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lostone

Islam v Christianity do we have an apples to apples comparison

298 posts in this topic

I know I'm not really ready for this thread.  This is from a comedian.  I would have put this in the trump thread but didn't want to muddy the topic further.  This hits on my CINO reference.  Credit Jeramy mclellen  

 

> Every time there's a terrorist attack, people start making comparisons between Islam and Christianity. And every time, they commit the same fallacy. I see it all the time. When they say "Islam" they mean everything: spirituality, morality, codes of conduct, political structures, legal systems, economic models, Arab foreign policy, actions committed by state agents or those seeking to establish a state, etc.
But when they say "Christianity" they mean something else. They mean a private, depoliticized spirituality—namely, Christianity as a set of beliefs and (sometimes) personal morality. Then, when you compare the two, it seems like Christianity is more peaceful. That’s because you aren't comparing like to like.

>Here's why that's a mistake. Over the past several hundred years, we Christians have effectively outsourced all of our institutions to the nation-state. For the most part, Christianity no longer has a direct role on the economy, politics, or the legal system. In many ways, that's a good thing. I reject theocracy. The downside is that we then act like our faith isn't to blame for the carnage committed by those institutions. Corporate capitalism, mass incarceration, the military-industrial complex, wars of conquest, police brutality, drone strikes. None of those are seen as an indictment of Christianity.

>Think about this: What if the US published the names and religions of the Navy Seals who recently massacred Yemeni civilians? What would people say? They’d probably say something like, "Well sure they were Christian, but they didn't do it BECAUSE of Christianity." OK, now go to their churches. Listen to their prayers and sermons. Listen to the hymns and look at the flags on the wall. You'll find a lot of religious rhetoric in support of military service to the state, with the implication that it's moral to do whatever the state demands, which is ITSELF a theological belief. But somehow Christianity isn't to blame.

>It's still us doing it, though. We just don't think we're doing it *as Christians.* We kill civilians for the state, imprison nonviolent offenders, and financially exploit the vulnerable. "But not BECAUSE of our faith!" we cry. But the belief that politics, the law, and finance are not answerable to one's faith is itself a theological belief. "Jesus gets to say who I can kill, unless it's for the government" is a theological belief.

>One more example: Suicide bombers. Some Muslims believe that suicide bombing is acceptable in certain circumstances. That's horrible. But suicide bombing is just one type of war crime. If you poll American Christians to see what they think about nuking civilians in war, they generally support it. "But that’s not a religious belief!" they cry. "They don't believe that nuking civilians will help them get into heaven!" But again, the belief that nuking civilians will not result in your eternal ****ation is a theological belief about heaven. Both are religious.

>So when comparing Christianity and Islam, either compare the private spiritualities/morality of the believers or compare the actions of state actors. Don't compare the private spirituality of one with the statist actions of the other.

>By the way, it's not even clear to me that American Christians are Christians. We're capitalist hedonistic war-loving statists who also have random beliefs about Jesus. That's our religion. Compare that to Islam.

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Wait, a comedian wrote that?  That's one of the most thoughtful and insightful treatment of this topic that I've seen.  Not that I necessarily agree with everything, but it reflects a level of deep thinking that is extremely rare.  So first off, thanks for posting!  And second, that was written by a comedian???

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I would also point out that the idea goes beyond apples to oranges, but also involves something of a double standard.

Here is a good example:  There is a lot of talk about "political Islam", which sometimes means theocracy (sharia law as government policy) and sometimes means simply Muslims prefering to elect Muslim political leaders.  

Neither of those are good, necessarily.  But the latter is no different from Christians in the United States refusing to consider non-Christians for elected office.  We even have some politicians (looking at you, Ben Carson) who openly say that a non-Christian is unfit for public office.  

And I've seen people on these very boards claim that the American government IS a Christian government and that Christian doctrine should be U.S. Law.  Which is no different to me than Muslims who want Sharia law as official government policy.  

I don't like either of those things, but my point is that at least some of the people making this comparison themselves are borderline Christian theocrats.  

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2 minutes ago, Vogelgryff said:

032-dr-house-on-reason.jpg

An overwhelming majority of our major scientific advances over the past 2000-3000 years have come from very devout religious people.

