The best is enemy of the good.
The profoundest truths are paradoxical.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Christianity And Islam: It's Okay When We Do It But Not When They Do
The base argument has been that Da’esh and other terrorist death cults have all been Islamic and that this kind of barbarism is a unique and inherent portion of Islam, as one recent comment noted to me here:
Some argue this same militant streak is a base feature of Islam because of passages such as this:
Quran, 048:29: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves;
Yet the truth—which is often forgotten—is that the origins of Islam stem directly from both Christianity and Judaism, and that you can find similar passages in both the Old Testament and Talmud. You can also find more than a few Christian death cults not only in history, but in the present.
Buckle in, because listing just the highlights of radical extremist Christianity is gonna take some time.
Let’s proceedonward, Christian soldier, starting with the very first two commandments:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Thou shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
So as you can see from the very first of the commandments, God himself states that he is jealous and that he calls for the punishment of those who would worship differently—not just on those individuals, but also on their nextfour generations.
6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God,who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
Jihad (English pronunciation: /jəˈhäd/; Arabic: جهاد jihād [dʒiˈhæːd]) is an Islamic term referring to the religious duty of Muslims to maintain the religion. In Arabic, the word jihād is a noun meaning "to strive, to apply oneself, to struggle, to persevere". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid, the plural of which is mujahideen (مجاهدين). The word jihad appears frequently in the Quran, often in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)", to refer to the act of striving to serve the purposes of God on this earth.
There are many ways to engage in this struggle to preserve the faith. When the faith is attacked “Jihad” is the call to defend it, so when we say “Jihadi” we literally mean “defender of the faith.” That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to call these terrorists “Jihadists” but it is a bit like giving them a compliment, unlike calling them what they truly are: A death cult, or Da’esh.
The first of the Crusades began in 1095, when armies of Christians from Western Europe responded to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. After the First Crusade achieved its goal with the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, the invading Christians set up several Latin Christian states, even as Muslims in the region vowed to wage holy war (jihad) to regain control over the region. Deteriorating relations between the Crusaders and their Christian allies in the Byzantine Empire culminated in the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Third Crusade. Near the end of the 13th century, the rising Mamluk dynasty in Egypt provided the final reckoning for the Crusaders, toppling the coastal stronghold of Acre and driving the European invaders out of Palestine and Syria in 1291.
And what followed was the purge and murder of some of the crusaders themselves, the Knights Templar, for growing too rich and too powerful.
The Knights Templar, the order of monastic knights set up to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, seized during the First Crusade, went into decline after Christians were expelled from the Holy Land in the 13th century. King Philip IV "the Fair" of France owed the order large amounts of money and land; to avoid repaying the debt, he prevailed on Pope Clement V, based in Avignon and dependent on his good offices, to put members on trial for heresy.
In one single night on Friday, October 13, 1307, the Knights were rounded up, arrested, tortured, and eventually executed for heresy.
Their ‘trial’ was a farce. The Templars were charged with heresy, worshiping false idols and other crimes against the church. Many of them were tortured until they ‘confessed’ to their crimes. Refusing to capitulate, Jacques DeMolay would not confess and Philip ordered him burned at the stake.
It wasn’t until 700 years later, in 2007, that the Vatican eventually pronounced the Templars innocent of heresy. Yet the fall of the Templars was hardly the ending because quickly following their arrest, torture, and murder came the Spanish Inquisition.
The Spanish Inquisition was just one of several inquisitions that occurred between the 12th and 19th centuries. In addition to the term being used for the historical events, the word "inquisition" refers to the tribunal court system used by both the Catholic Church and some Catholic monarchs to root out, suppress and punish heretics. These were baptized members of the church who held opinions contrary to the Catholic faith.
As with the Templars, many methods of barbaric torture were developed to convince alleged heretics to “confess” before they were ultimately burned at the stake. Precise figures are hard to come by, but estimates are that at least 32,000 people met this fate, although it’s often argued that millions were ultimately subjected to this horror.
Then these pious Christians began to export that horror to the new world beneath the swords and spears of the Conquistadors in the form of genocide.
