Now, far be it from me to defend Islam. Â I'm not giving them a free pass. Â From my atheistic frame of reference, there is very little distinction between the various forms of theism. Â They're all equally false and potentially dangerous, and for very similar reasons. Â But this blog isn't about criticizing Islam. Â It's about criticizing Way of the Master. Â And they're Christians.
While criticizing Muslims for failing to acknowledge that their scripture encourages (or even requires) violence, cruelty, and murder, it seems that Mr. Friel is engaging in a nearly-identical game of disingenuous dialog. Â The Christian Bible is also chock-full of passages encouraging violence, cruelty, and murder. Â I could sit here all day quoting Old Testament war epics and ridiculously extreme punishments for relatively minor crimes (remember, folks: talking back to your parents is a capital offense), but I don't have that kind of time. Â Besides, Mr. Friel would most likely dismiss them as being "old covenant" or "pretaining to those people at that time" and having no relevance to us. Â Unfortunately for Todd, Jesus disagreed. Â Old Testament laws, in all their absurd cruelty, were just peachy with Junior, according to Matthew 5:17. Â In 15:4-7, he criticizes parents for not killing their disobedient children. Â Todd, have your children always been obedient? Â If not, have you killed them? Â For shame!
Let's see what else we can find in the New Testament:
Matthew 10:34-37: Â Junior came "not to bring peace, but a sword," and will set family members against each other. Â Doesn't sound like anyone I'd want to follow.
Luke 19:27: Â "But those enemies of mine who did not me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me." Â How very radical Muslim of Jesus. Â I'm sure his father is very proud of the little terrorist. Â Chip off the old block, and all.
Luke 10:10-15: Â God is a like slave-owner who beats his slaves "with many blows." Â Junior apparently approves.
These are only a few examples. Â The letters of Paul are particularly atrocious. Â In fact, according to an objective analysis done by the folks over at Skeptic's Anotated Bible, there are 857 passages condoning cruelty and violence in the Bible, while the Koran contains a mere 494. Â Granted, it's important to note that the Bible is a larger volume than the Koran, and in terms of percentages, the Koran does come out ahead. Â But still, that's 857 splinters in Christanity's eye that really need to be addressed before criticizing Islam for exactly the same damn thing.