Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Did you know that our country was founded by
I hope my point is clear; if you point to a bunch of fish, most don't leave the water because, hey, they're fish (boy do I hope no ichthyologists in the audience can contradict me) (HAH! I don't have an audience! I guess this is win/win! :-) ); most people have two legs because, hey, people... generally two legged, except for those who've been injured or were born without two legs. And our nation was founded by people who came over from Europe, where most people were Christian. They weren't our founders because they were good Christians (or deists)... they were generally Christians or deists because of their ancestry, of where they came from. Their religious beliefs were an effect, not a cause.
This started to upset me today, because I realized that there's a lot of people making a fuss about how we're facing threats from "Muslim terrorists". Islam is part of the issue, because it's not like we're facing threats from Christian terrorists, right?
Why isn't the war in Iraq a Christian Crusade? I mean, the Crusades were a long time ago, but why not pull that offensive term out, and ask why it's not fair for a Muslim in Saudi Arabia to complain bitterly about the Americans launching a "Crusade". I mean, didn't George W. Bush claim he received guidance from God? Didn't Ann Coulter remain a bestselling author after saying we should conquer Muslim nations and force them to convert to Christianity? Didn't a great many Christian leaders praise Bush as a good man? Why would it be unfair to think of this as an act of Christianity, to be paired up with the real Crusades?
Because America is generally peopled with Christians. Most folks you meet on the street are Christians. Not all of them go to church, but the church they don't go to is, generally, a Christian one. If you want to be big in politics in America, you generally have to be a Christian as well. If you claim that you want to promote values, if they aren't "Christian values", you're going to have a much harder sell.
There are people who think Mitt Romney can't get elected President. He is a Mormon, believes in Jesus, but believes that John Smith brought some additional information along... but he might not be Christian enough for the masses. If you want to be an important figure in America, well, maybe you don't have to be a Christian, but it can really hurt you if you're not. As such, that Christians have called for the war in Iraq doesn't tell us it's a Christian war; their Christianity is an effect, not a cause.
And in the Middle East, if you want to be important, you're probably going to be Muslim, and if you're not, you're probably going to have a harder sell. If you can't claim that connection with others, it can really hurt you.
We aren't being threatened by Muslims. We're being threatened by terrorists.
What brought this on? An idiotic article by Christopher Hitchens. Muslims are religious, he says, which is an extremist position to begin with. And then, well, people have used Islam as an excuse for horrible behavior - gee, which maps to Bush saying that he consulted God before the invasion pretty nicely, don't you think? (Let it be noted that Hitchens supported the invasion of Iraq. I don't read him much, but I don't recall hearing him complaining about the horrible extremism of Bush on this point.)
Should we be "afraid" of upsetting Muslims? No. We should respect all people, however, and when it's easy to be a Christian (you don't even have to follow Jesus' ideals!) you should be careful to make sure you don't stomp on another religion. When that religion is being portrayed by some people as being the cause of atrocities, you should be doubly careful. Anyone sensible knows that Islam isn't the cause of the threat, the cause of the threat is evil people who preach Islam because because it's who they are, an effect, not a cause. So, yeah, we should be doubly careful about being fair to Muslims... assuming we're interested in being fair at all.
Bets that they call it a crusade, internally?