It's wrong to stereotype all members of a particular religion.  It's just as wrong to stereotype and attack all people who have religious beliefs.  Those two things are the exact same form of bigotry.

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">By the way, it's not even clear to me that American Christians are Christians. We're capitalist hedonistic war-loving statists who also have random beliefs about Jesus. That's our religion. Compare that to Islam."

Wow. That's about as accurate as you could get when it comes to religion and America. We are only Christian in pretense.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Wait, a comedian wrote that?  That's one of the most thoughtful and insightful treatment of this topic that I've seen.  Not that I necessarily agree with everything, but it reflects a level of deep thinking that is extremely rare.  So first off, thanks for posting!  And second, that was written by a comedian???

Yep, found this while going through a few Reddit posts.  I was surprised as well.  

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6 hours ago, lostone said:

I know I'm not really ready for this thread.  This is from a comedian.  I would have put this in the trump thread but didn't want to muddy the topic further.  This hits on my CINO reference.  Credit Jeramy mclellen  

 

> Every time there's a terrorist attack, people start making comparisons between Islam and Christianity. And every time, they commit the same fallacy. I see it all the time. When they say "Islam" they mean everything: spirituality, morality, codes of conduct, political structures, legal systems, economic models, Arab foreign policy, actions committed by state agents or those seeking to establish a state, etc.
But when they say "Christianity" they mean something else. They mean a private, depoliticized spirituality—namely, Christianity as a set of beliefs and (sometimes) personal morality. Then, when you compare the two, it seems like Christianity is more peaceful. That’s because you aren't comparing like to like.

>Here's why that's a mistake. Over the past several hundred years, we Christians have effectively outsourced all of our institutions to the nation-state. For the most part, Christianity no longer has a direct role on the economy, politics, or the legal system. In many ways, that's a good thing. I reject theocracy. The downside is that we then act like our faith isn't to blame for the carnage committed by those institutions. Corporate capitalism, mass incarceration, the military-industrial complex, wars of conquest, police brutality, drone strikes. None of those are seen as an indictment of Christianity.

>Think about this: What if the US published the names and religions of the Navy Seals who recently massacred Yemeni civilians? What would people say? They’d probably say something like, "Well sure they were Christian, but they didn't do it BECAUSE of Christianity." OK, now go to their churches. Listen to their prayers and sermons. Listen to the hymns and look at the flags on the wall. You'll find a lot of religious rhetoric in support of military service to the state, with the implication that it's moral to do whatever the state demands, which is ITSELF a theological belief. But somehow Christianity isn't to blame.

>It's still us doing it, though. We just don't think we're doing it *as Christians.* We kill civilians for the state, imprison nonviolent offenders, and financially exploit the vulnerable. "But not BECAUSE of our faith!" we cry. But the belief that politics, the law, and finance are not answerable to one's faith is itself a theological belief. "Jesus gets to say who I can kill, unless it's for the government" is a theological belief.

>One more example: Suicide bombers. Some Muslims believe that suicide bombing is acceptable in certain circumstances. That's horrible. But suicide bombing is just one type of war crime. If you poll American Christians to see what they think about nuking civilians in war, they generally support it. "But that’s not a religious belief!" they cry. "They don't believe that nuking civilians will help them get into heaven!" But again, the belief that nuking civilians will not result in your eternal ****ation is a theological belief about heaven. Both are religious.

>So when comparing Christianity and Islam, either compare the private spiritualities/morality of the believers or compare the actions of state actors. Don't compare the private spirituality of one with the statist actions of the other.

>By the way, it's not even clear to me that American Christians are Christians. We're capitalist hedonistic war-loving statists who also have random beliefs about Jesus. That's our religion. Compare that to Islam.

Left wing red meat.  Anti-capitalist, anti-Christian, Islamist, apologetics.

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Just now, Flip Flop said:

Address foolishness according to its folly.

Oh yeah, we as a Christian nation really follow Jesus's teachings.  I am glad you pointed that out.

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Posted (edited)

You dont get to have both sides of the argument.  Either America is a Christian nation or it isn't.  Which side do you fall.  Do we have separation of church and state, or not?

That you would post such a poorly reasoned arguent as somehow brilliant shows that you arent interested in critically thinking on the topic.

