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Pastor Adam Ericksen answers the question, “What is religion?” Religion seems to be something that divides us from them. Many scholars believe the word religion comes from the word “ligare” which means “to bind”. While this binding connects members of a religion together, it separates them from people of other religions.

The scholar René Girard‘s book Evolution and Conversion: Dialogues on the Origins of Culture explains the binding that occurred in early civilization was a ritualized form of scapegoating which eventually became religion. While the Bible describes scapegoating, it also shows where God protects people from scapegoating like placing the mark on Cain. Hosea declares “God desires mercy, not sacrifice.”

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