Estimates of population decline in the Americas from the first contact with Europeans in 1492 until the turn of the 20th century depend on the estimation of the initial pre-contact population. In the early 20th century, scholars estimated low populations for the pre-contact Americas, withAlfred Kroeber's estimate as low as 8,4 million people in the entire hemisphere. Archaeological findings and a better overview of early censuses have contributed to much higher estimates. Dobyns (1966) estimated a pre-contact population of 90-112 million. Denevan's more conservative estimate was 57.3 million. Russell Thornton (1987) arrived at a figure around 70 million. Depending on the estimate of the initial population, by 1900 the indigenous population can be said to have declined by more than 80%, due mostly to the effects of diseases such as smallpox, measles and cholera, but also violence and warfare by colonizers against the Indians.
So essentially, as a result of the invasion and colonization of the new world by Christians, somewhere between 40 and 80 million people who were already living in the Americas died.
I don’t think Pol Pot or Stalin ever reached those figures.
Of course, all of these events happened quite some time ago. It’s not like any of this had any effect on the America that we think of today. Although on second thought, there was that little slavery thing, which we all know was opposed by Christians such as the abolitionists, but also supported by other Christians under the theory of theCurse of Ham.
The Curse of Ham (also called the curse of Canaan) refers to the curse that Ham's father, Noah, placed upon Ham's youngest son, Canaan, after Ham "saw his father's nakedness" because of drunkenness in Noah's tent. It is related in the Book of Genesis 9:20-27.
The "curse of Ham" had been used by some members of Abrahamic religions to justify racismand the enslavement of people of African ancestry, who were believed to be descendants of Ham. They were often called Hamites and were believed to have descended through Canaan or his older brothers. This racist theory was widely held during the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, but it has been largely abandoned since the mid-twentieth century by even the most conservative theologians.
So, millions more dead, tortured, and enslaved at least in part because: Christians. The Curse of Ham view of the Bible happens to be one that is shared by Knights of the Klu Klux Klan, who did originally pride themselves on being, you bet, Christians.
The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous -and oldest - of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. Over the years since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, although in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies.
Started during Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War, the Klan quickly mobilized as a vigilante group to intimidate Southern blacks - and any whites who would help them - and to prevent them from enjoying basic civil rights. Outlandish titles (like imperial wizard and exalted cyclops), hooded costumes, violent "night rides," and the notion that the group comprised an "invisible empire" conferred a mystique that only added to the Klan's popularity.Lynchings, tar-and-featherings, rapes and other violent attacks on those challenging white supremacy became a hallmark of the Klan.
It’s not just dumb luck that the Klan is known burning crosses on the lawns of their intended targets, that is intend to bring the fear of God into their victims.
Thomas Dixon included a pivotal cross-burning scene in his 1905 novel The Clansman; he was attempting to legitimize the Klan's supposed connections to the Scottish clans. A decade later, D.W. Griffith brought The Clansman to the silver screen, eventually renaming it The Birth of a Nation. Exhilarated by Griffith's sympathetic portrayal, Klansmen started burning crosses soon after to intimidate minorities, Catholics, and anyone else suspected of betraying the order's ideals. The first reported burning took place in Georgia on Thanksgiving Eve, 1915. They have been associated with racist violence ever since. Modern Klan groups are careful to refer to their ritual as "cross lighting" rather than cross-burning and insist that their fires symbolize faith in Christ. [Emphasis added]
The Klan and anti-segregationists were responsible for a wave of intimidation and terror across the South for decades including the lynching and murders of nearly 5,000 people between the Civil War and Civil Rights movement.
The Tuskegee Institute has recorded 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites being lynched between 1882 and 1968, with the annual peak occurring in the 1890s, at a time of economic stress in the South and political suppression. A five-year study published by the Equal Justice Initiative in 2015 found that nearly 3,959 black men, women, and children were lynched in the twelve Southern states between 1877 and 1950.
Not to go all Godwin considering all we’ve already discussed, but hey, have you ever wondered: Was Hitler a Christian? Well, kinda. He was raised as a Catholic and this passage from Mein Kampf tends to indicate that religion wasn’t just something from his childhood.
"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."
And there was also the influence of Martin Luther on Hitler and his perspective on Jews.
