Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Amish Terrorists Strike Again!

Yesterday, members of the Amish militant group Boko Haram killed eight villagers near Lake Chad for violating religious laws. This brings the death count to 469 in 2017 alone, all at the hands of Christian extremists.

Wait... no, no.

Might have been a different religion.

Look, I fully grant that not all Muslims are violent. I also grant the church doesn't have the best record with the LGBTQ community. Sure. And yes, sometimes Christians have shamed people for their conduct.

But let's not pretend that Christian extremism and Islamic extremism are anywhere near the same ball park.

The Amish are probably the most extreme version of what most would agree is legitimate Christianity in the U.S. today. I mean, they are reeeally fundamentalist. Yet, somehow, Amish terrorism rarely makes the news.

Probably because, you know, it doesn't exist.

But let's take it a step further. Many Muslims claim that extremist groups like ISIS, ISIL, and Al Qaeda aren't an accurate representation of the beliefs of Islam. Ok. Let's go with that. Let's take them at their word. The closest Christian equivalent would then be the Westboro Baptist Church, which is condemned by Christians across the board. The Westboro Baptist Church is awful, but it's still a group of two or three backwater families with no significant influence who say mean things.

There's a difference between saying gays will go to hell and TRYING TO SEND THEM THERE.

So, sure. Maybe some highly conservative Christian communities are oppressive. I've known Mormons who cause real emotional damage by shaming and excommunicating family members for being sexually promiscuous.

I think that's wrong. I also think that Mormonism isn't an accurate portrayal of biblical Christianity.

But if we're comparing extremes, let's do so honestly. Let's not pretend that fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity are anything near the same.

Violence isn't necessarily the inevitable outworking of religion. It's not even the inevitable outworking of fundamentalism. It depends on the religion. It depends on the fundamental. And the proof, as they say, is in the puddin'.

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