Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stop Pretending

Almost as regularly as if it were a law of nature, whenever someone points out that there is something deeply wrong with a religion which produces so many evil, murderous people, enlightened folk on the left reply by reminding us that other religions (i.e. Christianity) have also produced evil, murderous people. After all, they declaim as they activate their historical dredges, what about the Crusades 900-1000 years ago and the Inquisition 600-700 years ago.

Matt Walsh has had quite enough of this silliness and has penned an amusing riposte to this foolish "religious equivalence" argument which I urge readers to check out in its entirety. Here are some especially pungent passages:
....Speaking of amounting to nothing, I vented my frustration on Twitter, because what else can I do? I said I’m sick of hearing about the great benefits of multiculturalism. Europe is drowning in a tidal wave of unassimilated Muslims who are actively hostile to Europe’s culture, or what’s left of it. And for their trouble, Europeans are being gang raped in the street at night and blown to pieces during their morning commute.

Diversity is a strength, they tell me, but I have seen no evidence to support this doctrine. Diversity of thought might be a strength, but even then it is only a strength if the thought is rational and directed towards truth. The nonsensical thoughts of relativistic nincompoops are not valuable or helpful.

Similarly, racial and cultural diversity does not enrich us if we lose our identity in the process. When you throw a bunch of people with diametrically opposed beliefs and values and priorities into a food processor and hit frappe, you end up with a smoothie that tastes an awful lot like the collapse of western civilization and the rise of barbarians.

I didn’t say all of that on Twitter, what with the character limit, but that was my point. I also said I’m sick of the religious equivalences. Every time Muslims kill a bunch of people, secular liberals start in with their standard attempts to prove Christians are just as bad. It seems nothing will ever convince them that perhaps Islam is somewhat unique in its capacity for violence and atrocities.

So, naturally, my protests against equivalences were met with equivalences. A bunch of leftists told me Christianity and Islam are equal because of, among other things, a series of 11th century military campaigns. And so on and so on and so on. But it got even more absurd. Leftists are so desperate to draw parallels between Christianity and Islam that one of them attempted to mitigate the Brussels attack by reminding me about the Christians who took over a nature reserve in Oregon a few weeks ago.

Me: “Muslims keep blowing things up.”

Liberals: “Yeah but Christians trespassed on a wildlife refuge in Oregon!”

God help us.

I know this is probably a futile effort, but, in light of this umpteenth Islamic terrorist attack this year, I want to concentrate on this Christianity vs. Islam comparison for a moment. I know I probably will never convince leftists to stop idolizing multiculturalism and diversity, but perhaps I can convince them to stop pretending Islam and Christianity are on the same playing field.

OK, I know I will not convince them of that either, but allow me to waste my breath anyway.

Let’s start with the fact that we knew the terrorists in Brussels were Muslim without waiting for anyone to confirm it. We always know it without being told. Leftists know it too, but they haven’t stopped to ask themselves, if Islam is a peaceful religion, why are Muslims literally the only people in the world setting bombs off in subway stations and airports and theaters and embassies and restaurants. Spin this anyway you like, but right now the global terrorism market is a Muslim monopoly. We are certain a terrorist attack was carried out by Muslims the moment the bomb explodes. Shouldn’t that tell you something?

There is no Christian terrorism epidemic. That’s why nobody stops and says, “Wait, maybe the Brussels airport is covered in blood and debris because a white Presbyterian was trying to make a point about Jesus!” Nobody says that because there is literally zero chance of that being the case. Zero chance. It’s not possible. On the extraordinarily rare occasion that a Christian launches a lethal attack against a civilian target in the name of his faith, it’s almost always against something like an abortion clinic. And even then, it almost never happens. The last one was months ago, and the dude was psychotic, not religious.

Still, if you count him, that makes about one attack every decade or so, usually with no causalities, carried out against a facility that executes children. Compare that with the endless stream of massive assaults waged in the name of Islam against entirely random and innocent civilians sitting in restaurants or waiting in lines at airports or subway stations. You can’t compare them. There is no comparison to be made.

