Religion Is A Two Edged Sword Essay

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Religion is, for many people, a source of inspiration, fulfillment, and divine righteousness that plays an integral role in their lives; in the 16th and 17th centuries maybe more so than any other period, especially when it comes to Christianity. Unfortunately, religion is a two-edged sword: it can be both beneficial and terrible. While a majority of the people in the early modern European era genuinely believed what their religion told them was true, many still used religion as a tool to reach their goals and achieve their desires. During this era and many others, an alarming number of atrocities were committed or at least justified under the banner of Christianity and “God’s Will.” While most of the people were generally “good Christians” who lived their day-to-day lives in relative peace, for many of the powerful and influential of the era, religion was a tool that could be twisted to suit their needs rather than a scripturally inspired, divine way of life. In the late 15th Century, the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella sent Christopher Columbus on a journey to India to “consider the best means for [the native peoples’] conversion [to Christianity].” The contents of Columbus’ journal, however, reveal that religious conversion was almost less than an afterthought in his mind as he explored the Caribbean. Columbus makes it clear that his motivations are not divine, but economic; he seeks not potential Christian converts, but gold and slaves. In fact, his island…

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