FACEBOOK FUN(damentalism)! - Part 1

This is Part I of the Facebook Wall conversation (you won't find it if you go looking for it) that inspired the Top Ten Video I recently posted.  The names have been changed to protect the angry ;)

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Randy:
Over the last couple of months I have heard several comparisons of terrorists to Christians killing abortion doctors. Both acts are terrible, but did you know that in 2010, there were 1987 jihad attacks in 46 nations resulting in 9,175 deaths and 17,436 injuries. Compare that with In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has killed at least eight people in the last 20 years... I'm not intending to throw stones but rather correct a somewhat common misconception.

Me:
But Randy, what is the end point you want to make? That Christians kill FEWER innocent people? So Christians "win" as the lesser evil?

It doesn't seem like much of an argument. My non-Christian friends aren't impressed, which is why I find so little value in these types of conversations - throwing stones at other religions.

Amanda:
Actually,if I may. The men that killed the abortion doctors may have claimed to be Christian but they were far from it. Anybody can commit violence and claim it in the Lords name. It's known as blasphemy.

Randy:
Good comments all around.

Peter, I guess my reason for posting this was to make the point that there is no comparison in the two different events. Not only from a pure numbers angle, but as Amanda pointed out, just because someone claims to be Christian doesn't mean that they are representing the hart or teachings of Christianity when they act out in violence. Christianity does not call believers to kill people in the name of God. I'm just surprised that I have heard several comparisons in the last couple of months, and it honestly baffles me.

Me:
Sadly, that's only one interpretation of Christianity, however. And it's an enlightened one. One I absolutely agree with. But there are schools and sects of Christianity that believe in holy wars and intifadas too. We don't get ourselves off the hook by saying "that's not really Christianity," because it darn well is the religious institution, in many cases. We have 2,000 years of history filled with this stuff - these aren't random anomalies.

Similarly, Islam has adherents who will vehemently decry everything violent and abhorrent we read about in the papers. There isn't a real Islam and a fake Islam.

While I believe that peaceful, loving Christianity is "true" Christianity, I don't believe it's accurate to say that violent, hateful Christianity ISN'T Christianity. It's perverted Christianity, to be sure. But it is a perversion of the Christian religion, and so it is a manifestation of the Christian religion. To deny calling it the Christian religion becomes impractical, and patronizing to the intellectual sensibilities of the world around us. The world knows very well what the church is propagating, and what it is responsible for. I don't think we deserve the luxury of being morally "outraged" when someone blames Christianity for - say - systemic misogyny, or sex abuse, or racial discrimination, because in recent history it has been within and through the Christian church that these sins have been systemically propagated.

The Christian Canon calls people to kill people in the name of God. It also calls people to show mercy in the name of God. The killing is primarily in our Old Testament...

The Quran may call people to kill in the name of God, but it also calls people to show mercy in the name of God. Do you know enough about the Quran to know the context of those verses?

‎(And I don't know enough about the Quan to know the context... I just know our own Canon is full of enough problematic, violent content that we don't have a lot of stones to throw from a textual standpoint, either).

...



(to be continued)

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