Dr. Tiller Shot to Death at Wichita Church

smoot5/31/2009 12:03:15 pm PDT

A lot of religious violence has to do with how people interpret texts. If you want to get technical, sure, all religions call for or condone violence against others. If you ask me, the Jews’ persecution of the Moabites in Canaan is the greatest threat to world peace today. Just wait til the folks at the UN get ahold of some pens and paper, Jews.

Seriously, many Jewish commentators say that the seven native tribes of the land were given the choice to accept the 7 Noahide laws. Even if this is a revisionist attempt to make Jews seem less violent, what does this tell us? Much of it lies in the attitude of the religion. This is not the best example though because Judaism does not contain much damning condemnation of others.

A better example is the attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward the Jews. During the Middle Ages, it was far better to be a Jew in a Muslim land than in a Christian one. One reason cited for this is that Christian texts make damning comments about Jews that are sweeping and general in nature, while Islam’s derogatory comments about Jews and Christians apply only to a certain group of J’s and C’s at a certain time. But things have changed. Christianity has modernized, best exemplified by the 2nd Vatican Council and a recent change in Catholic doctrine that now holds that Jews can actually get into heaven, are not damned to hell, and are not responsible for Jesus’s death. (Certain Catholics such as Mel Gibson reject the 2nd Vatican Council—what does that mean for the “fucking Jews”?) Interestingly, the Quran exonerates the Jews of deicide, but some Hadiths do blame them. The problem is the form of authoritarian Islam that has taken hold in the past century or so (probably in response to modernity) that takes the violent Jihadist texts literally. Simply put, most of the Muslim world needs to grow up. This is true of Jews and Christians, but nearly to the same extent.