T Nation

What are they teaching our kids?

I’ve read a couple times that they’ve killed about 2 1/2 million nonmuslims in the sudan since 1998. It appears that they kill the full grown males and take the women and children for the slave trade. In fact, the singer from Janes’s Addiction (recently porno for pyros)has been working hard to shed light on the problem. Look, every religious, political, and whatever else group has some stains on it’s past. After all, they still have to recruit from the human population. My point is, as a group, prominent Islamic leaders are going to have to stepfoward and pull their people into the 21st centuary. Damn check out the gallup polls, the majority hate us. Even after all the videos have comeout with Osama bragging to the Clerics sixty something percent still believe that Arabs were not involved in 9-11! That means they think we’re just plain evil and want to whip their ass.

10% of 1.2 billion, hmmm let’s that’s about 120 million…Well I’ll be a damn bastard, thats pretty low, some were near half the population of the United States…Gee I must be totally mistaken since the numbers are so low! There is no hate in them at all, and let’s see over 60% of thay 1.2 billion, support the other 10 percent…Oh they are full of love, obviously you the the 2 billion Christians behaving this way. Yes the leaders need to real the folks in, but who are they, Saddam Hussain, Yasser Arrafat? Yea, they’ll bring peace in our time. Even the Suadi’s don’t like us and they are living off of our money…And since you are so quick to label I told you I have a friend who is a muslim, I wen to worship with him in his mosk as a show of solidarity…He also knows my opinions and thinks I am justified to have them…He agrees their are alot of fucked up muslims in the world and things need to change. He is sad about it though. He is a peaceful man, but guess what, he hates the fuck out of Jews…

Deuteronomy 7 1-6 speaks of driving out the enemies of Isreal and ‘destroying them totally’ ‘make no treaty’ ‘show no mercy’ God in the OT was a harsh and jealous God. After Christ came and experienced the hardship of being human He tempered His anger a bit, but the OT is still part of Christian teaching.
There are others, mostly realted to smiting an entire city for their sin, not having dealings with ‘outsiders’ and other strict intolerance bordering on hate for anything that doesn’t conform to the laws in the Bible. I’m sorry, that is jsut as hateful and intolerant as some people are claiming the Islamic faith to be. As I said before extremeists are the problem. Right now we are dealing with dangerous Muslim extremeists, 500 years ago it was Chrsitian extremeists. One does NOT excuse the other. But no one can say the other is worse.

History has always been written by the victors. Looking at the dominant view of history Arabs and Muslims will be victorious over Europeans and the West?

I’ve got a couple thoughts about this thread, I’ll start of with a portion of a good article I read called “Can Society Survive Without Christianity?”


In polls, 70 to 80 percent of people say there are no moral absolutes, no truth — which means society can exist without the moral restraints of religion. Are they right?

Dennis Prager, the Jewish social critic and scholar, says his favorite response to that question is a story — Say you are walking down an alley at 11:00 p.m. in New York , Miami, or Los Angeles. The dim streetlights illumine your car 300 yards away. Suddenly, you see ten young men wearing leather jackets swaggering down the alley toward you. Would you feel more comfortable if you knew that those young men had just come out of a Bible study? Every time Prager has asked that question the answer has been “yes.” In spite of what they say in polls, on the most practical level, people acknowledge religion’s positive influence.

Christianity doesn’t kill in the name of peace and order, except where there have been historical aberrations like the Crusades and the Inquisition. To set these events up as examples of Christianity in action is to reveal an abject historical ignorance. In the Inquisition it is true that thousands of people were killed. That is horrible — one person is too many. But Stalin murdered 80 million people in the name of a godless regimen. Hitler and all of the horrors of the 20th century have been caused by people who rejected God.

I’ll admit I’m not up on my history, and therefore can offer limited input on the good & bad that has been performed by Christians or Muslims. However, I would like to contribute some information on what is happening today. Here is a small sample of what is going on in our world (forgive the length of this post!):

December 30, 1997 - Algeria - Perpetrators not known - Four hundred people in isolated villages in the Relizane region were killed by Islamic extremists on the first night of Ramadan. Most of the victims had their throats slit or were decapitated. The BBC reported that 100+ were killed in other incidents over that weekend.

