I see Bennett is currently tubthumping and salivating at the thought of the Rapture, lol, He's got a first class ticket to Paradise and the rest of us are gonna fry.
Radical Christians are no different to radical muslims, they too believe they are right, dead right. Their motives are not philanthropic, they want their place next to God and a front row seat to watch their enemies burn. They are just as much at war as ISIS, 'onward Christian soldiers' and all that.
Since time began, religion has been used by every society in order to control the masses. To put it bluntly we are 'herd' animals, we flock together, we are more comfortable in a pack, we are safer and our survival depends on it.
In order to live as a group, ancient societies had to have rules and such is human nature, deciding on what those rules should be and who should administer them began a conflict that lasted for all eternity. They quickly realised that whoever took charge and made the rules could enjoy the fruits of others' labour, without having to do any actual 'toiling' themselves.
However, man is frail. His time on this earth is limited and the lifespan of tyrants and despots is especially variable because once you have got all the 'spoils', others will try to take them away from you. Ancient man needed Rules carved in stone, ones that didn't need updating every 6 months and with all that chiselling, who could blame them.
So how did God come about? Well, if you go back even further, somewhere between walking upright and making tools, those big old Neanderthal heads were trying to make sense of the goodies that grew on trees and how much fun it was eating rotting grapes. They wanted, neh needed, someone to thank for their bountiful harvests, and someone to praise so the next ones would be even better. Clearly the amazing world around them couldn't possibly be the work of man, no man had that power. They looked upon the changing seasons as being the work of a God or several Gods. 'God' became their explanation of the world around them, if they behaved as God wanted them to, they would be rewarded, if they didn't, they would be punished.
Of course, after a few thousand years they realised that the Autumn follows Summer follows Spring etc, whatever they did, and that sacrificing 10 goats and their firstborn wouldn't ward off the volcano that was about to erupt or the hurricane that was heading their way. They didn't dare displease the Gods by blaming them for man's misfortune, they had to point the finger of blame at each other.
Once the 'beliefs' set in, society was under control. The fact that God has only appeared to raving lunatics and people away with the fairies has never mattered a jot to the believers. They choose to live the life God (via man) has mapped out for them rather than freefall like the rest of us. They prefer to plough the fields and gather whilst singing the Lord's praises and dreaming of all the goodies to come in the next life.
The religious are the team players. They will work their knuckles to the bone for the good of others and they will do it all in God's name because they don't seek praise for themselves. Heaven forbid. They teach humility and sacrifice, basically all the things that will ensure the populace will continue ploughing the fields and gathering without complaint. And they will teach their children to do the same too. Religion is largely responsible for the social demographic into which we are born. We are the result of decisions and choices made by our predecessors. Sadly, religion teaches us to know and accept our place in the world. The rich man in his castle, the poor man in the field. Blessed are the meek and those who bring gifts to the altar.
Such is life, the wants and desires of the Good Lord (or God) usually coincides with the wants and the desires of the leaders and the wannabe leaders and having 'God' on your side usually swings the vote if you want to annihilate certain sections of mankind. If you can whip up a big enough crowd up into a frenzy, you can bring down the walls of Jericho.
Mostly, I don't have a problem with religion, if people want to pray or believe in a higher power, that's up to them, whatever gets you through the night. Personally, I prefer to be in awe at the achievements and creativity of mankind, even those of the religious nuts.
For me, the scary thing is the fact that religion still dominates the 21st century. And the fact that we actually take religious people seriously and allow them to dictate the way in which we live defies logic. I am as aghast that the word of the Pope still has influence over millions worldwide in the same way that the word of ISIS now reaches out to the radical Muslims. How many people in third world countries died of Aids because of the Pope's ruling on condoms?
Religion is the root of all evil and sadly it is not contained within small churches or mosques where the deluded gather to worship their unseen entity of choice. They demand that the rest of us join them or face God's wrath in the form of manmade punishments. Their faith that God will punish us in the next life is however pretty slim, so it is their duty to ensure we suffer in this one. All religions are about suffering, they teach obedience, sacrifice and humility, human traits that make the masses governable.
Happily most people can now see that the promise of a reward in the next life is a ploy used by unscrupulous employers to pay low wages, and by religious fanatics who use the gullible to blow up their enemies. In a logical, humanistic world, religious zealots would be in strait jackets and given psychological help for their paranoid delusions, but in this world, they become leaders. Not just in the unstable Middle East, but also in the West - George Bush held regular prayer meetings in the White House and Tony Blair is now more Catholic than the Pope. Understandable perhaps, when you are killing hundreds of thousands of innocents with weapons of mass destruction, you better be doing in God's name and not your own. Bush and Blair like the ISIS terrorists have also claimed in their place in Paradise. When you use God's name for mass murder it is not only acceptable, it is to be applauded.
Sadly, we atheists are caught in the middle of all the crazies, not only must we tolerate them, we must respect them, obey their laws and die and when they go for the mass murder option. An option that is becoming more frequent as these ancient scriptures are adapted for the 21st century by Islamists and Christians alike. And therein lies the insanity.