Nazi Germany was both a product of, and established in, Christian Europe. The Führer himself was educated in the strictest of Catholic institutions - a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria. More than that, he’d been a church chorister. Without doubt, childhood experiences help to mould adulthood. Christian influences certainly remained important in Hitler’s life: his favourite bed-time reading was Martin Luther. Luther had particular advice to offer concerning those who had failed to follow Christ - the Jews. Luther urged Christian action against them, including concentrating them in certain areas, drowning Jewish individuals and even wholesale murder:
We are at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them.
Christian protagonists and texts have levelled spiteful accusations at Jews since the advent of Christianity. Part of the very foundations of the faith are ideas of Jewish betrayal, hard-heartedness and deicide. New Testament characters such as Judas, Herod, Saul, the Pharisees and the Jerusalem crowd (baying ‘Crucify him!’) have shaped, over centuries, European attitudes towards Jews. Such accusations and the demonisation[sic] of Jewry are based on the Christian idea that it has, as a faith and a civilisation [sic];, superseded Judaism. For Christians, God transferred his covenant and favour to them; rather than being the chosen people, Jews simply became stubborn unbelievers.
“Stubborn unbelievers.” Heretics. Worthy of nothing but swift death as ordered by God himself in his commandments, and later ratified by Deuteronomy.
There was, naturally, far more to Hitler and his particular brand of genocidal fanaticism, including his interest in mysticism and the occult. But even with all that he was also a Christian, and driven at least in part by his Christian beliefs to murder Jews.
Moving forward, can we find other, more modern Christian death cults?
Why yes, yes we can.
There was Charles Manson, whose plan of Helter Skelter was based, at least in part, on the Bible.
In the months leading up to the Tate/LaBianca murders, Charles Manson often spoke to the members of his "Family" about Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and whites. This "chimerical vision"—as it was termed by the court that heard Manson's appeal from his conviction for the killings—involved reference to music of The Beatles (particularly songs from the album The Beatles, also known as The White Album) and to the New Testament's Book of Revelation. Manson and his followers were convicted of the murders based on the prosecution's theory that they were part of a plan to trigger the Helter Skelter scenario.
And there was, but of course, Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple, which was— wait for it— a Christian church.
Coming from a dysfunctional family background, Koresh claimed to become a Christian in theSeventh-day Adventist Church, before joining a splinter group, based at the Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas, which took the name Branch Davidians. Here he competed for dominance with another leader named George Roden, until Roden was jailed for murdering another rival. Koresh was then accused of seducing a 13-year-old girl, apparently with her parents’ consent, a relationship that he sanctified as a ‘spiritual marriage’. But it was the serving of arrest and search warrants by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives that provoked the historic 1993 raid on the center. Four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed during the initial two hour firefight, both sides claiming the other side fired first. The subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the center, where Koresh and 79 others were found dead after the fire.
One particular person who visited the Koresh compound during the heated standoff was a person by the name of Timothy McVeigh, who was asked about his religions beliefs by Time Magazine.
Time: Are you religious?
McVeigh: I was raised Catholic. I was confirmed Catholic (received the sacrament of confirmation). Through my military years, I sort of lost touch with the religion. I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.
Time: Do you believe in God?
McVeigh: I do believe in a God, yes. But that's as far as I want to discuss.If I get too detailed on some things that are personal like that, it gives people an easier way [to] alienate themselves from me and that's all they are looking for now.
So that’s not so bad, or is it? Wait. It gets worse.
All this text discloses is that McVeigh distanced himself from Catholicism, not Christianity. It also reveals that he did not want to discuss his faith further because he knew most people would find it repulsive. What was repulsive about his faith? Was he an atheist? No. Was he a secular humanist? No. What do we know about his beliefs at the time he was bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City?
There is no doubt that Timothy McVeigh was deeply influenced by the Christian Identity movement.Christian Identity is a profoundly racist and theocratic form of faith that developed in the late 1970s and spread like wildfire through rural communities throughout the U.S. in the 1980s
The primary source book for the ideals and perspective of the Christian Identity movement (which includes many neo-Nazis, the Aryan Nations, and skinheads) is The Turner Diaries, a fictional field journal of a soldier in a religious race war over the soul and control of America written by physicist William Pierce.
