Clearly, if you put your "faith" in meaningless dogma, you are going to have to use force to get others to join you, because that's stupid.

If, on the other hand, you put your faith in the power of "love", and your conduct consists of works of charity and mercy, people might be persuaded to join you because of your beliefs, not in spite of them. This is how Christianity grew from an obscure Jewish sect to the state religion of the Roman Empire: progressive social ideas and rigorous social welfare programs. More recently, activists who believed in love and held strictly to a religious ethic of non-violence have achieved significant political change: Martin Luther King, Gandhi. I recall seeing on television a Buddhist monk pour gasoline on himself, light it and burn until his corpse fell over, to protest the Vietnam War. That single act probably did more than ten thousand peace marches or a million enemy bullets to show Americans how insane the war was.

That's religion. The rest is bullshit.

The learned paraclete tells me that the monk I refer to was named Thich Quang Duc, and "he wasn't protesting against the war, he was protesting against the oppression of his religion by the Vietnamese government." I don't think this detracts from my point, but it's good to know.

Yes, it's GTKY. Sue me.