May 20, 1996 - Algeria - Armed Islamic Group - Seven French Trappist monks were beheaded after being held captive for two months.

February 10, 2002 - Egypt - A newly built church was attacked by armed Muslims who were angered by the ringing of the church bells. The Church of the Virgin Mary in Bani Wellmes, El-Minia, as well as the 35 homes, were burned during the incident. Several people were also injured as fighting broke out between the Muslim attackers and Christians trying to defend the church. (US Copts Association)

July 26, 2000 – Egypt - Coptic Christian Fakhri Ayyad Mus’ad was shot to death when local Muslims discovered he was building a church in a nearby field. Three other men were also injured.

June 7, 2000 – Egypt - State Security Intelligence officers arrested Christian Aziz Tawfik Rezkalah on the charge of preaching the gospel to a Muslim. This was Mr. Rezkalah’s fourth arrest in four years. During each arrest Mr. Rezkalah was stripped naked and taken to interrogation where he was beaten and tortured with electric shock. Mr. Rezkalah is the head of a Coptic Orthodox organization which teaches Coptic Christians about their faith.

January 28, 2002 - Saudi Arabia - Three Ethiopian Christians being held in the Breman Deportation Center reported being tortured by prison officials. Baharu Menghistu, Tinsae Gezachew and Gebeyehu Tefera reported being suspended in the air and flogged 80 times with a metal cable. Upon arriving at the prison hospital for treatment the men were slapped and told to come back after they were dead. The men had sent a petition to the Ethiopian consulate in Jeddah, complaining about the lack of attention given them by the Ethiopian embassy and reporting on the poor prison conditions. They believe that this petition instigated the beatings.

August 19, 2001 - Saudi Arabia – Over the span of three days, the following Christians have been detained by the MOI because they worshipped in private homes: Tinsaie Gizachew [Eritrean or Ethiopian], three other members of his church, Gabayu [Ethiopian], Keborom [Eritrean], Makbeab [Ethiopian], Afobunor Okey Buliamin [Nigerian], Baharu Mengistu [Ethiopian], and Beferdu [Ethiopian]. The whereabouts of these Christians are still unknown – as well as their condition.

October 1999 – Iran - A Muslim convert to Christianity Mr. M.A. (name withheld for security) was arrested by government secret service agents on charges of apostasy. He was held for four days during which time he was severely beaten and lashed 99 times. He was deprived of food for at least one day and had limited access to a toilet. M.A. was eventually hospitalized for injured sustained during the detention. He later escaped Iran on February 29, 2000.

January 1997 - Kuwait - Hussein Qambar Ali was convicted of apostasy and stripped of his civil rights after confirming in court that he had become a Christian. He was also ordered to pay the costs of the court case. Hussein filed an appeal, but left the country before the appeal went to court. It was later reported that Hussein has returned to Kuwait and declared himself a Muslim.

I guess the tone of some messages got to me :slight_smile: Anyway here is one last post for the evening.

“‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you might be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” Matthew 5:43-48

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” 1 John 2:9-11

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16

Gee michelle, it sould like you read the bible, too bad you didn’t understand it. First, nobody here ever contended that any other religion has had a few black eyes in the past. So we can drop that rational. Let’s look at the behaviour of the populations at large in the here and now…Everybody else, relatively peaceful (with the exception of northern Irland) People of the Islamic countries? Constant violence, messages of hate…No rocket science skills needed to figure out somebody over there is sending out the wrong message…I double dog fucking dare you to go visit Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq or hell, even Turkey…You will see how tolerant they are of you…I do not think that Islam in it’s purest form is a bad thing, I do not hate muslims. But I am pretty damn angry at them. Not becuase of what some nuts did and continue to do, but the the general support these actions get by the muslim population at large…What the fuck?
I would also love it if people would stop quoting the bible here, we are not talking about the teachings of religions, just how the people in them behave…If everybody follow the true message of their perspective religions, the world would be at peace

I excerpted this from a recent article about the Crusades, for your reading pleasure…

The Large Picture
Well, yes. The massacres, though appalling, were not sensational in their time, and were matched by the Saracens at Antioch and Acre. Even before the First Crusade showed up, in fact, Palestine had been consumed by savage wars between the Turkish (and Sunni Muslim) Seljuks and the Arab (and Shiite Muslim) Fatimid dynasty, with massacres by both sides. Before that, the mad Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim, who ruled 996-1021, had wantonly persecuted both Jews and Christians, leveling the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem and even destroying the cave that was supposed to be the Holy Sepulchre itself.

