not in Primary anymore

the real war on religion

I often hear my Christian friends state, without irony or sarcasm, that there is an ongoing war on religion aimed at Christianity. Starbucks cups, “Happy Holidays,” lack of prayer in schools, baking cakes for same-sex marriages, and other flimsy arguments are used as “proof” of this supposed war on Christianity.

While all of this is going on, we have an actual problem with treatment of Muslims. Donald Trump, a front runner for the US presidency, wants to not only shut down all US Mosques but also ban any and all Muslims from entering the country. Jeb Bush, another presidential hopeful, wants refugees to “prove they are Christian” in order to obtain sactuary in America. In other parts of the world, Muslims are victims of random attacks while waiting on train platforms, walking down the street, or engaging in religious practices.

After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric hit fever pitch but they have been long sizzling in our society. Prior to these attacks in France, there was a policy enforced which forbids outward displays of religion which was specifically created to target Muslims, more specifically females wearing head scarves. Muslim women use head scarves to cover their hair, and after this policy in France was inacted many Muslim women shaved their heads in order to keep from showing their hair, others chose to wear wide bandanas in replacement of their head scarves which then led schools to ban bandanas as well. Also in France, full facial covering by Muslim women is banned in public space. (All of this info may be found via NPR.)

Of course, religious persecution is nothing new. Mormons were driven from the United States, into what was then Mexican territory, and it was legal to kill a Mormon in Missouri until the 1970s. JFK was told to downplay his Catholic faith during his presidential race because Americans would never elect an open Catholic. And of course, arguably the worst case of religious persecution is The Holocaust and continued anti-Semitic behavior worldwide.

What is the real war on religion? Is it stripping human beings of their ability to worship, or not worship, whichever deity they believe in? To subscribe to any theology that fits their needs and soothes their souls? Or not allowing humans to believe in no religion and worship no deity at all? Verbal and physical attacks based on surnames, skin color, wardrobe, and outwardly displays of religious devotion, etc.? This is war on religious freedom.

War on religion is not coffee cups, sending out Holiday cards that don’t say “Christmas” on them, saying “Happy Holidays,” using the shorthand of “Xmas,” political correctness, and so on. It is important for us as human beings to recognize our privileges and see outside of ourselves to the real issues of our society. For these are the issues that keep us from becoming a true human family based on Christlike love.

14 Responses to “the real war on religion”

  1. Stephen

    Do you fear terrorism or islamophobia more? And as far as mosques, we DO need to investigate those that have been tied to terror.

    To the writer of this article, no I don’t support Mr. Trump. We still need to be wary of who we let in this country, what their ideology is. No one cares who you worship. Worship a stone, as long as you don’t stone us. The problem with Islam (yes, true Islam) is that it asserts authority over Non-Muslims through the Sharia law. It’s already happening in Europe. That is what we are wary of. And if you think radical Islam is just a fringe minority, it’s not. There are Pew polls that support this. Until we can say that radical Islamic terrorism is a real and constant threat, we will remain open to attacks. And they will happen.

    • Sydney

      Stephen, you’re right. We should be wary of who we let into America!! They might cause a mass genocide of the native people who were already here! Those same mass murderers might bring in slave labor and extreme racism! These same people might create great terror within their own communities with mass shootings!! We really need to be careful.

      • Stephen

        Your comparison is false. There were no borders when the Europeans came. And no one is condoning mass genocide or murder or racism.
        Are you aware that the Pakistani woman who carried out the islamic terrorist attack in San Bernardino was supposedly “vetted.” She put an address that didn’t exist. She made it through our screening process, and now 14 people are dead.

      • Stephen

        Also Sydney, slavery existed long before the Europeans and was present in native american culture before anyone came over. It was western culture that eliminated slavery. As late as the 1960s, Saudi Arabia still held slaves.

  2. Nouner

    Stephen, I wonder- do you feel it’s more important to mock muslims for worshipping wrong, or to fear them for being different? Seems like you’re kinda caught between the two.

    • Stephen

      I have not mocked anyone, so you are making quite the straw-man argument. I am aware of the intricate details of Islam that many like to gloss over, ignore, are simply unaware of. The jihad, what the Quaran calls to do to the infidels, the gross mistreatment of women, etc. A criticism of Islam does not equal a hatred or vilification of Muslims. Shall we go through the statistical evidence of how many crimes have been committed in the name of radical Islam? Seriously. I will lay it all out for you if you really are interested.

      Ignoring the real and legitimate threat of radical islamic terrorist doesn’t help anyone. Are you aware that the American president held a PR meeting to figure out how to downplay the “terrorist angle” of the San Bernardino attack? Turning a blind eye to the motivation of those who seek to hurt us doesn’t help anyone. It leaves us open to attack.

