Siege of Nicaea. Crusaders Throwing Heads Of Muslims Over RampartsYet another Religious Right figure threw his hat into the ring of the sanctimonious Neocrusaders expressing their juvenile rage against the existence of Islam. Randall Terry, one of the whining crybabies who founded Operation Rescue, ripped pages from the Qur’an in front of the White House yesterday, as Agence France-Presse via Google News reports (WebCite cached article):

A small group of conservative Christians tore some pages from a Koran in a protest outside the White House Saturday to denounce what they called the “charade of Islam” on the anniversary of 9/11.

“Part of why we’re doing that, please hear me: the charade that Islam is a peaceful religion must end,” said Randall Terry, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, and one of six people who took part in the protest.

Sorry, Mr Terry, but the “charade” that “must end,” is that Christians such as yourselves are loving people who are actually following the teachings of Jesus. You and your immature, militant Religious Right cohorts are doing nothing of the sort. Destroying other religions’ holy books is something Jesus never did. He didn’t even come close. The worst thing that Jesus did to any religion, according to the gospels, was when he threw the money-changers out of the Temple in Jerusalem; and of course, he debated with and dressed down the Pharisees and others at various points during his ministry. But on all of those occasions, his “target” was not some other religion, but his own … i.e. Judaism. He did nothing whatever to any other religion. In fact, he suggested that members of other religions might have virtues that Jews were ignoring; e.g. he healed the servant of a Roman centurion (presumably a traditional Roman pagan) based on the centurion’s faith in him, and he used the story of the “good Samaritan” to show that someone of a hated ethnicity and religion might uphold his moral duties when upright, “pious” Jews might not.

One of Terry’s co-protestors tried to make a point of how “violent” the Qur’an is:

Another activist, Andrew Beacham, read out a few Koran passages calling for hatred towards Christians and Jews, and then ripped those pages from an English paperback edition of the Islamic holy book.

If this is the case, then perhaps I should rip, from a copy of the Christian Bible, pages containing the following passages:

Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well. Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. … Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. (Exodus 11:4-6; 12:29-30).

The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. (Exodus 15:3-4)

It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the Lord, the plague has begun!” Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. (Numbers 16:42-49)

[The Lord said] “You shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.” (Deuteronomy 7:16)

Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see,I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.” (Joshua 8:1-2)

This exercise hardly seems fair; most of the Old Testament is a virtually-endless narrative of hatred (by God and by humans), revenge, punishment, and violence (sometimes on a massive scale) perpetrated either directly by God on people, or by his people obeying his commands. The New Testament is hardly free from horrific violence:

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. (Acts 5:1-11)

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. (Revelation 16:1-11)

As with the Old Testament, it hardly seems fair to quote from Revelation, which is a long chronicle of horrible things that God orders done to the Earth and to everything in it — including humanity. No matter how much violence might be found in the Qur’an, there’s plenty of it in the Bible, too.

It’s true that Islam is not really the “Religion of Peace” its apologists want us to think it is … but Christianity as Randall Terry practices it, is also not the “Religion of Love” he’d like us to think it is, either.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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