Edited by Flip Flop

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4 minutes ago, Flip Flop said:

You dont get to have both sides of the argument.  Either America is a Christian nation or it isn't.  Which side do you fall.  Do we have separation of church and state, or not?

I believe 100% in the separation of church and state.  That separation is what keeps us from having things like sharia law or what Europe went through in the Middle Ages.  You act like we don't make it a prerequisite that our president be Christian or did you forget how people tried to question if Obama was one or not during the election and tried to hold that against him.  (I assume you will bring up trump, trump was a contradiction to the people that said it mattered when it really didn't)

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It does seem like God is every tenth word out of Trump's mouth when he's giving one of his "I'm very presidential, everyone says so" speeches.

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8 minutes ago, lostone said:

I believe 100% in the separation of church and state.  That separation is what keeps us from having things like sharia law or what Europe went through in the Middle Ages.  You act like we don't make it a prerequisite that our president be Christian or did you forget how people tried to question if Obama was one or not during the election and tried to hold that against him.  (I assume you will bring up trump, trump was a contradiction to the people that said it mattered when it really didn't)

Oh, I see.  Voters want certain kinds of political leaders is the same as totalitarian government.  Its all so clear.  

 

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If I felt that America is a bad country, it might cloud my judgement on capitalism and Christianity too.

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3 minutes ago, Flip Flop said:

If I felt that America is a bad country, it might cloud my judgement on capitalism and Christianity too.

If I felt like we can do no wrong, maybe I'd feel the same.

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, lostone said:

If I felt like we can do no wrong, maybe I'd feel the same.

Does anyone think that America can do no wrong? 

Edited by Flip Flop

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1 hour ago, Flip Flop said:

Does anyone think that America can do no wrong? 

You make it seem that way.  Like you are discounting the bad of America and how we do capitalism to make a point.  Acknowledging that we have played a part in creating this CF in the Middle East.  Let's be real here, people have been justifying hate through the Bible as long as this country has been founded.  They continue to do so even now.  The hate and fear I see coming from christians as of late is concerning.  Moral superiority has been through out the door with the acceptance of the current administration.  

You act like I can't disagree with CINOs and not be Christian.  We treat God as some magic genie who will grant our wishes.  We selectively follow Jesus's teachings.

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26 minutes ago, lostone said:

You make it seem that way.  Like you are discounting the bad of America and how we do capitalism to make a point.  Acknowledging that we have played a part in creating this CF in the Middle East.  Let's be real here, people have been justifying hate through the Bible as long as this country has been founded.  They continue to do so even now.  The hate and fear I see coming from christians as of late is concerning.  Moral superiority has been through out the door with the acceptance of the current administration.  

You act like I can't disagree with CINOs and not be Christian.  We treat God as some magic genie who will grant our wishes.  We selectively follow Jesus's teachings.

I didnt start a thread on the premise that bombing children at pop concerts is equivalent to voters having standards for whom they will vote.  You are projecting alot here about selective following of Jesus's teachings.  No one needs to make a thread about how dangerous Islamic terrorists are based on tenuous reasoning.  Just pick up a newspaper and you cant miss it.

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6 minutes ago, Flip Flop said:

I didnt start a thread on the premise that bombing children at pop concerts is equivalent to voters having standards for whom they will vote.  You are projecting alot here about selective following of Jesus's teachings.  No one needs to make a thread about how dangerous Islamic terrorists are based on tenuous reasoning.  Just pick up a newspaper and you cant miss it.

And I am more concerned about the Portland incident happening again that the other.  

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We're at a point where we're picking between what kinds of artificiality we're comfortable with when voting for representatives, and we're usually picking between self-identified Christians based on who disgusts us the least. I don't really see the point in blaming the religion for that, but the cynicism and the satisfaction with America as a country that perpetuates suffering and conflict might have something to do with voters needing politicians to say they have beliefs in common with the voters about the nature of the universe and humanity so we can pick which ones come closer to simulating a belief system we can personally identify with. It's not a theocracy so much as it's a moral beauty pageant where the contestants and their friends can talk **** about the other contestants.

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32 minutes ago, lostone said:

And I am more concerned about the Portland incident happening again that the other.  

You dont have to choose.  You can oppose both of them.  

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