      • shanz

        Your understanding of islam might be pretty limited if you think that a government forbidding women to wear hijabs or niqabs is any different than what already occurs from extremists forbidding the showing of hair. Also, the Quran does not call for destruction of nonbelievers any more than the bible does. You should check your sources-specifically the translation. Jihad means “the struggle” in context it is more appropriate as an internal struggle- your personal fight against sin.

        I wonder how you feel about “criticism of any religion’s problems- especially the same problems you’ve pointed out in islam if it were applied to mormonism? Its treatment of women (polygamy), its actions against nonbelievers-combatant or not (mountain meadows massacre, various interactions in missouri and destruction of property used to paint a true but negative picture of the leadership.)

        Ignoring the threat of radical islam is almost as bad as villifying the entire religion and thereby feeding the misunderstandings and creating a rift between our otherwise helpful law abiding god fearing brothers and sisters. Perhaps whatever downplaying of the terrorism that occurred was specifically so our own american rightwing extremists wouldn’t go out and target the remaining muslim community. You do realize american mosques have been burned american people harassed and fearing for their lives? Yes, Muslim Americans.

  3. Heather B from SC

    “There were no borders when the Europeans came,”

    Um…. There were clearly defined tribal borders. Borders that changed periodically with war, like in Europe, Asia, Africa, S.America. Borders that were defended as soon as the alarm was sounded. Defined borders.

    Just not borders put down by white people on maps they printed.

    • Stephen

      Borders that changed periodically. Right, so no clearly defined borders.

      What is your point? What does this have to do with the threat of Islamic terrorism today? I call a red herring.

      • OakFoot

        Better check yourself. “no borders when the Europeans came”? Seriously? Where have you been living all your life? The “modern american” descended from people who took over the lands, killed and enslaved the people that had been living here for who knows how long.

        Yes, people wage wars and take over lands of other people (neighboring tribes) all the time, but lets not be assholes about keeping people out of our country when they desperately need help.

        Gosh. I just don’t understand how “followers of Christ” are such dicks about helping people that are different from them.

  4. Stephen

    Shanz, you mention the bible is similar to the quaran in how it instructs its followers to treat the unbelievers. How many Christians are currently committing acts of terror? How many Jews?
    Right wing terrorizing Muslims? Right wingers are not responsible for the terrorism that has occurred recently. They were not responsible for Paris of San Bernardino. But way to try to deflect. Way to try to blame shift.

    The Mormon thing is clearly a red herring. I’d be fine with anyone criticizing certain parts of Mormon history. Heck, I criticize the church myself. But the difference is that Mormon theology does not call for violence against the unbeliever. Mormons don’t kill people for mocking them. No violence occurred as a result of the Book of Mormon musical. The same can’t be said of Islam. Heard of the garland Texas draw Muhammad event?

  5. Anonymous

    Stephen, I don’t think you understand what “true Islam” really is. You seem to be under the impression that you can use the terms “true Islam” and “radical Islam” interchangeably, when in reality their ideas about Sharia law, jihad, and treatment of unbelievers are very different. And while it’s true that it is impossible to claim that radical Islam, or Islamism, is an ideology completely unrelated to “true” Islam, it is no more accurate to pin them as equals than it would be to do so with the LDS church and the FLDS church.

    The majority of Muslims do not condone violence or support ISIS. Obviously it’s important to be wary of potential threats, but making an entire religion the enemy is not the answer. In fact, if we treat them as our enemies that will only make them all the more likely to treat us as their enemies in return.

  6. Stephen

    The comparison to the LDS Church vs. FLDS is incredibly faulty. Let’s look at numbers. Let’s look at stats. You might be surprised at how many Muslims are radicalized. We can look at Pew Research Institute polls to show this. But we first we’d have to define our terms of radicalism, which go well beyond terrorism. Let’s say we define radical as 1) supporting Sharia implementation in the government 2) supporting honor killings or 3) believing that targeting citizens through terrorism or suicide bombings is sometimes justified.

    Here are some claims (all from Pew):

    There are 149 million Muslims in Bangladesh, and just over 25% said suicide bombings or targeting of civilians is sometimes justified. That’s 37 million people.

    There are 149 million Muslims in Bangladesh, and 2/3 say honor killings of women are sometimes justified. That’s 121.9 million people.

    There are 80 million Muslims in Egypt, and 65% want strict Sharia law in every Islamic country. That’s 52 million people.


    “The majority of Muslims do not condone violence or support ISIS.”

    Can you offer proof of that? It’s a nice idea, but you have to have evidence if you claim it as truth.

    Listen, we can hide our heads in the sand and say that radical Muslims are not a threat, that the real thing to fear is Islamophobia (nevermind that Muhammed was a known terrorist who had a 6 year old wife). We can pretend that bad people don’t exist, and exist in large numbers, or we can identify the threat. Now once again, I do not think all Muslims are radicalized or bad, and I do not support Trump’s plan. But Obama’s plan is just as bad, and no one is criticizing it.

  7. Genhy

    1 percent of 1 billion Muslims is 10 million people. This tiny minority is creating havoc on the planet.


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