July 11, 2017 at 7:37 pm #23040
I got into a small debate with a friend the other day. I won’t go into the long story of what the whole debate was about, but in a nutshell, she stated that Jews and Muslims are a race, more than a religion. I was confused as to how a religion can be a race, of when religion becomes a race? She then stated that Jews and Muslims are historically persecuted races, and Catholicism is a historically privileged religion. I had to end the conversation because I was confused, and upset. Ever since deciding to join the Church, I have seen so much hatred toward Catholicism. (I notice it more, I guess). Is there a double standard when it comes to bashing certain religions or “races”?July 11, 2017 at 11:06 pm #23044
Jews have a cultural and ethnic heritage, that is true. Muslims are more of a cultural and political ideology than even a religion, and are NOT a race. Islam was started by Muhammad sometime in the 7th century. According to a few sources (Catholic Answers, etc) he merged elements from pagan tribal religions, Judaism, and Christianity (and maybe some fabricated ideas as well). It evolved somewhat over the years. Islam, as an ideology, has always been imperialistic, invading, conquering and seeking to drive out other faiths, particularly Christianity. Originally, as the disciples traveled, N. Africa and the Middle East had become mostly Christian in the early centuries (previously pagan). By the 6th/7th centuries Christianity was the main, accepted and practiced religion of the region. But as Islam grew from the 7th through 10th centuries, it spread through invasion and force more than evangelization (being an obedience based-ideology). The Crusades were a response to those invasions, in attempts to protect Christian cities.
It was the Jewish leaders, along with the Gentiles (Roman) authorities that conspired to arrest and crucify Jesus, at least partly because he was a threat to their authority. Judaism isn’t exactly the hero of the greatest story. But through history, for certain Jews have been victims too, but more from Islam than any other belief system. The part of the historical record that is most forgotten though is how Christianity has been persecuted more than any other religion throughout history, and currently. Most of the early Christians were killed for the faith – not just the Saints/martyrs, but many if not most early believers. That continued throughout the middle ages, Muslim sect invasions, Ottoman Empire, Church of England’s takeover of Catholicism, Elizabeth I, 30 years war, etc. In my opinion, and based on an article by Catholic Answers, I would propose that Islam is at least partly, if not mostly responsible for the true Orthodox/Catholic Rome split when it invaded Constantinople and forced the Patriarch to declare a formal split from Rome in the early 1400s.
History loves to paint Islam (and anyone else – Protestants, Jews, etc) as the victim because it implicates Christianity as the aggressor, creating an argument of sensationalism. But the exact opposite is true of history itself. But this is how Satan works in our world – he uses anything and everything to oppose the truth, including distorting history, and using what should be seen as a danger to even atheist countries – Islam.
I was rather stunned during my journey into the Church to find that so much of US and World History has been spun from an anti-Church perspective (and it is obvious when comparing to Catholic historical records, and less atheist-biased sources). But given how far societies are diverging from truth, reality and rational thought, it doesn’t surprise me anymore. Sadly, most people are quick to adopt these false claims and historical myths because it provides a convenient argument against Christianity. The odd thing is though, why do people so quickly adopt Islam as their “pet religion” when its beliefs should cause rioting from this liberal “free choice” world? It is FAR more “intolerant” than Christianity. Yet the violence of its past and present is ignored, all to build an argument against Christ.
Clearly only the truth is seen as a threat by the non-Catholic world. No one is is concerned with fiction, even if it is the real threat to every soul. The Church has had its flaws because humans have always been in leadership, but despite all of this, not one belief (dogma or doctrine) from the early Church has been lost or changed. Interestingly, it is the only organization or religion in the world where that is true. That alone proves that above all other religions, every nation, and every culture, only the Church has the hand of God guiding and protecting it, no matter how large or small it may be, no matter how corrupt its leaders may be, and no matter how hard the world tries to destroy it, even the gates of Hell can not, and will not prevail against it (Matt 16:18).July 11, 2017 at 11:22 pm #23045
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
This woman has an interesting theory, but it is quite far from the truth.
