It was one of those provocative "one-liners" that some people like to throw in – "All wars are caused by religion." The person had clearly done no research on the matter. It was just a tired second-hand comment.
To his surprise, I agreed with him. Religion seems to have been a factor in many wars in history - including some present conflicts. And, if we take religion in a broad sense to include all our deepest values and motivations, the original statement can be accepted with no limitations.
Here's another "one-liner" - "Humankind is incurably religious." That includes the humanist, the secularist, the atheist, the capitalist, the communist... The folk who say "I'm not religious" don't really understand themselves.
The problem isn't with "religion" as such, but with various flawed "religions" we choose to adopt (or drift into) with their false values, motivations and prejudices.
Jesus made the bold statement, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14.6). Check out his character and claims for yourself.
Christmas is coming. Here is another opportunity to get in touch with the God who cares enough about us all to send his own Son. Oddly, some people want Christmas without Christ. That just doesn't make sense!

© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin newspapers, 5-7 December 2001