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To: Stefan Stackhouse
My name is Dan Darling.

"And that brings me to the main point: Jesus told us that we can and should evaluate people and things based upon their fruits -- the actual deeds and their character."

I agree. However, this also means acknowledging those who are fighting on our side in this, such as those I mentioned in my last post.

"Islam isn't something new, we have almost 14 centuries of history. It is a history that does not make for very pleasant reading. It is a history of almost unremitting war, murder, rape, pilage, slavery, destruction, persecution, a glorification and catering to the very worst of male sexual impulses, an "ends justifies means" approach to the employment of every evil deed in the book to advance the territorial reach of Islam, and the list of evil goes on and on.

"Even Christianity, if broadly enough (although perhaps illegitimately) defined, has a history marred by those who have done bad things. But Christianity has been around for a lot longer, and has had more of a global reach than Islam. If "all religions are the same" and all are "just as bad", then one should expect the history of Christianity to be even worse. No objective comparison of the two religions can possibly support that conclusion."

First of all, I feel that you're adopting a rather negative view of Islam by listing only the negative actions perpetrated by Muslims (and this requires thinking outside the realm of Arab history) as opposed to the positive contributions to such things as science, art, and literature that Muslims have made throughout the centuries. If you looked at Christianity picking out only the bad stuff, you can come up with a similarly distorted view. You hear all the time about how Christians are and always have been evil, racist, sex-hating, homophobic, and oppressive people from any number of left-wing sources.

Christians (which I distinguish as being separate from Christianity because I'm not a big fan of collective judgement) have commited all of the atrocities you've ascribed to Islam:

* War - Check.
* Murder - Check.
* Slavery - Check.
* Destruction - Check.
* Persecution - Check.
* Glorification and Catering to the Worst Male Sexual Impulses - Check.
* Ends Justifies the Means Approach - Check.

"But Christianity has been around for a lot longer, and has had more of a global reach than Islam."

Indeed. But how did Christianity get that global advantage? Largely through conquest of the Americas, Central Asia, and Sub-saharan Africa. I honestly fail to see the distinction between the Spanish and Portugese conquests of the New World and that of the early Muslim caliphs.

"If 'all religions are the same' and all are 'just as bad,' then one should expect the history of Christianity to be even worse. No objective comparison of the two religions can possibly support that conclusion."

I'm not arguing for moral equivalence, but rather that the distinctions are a lot grayer than many people here are willing to recognize.

"Furthermore, one is faced with this fundamental fact: Whatever bad things "Christians" did, they did in disobedience to the clear teaching of the Christian scriptures, whereas by contrast there are MANY bad things that MANY Muslims have done that are clearly in obedience to the explicit commands of the Islamic scriptures."

Once again, "explicit commands" is a matter of exegesis. I don't view the Old Testament's prohibition against inter-marriage as applying to me, but a lot of Southern whites used to. Similarly, I doubt that our Turkish Freepers believe that the Qur'an tells them that they have to go out and kill infidels. I see no reason to doubt their sincerity in this regard, anymore than I doubt my own when it comes to intermarriage.

"What would I say to a Muslim to their face? I would say that I do not hate them, that I wish them no harm, that I am quite prepared to accept a 'live and let live' co-existence."

I really appreciate the clarification. In the end, that's all I'm asking for.
48 posted on 12/09/2002 4:43:37 PM PST by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare
Well, thanks for your post. I continue to challenge anyone to show me where in the New Testament (through which, according to Christian theology, the Old Testament must be understood) there is any command for any Christian:

- To engage in war against the inhabitants of territories that are majority non-Christian, just because they are not-Christian, and for the explicit purpose of making it Christian territory?

- To murder any non-Christian, just because they are non-Christian?

- To spread Christianity not by preaching and teaching and personal example, but by giving non-Christians the options of conversion or death?

- To not just tolerate slavery within carefully constrained limits, but to actively and aggressively go about enslaving as many people as possible from non-Christian populations?

- To rape non-Christian women, or to enslave and degrade them in harems against their will?

I am intimately familiar with all books of the New Testament, in multiple translations, and even to some extent in the original Greek. I do not recall anything commanding any of this. I do recall verses commending civil government to justly exercise its powers to protect the innocent and to uphold just law and order, and commanding Christians to peacefully and obediently live under such civil authority. But I don't see any way that this could be legitimately be stretched to justify any of the above.

Yes, many "Christians" have done lots of bad things. It is questionable in my mind to what extent they really are Christians, if the term is to actually mean anything other than whatever anyone fancies it to mean. It is certainly inconceivable to me how anyone could willingly do such evil and still have any thought theat they were somehow being obedient to the clear teachings of Christian scripture. I guess it is possible for some people to be terribly ignorant and misinformed, or more likely misled by evil and fraudulent men who were only interested in using Christianity for their own evil purposes. But is that Christianity's fault?

51 posted on 12/09/2002 8:35:47 PM PST by Stefan Stackhouse
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To: Angelus Errare; republicanwizard
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Dozens of young, disenchanted Muslims in the Netherlands likely are being recruited by radical groups for suicide missions worldwide, a Dutch internal intelligence service report said Monday.


Along with Rex the seeing eye dog, you will also be receiving a biography on Helen Keller, plus....a book "Learning to Drive" by Ray Charles, and a piano with Braille keys on it but wait ...THERES MORE!....One year of free piano lessons to give you something to do while you enjoy your blindness.

61 posted on 12/10/2002 8:00:56 AM PST by Delbert
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