It must also be remembered that Palestine — and Syria, and Egypt, and North Africa, and Spain too — had long been Christian before the Muslim armies seized them in the 7th and 8th centuries, as Urban II pointed out when he preached the First Crusade. The Crusaders sought to recover by force one small part of what had been taken by force.

Nor do the accusations of land-greed stand up well under modern scholarship. In his recent book A Concise History of the Crusades, Thomas Madden refers to computer-aided analyses of documents relating to the men and women who took up the cross. Of those men of knightly rank, the vast majority were not spare sons, but lords of their estates. Says Madden: “It was not those with the least to lose who took up the cross, but rather those with the most.” Alfred Duggan was wrong to assume that a typical Crusader would have been a second son. He was, however, right to make the last thought in Roger’s mind: “The pilgrimage was accomplished.” The Crusades were, above all, pilgrimages, with a much higher spiritual quotient than is commonly assumed. This was one reason that the Crusader kingdoms could not be sustained. In contrast with colonialists, who emigrate to stay, pilgrims, when their pilgrimage is accomplished, go back home, and that is what all too many of the Crusaders did. In fact, thirty years before the First Crusade, a huge pilgrimage of 7,000 Germans had made its way to the Holy Land without any intention of conquest. They had met with brutal mistreatment at the hands of the Fatimids. Gibbon says that only 2,000 returned safely.

Above and beyond this, if we are to take sides on the Crusades after all these centuries, we should acknowledge that, for all their many crimes, the Crusaders were our spiritual kin. I do not mean only in religion, though that of course is not a negligible connection: I mean in their understanding of society, and of the individual’s place in it. Time and again, when you read the histories of this period, you are struck by sentences like these, which I have taken more or less at random from Sir Steven Runciman’s History of the Crusades: “[Queen Melisande’s] action was regarded as perfectly constitutional and was endorsed by the council.” “Trial by peers was an essential feature of Frankish custom.” “The King ranked with his tenant-in-chief as primus inter pares, their president but not their master.”

If we look behind the cruelty, treachery, and folly, and try to divine what the Crusaders actually said and thought, we see, dimly but unmistakably, the early flickering light of the modern West, with its ideals of liberty, justice, and individual worth. Gibbon:

The spirit of freedom, which pervades the feudal institutions, was felt in its strongest energy by the volunteers of the cross, who elected for their chief the most deserving of his peers. Amidst the slaves of Asia, unconscious of the lesson or example, a model of political liberty was introduced; and the laws of [the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem] are derived from the purest source of equality and justice. Of such laws, the first and indispensable condition is the assent of those whose obedience they require, and for whose benefit they are designed.

No sooner had Godfrey of Bouillon been elected supreme ruler of Jerusalem, eight days after the Crusader victory (he declined the title of “king,” declaring that he would not wear a crown of gold in the place where Christ had worn a crown of thorns), than his first thought was to give the new state a constitution. This was duly done, and the Assize of Jerusalem — “a precious monument of feudal jurisprudence,” Gibbon calls it — after being duly attested, was deposited in the Holy Sepulchre (which had been reconstructed some decades before).

That is what they were like, these men of Western Europe. Brutish, coarse, ignorant, often insanely cruel — yes: but peer into their inner lives, their thoughts, their talk among themselves, so far as it is possible to do so, and what do we find? What were their notions, their obsessions? Faith, of course, and honor, and then: vassalage, homage, fealty, allegiance, duties and obligations, genealogies and inheritances, councils and "parlements," rights and liberties. The feudal order is easy to underestimate. In part this is because feudal society was so at odds with many modern ideals — the ideal of human equality, for example. In part, also, I believe, because the sheer complexity of it, and of its laws and customs, deters study and sometimes confounds analysis. (Define and differentiate the following: champerty, maintenance, embracery.) A certain dogged application is required to get to grips with feudal society, and few who are not professional historians are up to the task, Karl Marx being one honorable exception. Yet it is in this knotty tangle of heartfelt abstractions spelled out in Old French that can be found, in embryo, so much of what we cherish in our own civilization today.

