The Trouble with Islam

Christians who denigrate Islam need to consider carefully what the differences between the two religions really are. To be clear, I am discussing Roman Catholic and other strict Christianities and Orthodox Islam.

Any honest observer who has looked into Islam can see that it is anti-democratic, anti-female, intolerant of other religions and of any detractors, anti-intellectual, anti-science, and absolutist with respect to its moral and religious standards, to the point of injury and even death. In short, it is certainly anti-Western.

But anyone who knows the history of Christianity knows also that for at least 1,000 years, Christianity would have been described the same way. Christianity was for a long time more injurious and lethal than Islam is today, until the reformation and enlightenment undermined Christianity’s power.

That is the key difference: Both Christianity and Islam are troubling (to say the least) when they are at the same time the state religion and the government. And both claim to be (and behave as if they are) “religions of peace” when not in power.

The main difference between Islam and Christianity today is a difference in opportunity. Westerners should be concerned when their fellow citizens call for the ascendance to power of Christianity, and those very Christians who seek that power should be reticent to change the laws that would make that ascendance possible; the winners might not be them.

This is precisely why the United States was founded as a secular state, to the benefit of all.

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