Originally Posted by ckblv
78% of people in this country are Christians, there is no way a non-Christian will be able to get away from that and Christians are free to talk about their faith. The United States is basically a Christian country, that is a fact.
And 33% of the world's population is Christian. So, a third. 27% of the world's population is Muslim. Not far behind. And this includes Europe, where Islam is second only to Christianity. The rate of growth of Islam is believed to be such that in the not too distant future, Islam will equal or overtake Christianity as the most observed religion in the world.
Now, will you feel the same when that happens? That there will be no way a non-Muslim will be able to `get away from it, and that Muslims are free to talk about their faith?'. Will you feel the same when the population of Muslims in the world overtakes the population of Christians? When your religion begins to be overshadowed? When the things you believe become less important than the things believed by those who adhere to Islam?
Somehow I don't think your tolerance extends that far.
Put yourself in the very likely position that this will someday happen. And think about how it makes you feel. Then (and this is not too much of a leap) transfer that to how the non-religious feel about Christianity (and, by the way, the non-religious come third on the population list. People of no religion make up nearly 20% of the world's population).
You and others here care so little for the rights and feelings and beliefs of those in what you consider to be a dismissable minority. Those who do not subscribe to Christianity. You talk about your rights to express your beliefs, to advertise your faith, to bring it to as many parts of the world you can, and completely dismiss the rights of those who do not believe in God or Christianity to do the same.
You protest when you are challenged, but continually challenge the beliefs of those who have a different set of values to you. You are quite happy and secure in the knowledge that strength lies in numbers, but if anything threatens that strength you say you are persecuted. You, who are the persecutors. If anyone disagrees with you, they are the ones who are intolerant.
But, and I believe the Bible says this, `pride cometh before a fall'. Those who feel that there is only room in this world for one set of beliefs will realise in the end how wrong they were. Not wrong to believe what they believe, but wrong to persecute and discriminate against those who feel differently. As if those who don't are somehow inferior, poorer, or less informed.
This has happened all throughout history. The rights of others have been stepped on by those who lust for power. Women, black people, the disabled - the list goes on. Christians, I'm sure, for the most part would abhor this. And yet cannot see that they do the exact same thing to non-Christians, that they behave in the exact same manner, as those who used to oppress women, and black people, and anyone else. Is this kind of hypocrisy acceptable when in the name of religion?
I have heard, time and again, people say that they must save this world from the threat of Islam, from the Muslims who believe that all should come to Islam and all should be converted. I would like to know how they can protest against this, while feeling with equal conviction that the world should be Christian. This paradox continues to baffle me, and I would like to know why there is a difference between the two largest religions in the world battling it out for supremacy.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Surely one party must be, and yet who belongs on which side depends upon perspective. Each party believes wholeheartedly in its own veracity. And that is based upon only two religions or belief systems, out of the many subscribed to by the world's population. It stands to reason that not everyone can be right, and for those who feel beyond any doubt that they are, then that is all well and good. What is right for you is profoundly important in how you lead your life.
But when this conviction leads you to blindness, bigotry, prejudice and hostility, then it cannot be for the greater good. For those who are so convinced that they are on the one and only right path, they should feel grateful. But it is up to each of us to find our own right path, and it is the right of each of us to be heard with equal respect, and to not be discriminated against because of our beliefs - which are as individual and true to us as they are to the person next to us. It is not for one to be superior over any other, but for us as a world community to be tolerant of our fellow human beings - even if we do not always agree.