In his book "The Turner Diaries," Pierce describes a race war that ends with the government being overthrown. Pierce's book is more than fiction. The most radical elements of the movement view it as a vision or blueprint for action. In the book, the Aryan forces used armored car robberies to finance their revolution. In real life, the radical white supremacist group called "the Order" used Pierce's book as a guide to their armored car robberies in the Northwest. In the book, the revolutionaries blow up a federal building as part of their antigovernment war. In real life, the bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Building was almost a carbon copy of the incident in Pierce's book. As I mentioned earlier, Timothy McVeigh had photocopies of a portion of "The Turner Diaries" with him when he was arrested. McVeigh also sold copies of the book at gun shows around the country.
The real-life group “The Order” was also responsible for the murder of Denver talk radio show host Alan Berg in 1985, which also mirrored events in The Turner Diaries.
Berg, who was Jewish, gained a strong following in the early 1980s through talk radio, where his liberal views mixed with a combative and often-abrasive on-air persona. In the process, he ignited the anger of The Order, a splinter group of the Aryan Nation white nationalist movement that financed its anti-government goals with bank robberies in the Pacific Northwest — before turning to murder.
Berg's slaying marked an early signpost on the road that led to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala.
But Oklahoma City was not the final bombing perpetrated by a radical Christian terrorist. There was also the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing in 1996, which was not perpetrated by Richard Jewell. It was, in fact, committed byEric Robert Rudolph.
MURPHY, N.C. - JUNE 2: Bombing suspect Eric Robert Rudolph (C) is escorted from the Cherokee County Jail for a hearing in federal court in Asheville June 2, 2003 in Murphy, North Carolina. Rudolph, who was captured Saturday after being on the run for five years, is a suspect in at least three bombings, including the July 27, 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta that killed one and injured 111.
Some of Rudolph’s other bombings targets were women’s clinics and gay nightclubs.
January 16, 1997 - A bomb explodes at an abortion clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. An hour later, a second bomb explodes. Seven people are injured.
February 21, 1997 - A bomb explodes at the Otherside Lounge, a lesbian nightclub in northeast Atlanta, injuring four people. Investigators find a second bomb before it detonates.
January 29, 1998 - A bomb hidden beneath a shrub explodes at the New Woman All Women Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Robert Sanderson, a 35-year-old off-duty police officer working as a security guard, is killed. Nurse Emily Lyons, 41, is seriously injured. In his 2005 plea agreement, Rudolph admits that he detonated the bomb by remote control, as Sanderson stood over it.
For these acts, Rudolph has joined the ranks of other radical Christian killers under the moniker the “Army of God,” a death cult operated by Rev. Donald Spitz. The group’s ranks include Paul Hill who killed an Dr. John Britton and his bodyguard with a shotgun in Pensacola, Florida; Michael Griffin, who murdered Dr. David Gunn also in Pensacola; James Kopp who murdered Dr. Barnett Slepian; Shelly Shannon who admits to having firebombed women’s health clinics and attempted to kill Dr. George Tiller; and Scott Roeder, who ultimately did kill Dr. TIller. They’ve also accomplished their aims with hoax anthrax letters and even published a manual on how to disrupt and bomb clinics.
Initially, the manual details a number ways of disrupting or closing down abortion clinics, from gluing locks and using butyric acid against clinic machinery to arson and bomb threats. The manual contains instructions for making bombs using plastic explosive. A November 1992 epilogue will advocate the murder of abortion providers. [Kushner, 2003, pp. 38] Interview - The manual also contains an undated interview with an anonymous member of the Army of God, conducted by an interviewer calling himself “The Mad Gluer.” The person interviewed says their intention is to “[d]rive the abortion industry underground with or without the sanction of government law,” using “[e]xplosives, predominantly.” The bombs are designed to “disarm… the murder weapons,” referring to the equipment used in abortion clinics, and “by disarming the persons perpetrating the crimes by removing their hands, or at least their thumbs below the second digit.”
One of the more recent and incredible international mass murders prior to last week’s attack on Paris was the killing of dozens in Norway by just one man, Anders Breivik, in 2011.
