Skepticism Any kind of belief is dangerous

"Maischberger" - as part of the ARD theme week "What do you believe in?" on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at 10:45 p.m.

13.06.2017 – 11:40

ARD Das Erste

Munich (ots)

The topic: "Does religion divide the world?"

Fewer and fewer Germans believe in God. The number of people leaving the church is still dramatically high. Nevertheless, the religions repeatedly cause violent political and social disputes. Belief fanatical people, was guilty of wars and terror, so the allegations. The question of how much influence religion and the church are allowed to have on the state and politics is also causing controversy. So does religion divide our society, should it be a private matter and would the world be more peaceful in the end without religions?

The guests:

Margot Käßmann (theologian and former bishop) Heiner Geißler, CDU (former general secretary) Angelika Kallwass (atheist and graduate psychologist) Martin Lohmann (Catholic publicist) Khola Maryam Hübsch (journalist and Muslim) Philipp Möller (author and atheist)

Margot Käßmann

Margot Käßmann does not accept the accusation that religions divide: "People accuse religions of fueling conflicts. Experience has also shown that belief motivates us to contribute a great deal to peace in the world," says the long-standing EKD Council Chairman . Margot Käßmann welcomes the separation of state and church. However, this should not mean that the church does not express itself politically: "In the Bible Jesus says: If you have taken in a stranger, then you have taken me in. That is why I think the church has to be political." Käßmann's criticism of the AfD caused a stir: "As a private person, it is completely incomprehensible to me how a Christian can vote for the AfD because the program of this party devalues ​​people."

Heiner Geissler

"Religion is dangerous when it is combined with an ideology. And it is problematic when those who are responsible for religion can be bought," said the long-time CDU general secretary. The committed Christian warns of fundamentalist tendencies both in the Koran and in the Old Testament and therefore calls for an orientation towards the Gospel: "It has made the world a better place and brought the inviolability of human dignity. Man has become free."

Angelika Kallwass

"Religion divides the world and leads to religious wars if it takes on fanatical and ideological traits," says the avowed atheist. The TV presenter left the church at the age of 16. "There is so much agony and misery in the world, how can a benevolent and almighty God allow it", asks Kallwass. The psychotherapist is convinced that people believed because they couldn't cope with death. It is painful and terrible that everything would end with death. "That's why I think it would be nice if God existed - but He doesn't exist."

Martin Lohmann

"One should bring faith into the world. It gives our life a meaning," says the Catholic Martin Lohmann. Although he respects other beliefs, he thinks his path is the right one. With the "March for Life", Lohmann, who left the CDU, positions himself as a strict opponent of abortion and an advocate of Catholic sexual morality. Martin Lohmann is convinced that atheists can also find their way to God: "We all long for God". One has to pray for people who have not yet recognized God.

Khola Maryam Pretty

The Muslim women find it naive to look for the main cause of war and terror in religion. "Wars are about other motives: resources, privileges, expansion of power - religion works against this. It focuses on the inner being of people such as values ​​and spirituality," says the native of Frankfurt. The recurring demand that Muslims should distance themselves more from terrorism after terrorist attacks, the journalist outraged: "Just to believe that we would be behind it is already a form of insult." She is skeptical about a strict separation of religion and society: "If everyone only lives out their faith in a quiet little room, then that is a kind of isolation. But religion is not a hobby. It is the meaningful element in life."

Philipp Möller

"As long as religious groups believe they are in possession of the absolute truth, religion divides the world and favors wars," says the bestselling author and atheist. Religion is in constant conflict with the open society, which can be seen, for example, in the massive oppression of women - not only in Islam -, the criminalization of euthanasia and the suppression of the rights of homosexuals. In addition, religion must be strictly separated from the state politically and financially, demands Philipp Möller, member of the church-critical Giordano Bruno Foundation. Belief must be a private matter. "The world would be better off without religion. I'm for a lot of fun instead of hell."

"Maischberger" is a joint ARD production, produced by WDR in cooperation with Vincent TV GmbH. "Maischberger" on the Internet at Editor: Elke Maar (WDR)

Press contact:

Photos via
Agnes Toellner, Press and Information Das Erste,
Tel: 089/5900 23876, email: [email protected]
Felix Neunzerling, ZOOM MEDIENFABRIK GmbH,
Tel .: 030/3150 6868, email: [email protected]

Original content by: ARD Das Erste, transmitted by news aktuell