The Fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity
Ever since I came out of the witnesses, I've become very political.
I've heard lots of arguments back and forth for many things.
In the U.S. there is the argument that it is "racist" to want to deny entry to Muslims. While there is freedom of religion, there is also the very valid concern of maintaining democracy and a justice system that is based on modern values.
We as exJW's constantly quote the PEW center for statistics on JW's such as: They are last place in the US for members of a religion that go to university, and second-last for poverty levels of members of a religion. We accept those statistics and mention them as proof of how damaging the JW's are.
Now, let's use the same center for some very scary statistics on Islam:
These statistics easily represent millions upon millions of people.
For example, in Afghanistan, 99% of people are Muslim. 99% of these (according to these stats) want Shariah.
That would mean that OVER THIRTY MILLION PEOPLE want Shariah to be the law of the land.
Now, here is my key proposition:
Christianity believes in both the New and the Old Testament. Depending on the individual religion, they cherry pick parts of the Old Testament that they want to follow, and so some religions say that gays are an abomination, that abortion should be illegal, etc. I don't know of any Christian religion that wishes to follow the following Bible texts literally:
(Deuteronomy 13:9, 10) 9 but you should kill him without fail. Your hand first of all should come upon him to put him to death, and the hand of all the people afterward. 10 And you must stone him with stones, and he must die, because he has sought to turn you away from Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves.
(Deuteronomy 17:5) 5 you must also bring that man or that woman who has done this bad thing out to your gates, yes, the man or the woman, and you must stone such one with stones, and such one must die.
(Leviticus 20:14) 14 “‘And where a man takes a woman and her mother, it is loose conduct. They should burn him and them in the fire, in order that loose conduct may not continue in YOUR midst.
(Leviticus 20:10-13) 10 “‘Now a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife is one who commits adultery with the wife of his fellowman. He should be put to death without fail, the adulterer and the adulteress as well. 11 And a man who lies down with his father’s wife has laid bare the nakedness of his father. Both of them should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them. 12 And where a man lies down with his daughter-in-law, both of them should be put to death without fail. They have committed a violation of what is natural. Their own blood is upon them. 13 “‘And when a man lies down with a male the same as one lies down with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing. They should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them.
etc etc... you get the point.
There IS death penalty in the US for murder and some other crimes such as treason, rape, kidnapping, etc... but in general it is only applied for murder. Applying the death penalty for adultery would be considered "savage", and in fact, the US is the only western country with a death penalty at all. (But my focus is not the death penalty itself, it's the CRIMES for which it can be applied).
Why are the nastiest parts of the Old Testament ignored?
Because of texts like these:
(Romans 6:14) 14 For sin must not be master over YOU, seeing that YOU are not under law but under undeserved kindness.
Essentially, it is understood that Christians are NOT under the Mosaic Law, and therefore they feel free to ignore such commands.
THERE IS NO SUCH THOUGHT IN ISLAM!!
The Koran and the Old Testament, in many ways read the same.
If someone wanted to implement Old Testament rules such as stoning for adultery, I'd be scared shitless!
The "theocracy" that some extreme right wing Christians would like to implement is not as scary as implementing Shariah law! Although both are bad, definitely Shariah is worse!!
So I have come to the conclusion that it is a very reasonable and sensible thing to be wary of too much immigration from people who would like Shariah to be the law of the land. Would you allow Puritans/1400's Catholics who wanted to implement murdering those of other religions into your country?
Qisas crimes: Murder 11 Arguments against the death penalty for the offence of murder in Islam: victim forgiveness and restitution 13 ‘Most serious crimes’ threshold 15 Hudud crimes – ‘claims against God’ 15 Zina: adultery 17 Riddah: apostasy 22 Hirabah: ‘waging war against God’ or brigandage or banditry or robbery 24 Ta‘zir crimes 25 Other death penalty applicable offences 26 Drug offences 26 Homosexuality 27 Sorcery and witchcraft 28
You are right in saying that they are fundamentally different.
Many people (mainly left people) say that we should not make a difference between the religions, we all have freedom of religion!
there is a very, very big problem in that reasoning.
a fundamental and extremely important part of freedom of religion is the freedom to change your religion. When not all religions act the same on this principle, then we should not say they are equal and deserve the same status.
for instance, all mainstream christian denominations accept and respect when somebody leaves or change faith
JW's I see them as somewhat in the middle, they accept it but do not respect it in my eyes (because of shunning etc).
islam is not accepting it and not respecting it if somebody leaves the faith
so NO the religions are not equal
when i debate this with pro-muslims at university, they say that what I say is discrimination to the muslims.
in fact, it is not. The left people are the ones accepting islam and the fact that islam takes some rights from muslims away
i think the individual rights are superior than the rights we give to religions
if we choose to give muslims the opportunity to have the same freedom as we have, which they 100% deserve, then we MUST take a stance against islam
if a religion does not accept certain rights for individuals, the religion must change. But Islam will not change, so we will have to treat that religion differently than religions that DO respect ALL the FREEDOM rights that EVERY individual has, every muslim, every christian, everybody.
i am against islam, but in no single way against muslims, they are victims of this oppressing religion and should be helped whenever possible
Well, the problem is, that you have a religion where there are various levels of following it, and it only takes a little for a "moderate" Muslim to become a religious fanatic. Very similar to many, many cases of JW's that lead a double life or are "weak" and then suddenly become the obnoxious pious-sneer.
