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.