Do you feel religion is a cause of war or is the article correct in saying is not often a cause of war.
I don't think the article says quite what you think it does, @northwalian, and there is no yes-or-no answer to this question. It is overly simplistic.
It IS an overstatement that “religion is the cause for all (or most) wars”. However, like most pithy phrases, there is a truth behind it.
The problem is in defining “a religious war” or any “holy” conflict fought “in the name of religion.”
Beyond the Crusades, Muslim conquests, and other EXPRESSLY religious_wars, you have the tribalism, violence and prejudice that religions cause and inflame, but these are not labeled “religious wars.”
For example, between Columbus voyage in 1492 and the end of the 19th Century, European settlers had wiped out so many Native Americans their population had dropped from between 5 and 15 million to only 238,000. There had been 15 wars, raids and attacks, as well as the spread of disease. They were slaughtered like animals. And a huge factor in why they were seen as “animals” by the Europeans was the fact that they weren’t Christian. They were pagans. They had weird beliefs. And Christians have often believed that non-Christians are less fully “human.”
So some number of those dead were killed over religion. But not expressly. Not specifically.
To come up with a full accounting for all the human beings killed in part because of religion would be impossible, but you probably would have to include most wars in that.
All that said, it is also true that there have been many, many evil atheists throughout history, including Stalin and Pol Pot.
The problem is in equivocating “Killing over religion” and “Killing over atheism.” The first happens, the second does not.
People have been killed FOR gods (Yaweigh, Allah etc) and FOR religions (Catholicism, Islam, etc.)
People have NOT been killed FOR ATHEISM. Because atheism literally means “without a belief in god,” and that is ALL it means.
Communism is not “atheism,” even though Communist leaders have opposed religions. Communism is a political/economic ideology. Many Christians are Communists.
Same for Socialism, Naziism, etc.
See the problem?