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Islam needs its first reformation, Christianity its second

Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think
in response to reader comment: It All Comes Down For The Need To Get With The 21st Century

Submitted by Pro-Israeli Democrat (United States), Jul 6, 2006 at 06:28

That is exactly what I have been saying for the last year. Reformation is key (especially when we are talking about the Sunni). And, indeed, Islam does have some rough times ahead. However, Christian reformation was nowhere nearly as successful as people think. Even here, there is still a conflict between faith and modernity. When we are talking about "cafeteria Catholics" and the majority of Protestants and other sects yes. But look at Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James C. Dobson, and Fred Phelps, (not to mention a large number of paleoconservatives). All still follow a brand of Christianity that is nearly as incompatible with the 21st century as anything else. I mean...replacing evolutionary theory with groundless 'intelligent design'...please. I am not knocking on either Islam or Christianity, but are the events mentioned in religious texts really so compelling that they should replace something that is essentially fact (especially when we have a fossil record to prove it). I really don't think so.

For the West, this is regression to the Middle Ages. And the sad thing is that some politicians (including a few that I admire, though would never vote for) are buying into it. They are promoting intelligent design, trying to ban abortion, and trying to institute school prayer. Some are also trying to convert Jews to Christ, so they can bring about the coming of the apocalypse that did not happen with Y2K. Is Jerry Falwell Modern? Never. Secular? Absolutely not. This is not the gentle, flexible Christianity most Westerners practice. It is Crusader or Inquisition-style Christianity. And I would hate to live under biblical law one day.

Look at Pope John Paul II as well (who I greatly admired regardless. He was an amazing individual and a champion of human rights, yes. However, his opposition to contraceptives undoubtedly caused several million needless AIDS deaths in Africa (in Botswana, Nigeria, etc.). And we had seen, time and again, that abstinence-only sex education did not work . In my opinion, all religions need another reformation, although Islam must have its first. With that, I reccommend the magazine Free Inquiry, if you are not familiar with it already. It shows how urgent the need for another Reformation (or Enlightenment) truly is. Thank you so much for your comments, by the way (and I really mean that). You have touched on an issue that really means a great deal to me (regardless of your position on it).


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