Valhalla High School

Opinion: Extremists in every religion

Buddhist monks are slaughtering Muslim women and children in their campaign of ethnic cleansing—just last week killing 12, according to Al Jazeera America.

Christian organizations, like the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), are infamous for their hatred of those who do not follow their ideals. The LRA often forces young boys to become soldiers and young girls into sexual slavery. Those that do not fight are killed and the girls must serve as soldier “brides,” which, as a result, rapidly spreads HIV.

Jewish extremists are suspected in the burning of a building, causing the death of a Palestinian baby. In the past, they have also burned mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and Israeli military bases. These attacks are dubbed “price tags,” to represent the cost of Israeli decisions which favor Palestinians.

Every religion is tainted in some way or another, whether self-inflicted or by way of outside influences. So, how is it that followers of the Bible feel it right to prosecute the Quran due to what they perceive as savagery, when, in actuality, the Bible itself could be held in contempt for the very same reason.

That’s right, I am talking about the Old Testament; the somewhat contradictory (at times embarrassingly so) part of the Bible that most Christians likes to ignore. It includes a wide variety of anecdotes that are selectively advertised. The less popular verses that decrease Christian credibility advocate for stoning women in the case of adultery, killing 42 children because one of God’s prophets were mocked, massive flooding that which killed most of the world’s population, and even dashing babies against rocks.

Their excuse? “Well, that was the Old Testament.”

It goes without saying that the Old Testament makes up about half of the Bible, so how, exactly, can you discredit half of the “word of God”?

Now, we pretty much know that the stories told in the Bible are parables meant to stand for something other than what they are saying. But if we can apply this principle of parables to Christianity, we should apply it to all religions. Supporting claims that vilify Muslims and the Quran with evidence that takes their teachings and lessons literally are, simply put, outright hypocritical.

Point being, attacking a religion as a whole, rather than the extremists themselves, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And, doing so would push our societal progress several crucial steps backward in human morality and liberty.