Other Players
None of the other players in the great drama of the Crusades had anything like this to show. The Fatimids were a degraded and lawless despotism, in which none but the despot had any rights at all. The aforementioned caliph Al-Hakim, for example, took to working at night and sleeping in the daytime. Having embraced this habit, he then imposed it on his subjects, forbidding anyone in his dominions, on pain of death, from working during daylight hours. He also, to enforce the absolute confinement of women, banned the making of women’s shoes. (Thirteenth-century Muslims were just as shocked by the freedom and equality of Western women as fundamentalist Muslims today are.) The Seljuk Turks, who held Jerusalem from 1078 to 1098, were very little better. They still retained some of the vigor and independence of their nomadic origins, and the rough honor code of the steppe, but of debate and compromise they had only the sketchiest notions. Of the separation of spiritual and secular jurisdictions, they had no notion at all, any more than any other Muslim had. This latter point, so crucial in the development of medieval European society, was also lost on the Byzantines, whose ruler was stuck in the late-Roman style of “Pontiff-Emperor,” the font of ecclesiastical as well as of temporal authority.

Man for man, there is little to choose between the Crusaders and the Saracens. Saladin, for example, was a true natural gentleman: courteous, chivalrous, brave, and pious. When his mortal enemy Richard Lionheart was lying sick of a fever in August of 1192, Saladin had him sent peaches and pears, and snow from Mount Hermon to cool his drinks. Contrariwise, the crusader Reynald of Châtillon was a thuggish sociopath, no better than a brigand. (Saladin had the pleasure of decapitating him personally.) Yet the virtues of men like Saladin rose as lone pillars from a level plain. They were not, as the occasional virtues of the Crusaders were, the peaks of a mountain range. The Saracens had, in a sense, no society, no polity. Says the Marquis to the Templar in another great Crusader novel, Sir Walter Scott’s The Talisman: “I will confess to you I have caught some attachment to the Eastern form of government: A pure and simple monarchy should consist but of king and subjects. Such is the simple and primitive structure — a shepherd and his flock. All this internal chain of feudal dependence is artificial and sophisticated.” Well, artificial and sophisticated it may have been, but in its interstices grew liberty, law, and the modern conscience.

Pat - I do not think I mis-understand the Bible, I simply wanted to point out that our/my religion also dictates the conversion of nonbelievers and/or the destruction of them. I am certianly not defending the fundamentalist Muslims who feel they should destroy the rest of the world. I wanted to simply point out that no religion is perfict, especially in the violence issue. I’m sorry if that point got lost. Right now, unfortunately, a relatively SMALL sect of the Islamic culture is a group of crazed looneys bent on destroying anyone and any thing that does not conform to their ideals. Islam IS a tolerant religion, just as Christianity is. We worship the SAME God! Yes, 10% of 120 million is a lot of people, but judging an entire faith on that 10% is nuts. The KKK has used Christianity to back up their actions and I seriously doubt most of us want to be judged by the actions of the KKK. Entire countries are being ruled by fundamentalist dictators, who enforce thier rules with the military. It has been conform or die, and many have chosen to conform. That is unfortuante, but true. Since September 11, I have said it and I STILL do… you can not villify an entire religion based on the actions of very few.

To all – Please spare me the flames. This is what I think happens. If you are offended, just apply the explanation to the religion you like the least. That should mollify you. Here is the why religions, either in whole or in part, almost always at some point preach and commit violence. What you have is a group of people with passionately held beliefs based on either an old book or what someone is currently telling them. There is no way to check statements in the Bible or Koran or those made by religious leaders against evidence for accuracy. The term faith MEANS belief without objective evidence. So a leader arises in response to some socio-political crises, or maybe he just sees an opening. Whatever he is saying appeals to the group he has targeted, and is accepted as gospel. So you have irrational people led by either someone equally irrational or with ulterior motives. The religion in question makes no difference at all. All of us can list examples in various faiths. Currently we have Falwell here in VA for the chistians, Farrakan (sp?) for the muslims, and that is just off the top of my head here in the USA. We can all think of more dangerous people in other countries. There is no solution to it, and the killing will go on until most of the world is brought into the 20th century by prosperity. Prosperity tends to bring with it a diminished reliance on religion, I guess because if your life here is OK, you don’t have to “play pretend” that the nice ghost will take care of you later.

