I don’t suppose you’ve read about the British teacher in the Sudan who allowed a student named Mohammed to name his teddy bear Mohammed. She was in danger of getting flogged but now she will only spend 15 days in jail, guilty on the charge of insulting religion and inciting hatred. As that article explains, there were also people who wanted her killed. Hmmm. I guess I won’t say which object around my house I’ve given a certain name.
Now, meanwhile, there are thousands of atheists looking at this incident and thinking to themselves, “See, religion. It is all bad.” That’s an interesting response since I’m looking at the incident and I’m thinking it is bad, but I have a different conclusion, “See, Islam. Bad.” I could refine it further to exclude westernized Muslims and focus on the Sudanese, but the basic idea is that a reasonable person will only go as far as the evidence will allow. Over the last decade, I have noticed an increasing number of atheists arguing about the evils of religion and usually citing examples from Islam. Does that even begin to make sense? The whole notion of ‘religion’ is ridiculous on its face because of the many absurdities and abuses we find in Islam?
As a case in point, consider this gent posting on my discussion forum. He’s talking about the recent outcry in Turkey about the publication of Richard Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” which, to be fair, really does insult religion and incite hatred. Watch what happens:
For centuries it was a virtual death sentence to declare oneself as Atheist. The modern world is becoming more enlightened but religious fervour can still wield a powerful fist. Just look at a current news story where Turkey is attempting to prosecute the publisher of Richard Dawkin’s book ‘The God Delusion’ because it may be “an attack on religious values”.
Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Religion is of course an attack on rational values.
Not, ‘Islamic fervor’ but ‘religious fervour’ [sic]. You can easily find atheists continuing this rant of late in regards to the Christian reaction to Pullman’s Golden Compass. It really torques them off that some Christians have called for a boycott for the series. Oh, those evil, evil Christians. Don’t they know that good and decent people are obligated to buy the products perpetuating things they don’t agree with? Such intolerance! Such evil! See, religion bad!
Now, I haven’t heard a Christian call for Pullman to be flogged, or thrown in jail, or beheaded. Have you? It doesn’t matter to many atheists. They only have one brush and it is ten miles wide. For them, it has to be, because it is only by lumping Islam with Christianity as ‘religion’ that they can have their argument.
One of the clearest examples of this argument was in fact found in Dawkins’s Delusion. He talks about religious fanatics flying into the WTC towers on 9-11 and the calls for beheadings and, if I recall correctly, the fatwa on Rushdie. I agree, all bad. But he shows how Christianity is not immune to such abuses by showing… how a school board in Dover brought in a text book that de-emphasized evolution and focused on intelligent design. OOOOOOH the travesty! The agony! The HORROR of RELIGION! Elected officials did their job in a way that some people didn’t agree with! Why not un-elect them, if you don’t agree with them?
Why, that is exactly what happened. Was that enough for our tolerant atheists and Darwinists? Heaven’s no! A lawsuit, please! These damned evil Christians who were properly elected and then voted out- and went out peacefully without threats of jihad- proof positive of the dangers of religion! So, let’s slap a lawsuit on them, too, Freedom from Religion style, that’s the way tolerant unreligious people handle it. Much better.
Naturally, when you start digging into the question, the old standbys begin to emerge. Let’s not forget the Crusades or the Inquisition, for example. Yes, let’s not forget the evils of the past perpetuated while most of Europe’s population was illiterate and couldn’t read the Scriptures for themselves to see if what the leadership was saying was true. But we have evidence in modern times, too. Look at Eric Rudolph. And not just Rudolph… there is also… uh Rudolph… (give us a minute and we’ll think of another example…) oh yea, and those damn Christians trying to pass constitutional amendments and boycotting things they don’t like. Yea, that’s the SAME THING as flying into buildings, blowing oneself up in coffee shops, beheading infidels, and trying to hang, and if not flog, and if not flog, imprison a woman for 15 days when her student names a teddy bear after Mohammed.
The SAME thing.
So this is just a little note out to the atheists out there… I think reasonable Christians would agree that some discussion about things like events hundreds of years ago like the Inquisition is in order, but if you can’t tell the difference between a religion whose adherents flock to be suicide bombers and a religion whose adherents- now able to read their writings for themselves- generally work through the legislative process, you are completely discredited. You can call yourself ‘rational’ all you like, as did Dicoll in the forum thread I posted above, but really rational people know better.
Haven’t you noticed the historical trend where Christians who know their Scriptures well tend not to advocate violence in the name of their God or religion while Muslims who know their Scriptures well do?
Meanwhile, there will be atheists upset that I did not talk to them with ‘gentleness and respect.’ I used ALL CAPS, more evidence that Christianity is vicious and its proponents are unloving, which one can fully expect since religion is bad, bad, BAD. Beheadings, flogging, suicide bombing, ALL CAPS, and of course, my playful tauntings. All in a days work for those wicked religionists, ya know?