Once in a while, especially at times when people are fighting and killing over religion more than usual, I like to link to this audio of a rant by British comedian Marcus Brigstocke. The whole thing is worth listening to but especially the part where he talks about how while the violence is committed by a few extremists, the undoubtedly much larger number of religious people who are peaceful cannot completely escape responsibility for what is done.
“I know that most religious folk are moderate and nice and reasonable and wear tidy jumpers and eat cheese like real people… But they have to accept that they are the power base for the nutters. Without their passive support the loonies in charge of these faiths would just be loonies safely locked away and medicated, somewhere nice, you know with a view of some trees, where they can claim they have a direct channel to god between sessions making tapestry drinks coasters, watching Teletubbies, and talking about their days in the Hitler youth. The ordinary faithful make these vicious tyrannical thugs what they are… Without the audience to prop it up… fundamentalist religious fanaticism goes away.”