No matter how much I'm fascinated by religion, I dread talking about it. It is too easy for things to get mixed up. It's even worse with my family. They were raised with a very conventional grounding in religion and have made no secret that they disagree with my "find your own path" mentality. They have said I'm everything from a heathen, a pagan, a Muslim, an Atheist, a cultist...and this continued until I just kept my mouth shut. I think they think I'm agnostic, but it's not a subject I'm keen to broach.
Dad had been watching TV and saw some guy trying to explain how "all the conflict in the Middle East, all the wars, are because the Muslim religion, by dint of its teachings, creates terrorists, unlike other religions."
Does the name Timothy McVeigh mean anything to him? He was a Christian from the Bible Belt.
"Well, that's why I'm asking you. You know about all these different religions. I think he's wrong. Isn't Islam supposed to be peaceful?"
+5 for you, dad. It is. But every religion breeds their own crazies. Christianity does it with people who bomb abortion clinics, kill doctors, abuse their kids to teach respect, and undermine the Bill Of Rights in the name of promoting their own religion.
"So it's a recent thing. Terrorism is a result of modern times, not religion."
It's not even modern times. If you accept that the Bible is a historical document, the twelve tribes of Israel were vicious. The country of Midian in the book of Numbers? The Israelites slayed every man, male child, and every woman who had been with a man because God ordered them to. All the inhabitants of Ai, 12,000 according to the book of Joshua, were slaughtered. The Amorites were killed. The Danites killed the peaceful inhabitants of Laish. That's when the dominant religion was Judaism. It has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with taking control and power by force. It's war, not religion. The guy on TV was talking out of his ass.
There's an old Polish proverb that says, a truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. This idiot was using simple misdirection to paint a group of people as dangerous. And he got on national TV to do his damage. My dad not buying it right away is a good sign that maybe the public is learning. But I don't think I'll be celebrating in this lifetime.
(Side note: this guy apparently also said there is not actual historical record that Mohamed ever existed. The same can be said of Jesus, Moses, and Abraham. Put the footgun away before you really get hurt.)