Monday, October 23, 2006

Radical Christianity Vs. Radical Islam...

We, as fellow human travelers in life, are engaged the world over in an ideological war. From here in America: The religious right trying to impose a Christian Rule of Law on all Americans; to Iraq and Europe: Where radical Muslims are actively persecuting and killing persons in the name of Allah.

Islam and Christianity actually have very, very much in common in their religious beliefs, moral codes, prohibitions and religious rights. They revere the same fathers of their respective branches of Judaism, they both have a monotheistic god, they believe that they war against infidels and demons for the souls and lives of peoples of either non-religious or different religious backgrounds.

But the wars they are presently engaged in are taking two very differing fronts in today's world.

True, the religious past of both Islam and Christianity are very bloody. From the crusades, to the battle for Constantinople, witch hunts, infidel burnings, religious persecutions, forced confessions and conversions... An accurate historical look at both religions will easily show you the bloody paths that these two religions have caused the world at large, resulting in millions of people's deaths. Both religions are guilty and there's no denying it.

Today, though, while Muslims are strapping themselves into cars and blowing up hundreds of innocents, Christians are warring ideologically (well, except for that brief period of time in the eighties when they thought blowing up abortion clinics and killing doctors was a better way to go about showing the love of Jesus...) Muslims and Christians (strictly in the "fundamentalist" sense, before Tom rips my head off for "lumping" Christians) rely heavily on fear, not to mention a healthy dose of piety, promises of rewards in the afterlife, and a great deal of self-loathing (while being prideful about that self-loathing and humility--one of the great ironies of life, I suppose, or maybe a biblical/koranical mystery?). Christians in North America are generally trying to work within the present system, trying to enact laws and a form of government in which all persons in said country will live under their strict "moral code; Muslims are undermining present governments to set up an entirely new government in which all persons living in said country will live under their strict "moral" code.

Hmm...

Let's look at some of their basic similarities:










ultimate realityone creator Godone creator God
nature of GodTrinity - one substance, three personsunity - one substance, one person
other spiritual beingsangels and demonsangels, demons, jinn
identity of JesusSon of God, God incarnate, savior of the worldtrue prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted
birth of Jesusvirgin birthvirgin birth
second coming of Jesusaffirmedaffirmed
God's role in salvationpredestination, various forms of gracepredestination
good afterlifeeternal heaveneternal paradise
bad afterlifeeternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism)eternal hell
view of the other religionIslam is respected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophetChristians are respected as "People of the Book," but they have mistaken beliefs and only partial revelation


This list could actually go on for quite some time, but I felt that these were the basics. Not very much of a difference, is there? And that last one? How they view the other religion? Now imagine how they feel about... Buddhism. Hinduism. Pagans. (Not very highly.)

It stems from a firmly--and I do mean stubbornly firm--held belief that they have The Answer. You know, to everything. This life, the afterlife, what happened before there was life, and anything and everything in between! It is this, the fact that their god has chosen them to tell the world--and that's not an exaggeration--about the answers they have been given.

Both feel a need to convert "souls" to their particular brand of religion. Both will tell you of their "peace," their "mission," how they are right and you are wrong, how god will reward them and punish you, how it "burdens" their lives that you will "burn for eternity"--never mind the fact that once they reach heaven, since there's no sadness, they won't even remember what they were burdened about. Go figure, huh? Living now so that one day, you can live forever in blissful ignorance praising an egomaniac for eternity. (I know,sounds like hell to me, too!)

So what truly is the difference between them? What is the one overriding thing that means we nonreligious folk are any safer in a world ruled by Christians than a world ruled by Muslims?

The only hope we have at the moment is North American conservatives aren't yet too willing to give up their comfortable lifestyles to wage war on the infidels (a truly wonderful irony to it all...) They'd rather use guilt, laws, and pray for you, while Muslims in the Middle East and Europe (not living nearly as well off as their North American fellow monotheists due to socialism and racial bias in Europe) are more than happy to fight physically for their religious beliefs, as it means they will ultimately achieve better lives for themselves... whether in this life or the afterlife...

