Religion and violence can go hand in hand. Some of the fiercest wars have been fought over differences in faith, even though most major religions claim their doctrine is one of peace. At the end of the day, religious texts are interpreted by people from all walks of life, and even criminals don’t have to be technically godless.
Some of the ceremonies performed as new members are accepted into Italian mafia organizations are rooted in Catholicism. In one of the rituals, the new mafioso stains a picture of a saint with a drop of his blood and then sets it on fire. He then proceeds to vow his allegiance to the Family as the burning picture is passed around. This symbolizes that the new member accepts the organization as an authority higher than God. Continue reading