I think I am the dark and dangerous one...at least, I am pretty sure Franklin Graham thinks so.
Want to say thanks to Dierdre for making some points I'd have had to make--oh, heck, why not reiterate for good measure?
Islam is a religion. Embraced by people of many cultures. That was kind of my point before. Which brings me to a point on which perhaps NM and Moondancer and I can come together, sort of. I also have to say, after living with an indigenous culture of N. Africa which has been dismembered but not quite killed by Arab Muslims (Arab conquest way back when), I can appreciate first the uniqueness and importance of these various cultures worldwide, and second that no one's hands are clean.
You know how it feels when people come at you from every angle "bashing" missionary work? And you feel passionate about it in the opposite way? And, even though their examples are concrete, based in fact, even personal experience, you want to scream NO! NO! THAT'S NOT REALLY HOW IT IS!!!?
OK. Well, that's how it feels when people talk about Muslims stoning women, or--well, you can probabyl call to mind some examples. I know these are things that have happened, but they are not representative of MY Islam.
Which brings us back, I think, to the beginning of this thread, and the fact that religion, faith if you will, is by definition not based in fact. Not measurable, or provable (yet
). But we work hard to wrap our brains around it, and when we do, it encompasses us, and gives us energy, and makes us more than we were without it (at least we like to believe so...). So, bring someone to my doorstep, telling me that I have invested my passion and faith in nonsense, and you'd better expect a serious adverse reaction. Especially when I "know" his/her system of belief is one that doesn't work for me--i.e., which if I were of another temperament, I might call "nonsense."
Question is, there are people whose faith requires this kind of exchange. How do we (all on both sides of the conversation) do it well?