PhillyChief strings together a lot of interesting thoughts in this post:
Bring up mormons and most christians say they’re not “real” christians. Bring up the Inquisition and catholics will argue it got out of hand by twisted people who “lost their way” whereas born agains and other protestants will say “well that’s the catholic church for you”… Muslims are also on the defensive having to argue that people like al quaeda who fly planes into buildings are extremists and not examples of “true islam”… Theists likewise will point to leaders like Stalin and show what horrors atheism inflicts whereas atheists will argue Stalin’s atheism was merely a tool for his quest for obtaining and maintaining power.
Where does this take us? Do bad examples influence the merit of a particular ideology?
The post awaits your thoughts.