Friday, August 14, 2009

Flanders Does Islam

Why does just about every Evangelical blogger on the planet think he’s an expert on Islam? Have you ever noticed that? Any mention of Islam in the news and they’ll go off on the Qur’an and all the evil things it supposedly teaches. What’s so crazy about this is that these shmendriks can’t even agree about their own scriptures. Just get a group of them together and ask what the Bible says about, say, baptism or eschatology, and you’ll be amazed at all the fights that erupt. And yet they think they have credibility when telling us, with the utmost of confidence of course, that they understand the Qur’an?

Now I myself have never read the Qur’an. I’d like to. Just as I’d like to one day read Finnegan’s Wake. But you know how it is: too much to read, not enough time.

Nonetheless, I have a suspicion that most of what these Evangelicals say is total crap. More than anything else, I base this suspicion on the way I’ve seen them butcher their own holy book. Prooftext, prooftext, prooftext—’tis the mantra of most Christians today. Never mind understanding a passage’s historical context. Never mind trying to get at the author’s original intent. Your average Evangelical can twist almost any verse of Scripture to justify pretty much anything he does.

Now I know the Qur’an has some problem passages. But so does the Bible. In the Old Testament, for instance, Yahweh repeatedly commands his people to commit genocide, sometimes even demanding that they slaughter innocent children. And in the New Testament, we find Jesus commanding his followers to hate their parents and spouses and children. And we find the Apostle Paul telling women to submit themselves to their husbands. Yet these Evangelical bloggers, with all the chutzpah humanly possible, claim that it is Islam, not Christianity, that is the religion of violence, hatred, and injustice.

I’m not trying to impugn Christianity. And I’m not suggesting that there aren’t adequate explanations for the above passages. But, for crying out loud, why don’t these Christians extend the same charity to Muslim apologists that they would like for themselves? Why all the energy spent slandering Islam? It’s not like discrediting Islam will somehow prove Christianity.

If these Evangelicals want to see their numbers increase, if they want to lead others to Jesus, then they should try showing a little restraint, exercising a little humility. Because, when you get down to it, people join religious communities, not because of dogmas, not because of arguments, but because those communities make them feel loved and accepted. And this, it seems to me, is why so many young people are turned off of Christianity and why church attendance continues to fall.


  1. Why do Christians feel this way? Maybe because most of them wereled to believe Islam is out to get them for the past 8 years.

    Islam is, in fact, very threatening to Christianity. It is the third and newest installment in the monotheistic trilogy (making Christianity the unenviable middle child, neither the most ancient, nor the most up-to-date). Worst of all for Christians, they say Isa (or Jesus) was a human prophet, not a god. I suspect this is a major, if not the primary, source of the underlying ideological conflict (socio-economic situation withstanding).

    Without this stipulation, I suspect Islam would be more readily tolerated in the same manner as Mormonism: "wrong" but harmless. Of course, Mormons got their share of persecution, too, so it may just be that monotheism encourages one to be intolerant of diversity.

  2. i think all should be accepting and not judge.

  3. Wow, thank you for teaching me the word, "prooftext." I always wanted a word to describe taking quotes from the Bible out of context.

  4. Islam is, in fact, very threatening to Christianity. It is the third and newest installment in the monotheistic trilogy

    LOL, this makes me want to go to see Islam at the theater. ;)

    At least we accept that Star Wars is fiction!

  5. Of course the problem is that The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the bunch...

    Or, wait, are we talking about the new trilogy, where all of them suck? Maybe the Matrix trilogy, that had a halfway decent start then got completely and totally bollixed for no good reason.

    Yeah, that works.

  6. You are so right. Evangelicals can't seem to understand their own religion enough to come to a consensus and yet they are 'experts' on every other religion (I should know, I was one for many years before I became a Witch). If I talk to one more Christian who tells me I'm going to hell cuz Witches worship the Devil and sacrifice babies I'm going to scream. I've been a Witch for many years and have never prayed to Satan or sacrificed a baby. Jeez.

  7. Yes, Don, welcome! Great post!

  8. I have kind of an answer - my partial answer - to the important question that you ask here.

    Different strokes

    Ideas have results. Different ideas might have different results.
    It will not surprise someone such as you arguing for a different and better world by trying to persuade people to consider and adopt your own better ideas that such is true.

    While no evangelical myself, I should point out that the words and actions of a warlord who exhorted his followers to robbery, murder,and open-ended anti-Semitism might have different effects on his later followers than a teacher who urged his followers to love their fellow-men in perpetuity.

    Beliefs count. Ideas count. The words we use and hear used every day over long periods of time can make a huge difference to the way we live our lives and on the quality of those lives, and if you don’t believe me then just you ask any nigger if I’m wrong.

  9. Thanks Don.
    Now I understand why they always leave the same kind of comments.


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