no one is a millimetre closer to God or salvation or illumination. You cannot impose truth by force. That is why religion and power are two separate enterprises that must never be confused.”

Not in God’s Name, p. 225