And the best irony of all? The self motivation dangling like a carrot in front of the eternal-searching eyes. Eternal life in heaven, blissfully ignorant, and rewarded for the more souls they convert, and, of course, an avoidance of hell...

Selfishness disguised as Piety, Pride disguised as Humility, and all in the name of a god who isn't there anyway...

I invite all of any religious or nonreligius background to tell me: What is the difference between Radical Christians and Radical Muslims? Cause, looking at it from an ideological point of view (which is all religion has...), there isn't a difference.

None at all.
Incidentally, if anyone knows how I can close that huge gap between the text and the beginning fo the table, lemme know. I can't figure it out for the life of me...

6 comments:

Admin said...

Islam, is it how the media portrays it? Is it really all about terrorism and extremism? What do the Muslims believe? What is the Islamic concept of God? What does the Qur'an say about Jesus Christ and what do Muslims believe about Jesus Christ? Ever wondered? Well here is your chance to find out, please visit our blog--> http://thejourney2islam-team.blogspot.com/

Dar said...

We can easily see in America (and from America) just how determined both sides are to avidly keeping their "righteousness". What's it all for? If hurting and controlling people are the path to heaven, I certainly don't want it.

Darkmind said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Hughes said...

Hey, Admin, welcome to the blog--I'll check out your link probably later on tonight...

And Dar, I couldn't agree more... but what I fail to understand is how most fundie christians can't see how their view of how things should be and how fundie muslims view of things and how they should be really aren't that different at all! How they go about it at this point in time is completely different, but the true danger to individual liberties and freedoms is both fundamentlist groups...

Darkmind, I agree there are (and probably most) muslims are a peaceful religion that, at least, from the ones I personally know (which is all of two people) who abide by their faith and don't shove it down your throoat (like a good deal of christians as well). It's the fundamantlist factiosn within these religious groups that I see as a danger...

Thanks all for your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Wow, well, there is a Major difference between (fundamentalist)Christianity and (fundamentalist)Islam: Mother Theresa and Osama Bin Laden. Understand?
We, Christians, are not called to fight the earth and its inhabitants, but, rather to serve it, reflecting what Christ called the Kingdom of Heaven. For conversions, we are to rely on God for His providence in the hearts and souls of mankind. We preach when we feel its necessary. The goal isn't to push our own idealologies on others, but to reveal the nature of Christ and expose harmful practices of the world, i.e drug addiction, domestic violence, etc. Our holy book clearly renounces anyone who would use unorthodox tactics to recieve conversions, like in the Crusades, salem witch trials, and many others, where people merely acted on ignorance and fear and didn't have much knowledge about the God they were supposedly fighting for.
Islam, on the other hand, has not renounced its terrorists who claim to just be doing what they see as a way to lead people to truth. In other words, one gets the idea that violence and killing is an acceptable way to practice their religion. This is very frightening. Did you see the news reel where the dad strangled his daughter and they called it an honor killing?

Anonymous said...

Wow, well, there is a Major difference between (fundamentalist)Christianity and (fundamentalist)Islam: Mother Theresa and Osama Bin Laden. Understand?
We, Christians, are not called to fight the earth and its inhabitants, but, rather to serve it, reflecting what Christ called the Kingdom of Heaven. For conversions, we are to rely on God for His providence in the hearts and souls of mankind. We preach when we feel its necessary. The goal isn't to push our own idealologies on others, but to reveal the nature of Christ and expose harmful practices of the world, i.e drug addiction, domestic violence, etc. Our holy book clearly renounces anyone who would use unorthodox tactics to recieve conversions, like in the Crusades, salem witch trials, and many others, where people merely acted on ignorance and fear and didn't have much knowledge about the God they were supposedly fighting for.
Islam, on the other hand, has not renounced its terrorists who claim to just be doing what they see as a way to lead people to truth. In other words, one gets the idea that violence and killing is an acceptable way to practice their religion. This is very frightening. Did you see the news reel where the dad strangled his daughter and they called it an honor killing?