Of the great religions, I prefer Buddhism, especially in its earliest forms, because it has had the smallest element of persecution. – Bertrand Russell
Now it may seem strange to claim that a long-dead man agrees with a contemporary person. So let me explain.
I have, since 2011, been convinced that Buddhism, “especially in its earliest forms,” is the best of all the religions. But today I discovered that Bertrand Russell would agree. Hence his view was discovered after I came to my own conclusion.
It is interesting, however, to notice the reason he gives for this, “because it has had the smallest element of persecution.” This is a half-truth.
While it is true that Buddhist scripture condemns violence in every form, there have been ethnic wars within Buddhist countries for a long time. Nobody informed about the history of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar will doubt this. Muslims destroyed Buddhism from India, and now there is a deep-seated animosity between them.
“Separation of church and state” is the most important gift we received from Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers. Once religion and government merge persecution will follow as surely as water runs downhill. It is just a matter of time.
Even the best of religions can go wrong when they have the power to do so.