Indeed, the fact that abortion clinics don’t have to be fortified and surrounded by 40 armed guards every hour of the day shows just how incredibly effective Christianity is at preventing its adherents from resorting to violence in its name. So, yes, Christianity can lecture other religions about violence. Christianity is much better at standing against violence. Christianity is much more effective at advancing peace in the world. Christianity is just a better religion. It’s better. In every way. It’s better.

And it’s better not only because far fewer acts of evil are performed in its name, but because many more acts of love and mercy are performed in its name. No other religion sends people out to every decaying and forgotten corner and crevice of this Earth to heal the sick, serve the needy, and minister to the hopeless. No other religion runs nearly as many hospitals, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc.

If you find a group of foreigners digging a well in Guatemala or handing out mosquito nets in Uganda, they’re probably Christians. On the other hand, if you find a group of foreigners planting explosives in a subway station, they’re probably Muslims.

Christians themselves are flawed, but the faith has had, to put it mildly, an unmistakably positive influence on the world. Right now, as we speak, there are millions upon millions of people across the planet who would not be eating, taking medicine, or sleeping in a warm bed without the concerted efforts of Christians acting at the behest of Scripture. And as a reward, some of them can look forward to being crucified, literally. By Muslims, of course.

Christianity built Western civilization. Christianity advanced the doctrine of Natural Law, which serves as the basis for all of our liberties. Christianity defeated slavery and won the fight for civil rights. Christianity had a hand, and sometimes was the only hand, in most every good and decent thing about this world.

Christians are not perfect, but Christianity is. And the more Christian the world is, the better the world is. The less, the worse. That’s how it’s worked for 2,000 years. History has demonstrably proven Christianity to be an objectively necessary and indispensable force for good over and over and over again.

Equivalence? You cannot begin to find one. There are bad Christians and good Muslims, but if Christianity ceased to exist, millions of people would die. If Islam ceased to exist, millions of people wouldn’t. Draw whatever conclusions you want from there, but you cannot conclude that the two are equal.

But what are Christian fundamentalists? Women who wear long skirts and give birth to more than two kids? Men who go to church and read their Bibles? Unmarried couples who save sex for marriage? Pro-lifers who pray outside of abortion clinics? Bakers who won’t make cakes for gay weddings? Nuns? Pastors? Missionaries?

Liberals are fond of saying “fundamentalism” is the problem generally, as if living by your convictions is wrong regardless of the nature of your convictions. Such an idiotic notion can be expected from moral relativists who believe nothing to be fundamentally true, therefore anyone who adheres to any fundamental doctrine, no matter the doctrine, is dangerous.

On the contrary, Christian fundamentalism is a great blessing to society. It makes people peaceful, disciplined, humble, and kind. A Christian fundamentalist opens a pregnancy center to help women. A Muslim fundamentalist drags a woman into the town square and stones her to death. Equivalence? Stop it.

Obscure nut-jobs like the Westboro Baptists are not Christian fundamentalists. They are apostates. They’ve fabricated their own fundamentals and sprinkled a little Jesus on top of the fake religion they made up. Christian fundamentalists are only a problem when they are fundamentally dedicated to the fundamentals of their own heresies. But even these Christian heretics aren’t often found shooting up Paris to advance their cause.
After considering a few similarities between liberalism and Islamism, Walsh closes with this:
But of the theist religions, Islam is the only one routinely massacring civilians across the world. The only one. Stop claiming otherwise. Stop equivocating.
It's often said that the murderous Muslims are only a small percentage of Muslims, but there are said to be 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Even if only .1% of them are jihadists that's still a million and a half radical killers, and that doesn't count the millions more who are sympathetic to them. That's quite a lot of people who would like to see you dead.

It's also often said that these people are not true Muslims and are not following the teachings of the Koran. On the contrary, there's ample warrant in the Koran for everything they do, but more importantly they are following the example of the founder of their religion. Whatever Mohammad may have recorded in print he himself was a violent warlord who condoned beheading one's foes, sex slavery, and warfare against non-Muslims.

People sometimes ask why more Muslims don't condemn the sort of terrorism we've seen in Paris and Brussels and from ISIS. One reason, perhaps, is that they realize they can't condemn it without distancing themselves from the example of their Prophet, and this, they see, would be an unforgivable betrayal of their faith.