Were both World Wars fought over religion? What about Vietnam? Iraq? The Revolutionary war? Civil War? The Korean? Etc. In our young history this country has been involved is some bloody secular wars. In fact, I’m pretty sure that religion takes a big back seat to fighting over resources. Once a country has plenty to sustain or satisfy (sometimes just the leaders) it’s citizens (and possibley has started to overeach it’s might), it tends to withdraw from Imperial ambitions and turn it’s energy to the harvesting of it’s resources and the building of infrastructure for industry and society. Yes, from my view it seems that political thought and the fighting over boundries and resources has done far more damage than religion. I would also strongly suggest that, generically speaking, humans have prospered further than they would have DUE to religion. Take our country for an example, it was founded on the religious belief that we do not owe the ability to live and pursue happiness to any other person. We are born with those rights by the design of a Creator who is the standard of absolute truth. Also, most of our civilizing laws are simply religious tradition and commandment. I believe this to be a rather fair and objective portrayal. As far as becoming less religious when we become more prosperous…hmmm. Perhaps, but then again we have also experienced many negative societal trends as we have become more prosperous. So, I wouldn’t say that our prosperity has made us any more enlightened than our more religious forefathers. But I actually don’t want to argue this really. Here’s something I’d like to say to all the media outlets, especially the European Media, SHUT UP!!! The detainees in Cuba are damned lucky about the way they are being treated. We’ve now witnessed twice how our enemy treats prisoners. Bullets to the head! Three meals a day and prayer time sure in hell beats being thrown to your knees and shot in the back of the head while unarmed and still on the battlefield!

You make some good points – I agree that religious rules are useful, esp in controlling people that can’t reason well and figure out how to live. (Not to say that religious people can’t reason, of course, just that religion can be used to keep some of our dimmer bulbs in line) As far as the founding fathers go, they were not as religious as you might think. read some of Jefferson’s wrtitings on governance. Also, I strongly suspect that they pandered to the religious just as our current leaders do. (Witness clinton suddenly “finding God” with jesse Jackson after getting caught with his cigar in the wrong humidor. And don’t even get me started on Bush.) Of course, there have have been tons of secular wars, but that is not what we are discussing. The fact that there are wars fought for other reasons don’t make religious wars any less horrible. In fact, I think they are worse, because to me it is all superstition, as if Superman and Batman fans decided to have at it. Weird. BTW, I am also pissed off at the foreign press, but not suprised. And finally, those guys that shot the Navy Seal in the head – aren’t they part of some religious group or something?

Michelle,
it seems you have finally moderated some. I only wish you could look at Islam with the same bias that you look at christianity. If you want to look at this issue from a historical perspective, one of the reasons the muslims hate us so much is that we are modern. They want to go back to the way things were before technology had a significant impact, and back to a time when music was not allowed, and women had no rights - could not even show their faces without being beaten on the spot. Nor were women allowed to learn to read or have any kind of education or avocation. Are these the historically tolorent people you are talking about?
You and your brethren have been off point on just about every example you raised. The KKK used christianity? They are anti-catholic and catholism was the original form of christianity. The Crusades - a reaction to the attack by the saracins. And the missionaries - you know, before the missionaries converted pagans to christinity, many, like the Aztecs, killed hundreds of people daily as human sacrifices.
Like others have pointed out, it has been a long 2000 years for the christians and we certainly have our black eyes. But by and large, we have been far more of an asset than a detriment.

Here are my two cents on the subject. I would say throughout history organized religion has served primarily to divide humanity. This thread is a perfect example. it is great for uniting groups of people in a region or whatever but as a species it kept us divided for a long time and on some level it still does. Look at this, even now people still kill each over their belief in something they can never prove. That makes no sense. At least secular wars are fought for practical and tangible goals. Individual religions have factions because two people disagreed over the interpretation of a word or passage, again that can never be proven one way or the other. The spread of some religions to new areas lead to the extinction of the native culture. What is the point? Just to be clear I mean ALL religions. While religion will probably never go away I think it would be far better it were kept in the home and people kept it to themselves. If everybody could agree to just disregard the whole “converting” concept it make things much better. Gather and worship together with others if you want but let the curious come to you if you want converts. Just a few thoughts.

