Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Response to the Response to the Response

I came across an article linked on Facebook which was a response to the response to the murders in Paris last week. The author is concerned with the treatment doled out to Christianity in the wake of the massacre, and highlights a number of instances where Christianity is being lumped in with Islam as a religion which is dangerous to a humanistic society. Yet in the author's desire for others to exhibit a nuanced approach to the different religions he forgets to exhibit such an approach himself. He writes:

Many times I have been presented with the mantra of the New Fundamentalist Atheists, "Atheists don't fly planes into buildings". To which the obvious response is "Neither do Presbyterians, Anglicans, Catholics or charismatics – not even the most extremist wacko charismatics. When did you last hear of Benny Hinn suicide squads?" But those who don't think about the consequences and harm of their prejudices far too often rush into this demonization of all religious people.

This is a paragraph bereft of self-awareness. These words by another writer demonstrate why:

The Muslim world has suffered more casualties at the hands of the West in the name of "freedom" than the West has suffered at the hands of Muslims in the name of "Islam."
Moreover, it is precisely through the use of planes (remote control ones) that much of the damage to the Muslim world has been done by the West. Anglicans or charismatics or Presbyterians or Catholics may not fly planes into buildings, but we can be fairly certain that they fly them over the heads of Muslim men, women, and children with the intent to kill. There is no spectacle to this Western form of plane-based violence (mainly because it is done in relative secrecy and from a cold distance, and partly because the lives taken don't matter to us, as evidenced by our reaction to the tragedy in Nigeria), but is it any less cruel, any less fueled by "religious" belief?

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