尼爾：美國前總統柯林頓，曾在二 00 一年十一月對喬治城大學學生的演講時談到，今日的國際恐怖活動，其淵源可回溯至千百年前，而現在美國活躍的恐怖活動才剛剛開始。
Neale: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in a speech to students at George- town University in November of 2001 that the international terrorism of today, which had only just then reached the United States, dates back thousands of years. “In the first Crusade.”
Mr. Clinton said, “when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, then proceeded to kill every woman and child who was a Muslim on the Temple Mount. I can tell you that story is still being told today in the Middle East, and we are still paying for it.”
This kind of religious insanity continues to this very day, on which you murder with the invocation, “Allah is great!” The enormous irony and the immense sadness is that some humans do not even see the contradiction.
This is the effect that your organized religions of exclusivity and righteousness and retribution have had on you. They have solved nothing.
They have, in fact, enlarged the very problems they were intended to solve.
Neale: But religion has done a lot of good in the world. Look at its charity work. Look at the millions whose lives it has touched in positive ways.
Religion has indeed done good in the world. As a helping hand and as a change agent in the lives of individuals, it has produced many blessings. As a force for societal evolution, however, it has not fared well.
Why have your organized religions been so singularly ineffective in bringing about a general uplifting of human morals, motivations, and modi operandi? Why have they been totally unsuccessful in producing any signif- icant shift in wholesale worldwide consciousness?
This is the issue humankind might do well to address.
Yet this is the question you are afraid to ask.
Neale: And if we asked it?
You would find that it is not for lack of effort. Most organized religions have been sincere in their attempts to bring about social change and a new way of life.
It is for lack of understanding. And it is because of stubbornness. Most of organized religion has not changed its basic point of view for centuries and, in some cases, for millennia.
Let me restate that, so that you can appreciate its full impact.
I said, there has not been a significant new idea brought into most major organized religions in hundreds and thousands of years.