Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

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Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 8:24

Nearly 80 percent of Christians don’t think a terrorist acting in the name of Christianity is Christian. But more than half say terrorists acting in the name of Islam are Muslims.



Shortly after September 11, 2001, then President George W. Bush spoke directly to Muslims. “We respect your faith,” he said, calling it “good and peaceful.” Terrorists, he added, “are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.”

Recently, TODAY’s Matt Lauer reminded Bush of his words. “I understood right off the bat, Matt, that this was an ideological conflict—that people who murder the innocent are not religious people,” Bush explained. Those words epitomize an important, but controversial question: is someone who acts violently in the name of a faith truly a member of that faith? According to recently highlighted data from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)—which focuses primarily on Christian responses to that yes/no question—potential answers may result in a “double standard.” Christians are more likely to say that other Christians acting violently are not true Christians, while failing to provide the same latitude for Muslims.

But how closely does this represent the reality? When I asked Christian theologians the why behind that simple survey, the answers were—perhaps surprisingly—more complicated and diverse.
According to PRRI, 50 percent of Americans in general say that violence in the name of Islam does not represent Islam—75 percent say the same of Christianity. The numbers shift, however, the more specific the demographic gets, creating the alleged “double standard.” White mainline Protestants (77 percent) and Catholics (79 percent) reject the idea that true Christians act violently, with 41 percent and 58 percent respectively being willing to say the same of Muslims.

White evangelicals stand out the most, having what PRRI calls the “larger double-standard”—87 percent disown Christians who commit violent acts, with only 44 percent willing to say the same about Muslims.
Many, however, believe that Christians who commit acts of terror are overlooked in the West—that “terrorist” is a biased word used only of non-white violent acts done in the name of Islam.

Early in February, the White House issued a report of 78 terror attacks the Trump administration says were ignored by the media. The list was widely dissected by the press and pundits, with news outlets challenging the claims (listing their own coverage as proof), taking the metaphorical red pencil to the list’s many clear spelling errors, and noting the conspicuous absence of attacks by professed white Christians. Notably, the list did not include the recent attack on a mosque in Quebec, as CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out.
Understandably, most people are unlikely to associate willfully with anyone who acts horribly in the name of a faith they love. When terrorist attacks do occur, faith representatives frequently waste little time in denouncing them (PRRI’s “double standard”) but not all are sure that these open repudiations represent the reality.

Reverend Susan Thistlethwaite, professor of theology at the United Church of Christ’s Chicago Theological Seminary, for example, believes there is value in calling violent actors by their chosen faith.

“Christians who commit terrorists acts in the name of their religion are, of course, Christian terrorists,” she says. This does not mean that “Christianity is only a violent religion,” but “it has been complicit in horrific and systemic violence across history, from the Crusades to the Inquisition to the Nazis, and today’s Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.”

She believes it is important that Christians face the issue honestly. “Christians don’t get a ‘hall pass’ to go innocently through the bloody history of what has been done by Christians in the name of Christianity over time. It is absolutely critical that Christians not turn away from the Christian theological elements in such religiously inspired terrorism.”

The same goes for Islam, she says.

“When Muslims commit horrific acts in the name of their religion, I do not think they cease to be Muslims.” She recognizes that Muslims who distance themselves from ISIS might say, “That’s not Islam,” but she believes it is more complicated than that.

“I know many thoughtful Muslims who know they need to dig deeply into their own faith in order to look at the temptations to violence, such as thinking you are doing the ‘will of God’ when what you are really doing is using Islam in order to gain political power.”

Daniel Kirk, pastoral director at Newbigin House of Studies, agrees that violence does not negate one’s Christian or Muslim status.

“Each religion and every religious text holds potential for harm as well as good. Acts of violence can be, and often are, religious expressions. It is critical that we recognize the human component involved when religious communities shape behavior. If we deny the religious component we misinterpret the action and lose our opportunity to respond to it appropriately.”

When shooters (or potential shooters) like Dylan RoofBenjamin McDowellRobert Doggart, and Robert Dear, identify themselves as Christians, many might hope to rescind their membership or say it was never valid, but others, like Kirk, believe that approach is problematic.

“Unless a person is being intentionally deceitful, someone who claims to be acting on the basis of religious fervor should be treated as an adherent to that religion. I do not get to judge whether or not a person is ‘really’ of their faith. As a Christian I can only try to persuade other Christians as to why certain behaviors are incompatible with the Christian faith.”






http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/05/is-there-a-christian-double-standard-on-religious-violence.html





More to read on the link.

