I am not a Christian. I describe as an “Asatru leaning agnostic” or maybe “a practitioner, if not a believer, in Asatru”. (A friend of mind has coined the term “Agnostipagan” which I like.)
Still, I’d I have to say that Christians make far better neighbors than many another group. Yeah, they have their bad apples but the comparison between Christians as a group, at least in the Western world, and Isis or the Taliban is beyond ridiculous. Part of that is simply a matter of civilization. People simply behave better in the civilized world than they do in the more barbaric regions. However Christians in the civilized world try to spread civilization. Groups like Isis and the Taliban try to spread barbarism. Apples and dark matter they have so little in common.
Some people will point to groups like the Westboro Baptist Church and say that they are The equivalent of ISIS or the Taliban. Excuse me? people who stand around with signs saying mean things are the equivalent of those who cut off heads and burn people alive? May I ask what you’re smoking so that I can make sure to stay well away from it? Or another claim was a guy who videoed burning a copy of the Koran. “He’s just like the Taliban” some folk claimed. And apparently they were serious. Burning bound pieces of paper with ink on them on one hand, shooting girls in the face for trying to get an education or throwing acid on them for “immodesty.” Gee, can’t see any difference whatsoever there.
That’s sarcasm, in case there’s any doubt.
When I point this out, some people try to respond by saying “they would if they could” (do all the horrid things we see from folk like Isis or the Taliban). First off, it’s ridiculously easy to claim what someone “would do”. No connection to reality is even required, only one’s own prejudices. But even if we stipulate that for sake of argument, the fact that they can’t while ISIS and the Taliban can (or could back before they got their butts kicked) is pretty telling. A strong majority of Americans are some flavor of Christian. The fact that anyone who might be so inclined to actually act like the Taliban or Isis, in the name of Christianity can’t without being slapped down hard by the rest is exactly what you expect when they’re a “tiny minority.”
I have yet to meet a Christian who believes I must die for being asatruar (well, leaning that way anyway). They may try to convince me of their belief. They may be concerned for my immortal soul. But they do not say I should be killed for not believing in “the god of the book.” How have ISIS and the Taliban weighed in on that? Is, perhaps, the choice they offer Islam, Dhimmitude (for Christians and Jews–“people of the book”), or death?
The Crusades you say? Well, leave aside that the Crusades were quite a few centuries ago, you might want to look more deeply into the history behind them. It was a lot more complicated than simply wanting to kill the infidel in the name of Christianity.
As for folk like the abortion clinic murderers and the like that are often paraded about as examples of how “Christians are just as bad”, you might want to consider the religious leanings of the people who investigated those crimes, the people who caught the culprits, the people who tried them, the people who convicted them, and the people who punished them. Simple statistics suggests that the majority of them were some flavor of Christian. Christians policing their own, not giving their co-religionists a pass or making excuses for them simply because they apply the same name to the deity they believe in and agree on who brought said deity’s word to them.
The simple truth is, they are not the same. So, would people stop with the false comparisons?