Prayer doesn't change God, but changes him who prays
-- Soren Kierkegaard
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and
-- Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded lion
The justifications for murder by Islamists, as most recently voiced in
Mumbai, is the demand to stop "oppression of Islam". It’s a broken record,
played after every act of atrocity perpetrated.
The fundamentalist christian position is exactly the same, and I've never
heard it voiced as eloquently as in the following -
For fundamentalist Christians like Mackay, this is the Armageddon debate, the row to end all rows. His logic seems simple and indestructible. Anyone who declares God didn't create the earth in six days is setting off a chain of explosions that start at the very base of all Christian thought, bursts up through the architecture of its parables, prophesies and gospels and ultimately blows off its roof in a vast Satanic mushroom cloud. "How do you get rid of God ?" Mackay asks. "You attack his authority - and his authority is that he created earth."
Would You Believe - SMH Good Weekend, 23/9/08, Will Storr
Extreme Christianity and Islam are paranoid mirrors of each other. "Persecution. We're being persecuted".
The similarities don't end there - there is the constant vileness of Islamist terror which is mirrored by fundie x-tian's murders and bombings of abortion clinics, and the daily torrents of anonymous death threats made against secularists that could fill entire phone books. Granted, the x-tians have a long way to go to catch up - the Islamists are several orders of magnitude ahead in the atrocity stakes (at this point in time anyway).
Then there is the aspect of the shame of failure. The Islamic world, despite all the tomes and voices praising it as the central foundation of modern civilisation, has to deal with the fact that in the last 800 years it has achieved absolutely nothing. Nada. They are a culture in a coma, 800 years of groundhog day, no motivation, no progress, no nothing.
They are a culture that has failed, and but for the miracle of the cosmic Lottery giving them so much of the planets oil, the world wouldn't care if they existed or not.
Fundamentalist x-tians are in a similar boat. Despite all the noise that makes them seem a dominant American demographic, the constant presence of atheist literature on bestseller lists, is filling them with a gnawing doubt that maybe, just maybe, they aren't as many as they think. Hence the desperation to steamroll wedge issues like pro-life and ID in classrooms.
They are both the howls of wounded animals fearing for their very existence. Desperation is the only tool they have left.
The only difference between the two is which book they choose to cling to for dear life.
And what both need to realise is if they'd stop behaving like assholes, no one would care how or what they worship.