It’s a mistake to paint all religious people or, for that matter, all religions with a single broad brush. Like non-believers, there is a great deal of diversity amongst the religious…in fact, even more than amongst the heathen crowd. Certainly, not all religions are created equal. Accepting that as true, would it not follow that not all religions present the same dangers and/or threats to mankind?
I understand that one must accept the initial premise (that some religions are more dangerous) in order to see or accept where I am going with this. I’ll back my assertions to the best of my ability, but I ask you, the reader, to accept responsibility for being informed on the topics I am about to discuss.
To anyone who has access to news media, it should be apparent that Islam is more of a negative influence and presents more of a physical danger to modernity than Christianity or Judaism. This is not to downplay or minimize the dangers of Christianity or Judaism, but Islam as a whole is an entirely different kettle of fish.
One can, of course, point out the history of the Catholic Church and the barbarity of the Inquisition and the Crusades. There is no denying that the Church of Rome has had a bloody and brutal past. There is also no denying that Christianity in general has evolved over the centuries and has not entirely escaped the positive influences of Western social trends and movements. The Renaissance, The Enlightenment, industrialization, and the advances of science have all left their mark on modern Christianity. Fundamentalism, (as expressed in creation science, for example) is a relatively recent invention, when looking at the total timeline of Christianity. It is also, for the most part, a home-grown phenomenon and does not have as strong a hold in the rest of the world. While there is no denying that Christian fundamentalism has an unhealthy and disproportionate influence in the politics of this nation, they do not represent the same type of threat to the fabric of society as fundamentalist Muslims do. The difference is not just one of degree, but of kind. You will not see a Catholic priest brandishing a sword during a sermon, crying out for the blood of Jews and infidels. This type of scene, however, is all too common in the Muslim world.
I shouldn’t need to go into a history of Islam, nor should I need to point out its fundamental differences (sorry, no pun intended) from Christianity and Judaism. To the uninitiated, I suggest that you spend some time reading up on Islam and how it was spread. I urge you to familiarize yourself with Muslim cultures (plural) and their treatment of women, animals and infidels. If you do your homework, you cannot escape the fact that Islam is a religion of a distinctly different flavor than the other two monotheistic cults of Abraham. While all of them are despicable, Islam undoubtedly presents a greater and more immediate danger to man’s overall well-being.
I cannot and do not suggest, however, that those atheists who have made it their vocation to stand up to fundamentalist Christianity in our backyard should suddenly shift gears and jump on the anti-Islamic bandwagon. In order to keep our nation from slipping backwards into idiotic oblivion, we need to operate on several different fronts and pressure needs to be maintained on destructive Christian elements here in the U.S.
I would argue, however, that the threat of radical Islam has been largely ignored by the activist American atheist demographic and requires the dedicated attention of another portion of our community. I have my own thoughts as to how this should be implemented (practically) here in the U.S., but that is a topic for another post…