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 9:55

I think this is a very complex issue. First of all, you have to determine if someone is committing an act of terrorism in the name of their religion. I don't think that Dylann Roof killed Christians in the name of Christianity, and I don't think that McDowell planned to kill Jews because he's a Christian. The IRA may well be Catholics, but they didn't terrorise the British people in the name of their religion.

Then again, some Muslims who have committed acts of terror aren't necessarily doing it in the name of their religion per se. They might say they are, but are they really? Isn't it sometimes more to do with perceptions of repression of an ethnic group which they identify with? For example, Michael Adebolajo, who killed Lee Rigby, said he did it because of Muslims being killed in other country. In Palestine, isn't it because the Muslim Palestinians see themselves as a repressed group? Then again, I do think that the Muslims who killed the staff at Charlie Hebdo did it in the name of their religion.

It would be interesting to see what Muslims say when asked the same question. I have read of some Muslims saying that ISIS are not Muslims.


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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 11:27

Raggamuffin wrote:I think this is a very complex issue. First of all, you have to determine if someone is committing an act of terrorism in the name of their religion. I don't think that Dylann Roof killed Christians in the name of Christianity, and I don't think that McDowell planned to kill Jews because he's a Christian. The IRA may well be Catholics, but they didn't terrorise the British people in the name of their religion.

Then again, some Muslims who have committed acts of terror aren't necessarily doing it in the name of their religion per se. They might say they are, but are they really? Isn't it sometimes more to do with perceptions of repression of an ethnic group which they identify with? For example, Michael Adebolajo, who killed Lee Rigby, said he did it because of Muslims being killed in other country. In Palestine, isn't it because the Muslim Palestinians see themselves as a repressed group? Then again, I do think that the Muslims who killed the staff at Charlie Hebdo did it in the name of their religion.

It would be interesting to see what Muslims say when asked the same question. I have read of some Muslims saying that ISIS are not Muslims.




You are ignoring Martyrdom, as a reason for many of the Palestinians who commit terrorism.
That places it firmly into Islamic terrorism

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 11:46

Thorin wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:I think this is a very complex issue. First of all, you have to determine if someone is committing an act of terrorism in the name of their religion. I don't think that Dylann Roof killed Christians in the name of Christianity, and I don't think that McDowell planned to kill Jews because he's a Christian. The IRA may well be Catholics, but they didn't terrorise the British people in the name of their religion.

Then again, some Muslims who have committed acts of terror aren't necessarily doing it in the name of their religion per se. They might say they are, but are they really? Isn't it sometimes more to do with perceptions of repression of an ethnic group which they identify with? For example, Michael Adebolajo, who killed Lee Rigby, said he did it because of Muslims being killed in other country. In Palestine, isn't it because the Muslim Palestinians see themselves as a repressed group? Then again, I do think that the Muslims who killed the staff at Charlie Hebdo did it in the name of their religion.

It would be interesting to see what Muslims say when asked the same question. I have read of some Muslims saying that ISIS are not Muslims.




You are ignoring Martyrdom, as a reason for many of the Palestinians who commit terrorism.
That places it firmly into Islamic terrorism

Are you saying that those Muslims kill Israelis merely because they're Jews, and therefore they think God will approve?

I think it's a bit of grey area really. Islamic terrorism is certainly committed by Muslims, but that doesn't mean that every crime committed by a Muslim is motivated by their faith - or the lack of faith of their victims.

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 11:49

Raggamuffin wrote:
Thorin wrote:



You are ignoring Martyrdom, as a reason for many of the Palestinians who commit terrorism.
That places it firmly into Islamic terrorism

Are you saying that those Muslims kill Israelis merely because they're Jews, and therefore they think God will approve?

I think it's a bit of grey area really. Islamic terrorism is certainly committed by Muslims, but that doesn't mean that every crime committed by a Muslim is motivated by their faith - or the lack of faith of their victims.


Yes as many of these Palestinians do based off martyrdom, where they glorify dead terrorists are Martyrs.

That places Islam into this terrorism.

I mean one of the Palestinian terrorist groups is called Palestinian Islamic Jihad

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Jihad_Movement_in_Palestine

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 11:56

Nearly 80 percent of Christians don’t think a terrorist acting in the name of Christianity is Christian. But more than half say terrorists acting in the name of Islam are Muslims.

Has there been a similar "study" done whereby Muslims are asked about the same issue? What percentage of Muslims don't think that a terrorist acting in the name of Islam is a Muslim, and think that terrorists acting in the name of Christianity are Christians?

The example of George Bush doesn't really tie in with the claim of the article, so he's presumably one of the 20%.

