Religious Differences

Even to a person who has never been a believer in any faith, the differences between faiths may still be observed.

Those who assert that “all religions are equally bad” and “all fundamentalists are equally dangerous” often point to a few verses in the Bible to support their notions. I wrote recently about Sam Harris and his attempt to do this by recounting a parable told by Jesus (predicting his own death) as if it were the direct words of Jesus demanding that his followers kill his enemies. It was a rather disingenuous distortion.

This site takes apart similar assertions about several other Biblical passages.

Such “they’re all the same” attacks I’ve written about before. They are becoming less common, as even the militant anti-religionists such as Dawkins and Harris and Moyer are recognizing that Islam is different. And the differences between the practical effects of Christianity in the world today versus Islam are remarkable.

Christianity, in practice among its billion-plus adherents in the modern world, teaches tolerance toward others not of the same beliefs. Islam, in practice among its billion-plus adherents in the modern world, teaches intolerance and requires punishment of those who choose to leave the faith. These punishments generally range between imprisonment, flogging, and execution. Note that this is not a “tiny fringe element” of Islam, but the law of nations governed by mainstream Islam’s precepts.  Similarly, the mere threat of damage to a Qur’an, or the perception of insult to Islam, can drive its practitioners across the world into murderous attacks. There is no analog to this in the Christian or Jewish faiths. Jews and Christians may complain of disdainful treatment of their faiths, but they won’t kill you because of it.

That is a difference, and an important one. Another is the fact that Islam (through the Qur’an, al Hadith and Sunnah) explicitly teaches conquering and subverting the world, and sanctions force for this purpose. It is both a religion and a system of political rule. Christianity eschews politics and “conquers” only by telling its story.

In modern Islam, you can point to mainstream preachers — imams and clerics — around the world exhorting their flocks to go out and slay the non-believers and take their lands. There are zero Christian preachers who teach such doctrines. And the Islamic clerics who do teach such things have radio audiences reaching tens of millions and are considered among the world’s most influential Muslims.

Even the most objectionable “Christian” faith, that of the leftist Democrat Fred Phelps who started his own church, does not actually physically attack those it hates. But jihad — death or subjugation of all “infidels” as we call them — is taught almost universally. Only a small percentage act on these exhortations — but that is still a base of tens of millions of jihadists and supporters of jihad.

That’s a difference. It is foolish to ignore it.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • rudym

    Great Observation and discernment which I fully concur with you. Now if only you can convince a billion more people to realize what you point out, this world will be a better place in my opinion. I am still praying for you.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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