Sunday, February 15, 2009

Peaceful...? Religion...? Really?

Watch this video, then read. This post is really just a long comment on this video.

No clue what religion the guy in the middle is (Bradley Whitford: Actor), but it's pretty clear that the woman on the right (Sandy Rios: Fox News Contributor) is pretty much a run of the mill Christian of a relatively high ignorance level, while the guy on the left (Reza Aslan: Author of God but No God) is a relatively less ignorant but still ignorant Muslim.

Bottom line, while I was watching this video, I found my self growing tired of people just spouting bullshit. All four of them know a fair amount about religion, but I have to run a fact check on a few things that have been said.

Firstly, when Whitford says that the Christians have pretty much kicked the Muslim's ass, he only might be right. I'm sure that he's thinking about the Crusades where the battle was fought to a stalemate, but the Christians did the brunt of the killing through a lot of it. And probably the Inquisition as well. (I love that the fact that he's an actor gives him credibility).

However, he's forgetting about the dawn of the Muslim religion. Over the course of a couple hundred years Islam went from controlling one city to all of northern Africa, most of Eurasia, Spain, and were invading southern France.

Also, he's forgetting that modern numbers are much higher (when coming to the concept of "a lot of people") than the numbers of the medieval ages. It'd take some research, but I think the number of people who have died fighting on either side might be much closer than he thinks, especially if we only count when both sides consider the battle a Holy War.

Rios responded that it wasn't Christian teaching to kill. Well... maybe not to her interpretation of the Bible (in which she'd have to ignore some stuff), but it was the interpretation of the church in the middle ages which defined what Christian teaching was.

Not sure on the validity of this picture,
but it certainly reflects a lot of people's view

Secondly, Aslan states that no religion really teaches any sort of hate. He calls it bullshit. Quite frankly, that's bullshit.

Islam is not a peaceful religion, and Christianity is not a peaceful religion. Any religion that has God coming down to kick people's asses is by definition 'not peaceful'. So don't try to color it any other way. Christianity is a warrior's religion, and Islam is also a warrior's religion. Islam has the Lesser Jihad (and was even founded by a warrior), and Christianity has Revelation, Moses, Jacob, David, and the Ark of the Covenant.

I'd say that both religions have violent tenants. Denying that there's violence in Christianity or Islam is willful ignorance. In order to make Christianity or Islam peaceful, you'd have to rip out half their holy books.

Beyond that, I didn't have a lot of problems with what they said (Beyond that I disagreed with a lot of opinions expressed) but I did have a problem with the ignorance that comes with the worldview behind believing in a sentient god. Another blog post will be coming up on this soon.

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