Scotties Toy Box

December 7, 2018

A question for my readers

Filed under: Education, Ideas, opinion, Questions, Reason, Religion — Scottie @ 14:29

Recently some things have caused me to ponder on Islam and the way even Muslims see it.  I read different opinions people have about Islam and I sometimes wonder if we are talking about the same subject.   As I often say I have never been personally targeted by a Muslim for assault or harm, but I have been assaulted , lost jobs due to, and been denied service by Christians.

This post is not to defend Islam , nor to speak against Christianity.   I was wondering at the change in main stream Christianity over the centuries, and the way it has seemed to mellow over time.  I was wondering why that happened.  I also wondered if it could also happen with main stream Islam.  I recently had the grand opportunity to have a few comments and email words with a Pakistani girl named Manahil.   At first I thought I was being played.  But it soon became clear she was a teen who loved her country, her family, her friends, her religion.   She had a view of Islam that was strikingly mild compared to even the majority of people in her country.  She admitted that the views of her family on Islam were not widely held.    She also had a young persons respect and awe for her teachers, all of whom are of course religious teachers also.  

So I am asking all my wonderful readers.  What mellowed out Christianity?   Will the same thing happen to Islam.    What would it take.   

I know there are extreme branches of Christianity as there are also extreme branches of Islam.    But as both groups have a large following and will not be going away any time soon, we must find a way to deflate the extreme parts.  Thanks to anyone who has any information , I love to learn.   Hugs

 

25 Comments »

  1. There are still extremes in Christians and Christianity. Christianity changed much like Islam has. As people become educated and meet new people (not like them) they discover we are more alike than not alike. The faith over all mellows some and the more Radical fringe becomes more distant. I do see this happening within Islam today.

    Got to any muslim contry like maldives where tourist from around the world come and go. They get to mingle and meet others and they learn not all is as they thought and fearing others is not needed. There is hope that a large part of Islam and Christianity may learn to someday live in total peace.

    There will always be radicals in everything.

    The LGBTQ movement has radical and even at times violent members. Any time you have a large number of people identified as X you will always find some bad apple that make the rest look bad or tarnish what the good are trying to do.

    /hugs and just believe because I do see changes in Islam as it becomes more moderate.

    Liked by 4 people

    Comment by Michelle Styles — December 7, 2018 @ 14:39

    • Thank you Michelle. I am really glad to read your words. That means there is hope for a lot of people including the nice Manahil. I never had the chance to travel to a Muslim majority country.

      I had a welsh friend way back in the 1980’s who told me of an experiment they tried with Catholic and Protestant young kids during the horrible religious wars in Ireland. The kids were taken to a fun camp and mixed in with each other. The kids became friends. but as the time to leave came close the kids seemed to get really upset. Turns out the kids liked the new friends they made, like the other kids, but knew when they got home they would have to hate them for being the wrong religion. I wonder , if the Catholics and the Protestants of Ireland can get along, can Islam and Christianity.

      As to the LGBTQ movements I remember Act Up. I hated to hear that group in the news. It gave everyone of the bigot LGBTQ hating people around me something to bitch at and claim how horrible those people were. The shouldn’t be in decent society.

      Thanks and if you ever want to share pictures of your travel to Islamic countries, I will post them. You can write the captions. It will be wonderful to see how Muslims really live. A lot of people around me think Iran is somehow a backward country with cave dwelling people. They have no idea it is a bustling modern country. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Scottie — December 7, 2018 @ 14:57

  2. Like you, Scottie, I have little knowledge of Islam. However, I think you nailed it when you mentioned there are extreme branches of both Islam and Christianity. I think you would agree this is directly attributable to the people involved. If they are the type to get “caught up” in religious doctrine and teachings, then you will most likely see the extreme — whereas some people simply practice their faith because it makes them feel good. The latter is usually the more mellow of the two.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — December 7, 2018 @ 14:41

    • Well said Nan, I think you have a great point. Thanks. Hugs

      Like

      Comment by Scottie — December 7, 2018 @ 14:58

    • The branches of Islam are still fighting each other, at least the Christianities have pretty much settled their turf wars. I recommend Christopher Hitchens for a better understanding of the whole mess of religion and conflict. GROG

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by grogalot — December 8, 2018 @ 16:58

      • Thank you Grog. I know that Christian churches are not in open warfare but it does seem that every church , minor or major, thinks they are the true religion and that they have it correct and the others wrong. Which makes me ask, really your god had no way to be any more clear than this? Hugs

        Like

        Comment by Scottie — December 9, 2018 @ 16:28

        • Of course, they each claim exclusivity of belief. They openly proclaim they are the one and only. They each believe that they are the chosen, and it is their purpose during this life to spread the word, until everyone believes. Heaven is a dream, but to them it is real. If there were just some way to reveal to them the scam they are a part of? GROG

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by grogalot — December 9, 2018 @ 16:42

          • If there were just some way to reveal to them the scam they are a part of

            Many have tried … most have failed. Christianity is a hard nut to crack.

