Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leave it to the Onion to put things into perspective.

"Religion is the one thing that has never let us down," Taheri added over the low rumble of AK-47 fire emanating from the nearby home of a radical Israeli rabbi.

Taheri is not alone. In a time of seemingly unending conflict between Israelis and Arabs, a growing number of Middle Easterners are fervently embracing the unshakeable wisdom of Judaism and Islam.

Palestinian Omar Abdel-Malik, a resident of the Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, credits his Islamic beliefs for preserving his sanity.

"The Israelis have fired missile upon missile on my neighborhood, but it has only made my trust in Allah that much stronger," Abdel-Malik said. "I cringe to think where the people of the Middle East would be right now if it weren't for our steadfast belief in one true, merciful, and loving Supreme Being."

It's amazing to me how many people don't grasp the obvious point the Onion is making here. I recently found myself in a comment section debate on this very subject. Most of the commenters seemed to be under the impression that Islam was this crazy religion that can't be reasoned with. I think they are largely right on that point. But what's crazy is that they believe almost the same things themselves. How can a person see the irrationality of Islam and not see the same irrationality in Christianity?


Billiam said...

Maybe it's the sections of the Quran that call for beheading, jihad, etc. Where as Jesus, in His New Testament teaching, does NOT call for killing or subjugating those who don't accept Him. This is one of the main differences between Christianity and Islam. Do people mis-use tenets of both? Definitely. Are the tenets of Islam easier to twist than the NT? I think so, after having read them.

BTW, how was your week?

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Even if the major teachings of Islam were more violent than those of Christianity, and I'm not convinced that that's true in any significant way*, I still don't see any reason why we should equate "less violent" with "more correct." In other words, is it your perception that Christianity is less violent than Islam that makes you think that Christianity is true? And why true follow from less violent?

*billiam, I noted several New Testament where Jesus advocates violence in one of my comments on your blog.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

"Maybe it's the sections of the Quran that call for beheading, jihad, etc. Where as Jesus, in His New Testament teaching, does NOT call for killing or subjugating those who don't accept Him."


"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)

That sounds EXACTLY like Jesus calling for the killing of those who don't accept him. Here are a few more.

"Think not that I am come to send peace: I came not to send peace but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:6)

"The Son of man [Jesus himself] shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:41-42)

Religion of peace? No more than Islam

Billiam said...

You're mistaking warnings of the final judgement upon His return, for out right calls for killing that exist in the Quran. Christ is not advocating His followers to kill in His name. He's warning what happens to those who hear of Him, and the everlasting life He offers, yet choose to reject. There's a HUGE difference between that and The Quran 9:5 and 2:191 "slay the unbeliever". Nor does Christianity call for the killing of someone who leaves it, unlike Islam. I could go on, but, I think you get my point. It is NOT for Christians to kill those who don't believe. That final judgement belongs to God.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

I don't think I'm mistaking anything. I see no possible way to interpret Luke 19:27 as meaning anything but Jesus asking that his enemies, those that do not believe he is the messiah, be brought before him and murdered. Is my translation off?

The fact of the matter is this that is how that passage was interpreted for hundred of years when it was the Christians murdering non-believers in the name of god. They have since moderated their beliefs a little bit but the texts have not changed.

What about my first question? Why does "less violent" equate to "correct" to you? Isn't it possible that Islam is more violent than Christianity but it is also the right religion?

Billiam said...

To your first Question, Christianity DOES NOT advocate violence! Do you want to know what Christ taught? Read all of Matthew, chapter 5. Do Christians fall short of the ideal? Of course! Just because you accept Christ into your life doesn't mean you never sin again.

As to Luke 19:27, that's 1 verse out of a PARABLE. The parable of the 10 minas. Like I said, it's about the final judgement. It means that Christ expects us to share His word with others, to be "a tree that bears good fruit". As I said, it's also about the final judgement of God.

Now, what about my last question, that you didn't answer. How was your week?

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Bill, I've read Matthew Chapter 5. I've read the whole bible more than once. How do you think I became an atheist? It is hateful and violent and sexist and discriminatory and scientifically backwards. Not to mention totally inconsistent. Yeah, Jesus says some loving things. I'll even admit that in most of it, he presents as a loving figure. But he also presents as a pretty morally corupt dude in a lot of it too. It is not a consistent book by any stretch of the imagination.

Are you suggesting that we ignore the biblical lessons that are taught in the form of parables? Because, I hate to tell you this, but MOST of the New Testament is parables. And according to at least some of them, the lesson was that we should kill those that don't believe that JC is the messiah.

But, hypothetically, even if the bible was not a violent book that called for the murder of non-believers, how does that affect its authenticity as the word of God? Why couldn't the more-violent Koran be the correct book despite its greater violence?

In answer to your question, my week was busy (hence the delayed responese) but generally great. How was yours?

Billiam said...

My week has been busy, as well. Started out slow, but now I'll be working into Sat. morning.

Now, to your response. Again, as I stated, the parables are about the Final judgement. When all of humanity is judged. Jesus does NOT tell believers to go out and murder those who don't believe. Also, in what way is He corrupt? As for your question about Bible vs. Quran, The Bible, starting with the Old Testament was around long before the Quran,it's writing begining in about 1450 BC. The New Testament writings began around 60 AD, less than 30 years after Christs death and resurection. As for Mohammed, he didn't show up until around 570-600 AD or so. He was rejected as a false prophet until he took up the sword. Then, it was follow him, or die. Christianity spread because of its message of salvation and hope, not by threats of death. At least, not until Rome adopted it as the official religion and began to pervert it. Also, many of the Apostles and early followers died for their faith in the Roman arena, or outright murdered where they were found. They were seen as a danger, not because of violence, or a military threat, but because of the message.