Except that instead of preaching and being a dickhead, Muslims can become jihadists...
I don't think there is any important difference between fundamentalist muslims and fundamentalist Christians. The only reason they seem different is because most of the nations in which Christianity is the dominant religion have separation of church and state, whereas most muslim countries (Turkey being the only exception I am aware of) are theocracies.
Also, the majority of Sunni muslims these days are either Wahabist or strongly influenced by that ideology. Wahabism was a movement founded in the early 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, an (in my opinion) mentally unbalanced fanatic who was probably a pawn of British intelligence, who used him and his insane ideology to destroy the islamic world. Wahabism proports to purify Islam of all 'innovations' that it acquired after Muhammad, but all it really does is strip islam of everything humane, everything beautiful, everything that makes it a tolerable way of life.
So yes, basically I agree that modern Islam is a serious threat to western enlightenment values like democracy, reason, science, and religious liberty.
But I think these values are equally threatened by fundamentalist Christianity. As far as I'm concerned there is no difference between radical muslims and Fundamentalists, except that the muslims are far more forthright in their declared goals and what methods they are willing to use in order to attain them.
The founding fathers of the USA who were virtually all Christians, did everything in their power to prohibit a "State Religion" because they believed in the New Testament concept of a sin nature. Because of this biblical belief, they knew that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They tried to disperse authority as much as possible among the electorate and government.
There was no separation of Church and State like many like to try and portray. The Christian faith was the foundation period. Morals, ethics, and laws were all based and rooted in the Word of God and were found at every level of every branch of government and school house. They tried to incorporate and balance the OT & the NT models of Law vs. Mercy into its statues.
They gave birth to incredible concepts that:
1. All people were created equal
2. Freedom wasn't something granted to you by a ruler (religious or secular), it was bestowed on you by the Almighty at conception
3. People different than you have intrinsic value because they were made in the image of God
4. There was no need to micro-manage everyone because people believed in a personal judgement after you die
5. God paid a big price to allow people the agency of free moral choice. Consequences not elimination should be emphasized when possible.
6. The Christian faith was to be lived out peacefully, non-violently. Wars were for defence, not for the spread of a particular form of government or religion.
A Lot of our history fell short of these ideals, much of our history rose up to the occasion too though.
Islam, from what I know of it seems the antithesis of the traditional American (and now much of the west in general) value system.
It seeks a state religion through Sharia Law. From its beginning, it spread by violent conquest. By contrast Christianity took down the most powerful military machine the world had ever known - Rome: without a single sword being drawn. The two systems couldn't be more different.
I know you like being apologetic for Christianity, but no. It's got its share of really horrible things. The point is twofold:
1) Christianity has moved on from being horrible, as in the Middle Ages.
2) More importantly, IT HAS AN OUT. It doesn't HAVE to follow the Mosaic Law, which is absolutely horrible and at par with the Koran, or possibly worse. Islam doesn't have an "out", unless you consider the interpreters of the law, similar to Jews. Most interpreters of the Jews are extremely liberal, whereas the interpreters of the Muslims aren't.
Islam needs hundreds of years to "grow up". It needs to.
Christianity has moved on from being horrible, as in the Middle Ages.
Yes, of course... I get your point.
Jesus readjusted people's thinking regarding Law. The problem was on the inside according to Jesus, not on the outside.... a sin nature that operates alongside of our own will, and many times foreign and antagonistic to it.
The apostate Catholic Church jettisoned the idea of being born again (which is the Christian solution to the problem) once Rome's City Overseer filled the power vacuum when the Capitol was moved away from Rome to Constantinople.
This consolidated power, both religious and secular into one super state. It produced a thousand years of unbelievable persecution against bible believers. (Biblical Christians as opposed to cultural Christians)
The founders of the USA, fresh out of a thousand years of persecution from religious super-states, wanted nothing more than to create a safe place to live according to Christian ideas, free from the heavy hands of consolidated religious and secular authority.
The idea that the government would now allow millions of people to quickly migrate here who aren't even cultural Christians, and would probably like nothing more than to create another religious super state to enslave its opponents, is antithetical to every single founding father of this nation I'm sure.
A good post I loveTTATT2 , the western democratic nations are going to rue the day they let in so many muslims.
It may take a few more years untill it really sinks in
As you rightly say Christianity had an "out" in the New Testament and Islam has no such "out" of their barbaric practice against any who dont tow the line.