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Compassion and Hatred? Response to Commenter "John"

Reader comment on item: [The Search for Moderate Islam:] A Reply to Lawrence Auster
in response to reader comment: Compassion vs Hatred

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Jan 31, 2005 at 21:43

By abandoning the crusading ideal (at least one waged with broadswords, chainmail, or their 21st century equivalents), Christianity has NOT grown up: it has recovered its soul.

Yes, Christianity, at least those unabashed kinds that go by the name of "fundamentalist", are indeed out to convert the world--but even these understand, with Paul the Apostle, that the weapons of such warfare are the preaching of the Word of God and ethical example; not a sword to the prospective convert's throat (which is how you get a cowed cynic, not a convert).

As for the Crusades, they were a case of Christendom answering its enemies in its chief enemies' own coin of holy war. Islam, after all, had won by the sword a swath of formerly Christianized territories stretching from the Euphrates to Andalusia, and into Asia Minor. However, one looks in vain in the New Testament for anything equivalent to Islam's jihad; while the Old Testament's ban on the Canaanites and Amalekites, if studied in context, shows a warning aainst Israel's own possible apostasy far more than a boast of conquest or justification for plunder. Christianity, in its most primitive form, is the heir to a dispersed post-exilic Judaism that has learned to live without political and military power; while Islam, in its inception, is a militaristic faith in which the domination and humiliation of others is central (cf. Surah VI of the Qu'ran).
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