Every Christian and Muslim promotes extremism. That’s not what we hear of course. We hear over and over again about how most Christians and Muslims are warm, wonderful and fantastic human beings, and it’s true. We hear about how they perceive god as wonderful and gather strength from their beliefs to live an ethical life which is also true, for the most part. We hear that the problems with the religion have always been the extremists. This is true; however, the extremists are not violating the god of Abraham, they are following his words as extremist intolerance, ignorance and dogmatism is the very foundation of the Bible and the Qur'an.
Many people have so much love within them that they are bursting at the seams. They are searching for a conduit of which to express this love. Many find this channel in Jesus Christ, a so called symbol of perfection and kindness. The problem is it isn’t the Jesus Christ from the Bible. It is a fantasy in the form of a handsome young white man with a beard and a halo. It is the projection of love on a picture or a cross that is nothing more than a mirage. The actual words of Jesus in the New Testament are irrelevant babblings for the most part, some good things and some bad things. And the pretty mask of Jesus cannot hide the intellectually and morally repulsive god of Abraham. The same principles apply to the Prophet Mohammad who has the split personality of the kindness projection of Jesus combined with the brutality of the god of the Old Testament. It’s much better to focus love on family, community, education, nature, culture, animals and other things that are actually real.
When confronted with horrible passages from their religious text, Muslims and Christians turn away. They don’t want to see it, they don’t want to know. They’ll accuse you of being hostile for bringing it up. The problem is just because they chose to ignore it doesn’t make these intolerant and murderous passages go away. And when they hand down the religion to their children, the text comes with it and the seeds of extremism are there. The parents may have escaped the poison, but it may infect their children or grandchildren.
For 300 years, Baghdad was the intellectual capital of the world. Islam ruled science. After war, bloodshed and extremism took over, those days are long gone. There will be no great scientific discoveries from an Islamist theocracy. So what happened? For a wonderful time the extremism of the religion was held at bay, but then the ignorance and bigotry of the religious writing fueled angry men. The poison that was held dormant was unleashed and spread like a plague. So called honor killings, hatred of women and blasphemy laws are the great modern day gift of the Qur'an. Until these religious writings can be cleansed of everything hateful and intolerant, the seeds of extremism will live and be passed down by even the noblest of followers. Christianity may have lost much of its intolerance and dogmatism in recent years, but the Bible is no less brutal and barbaric.
-James Kirk Wall
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