            Liked by 2 people

            Comment by Nan — December 9, 2018 @ 17:06

            • Agreed Nan, yet you did grand with your book. You some how managed to reach a lot of people. I just replied to Grog with some of my thoughts. It seems their need to believe is so strong it almost becomes a phobia of death. Is it fair to try to show them it is not correct? Thanks. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Scottie — December 9, 2018 @ 17:12

            • They have been conned into believing that they are special. They have deluded themselves into believing that they have an immortal soul. They pray for their own resurrection to an eternal afterlife in a supernatural world…. They, as Lewis Black said they were, ” stone cold fuck nuts!!!!” GROG Really, 4 exclamation points.

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by grogalot — December 10, 2018 @ 12:19

              • Everyone wants to be special. That is why superhero movies are so popular. That is why so many totally untrained uncoordinated people think they should have a gun to stop the bad guy who has one. It is something we have not addressed in our culture that everyone needs to feel special. It leads to supernatural ideas, weird physical ideas, and basically to a lot of unresolved trauma in the society. How many people think they would be the hero when XX happens? A kid getting slapped by a parent in a store? A shooting going down in a parking lot? The neighborhood watch guy who decides this is the time he takes on a black kid getting skittles wearing a hoodie?

                Shot dead: Trayvon Martin was killed as he walked home from a shop at a Florida gated community where his father lives
                Shot dead: Trayvon Martin was killed as he walked home from a shop at a Florida gated community where his father lives.

                We are never the hero we think we are. The real hero never thought they were at the time. If in your mind you are being a hero, you are already wrong. If you act as best you can with what you know, later others may say you are a hero. Hugs

                Like

                Comment by Scottie — December 10, 2018 @ 14:14

          • I love what you wrote. I wish I could have said it was well. How do we get through their scam, their need for heaven to be real? Is the need to have a life after this one a mental illness? Is it fair to take their hope from them? As it is a scam we are sort of honor bound to help people being scammed, but what if they want to be scammed. Thanks Grog, you have given me more things to think on. Best wishes. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Scottie — December 9, 2018 @ 17:10

  3. Interesting question. Being a strict, conservative follower of Thor, I’ve little knowledge of other, deeply incorrect forms of faith. I am interested in the responses you get. Welp, time to go sacrifice an apple to the God of Thunder by first electrocuting it and then smashing the hell out of it with a 40 pound hammer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by inspiredbythedivine1 — December 7, 2018 @ 15:17

  4. I would actually question whether it’s true that Christianity has mellowed. I think it’s just that the religion has lost the power it formerly had, and belief in it has weakened. Back when Christianity was the dominant element in Western culture and almost everyone believed in it fanatically, there were witch-burnings, hideously sadistic public executions of homosexuals, religious wars that killed millions, etc. It was as bad as the Islam of the Saudi regime or Dâ’ish, maybe worse. The religion hasn’t changed (the Bible is the same as it ever was), but almost no one today believes as fervently as they did back then, and the culture has become secularized to the point that fanatical religious belief is restrained by law and public attitudes. If a Christian from fifteenth-century Europe could see modern America, he would say that the Christians of today were not true Christians, but heretics (except perhaps a few people like Fred Phelps).

    Similarly, some people claim that Islam during the Middle Eastern golden age (about 800-1100 AD) was more tolerant, but in fact it was just less dominant in the culture. People during that era expressed open disdain for religion and clerics in ways that would be unthinkable in the Middle East today.

    The reason you’ve suffered violence and harassment from Christians and not from Muslims is that you live in a country where Christians are numerous and still aggressive in many cases, but Muslim presence and power are negligible. If you lived in a Muslim country you would be suffering even worse from Muslims. There are still Muslim countries where homosexuality carries the death penalty, and yes, it is sometimes carried out. In some Middle Eastern countries there’s a significant amount of clandestine homosexuality (homosexuality was deeply entrenched and much more open in places like Iran in pre-Islamic times), but it is clandestine and only socially tolerated as long as everyone can pretend it isn’t happening. An adult man openly living with another adult man would immediately be in serious trouble in almost any Muslim country today, and not just from the law.

    It must be said, of course, that people in the Middle East and other Muslim regions vary a lot in how religious they are and what aspects of religion are important to them, just as Americans do. Arab, Iranian, and other Middle Eastern and Muslim people are just as individual and different from one another as Americans are. Manahil apparently recognized that her “mild” version of Islam is not widespread in Pakistan.

    Will the same thing happen to Islam. What would it take.