Are Muslims a race? There are representatives of every race on earth among Muslim believers. The religion originated in the Arabian subcontinent, but it quickly spread throughout much of Africa, Asia, and about half of Europe. Nowadays, there are Muslims on every continent; Indonesian Muslims (Asian) are of a different race from Tanzanian Muslims (African), and neither is Arab. Furthermore, just as in Christianity, there are liberal, conservative, radical and secular Muslims. The one thing most Muslims possess in common is what we might call “ethnicity.” They share a similar religion (which is sharply divided into sects), a similar cultural outlook based on the Qu’ran, and for the most part, some knowledge of the Arabic language due to their religious training.
Religiously, there are dozens of sects within Islam (see this web page for an overview), and they are often at each other’s throats. This was manifestly the case in Iraq during the time of Saddam Hussein, when the Sunnis were attempting to exterminate the Shiites, prompting a “war within a war.” Then, of course, there are the secular, or non-practicing Muslims, who are caught in the middle between the extremists on all sides.
Judaism has an ethnic history similar to that of Islam, in that the Israelites were originally all of the Hebrew race. But upon reaching the Promised Land, they began to absorb those of other origins into their midst (the Torah has specific rules governing how this is to be done), and during the Exile, they intermarried with the people into whose lands they were taken or migrated. Again, “ethnicity” might be a better description than “race.” Moreover, there are a number of sects in Judaism. These sects are at least not warlike, with no vendettas between them.
Christianity is similarly divided, but along ideological rather than racial lines. The “hatred” of Catholic Christianity that I have encountered over the years is mostly a fear of the Catholic Church as an “evil force,” to which Protestant Christianity is diametrically opposed. This is not so much a hatred as ignorance of Catholicism, a sort of outsiders’ bogeyman. The historical fact that Protestantism’s origin is in protest against the Catholic Church, or at least abuses and corruption in it, explains this mostly ill-defined and emotionally charged feeling. Protestant Christianity really has no reason for its existence apart from this opposition, which over the centuries since its beginning has become ever more hazy, so that today we see numerous denominations in decline or pursuing ever more far-fetched ideologies, such as secret codes, ecology, the “rapture,” health and wealth, social activism, New Age ideology, and most recently, homosexuality.
From the Protestant point of view, Catholicism is perhaps a “privileged religion.” Yet Catholics have suffered heavy persecution in every century from the beginnings of Christianity until now. Some current examples: There is an active pogrom of Catholic priests in Mexico by the drug lords who control much of the country, with some two dozen priests murdered so far. There is an ongoing marginalization of the Church and everything it stands for in world politics and ethnic propaganda. (Dedric mentions this in some detail.) There is a Muslim assassination campaign in various parts of the world directed precisely at Catholic workers in mercy missions among peoples the Muslims are attempting to eradicate (think of the refugee camps in Africa and Asia, where the Catholic Church is always first and most effective with on-the-ground humanitarian aid: food, clothing, shelter, medicine and more — while others are supplying condoms). Thousands of Catholics are martyred every year (if I recall correctly, the 2016 figure was around 4,500) in these and many more persecutions around the globe. Protestants seldom hear of these things because the media and denominational leaders have decided it is “none of their business.” The Catholic Church is, after all, to their mind an agent of Satan and deserves to be destroyed.
Is there a double standard when it comes to bashing certain religions or “races”?
I don’t think so. Among Protestants, “bashing” is mostly fueled by ignorance, which may manifest itself as prejudice or hatred from the opposite perspective, but in most cases, I don’t think that is the conscious intent. Keep in mind that Protestants harbor rather extreme emotions concerning Catholicism in comparison with their paucity of knowledge of the “enemy.” Among other groups, the hatred is real and does not usually discriminate between Catholics and other Christian groups; it is mostly a matter of who is “interfering” with their agenda. Thus some anti-Christian extremists will attack any Christian, regardless of his affiliation.
DavidJuly 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm #23057
Wow! Thank you both for your thorough answers. I wish I had all of this at the tip of my tongue during my debate. Thank you!
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