"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, 'How long halt ye between two opinions?
If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' And the people answered him not a word." (I Kings 18.21, KJV)
Recent events exemplify once more that the worldviews (i.e. religious belief system, philosophies of life) of Christianity and Islam do not play well together. It seems that in at least a spiritual sense the worldview of the Judeo-Christian experience is under attack by the worldview espoused by some who follow the equally diverse teachings of Islam.
And, those motivated by hate, unimpressed with mere spiritual or philosophical warfare, seem determined to physically attack those holding opposing absolutes.
However, the current and former President has said the United States is not at war against the religion of Islam. This is certainly politically correct and perhaps even true on some level. If in this present conflict of worldviews someone is shooting and bombing, it sure sounds like war. And, without a conflict of worldviews there would be no conflicts.
As has been pointed out, "All wars are about religion." With whom then, exactly, are we at war?
This writer lacks the experience or expertise to adequately portray the Islamic worldview.
In fact, Islam, as with Christianity, has fractured into multiple, often conflicting, dogmas. But, according to one group (www.thereligionofpeace.com), which does follow Islamic activities, the worldview of the followers of Allah encompasses:
-- "Unbelievers are described by Muhammad (in the Qur'an) as "the vilest of animals" and "losers." Christians and Jews are hated by Allah to the extent that they are destined for eternal doom as a result of their beliefs."
-- "Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had people killed for insulting him or for criticizing his religion. This included women. Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad."
-- "The Qur'an never once speaks of Allah's love for non-Muslims, but it speaks of Allah's cruelty toward and hatred of non-Muslims more than 500 times."
On the other hand, the Christian worldview is something with which I do have my share of exposure, at least as far as it is presented in America. Some two-centuries into this American experiment the Biblical absolutes which were assumed in establishing what we as a nation became include the following teachings (as represented not only in most Christian manifestations but in most of law and politics):
-- "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:11-13, KJV)
-- "And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also." (Luke 6:28-30, KJV)
-- "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:43-45, KJV)
To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, both may be wrong, one may be right and the other wrong; it seems illogical that they could both be right.
It appears if America would choose Islam as the basis for law and lifestyle, likely the shooting and bombing could be stopped. But, prudence here demands pointing out that the written record indicates those who (even by keeping silent) denied the Lord God Jehovah were "left to the mercy of the enemy".
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.