If you're paying attention to what's going on in the news, you know about the tragedy at Fort Hood, where a gunman killed 13 people and wounded 30. Some of the talk about what happened involves the fact that the killer was a Muslim, and supposedly he shouted "Alluha Akbar!" before firing his weapon. Also, there are reports that he was a subscriber of extremist Muslim beliefs. There does seem to be some debate as to what his motivations were, as it doesn't necessarily fit the profile of a typical religious terrorist.
But let's go with that - let's say that it was pure religious terrorism that motivated his actions. What prompted me to write this entry was an opinion article from the New York Post where the author believes that this incident should be referred to as an act of "Islamist Terror". After all, if that was indeed the shooter's motivation (and for argument's sake, let's just say that it is) then why pussyfoot around? Why be politically correct? Yeah, sure, there are all sorts of Muslims out there who are decent people and make positive contributions to our society - but hey, they need to deal with the fact that they have wackos within their belief system.
The only problem is that this doesn't go nearly far enough. Why just pick on the Muslims? Why not call it "religious terror"? After all, Islam is a religion, isn't it? I don't know of anybody who's ever flown a plane into a building because he was either fairly certain that there was no afterlife or that he felt that an afterlife was impossible to prove one way or another.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. "Hey, I'm a Christian, and even though we're a religion, that's TOTALLY different! After all, Muslims believe all sorts of crazy things. Did you know that they believe that there was once a talking snake? And that some Jewish guy who was raised as an Egyptian was able to magically part The Red Sea? Not only that - and this is really crazy, so hold on tight - they believe that a virgin was able to have a baby and that baby is going to come back to life some day! Whoo...nutty, nutty, nutty stuff."
I actually got into a mini-debate on Facebook about this. I stated that I didn't completely disagree with the Post's article. I don't think that we should pussy-foot around with our language. Then I asked if we should call those who bomb abortion clinics "Christian terrorists". What about parents who don't take their kids to the doctor as they choose to pray for them instead? What about the KKK?
I was quickly schooled on this point though, as DA JEEBUS™ never condoned any kind of violence. Mohammad? He was all about the shootin' and the killin'. I had never realized that The Bible was only filled with positive messages that were relevant and acceptable to a civilized society. After all, there's that whole passage about how you're not supposed to own slaves, right? And sure, there's all that stuff about killing every living thing (except the virgin girls) in the Old Testament, but DA JEEBUS™ clearly states that that sort of genocide is wrong. If you ever see anything in The Bible that seems messed up, you can just dismiss it as being the Old Testament, which doesn't count anymore - UNLESS, of course, it's the stuff that obviously still counts (like how to regard queers and whatnot). How do you know what stuff in the O.T. counts and what doesn't? Oh, it's all very clearly laid out and divided up so there's no way that anybody can be confused. I could be more specific, but if somebody points out something in The Bible you don't like, feel free to just yell, "Out of context!" That works too.
In all seriousness, I'd be lying if I tried to tell you that the Christian religion is currently having the same kinds of problems as the Muslim religion is having. However, when you look at this sort of an issue, and when you compare one religion to another, you don't get to just look at the last ten years. Shoot, you don't get to just look at the last 100 years. Both of these faiths are over a thousand years, and both of them must be looked at in their entire context in order to determine which one's more messed up than the other. My conclusion? When you take the broad view, they're both pretty screwed up. And before you Christians want to feel all smug about how much better your faith is than the faith of others, maybe you might want to take a more careful look at just what kind of atrocities have sprung from your religion.