It’s always amusing to me when I hear right-wing Christians speaking out so angrily against Islam. When you separate Islamic radicals (aka terrorists), and just focus on the two religions themselves, they’re not all that different. In fact, on many issues they wholeheartedly agree. Again, I’m not talking about groups like ISIS or any other terrorist organization, I’m focusing on basic, non-militant Islamic fundamentalists who believe in Sharia law and that religion should rule over government, such as those in Saudi Arabia.
Take women’s rights for example. Granted, women here in the United States are given far more freedoms than women in many nations ruled by Islam, but that freedom has come from secularists – not Christian fundamentalists. If it were up to many of these fundamentalists, women would have far fewer rights than they currently have. Even in 2016, I still meet hardcore evangelicals here in Texas quite often who think women should wear long skirts and hide as much skin as possible. But when you get beyond basic rights for women, both right-wing Christians and Islamic fundamentalists oppose abortion, sex education and contraceptives.
Then there’s always homosexuality and gay rights, a subject both sides vehemently oppose. Homosexuality is extremely frowned upon (if not outright illegal) in many Islamic nations. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., Republicans continue to do just about everything they can to deny homosexuals equal rights and legalize discrimination against them. Again, millions of homosexuals are moving closer and closer to equal rights because of secularists, not because of Christian fundamentalism. I fully believe that if it were up to many right-wing evangelicals in this country, and we had no Constitution to prevent them from doing it, many wouldn’t have a problem with making homosexuality illegal.
On a less “crucial” issue, there’s always alcohol. It’s illegal to drink in many Muslim nations, and even here in the U.S. there are counties where selling alcohol is illegal. In Texas we call them “blue laws.” But what these laws really represent are blatant examples of religious beliefs writing American law, because that’s where these laws are derived from.
Let’s also not forget that both right-wing evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists believe that a nation should be ruled by religion, also know as a theocratic form of government. Both groups believe their rights are given to them by God (or Allah), not the government. And while many Islamic nations on this planet are indeed ruled by religion, it is our secularist Constitution which has prevented Christian radicals here from ruling this nation as the theocracy they’d love for it to be.
Then there’s always intolerance of other religions. A nation such as Saudi Arabia has no tolerance for any other religions besides Islam. And I can’t help but think that, if many conservatives had their way, this nation would also ban other religions – especially Islam. But while we’re obviously much more tolerant to religious freedom here in the United States than some Islamic states, that is another example of secularism providing that freedom – not Christian fundamentalism.
But when you get right down to it, isn’t the goal of both right-wing Christian evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists essentially the same – to build nations based upon theocracies and religious rule? While Islam might be more restrictive in a lot of ways, mainly because our Constitution (and Western culture in general) has mostly kept religious radicals from taking over, these groups are very similar in many of the instances where human rights are concerned – especially when it comes to women’s rights and equality for homosexuals.
But the saddest part is, they’re two groups of people who often despise and loathe one another who are both worshipping books filled with stories that neither one of them can prove are real.
It’s just amazing how often those who claim to be the “most religious” are the ones filled with so much hate and intolerance.