(RNS) The mass murders in Oslo have raised a host of agonizing questions, but few have such an ancient lineage and contemporary resonance as whether Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist behind the attacks that killed 76 Norwegians last Friday (July 22), is a Christian.
"At the age of 15 I chose to be baptised [sic] and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church," the 32-year-old Breivik wrote. "I consider myself to be 100 percent Christian."
"Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man," he writes. "I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."
Breivik fashions himself a "cultural Christian" and a modern-day crusader in a resurrected order of the medieval Knights Templar, riding out to do battle against squishy "multiculturalism" and the onslaught of "Islamization" -- and to suffer the glory of Christian martyrdom in the process.
And thus we come full circle with a self-styled “Christian Crusader” who fancies himself as a modern day member of the Knights Templar. He also was very much influenced by American right-wing anti-Islamists such as Frank Gaffney and Pamela Geller.
There's a fundamentalist ministry operating at the Air Force Academy called Cadets For Christ. This ministry is part of the "shepherding" movement, using cult-like tactics by which the cadets recruited by ministry leaders Don and Anna Warrick are separated from their families and anything else that might interfere with their brainwashing. In the shepherding movement, the female is the "sheep" and the male is the "shepherd," and a woman's sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother, subordinating herself to her male shepherd.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been contacted by a number of parents of Academy cadets who have fallen prey to the Warricks' ministry, and one of these families has been brave enough to go public with their story.
You can also see murderous radical Christian ties to groups like Erik Prince’s mercenary group Blackwater/XE.
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.
Now some might argue that none of this matters or compares to modern Muslim terrorists. That either these examples are archaic, as the crusades and inquisition were centuries ago, or are only examples of minor lone, or semi-lone megalomaniacs— Hitler, Manson, Jones, Koresh, Brievik, Prince— who fail to compare to the sustained acts of violence, terror and mass murder by thousands of religiously motivated combatants that we’ve seen from Islamic groups for decades including the PLO, Hezbollah, al Qaeda and now Da’esh.
Those people would be wrong. There are two primary examples that prove this.
First there is the 30-year ethnic conflict via bombings, out-and-out terrorism and the use of paramilitary forces against civilians that resulted in 3,500 casualties and over 47,000 injured during the Troubles of Northern Ireland, a sustained conflict between the British loyalist and predominantly Protestant majority and the nationalist and independence-seeking Catholic minority.
"The Troubles" refers to the most recent installment of violence over three decades (1969–1997) between Irish nationalists (mainly self-identified as Irish and/or Roman Catholic) and unionists (mainly self-identified as British and/or Protestant). The term "the Troubles" was previously used to refer to the Irish revolutionary period; it was adopted to refer to the escalating violence in Northern Ireland after 1969. The conflict was the result of discrimination against the Irish nationalist/Catholic minority by the unionist/Protestant majority and the question of Northern Ireland's status within the United Kingdom. The violence was characterized by the armed campaigns of Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups and British state security forces—the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). It thus became the focus for the longest major campaign in the history of the British Army.
So there’s that, and then there was also the Bosnian War which began in 1992 as a three-way ethnic conflict between the Bosnian Croats, who were predominantly Roman Catholic, the Bosnian Serbs who were predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians, and the Bosniaks who were predominantly Muslim. During this conflict there were acts of genocide, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, systemic mass rape, and forced migration that resulted in 38,000 civilian casualties, 57,000 soldiers killed, and more than 2.6 million refugees and displaced persons. This conflict was typified by tragedies such as the Siege of Sarajevo.
After Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Bosnian Serbs—whose strategic goal was to create a new Bosnian Serb state of Republika Srpska (RS) that would include parts of Bosnian territor—encircled Sarajevo with a siege force of 13,000 stationed in the surrounding hills. From there they assaulted the city with artillery, tanks and small arms From 2 May 1992, the Serbs blockaded the city. The Bosnian government defence forces (ARBiH)inside the besieged city, numbering some 70,000 troops, were poorly equipped and unable to break the siege.
