I suppose it was inevitable that some ignorant asses would blame Muslims for Monday’s bombing attack during the Boston Marathon before anyone knows anything and they have. You might think Erik Rush was first, with his “Let’s kill them all” tweet, but Rush says he was being sarcastic. He may have meant it as sarcastic, but it wasn’t; it was just a douchey thing to say. Really, even with the best of timing, this “joke” would’ve been in poor taste. But, less than 4 hours after the bombs went off? Bad as it was, it was still better than what Pat Robertson said:
“But to think that somebody would be so vicious, so evil as to want to kill little children, and maim families who were there rejoicing in a sporting contest on a beautiful day in Boston, it just makes you sick at your stomach. Don’t talk to me about religion of peace, no way.”
It never fails, whenever an act of terror conservative Christian wing-nut will make reference to the “religion of peace” phrase in a mocking and sarcastic manner. The funny thing is they do so with straight face, as if to say that their religion (and mine) is the real “religion of peace”. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the Abrahamic religions have a long and bloody history and Christianity is no exception. Don’t think so? Here’s a sampling of what we’ve done:
- After its legitimization by Constantine in 315, the Church executed thousands of pagans and destroyed their temples. Women and children were not exempt.
- In the 7th century, the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne beheaded 4500 Saxons who refused to convert to Christianity.
- The Crusades to the Holy Land was launched in 1095 resulting in millions of deaths. The Siege of Jerusalem is a perfect snapshot of the Crusades. After a month-long siege, the city fell and in the following massacre, the Gesta Francorum says “…[our men] were killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles…”. In his account, Raymond of Aguilers wrote ” in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins.” Of course, this hyperbole, but it’s hyperbole by the perpetrators of the violence. What do you think that says?
- In 1481, the Catholic Church established the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, aka the Spanish Inquisition. This lovely little group was responsible for the torture and execution of as many as 5000 people during its tenure.
- Between 1480 and 1750, as many as 60,000 people were executed as witches by Christians.
- Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia and model for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was responsible for 40,000 to 100,000 deaths in his wars against the Ottoman Turks. These wars were part of new crusade called for by Pope Pius II at the Congress of Mantua
- The modern era is filled with persecutions, wars, executions and other violence all perpetrated by the Christian church. Some of the earliest settlers to America came here to escape these things and then massacred native Americans when they wouldn’t convert to Christianity. The sectarian violence in Ireland, the Balkans and other places comes is religiously motivated and Christians are, at the very least, in it up to their hips. As Pat said of Islam, “Don’t talk to me about religion of peace, no way.“
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting Muslim extremists off the hook. What I’m saying is that Christians condemning Muslims for belonging a religion that has a history of violence is about hypocritical as it gets. But, then, Americans are over-achievers, so why wouldn’t we strive to be the biggest and douchiest of hypocritical assholes?