Christians who fail to support religious freedom for Muslims are making a major mistake. It’s likely to backfire on them.
Peter Beinart reports on anti-Muslim Christian views in his April 11 Atlantic article, “When Conservatives Oppose Religious Freedom.” There’s a lot there that’s worth looking at, even if not all of it reflects the truth about the Christian faith in America. Beinart tells of Christians with ugly anti-Muslim views, standing against Muslims’ rights to build mosques. Christians used to be some of the biggest defenders of religious freedom for Muslims, he says. Now, however, many Christian groups not only oppose Muslims’ right to full religious freedom. They’ll even stand against fellow Christians who defend Muslims.
What is Said About Christians
The simple fact is that denying religious freedom is wrong. It’s wrong against Christians and it’s wrong against Muslims. It’s also an unwise practice for Christians to engage in. We live in a world where powerful people would like to find reasons to justify legal measures being brought against the Christian faith. The reasons Christians bring forth to try to halt a mosque today can be used to halt a church tomorrow.
I know this because during my research on Christianophobia, I read comments from people with great disdain for Christians. I can show you ways they’re likely to turn our own reasons against us.
For example, some of my Christian friends say there’s reason to fear Muslims because they seek to impose Sharia law. Yet the people I heard from in my research often felt the same way about Christians. One respondent stated, “They are America’s Taliban. They will take whatever power they can get. The Catholic Church has a great record — look what they did in the middle ages. The Christian Right would put in a theocracy in a minute. (Male, aged 36-45 with some graduate school)”
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