So the saying goes that we become our enemy, and perhaps nowhere is this displayed quite as dazzlingly as in this disingenuous “anathema” between traditional Muslims and your more fundamentalist or hard-line post-Reformation Christian sects, such as Baptists. So without further ado, here is a comprehensive snapshot of the rather disquieting similarities I witness daily yet I never hear anyone talk about:
- Sex-obsessed. Celibacy is frowned upon, probably because of homosexual connotations.
(In denial about Jesus, who lived his entire life celibate and explained in painstaking detail the nature of eunuchism in Matthew’s Gospel).
- Prohibitionists. Alcohol and many other psychoactives are proscribed.
(In denial about Jesus, whose first miracle was the production of wine and the other prophets who clearly used fasting, liturgy and other psychoactives such as the much-discussed kaneh bosm or cannabis and likely mushrooms to boot).
- Chauvinists. Women are elaborately segregated and subordinated. An infantilizing degree of repression is common. Paired with their patriarchy, there is a twin-tendency toward a quite militant patriotism.
- “Gleeful pessimists”. Our dearly beloved Fundie brethren tend to use the bulk of their “air time” (or “pulpit time”, of which they receive way too much) in discussing devils, apocalypses, their favorite sins, and what’s allegedly fatally erroneous with other groups and approaches—rather than say the actual Gospel, God’s love and those more freeing and wisdom-inducing passages within the Scriptures they thump. Whether traditional Muslim or fundamentalist Baptist, they teach humanity’s total separation from God (which almost rings true, in that it would handily explain why God would allow Fundies to exist and to troll people, but which also seems to fly in the face of their other teachings, such as the teaching that God is omnipresent—a mystery?). The upshot of their message seems to be to frighten, repress and shelter people—more than to edify, inform or save them.
- Literalists. They seem to be markedly obsessed with Genesis—or rather with a distinctly literal (concretely, Augustinian) interpretation of it, despite the poetic and mythical style of the original text and the lack of any teaching on Original Sin, Total Corruption, or anything indicating a stark and total corruption or separation from God in all of historic Judaism. Often their interpretations will differ, but each person’s opinion is always forced (and upon closer inspection opportunistic. “If the light that is in you is darkness…”) Unsurprisingly, loving their inbred thought patterns as they do, our dear Fundie brothers and sisters never have very much to say on subjects of cultural, intellectual and scientific pursuits and advances.
- Community autonomy. Local groups tend to operate independently and cling to no central authority. (Hey, who said it was all bad news?)
- Iconoclasm. They prohibit—or tell us that “God” prohibits—not only statues but all artistic realism, especially the anthropomorphic, especially their sacred male figures, whether Jesus or Muhammad. (Like icons, the occult is as prohibited as it is misunderstood.)
- Rent in twain. Both groups have two large subgroups. Muslims have “Sunnis” and “Shiites”; Baptists have “Southern Baptists” and “Baptists”.
- Ubiquity. Both groups’ presence is global and their claims are universal. According to them, they have the truest, purest form of what their hyper-masculine God had initially intended for the world, which they have salvaged from the wreckage of “Babylonian backsliding”. They really, really, really want you on their team (or out of their way).
Notable differences between the groups discussed include:
- I versus we. Baptists tend to be more individualistic (“Jesus, my Bible and me”), whilst Islam tends to be more communistic, as it were.
- Light hazing. Baptists have baptism (i.e. aquatic immersion), whereas Muslim initiation involves only a verbal profession before the community.
- Political Zionism (not to be confused with religious Zionism). Last but not least, Baptists seem far more prone to agree with (or acquiesce to) Jews’ sort of Master Race claims and consequent colonialism (e.g., the allegedly Jewish State of Israel).
(It’s clear from 1 and 3 how a certain uber-rich ethnicity have conspired to play this and many “Christian” sects like a violin, to be frank.)
Join us next week for Mormons: White Muslims?