Do you view all religions as being equally bad/dangerous/stupid or is Christainity the main culprit? I think I know what the answer will be as this is a predominantly western website but I am prepared to be surprised.
Buddhism and Jainism are both more focused on non violence though this is not to say that Buddhists and Jainists can't be violence but rather that violence is discouraged. As every one noted, the Abrahamic religions seem to have violence historically integrated and spelled out in their doctrines. The penalty for being an infidel is death, homosexuality...death, unruly children... death, adultery... death; there's lots of death as a prescription for sins against their god. This is not to say that all Jews, Christians and Muslims are violent and that's simply not true but it is part of their scripture which they consider the inspired word of their god which certainly gives license for violence though they may choose to disobey their scripture in favor of tolerance.
I must adamantly agree with Dionysus here. Glad someone brought up the Jains-One of the oldest and least violent religions still in existence (very small, smaller than atheists now, but still floating around)
If someone MUST have a replacement to their ludicrous Abrahamic religion, I would tell them to become a Jain. Non-violence,truth, and knowledge-closest religion to atheism in my opinion.
In fact since they do NOT believe in any type of a creator, Jains are technically atheists as well.
Their ancient ideas about the Cosmos are not far from reality either. They believe all life is connected and the universe has no beginning or end.
I admit, if I was single and did not crave meat so much, I might be a Jain.
As mentioned a Buddist or Jain could be violent, but unlike Abrahamic religions, their scriptures condemn violence against life before anything else.
One elementary fact to keep in mind is that the contemporary adherents to religions claim loyalty to doctrines that reflect the social circumstances of radically different societies in space and time, so one must survey the institutions and peoples who practice these religions in some form now and not just look to holy books. If Islam is different than its relatives, it's because the societies never modernized in the way the Christian societies and the various Jewish minorities did. Secondly, the Abrahamic religions are not the unique culprit. Hinduism is as bad and even worse in some respects.
That's exactly right. Religion is both what is defined in the books and the manner in which it is interpreted by it's adherents.
I come from a Hindu background and even 'moderate' Hindus still give credence to dangerous notions of caste and Dharma where you are born with a destiny and place in society. Hindu supremacists have conducted mass killings and rapes of Muslims throughout India's history, and Muslims have done the same back.