Posted: January 11, 2012 in Current Events, Religion

Several people have disagreed with me in comparing extremist Christians and Muslims.  While we don’t have Christian suicide bombers, I honestly don’t find the idea of this in protesting abortion clinics or the like to be that far fetched in the future.  As I said yesterday, while there is a clear difference in the extremity of action between these two factions, the essential ideology, intensity of belief and potential actions is not that different.  What protects us from Christian fundamentalist terrorism is the veneer of civilization in the west and the fact that, at least for now, they perceive themselves as having a legitimate political outlet.

But, I remind you, that it is Christian extremists who have fueled the bullying and persecution which has led to the suicide of dozens of gay teenagers in the past few years.  Now we are discovering that victim of the brutal beating of the Florida drum major, Robert Champion, just happened to be gay.  In spite of witnesses claiming that the fact he was gay had no bearing on his beating, this is Florida we’re talking about.  The coincidence is just too much to ignore. And there are many other cases of young people being beaten and assaulted because their beliefs or practices differ from religious values.

In spite of the publicity that has been given to bullying leading to suicide, not only do religious extremists continue to condone the bullying, but so do the religiously dominated school boards.  The jump to willful assaults and beatings is a small jump which is already happening.  -And it is a small jump to the stoning of heretics and the murder of disrespectful daughters.

No, equating extremist Christians and Muslims (-and, as I said, other religions-) is probably not justified.  But the two are a lot closer than anyone would like to admit.

  1. Michael says:

    The argument that Christianity does not have suicide bombers is specious.

    First of all, suicide bombings are fundamentally mis-named. A case was made a while ago for calling them and reporting them as plain ordinary homocides. The fact that they planned to take their own lifes does not (and should not) trump the enormity of the fact that they planned to take the lives of 5, 10 or 20 other, uninvolved people.

    Yes, it is horrible (and somewhat new to western cultures) that someone would consider his own life so expendible, but that is, ultimately, his or her own choice. The larger crime is that the lives of many others were taken, without their foreknowledge, consent or preparation. The suicide bomber can put his life in order, say goodby to his loved ones, etc. None of the other homocide victims gets the same consideration.

    Homocidal maniacs who kill themselves as well as others should not be awarded with a special category.

    Christian extremists certainly have their homocidal elements – the people who fire-bomb abortion clinics and/or selectively target and shoot the surgeons.

    And there’s a few more. “The Troubles” in Ireland are in the name of Christianity (two Christian factions killing each other – and yes, they have suicide bombers).

    Historically, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were both done in the name of Christianity.

  2. Rod says:

    What is sad is that recently in the US there as been laws either tabled or passed( Can’t remember the exact details. that essentially makes it legal for people to “Bully” others if it is based on a religious belief. Essentially meaning Christians can Bully Gays Legally!

  3. pwiinholt says:

    I was thinking about that and the whole idea of “entitlement”. The word is thrown around usually referring to a left wing idea of and entitlement to medical care or welfare or minimum wage or something like that. But the right wing entitlements are interesting too. For example to be entitled to act out your Christian prejudices and other quirks even if they offend or harm others, because you feel it is your religious privilege. Also, the right to carry an assault rifle. …An interesting range of entitlements.
    Gonna think about this one and perhaps develop it into a longer post.

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