Adam Nossiter, a reporter for the NY Times described the same events this way:
Yesterday I wrote the following "... given the historical incidence of violence in the name of holiness, net, net one could argue (hopefully without being a wise-guy or insensitive to people's private prerogatives and truly better aspirations and desire to make sense of it all and to impart to future generations a moral sensibility grounded in meaningful tradition) that the world, taken as a whole, over all time, is way worse off due to religion than it would have been if we had never invented it."While it is hard to imagine a world without religion and there are arguably many benefits (morality, codes of behavior, a sense of connectedness to something larger than one's self, meaning, purpose, community, shared values, tradition,) it does seem to me worth wondering if humanity is better off or worse off for it. It is not all that hard for me to imagine a world where moral codes and other important values are handed down across generations based on the wisdom of the golden rule, a reverence for the brotherhood of man, purpose found in compassion and awe found in nature and love with no diminution to the above listed benefits due to the lack of institutional hierarchy, supernatural underpinnings and alligience to particular deities (with (often times) notions of personal relationships to them which are used to justify violence and superiority).The following report was filed this morning by the Associated Press:
Thousands Flee After Weekend Slaughter in Nigeria
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 11, 2010
Filed at 6:34 a.m. ET
JOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Nearly 3,000 people have fled to a neighboring state after hundreds were slaughtered in several mostly Christian villages over the weekend, aid officials said Thursday.
On Thursday, thousands of women took to the streets in protest, singing and waving branches full of green leaves -- a traditional sign of protest. They also carried Bibles and crosses made out of scrap lumber. One held a sign that said: ''God hears when we cry. Just be warned.''
At least 200 people, most of them Christians, were slaughtered on Sunday, according to residents, aid groups and journalists. The victims included dozens of children. In January, more than 300 people were killed, most of them Muslims.
...Sunday’s killings were an especially vicious expression of long-running hostilities between Christians and Muslims in this divided nation.
...The pattern is familiar and was seen as recently as January: uneasy coexistence suddenly explodes into killing, amplified for days by retaliation."