The Problem With Monotheism
Why the world's two largest faiths, Christianity and Islam, have a tendency to 'turn evil.'
But why is it now Muslims in a literal sense acting out with violence?
I don't want to equate suicide bombing with Charles Stanley's sermons, though I have a lot of trouble with Charles Stanley's sermons. But let's take a step back to a few years ago. We had 20,000 documented cases of rape and murder of Bosnian Muslim women and children at the hands of Serbian Christians.
Were they acting as Christians?
They certainly were united and attacking people because they were Muslims. And there were atrocities that went the other way, too--it was so bad that the U.S. Government and many Christians were telling the Serbians "stop this."
But were the Serbians saying, "I want to glorify Jesus and therefore I'm going to rape Muslim woman?"
There were pretty strong statements by Serbian Orthodox and Catholic leaders supporting whatever was being done in the name of Serbian nationalism. The church was endorsing it. They weren't endorsing rape and murder, but they were also denying it was happening. It was a blind nationalism that was linked with religion. It's not quite so easy to say Christian violence just happened during the Crusades.
Look at thePhalangists
in Lebanon. Who were the people who perpetrated theslaughter of Sabra and Shatila
? Those were Christians in Lebanon.
I don't want to be saying all this is equal, but I also want to say that there is a clear pattern inall
religious communities. People tend to compare the ideal of their own religion with the flawed reality of everyone else's. So Christians tend to say, "That was in the past" or "We don't really believe that." Here's the classic example in recent memory-Jerry Falwell on 60 Minutes last fall said that Jesus taught a gospel of love, but thatMuhammad was a terrorist
I believe Jesus taught a gospel of love. But if you happen to have been Jewish for the last 2,000 years and on the receiving end of that "love," it certainly hasn't felt very good. That's not ancient history. The Holocaust happened in the last century. It wasn't done in the name of Christianity, but it was done against Jews by a predominantly Christian country. And it was the culmination of a long history of assault on Jews by Christians.