I'm not going to write you a long winded response Jason, for I really feel that you don't deserve it, my friend. Your ideas as typed show a very close minded perspective that just wants to damn everything that ever has caused evil in the world (and I know you are not a close minded individual). This is an online forum and I can safely say that you are a better fast paced writer than I, so I will tackle you more head on when I see you next (Which better be soon, you ass). In your mind, you are correct, and nothing will ever change that--you have proved to yourself over and over again why religion is evil, and any argument to the contrary is doomed to fail (i've tried). In many ways, you are evangelical with your message that religion = shit.
I'll agree with you whole heartily that Christianity was (is) a missionary religion. I will agree that untold atroctices have been committed in the name of Christ. You seemingly forget, however, the good that the followers Christianity did and has done in the world. You certainly forget the good that the followers of Islam have done (in my opinion, far less evil than Christianity). The ideal of these religions is far from the actual reality. This is apparent most especially in Christianity, where whole sale hypocrisy is the norm (not so much with Catholics, who I think get it right, but with the dying protestant movement and the emergent Evangelical movement). (not so much in Islam I would say---the extremists, as far as I have gathered from my research, are actually a minority that is forcing the issue to the majority). I'd discuss the fact that you hate the fact that people in the past have been forced to convert, but I don't have the research needed. You know my view is more of a realist one, that you need to have a unifying force to create a culture, and that religion plays a great one. So, the crazy imperial bastard in me might agree that it is wrong but necessary.
Jason, your second post (a little over kill, ya think) proves that religion has been the prime motivate to kill (or at least religious identity). I agree with you, but you certainly should know it isn't as simple as that. You forget ethnic identity, various degrees of wealth and success, jealously over said differences in wealth and success, etc etc. The causes of war (hey, that's a course I'm going to be taking next year (I'll be sure to give you the notes) are much much more complicated than simply saying "RELIGION CAUSES IT! ITS EVIL CAUSE IT CAUSES DEATH! (which you didn't say, but let me use my rhetorical flourish).
BTW, Historical side note. Pope Pius saved thousands of jews, and he authorized the saving of several others. Most of the "Righteous gentiles" acknowledged in Israel are catholics. If the Pope had spoken out, said anything, the Vatican would have been invaded in a second (Hitler had the plans to do so, and certainly the historical precedent). He could not risk the end of the church proper, you know that. To point it out, most of the people who have problems with Pope Pius ? Liberal Catholics, not Jews. Why is that?