Al, perhaps we should also never discuss politics? And maybe we should force cetain races to wear viels and gloves? Etc. After all, differences of a secular nature have created plenty of violence. Is killing people due to race or political belief more worthy? I get that from your post. Maybe government should define for us what safe and ‘unprovoking’ speech is, right? I am very disturbed by your post, it smacks of the same dangerous attitude that a zealot might latch on to, which you have decried. If you can’t handle free speech or the free exchange of ideas (whether you believe them stupid or not) maybe it is you sir who should stay home.

Read THE WALKING DRUM by Louis Lamour for an historical perspective on islam and christianity. Any religion is inferior to a rational mind.

Let me be frank: Anybody who calls Islam a violent religion is naive and narrow-minded. Period. The same goes for Christianity or Judaism. Whether we like to accept it or not, Christianity, Judaism, AND Islam are all great religions. All three have had great impact on countless lives. Satanism is an evil religion. Islam is not. Believe me, if Mohammad (or is it Muhammad?) preached the killing of infidels, everything that is going on today would have been going on for hundreds of years and at a much grander scale. Fundamentalist Muslims are a minority of the religion. 150 million fundamentalists? 15%. 300 million? Still 30%. Even less. If Islam was a violent religion then over 90% of its 1 billion+ followers would be radicals and in that case we would not be sitting here debating whether it is violent or not. WE WOULD ALL KNOW IT. WE meaning ALL OF US. And if Islam was a violent religion we would certainly not be debating it now. The debate would have been over centuries ago. And believe me, if Islam was a violent religion some of the people on this discussion would not need to refer to historical incidents to prove his or her case. It would go without saying. Let me repeat that: It would go without saying! Why? Let me put it this way: If you truly believe we are having a problem with Islamic Fundamentalism right now, and we are, just imagine upping the amp from 1-15% (if you are optimistic) or from 15-45% (if you are pessimistic) of the over 1 billion Muslims to 95%! This isn’t the Theory of Relativity here; if Muhammad preached violence against the infidels then every or at least 90% of Muslims (after all, what is a Muslim but an individual who follows the teachings of Muhammad?) would make hard attempts to commit acts of violence towards us! Believe me, with approximately 1.2 billion Muslims in this world, the last thing on our minds in that scenario would be to debate on this here forum. However, that is just a scenario. It isn’t reality. The bottomline: Every great religion has violent periods throughout its history! This point in time is a violent period for Islam! Does this mean that Islam the religion is one of violence? Certainly not! Otherwise you would not be citing historical examples to prove your ignorant points. If Islam was indeed a violent religion then it would have been violent from the very start and would continue to be violent without any peaceful breaks. I find it very interesting that Islam has had many peaceful periods in its history. Not bad for a religion that preaches violence! Or maybe the religion is simply not one of violence, but has its fair share of violence throughout history like other great religions. And so what if Islam has had more violence in its past (assuming it had)? This is black or white…there is no gray! Either Islam is violent or it isn’t violent and I have yet to see one individual to prove that the Koran preaches violence in its words of theology. Sure, sure, I have seen many ignorant people list verses from the Koran that contained words of violence from the mouth of Muhammad during times of war. That is not what I am talking about here. The Bible contains many violent verses from times of war! That does not prove that the Bible preaches violence in its theology. I can go on and on and on and on but I’m off to bed. Of course, before I fall asleep I’m going to pray to God. After all, I am a Christian. Not super-religious to any degree, mind you, but a Christian nonetheless. And I will pray to God knowing that this is the same God that Jews and Muslims pray to. And you know what? That doesn’t bother me one bit. Good night.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Christiams and Muslims worship the same god. Christians and Jews worship the same god (Yahweh), but Muslims worship Allah, and I believe they’re very different. I know there’s a bit of a connection because Muslims also respect Jesus as a great prophet, but they don’t believe he’s the son of God (which makes me wonder why they’d respect him, as he kept telling everyone that he was the son of God . . . ).

It always infuriates me when people discuss Christian intolerance, so many equate “Christian” with “Catholic.” Catholicism is only one subsection of Christianity; all Protestant sects are Christian too. If you want an example of Christian intolerance, how about Martin Luther, founder of Lutheranism. Virulently anti-Semitic, he referred to Jews as “devils.”