The article also seems to be addressing two different issues - crimes committed specifically in the name of religion, and crimes committed by people who happen to be Christians.


Last edited by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 21:10; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 11:57

Thorin wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

Are you saying that those Muslims kill Israelis merely because they're Jews, and therefore they think God will approve?

I think it's a bit of grey area really. Islamic terrorism is certainly committed by Muslims, but that doesn't mean that every crime committed by a Muslim is motivated by their faith - or the lack of faith of their victims.


Yes as many of these Palestinians do based off martyrdom, where they glorify dead terrorists are Martyrs.

That places Islam into this terrorism.

I mean one of the Palestinian terrorist groups is called Palestinian Islamic Jihad

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Jihad_Movement_in_Palestine

OK, but if Palestinians had their own country and did not perceive that they were being treated unfairly, would some of them still be killing Jews just for being Jewish?

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 11:59

Raggamuffin wrote:
Nearly 80 percent of Christians don’t think a terrorist acting in the name of Christianity is Christian. But more than half say terrorists acting in the name of Islam are Muslims.

Has their been a similar "study" done whereby Muslims are asked about the same issue? What percentage of Muslims don't think that a terrorist acting in the name of Islam is a Muslim, and think that terrorists acting in the name of Christianity are Christians?

The example of George Bush doesn't really tie in with the claim of the article, so he's presumably one of the 20%.

The article also seems to be addressing two different issues - crimes committed specifically in the name of religion, and crimes committed by people who happen to be Christians.

How exactly?
How is the crime where people were murdered in a planning clinic not done in the name of religion?
Also White Supremacists in the US are a Far Right Christian ideology

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 12:03

Thorin wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

Has their been a similar "study" done whereby Muslims are asked about the same issue? What percentage of Muslims don't think that a terrorist acting in the name of Islam is a Muslim, and think that terrorists acting in the name of Christianity are Christians?

The example of George Bush doesn't really tie in with the claim of the article, so he's presumably one of the 20%.

The article also seems to be addressing two different issues - crimes committed specifically in the name of religion, and crimes committed by people who happen to be Christians.

How exactly?
How is the crime where people were murdered in a planning clinic not done in the name of religion?
Also White Supremacists in the US are a Far Right Christian ideology

As I said before, the article mentioned Dylann Roof. I don't think that he was motivated by his faith, or the faith of the people he killed, do you?

White supremacists are not necessarily motivated by their faith if they also happen to be Christians, they're motivated by racial issues.

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 12:05

Raggamuffin wrote:
Thorin wrote:

How exactly?
How is the crime where people were murdered in a planning clinic not done in the name of religion?
Also White Supremacists in the US are a Far Right Christian ideology

As I said before, the article mentioned Dylann Roof. I don't think that he was motivated by his faith, or the faith of the people he killed, do you?

White supremacists are not necessarily motivated by their faith if they also happen to be Christians, they're motivated by racial issues.


He was motivated by White Supremacist ideology, which in the US is based on a form of Christianity
That makes him a Christian terrorist.

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 12:09

Thorin wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

As I said before, the article mentioned Dylann Roof. I don't think that he was motivated by his faith, or the faith of the people he killed, do you?

White supremacists are not necessarily motivated by their faith if they also happen to be Christians, they're motivated by racial issues.


He was motivated by White Supremacist ideology, which in the US is based on a form of Christianity
That makes him a Christian terrorist.

I don't agree that he was motivated by religion at all. I think the connection you're making is too vague.

What about Peter Sutcliffe? He claimed that God told him to murder those women, but do you really think he was motivated by religion?

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 12:11

Raggamuffin wrote:
Thorin wrote:


He was motivated by White Supremacist ideology, which in the US is based on a form of Christianity
That makes him a Christian terrorist.

I don't agree that he was motivated by religion at all. I think the connection you're making is too vague.

What about Peter Sutcliffe? He claimed that God told him to murder those women, but do you really think he was motivated by religion?


That is up to you if you do not agree Rags, but it fails to understand Christianity is at the forefront of White Supremacy in the US.

Yes I do think he was motivated by religion and hate of women.

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun 5 Mar - 12:20

What about the IRA? Do you think they were motivated by religion, specifically the Catholic faith?

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Re: Is There a Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence?

Post by Guest on Sun 5 Mar - 12:22

Raggamuffin wrote:What about the IRA? Do you think they were motivated by religion, specifically the Catholic faith?

Some are motivated by religion, but by and large it is sectarian terrorism, which can be formed from religious and national differences.

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