Max Boot’s Sept. 29 op-ed commentary, “Islamism, not Islam, real foe,” was insightful but I am compelled to address a glaring historical error. “Religions..,” he writes, “have no fixed eternal identity. Until the 18th century, Christianity was a militant faith whose adherents did not hesitate to kill ‘heathens’.”
While it is true that some terrible atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity over the centuries, it is not true that these heinous campaigns were ever representative of genuine Christian faith. Part of the misunderstanding springs from a failure to distinguish between actual Christianity and the state “Christianity” of the old so-called Holy Roman Empire.
The Crusades were a blatant contradiction of Christian theology and the victims of the Spanish Inquisition were usually Christians themselves, bothersome devotees whose true faith hindered the agenda of the state “church.” The difference between the militancy of Islam and the old militancy of Christianity is actually very simple: When Christians have shed blood in the name of Jesus (and there is no denying they have), they have done so in defiance of the faith to which they claimed to adhere.
When Muslims have shed blood in the name of Allah, however, they have all too often done so as a direct result of their faith.
Pastor Vince Hartford