Religion has promoted intolerance through all of recorded history. One of the first examples that comes to mind is the crusades. Would you like an example more close to home? How about the Salem witch trials? Something more recent? How about the fact that modern religious fanatics won't allow their children to learn about evolution? Examples are everywhere. Religion creates an environment that fosters intolerance.
Religion promotes exclusionism, discrimination, and segregation of its adherents from those of other beliefs- who almost always are described as lesser at best and outright evil at worst. Some of the worst atrocities in history have been committed over religious differences, and religion is a huge part of the mess that is Middle East politics.
Would intolerance exist without religion? Sure. But nothing has provided a motivator for intolerance and war like religion- nothing else has made people feel righteous for their intolerance.
Yes, I think that religion creates intolerance. I think that when people differ in religions, many get very much under the thought process that "my religion is better than yours." I don't think that this is true for any one religion, but yet highly religious people begin to think this way and it creates intolerance.
The Golden Rule is entirely selfish and anti-social. It is an undeveloped and incomplete idea. Our self is comprised of the interactions we have with others. I do not want to be christian, muslim, jewish, buddhist or any other metaphysically dependent person, yet these groups have a prejudice, a "you are less than" view of non-brlievers. Certainly that is true of any group thinking themselves as better, smarter, etc than another group. However, religion does not recognize itself as a human construct. It is controlled by one "being" that is not human and requires obedience irrespective of changing social norms and human laws. A cooperative society cannot survive in obedience to a totalitarian metaphysic that is irrational.
I think religious people are fearful of doubting what they believe and have a lot invested in beliefs which comfort them but have no real supporting evidence to show that what they believe is true. This means they have to shore up their beliefs with self righteous intolerance against conflicting arguments made by doubting non believers.
Taking offence and being intolerant of other ideas is the only defence they have.
I was recently deleted from FB for having different spiritual views from a friend who has known me since we were teens and she finally tells me she deals by saying nothing. I allow her posts and don't think any less of her for her beliefs yet I'm not allowed mine. Ok so those that don't think it's religion that creates separation and intolerance here is a fine example.
Yes, in some cases religion does create intolerance. Religion can cloud the thoughts and judgments of people. Some believe that everyone should conform to the teachings or the beliefs of the individual religion. Other issues steam from the differences between religion. Everyone needs to look pass their religion and deal with people as individuals.
Just look at there dreadful sadistic vengeful Gods , the God of the bible is a hate filled bully who encourages slavery , is responsible for 2.8 million deaths and yet claims to be loving! It's probably one of the most loathsome books ever written with very little tolerance so don't expect any from its followers who take delight in finding fault in people who don't follow this tripe .
Religious people even in absence of objective evidence that their believe system is closer to truth than any childhood fairy tale tend to blame others vigorously not to share their ideology.
Oddly enough they tend to not even stick to the core values of their very own religion. Homophobes, "prolifers", Islam haters, NRA supporters, strong supporters of death penalty, war supporters, racists, opponents on sound education, gender equality etc. are much more common in communities irrespective of whatever religion than in a free-thinking individual.
Religion creates intolerance because other religions might not like others. Like when Hitler hated Jews. That's basically a Christian hating a Jew right there. I also think this because this world is mostly hatred so not all people are perfect. Religious intolerance is like racial intolerance, there's a lot of opinions on other Religions.
Intolerance of those who are "different" is a state of mind having nothing to do necessarily with a particular belief system. So intolerance exists not only amongst the religious but the non-religious. In fact, many people claiming to be non-religious often display the exact type of intolerance that they often accuse the religious of displaying.
Almost every major religion can identify with one word: Tolerance. As a christian, the words of Christ and his Apostles make it crystal clear, hate the sin, but love the person.
John the Apostle said it best:
"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." 1 John 4:20-21
The greatest people in this world are those who have found the courage to love, in spite of their differences.
I believe it is more along the lines of people and indoctrination that breeds intolerance rather than simply saying religion breeds intolerance. People often are completely unaware of what their faith directs them to do or to be or to behave. Others like the title of their faith, because maybe it's trendy.
Intolerance is limited to just religions either. A prime example is the intolerance shown by many in the scientific community, supposedly standing on open minded investigation and open debate with a rich marketplace of ideas. Yet there's been a lot of ridicule, attacks, etc. Against those of faith without the open debate except at the fringes. More than a few professors and scientists have espoused claims against institutions (NAS and NSF) for blocking or hindering research into matters which could be construed as religious in nature.
Eugenics would be one of the examples of intolerance of differences conducted without the scope of religion. Apartheid was legislated without religious origin. Cultural and social pluralism even have a whiff of intolerance with categorization and comparison.