    It’s already starting to happen. The Middle East has been under massive cultural influence from the West for decades, and the internet has greatly strengthened this. The literate urban populations in the Middle East have been strongly exposed to Western music, movies, TV, and other elements of culture which convey a more secular world-view, and this has already led to widespread weakening of religious taboos and pushback by women and young people against the restrictions Islam imposes, even if they’re at a far earlier stage of this process than our societies are. Islamic extremist movements like al-Qâ’idah and Dâ’ish arose as a reaction against what they consider heresy and corruption spreading within Middle Eastern societies (and against the West which they hold partly responsible), just as the Christian Right in the US turned militant starting in the 1970s in reaction to the sexual revolution and the dawn of the gay-rights movement. US conservatives claim that Islamic terrorism is a kind of war being waged by Islam as a whole against the West. In fact, most Islamic terrorism happens within the Middle East and kills other Middle Eastern people who are judged to be too secular, followers of the wrong sect, or whatever. Yes, the extremists sometimes target the West out of anger at its political dominance and “corrupting” influence, but basically the terrorist attacks we suffer in the West are overflow from a kind of cultural civil war within the Middle East.

    We need to remember that the weakening of Christianity in the West also involved a lot of violence and conflict. Heretics were burned, scientists who questioned official dogmas were persecuted, blasphemy laws were enforced. Just imagine what it would have been like if the Inquisition and the contending religious factions in the 16th and 17th centuries had had modern weapons and technology. That’s what’s happening in the Middle East now.

    I should perhaps mention that I have two degrees in Middle Eastern history and a basic knowledge of Classical Arabic (and a more limited knowledge of Persian), and I’ve studied Islamic theology academically, so I do know what I’m talking about. On the other hand, I admit that I know much less about Islamic countries outside the Middle East, such as Pakistan.

    Bottom line: For the last four hundred years the West has experienced, not a mellowing of Christianity, but a long slow weakening of Christian belief and social power, which has generally sped up over the last century or so. This process has been irregular, with periodic eruptions of religious backlash and reassertion (we’re living through a relatively minor one right now, with the rise of Trump and the people he’s empowered), but the overall trend is unmistakable and irreversible. The Middle East is at a much earlier stage of this process, but modern communications technology will make progress much more rapid — though that will also mean higher levels of violence as people are forced to confront change at a faster pace and the religious extremists will have less time to adjust.

    The same thing is probably true of the world in general, varying from place to place according to the local culture.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Infidel753 — December 7, 2018 @ 18:05

    • Wow, sorry, I didn’t realize how long that comment was getting. There are certain subjects I tend to get into rather deeply…..

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Infidel753 — December 7, 2018 @ 18:11

    • scientists who questioned official dogmas were persecuted

      This is still happening. Perhaps not as “publicly,” but the Christians slam science and its discoveries all the time. And then there’s Mel, who claims it’s all “scientism.”

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Nan — December 7, 2018 @ 18:50

    • You said all much better than I would.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by kersten — December 8, 2018 @ 04:48

    • Thank you Infidel, and good morning. That was informative and thought provoking. I am glad you shared it with us. I learned a lot. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Scottie — December 8, 2018 @ 06:34

  5. I live in a neighborhood that is 3/4’s Muslim. They are the nicest people in the world. I have no problems with any of them. The way I see it, there are nice people everywhere & there are assholes everywhere. & usually it’s the assholes making all the trouble & all the noise. That’s just the way it is.

    ANY person of ANY religion can take the words of their religion & twist them into words of hate & war & oppression. Right now, there’s a LOT of that in the pagan community. Lots of white supremacist BS in the name of Nordic & Germanic deities. & lots of misogyny, which is ironic when you consider it’s supposed to be about the Great Goddess. But I digress.

    I’ve been reading the holy books of most religions since I was in my early teens. The Old Testament of the Bible is among the most blood-thirsty of all of them. The New Testament has a victim mentality that is present in Christianity to this day.

    Nothing in the Koran compares to violence in the Bible. Hey — their main dude doesn’t get crucified for being a criminal. He gets married & has a family. That’s a huge difference. Psychologically. In every way.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by silverapplequeen — December 8, 2018 @ 07:10

  6. I want to argue with the person who said that it was when the Church was powerful that they had witch burning … that’s totally untrue. It wasn’t until the Protestant Reformation that the Inquisition was being carried out. It was part of the Counter Reformation. The Catholic Church was LOSING power, so it was going after ALL heretics … Protestants as well as Pagans. The Protestant Churches also burned heretics … which would have been Catholics as well as Pagans …. the Protestants called Catholics “Pagan”.

    But before the Protestant Reformation, when the Roman Catholic Church’s power was absolute, burning or hanging of heretics was very rare.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by silverapplequeen — December 8, 2018 @ 07:17

  7. Neither has “mellowed” in a linear way; both have had actual regressive movements that are still powerful today, and neither is really currently at the least oppressive that it’s ever been.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by D.T. Nova — December 11, 2018 @ 23:24


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