A total of 13,952 people were killed during the siege, including 5,434 civilians. The ARBiH suffered 6,137 fatalities, while Bosnian Serb military casualties numbered 2,241 soldiers killed. The 1991 census indicates that before the siege the city and its surrounding areas had a population of 525,980. There are estimates that prior to the siege the population in the city proper was 435,000. The current estimates of the number of persons living in Sarajevo range from between 300,000 to 380,000.
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide killing, in July 1995, of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
The killings were perpetrated by units of the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić. The Scorpions, a paramilitary unit from Serbia, who had been part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, also participated in the massacre. In April 1993, the United Nations declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica—in the Drina Valley of northeastern Bosnia—a "safe area" under UN protection. However, in July 1995, UNPROFOR's 370 Dutchbat soldiers in Srebrenica failed to prevent the town's capture by the VRS — and the subsequent massacre.
Here we have Serbian Orthodox [Christian] forces murdering 8,000 civilian Muslim men and boys simply because they’re Muslim, so it’s really difficult to argue that a predominantly Christian paramilitary force has never, or not even fairly recently, committed exactly the kind of mass murdering atrocities we’ve recently seen committed by the jihadi fighters of Da’esh in Syria or Iraq. Or Paris.
They have. Actually, they’ve done far, far worse.
This list is nowhere near comprehensive or complete, but just for the sake of discussion it needed to be said and laid out clearly that there are many vile acts that have been and continue to be perpetrated by those who claim to be doing so because of their deep religious conviction. Yes, even Christians. This is not to say that every Christian is responsible for the horrific actions of every other madman Christian—they are not. However, neither is every Muslim responsible for each crime committed by another person who happens to claim to be “Muslim.”
WASHINGTON — In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes[sic] or social media rants.
But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.
Today, even in the wake of the Paris and Beirut attacks, the fact is that far more Americans are at risk of killing each other by the thousands than are in danger of being attacked by a pack of punk cowards like Da’esh.
Admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees is not likely to change that. Putting up “No Syrians Allowed” signs all around states like Alabama, or admitting “Christians Only” not only wouldn’t work, it’s a direct and clear violation of the 14th Amendment’s clause to provide “equal protection under the law,” and it’s also a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act prohibition on discrimination based on national origin and religion.
The fact is that Christians never get asked to apologize for Breivik, or for murders of abortion doctors, the bombings of gay nightclubs, the bombing of the Olympics, the bombing in Oklahoma City, the children who burned to death in Mt. Carmel with David Koresh, for the murder of Alan Berg, for those who died in Jonestown, for inspiring Helter Skelter and the Tate/Labianca killings, for the Holocaust, for the terrorism of the KKK and Jim Crow,[almost never] for slavery, for the genocide of natives across the Americas, for the Inquisition, for the Crusades, the siege of Sarajevo or the Srebrenica massacre. We see most of these as the acts of war, of individuals. Ofmadmen.
No one usually bothers to link any of these acts to the belief system of the rank-and-file Christian faithful. No one thinks the little old lady sitting her pew reading Corinthiansis responsible for any of that. No one thinks they need to answer for it, or justify it. Nor should we feel those who pray fives times a day in the direction of Mecca are somehow responsible for the acts of madmen, either.
We can see, clearly, that these religious wars and atrocities were performed by individuals and not by the faith itself, despite the specific commandments and Mosaic laws calling for the killing of “unbelievers.” Just like the proclamations not to eat shellfish or rabbit, and not to plant mixed seeds or wear mixed fabrics, hardly anyone ever follows those particular religious laws and feels they are “abominations worthy of death”.
They are archaic and irrelevant to the day-to-day lives of most Christians.
The same is true with the day-to-day lives of billions of Muslims. People can and will interpret the writings of any faith in all sorts of various ways, some beneficial and benevolent as we’ve seen with persons such as Mother Teresa, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Malala Yousafzai. Or not, as we see with much of the above. We can see that these acts were the result of choices made by genocidal murderers, and not the symptom of a genocidal mad-dog religion.
We can see that, right?
The truth is that all three primary Abrahamic religions are based on the same core foundation and the same writings, and all three worship the same God. The last people they should be killing for being “unbelievers,” as is called for in all three strains of the faith although I’m not advocating they kill anyone at all, are each other.