It seems I upset a few people with this thread. For those of you who expressed your disapproval in a mature and intelligent manner, I apologize for the way I portrayed my position. For the one or two of you who reacted childishly, go piss up a rope for all I care.
I would just like to explain a couple of things. As I've stated a few times in this thread, I am not a Christian. This is not about "my religion is better than yours"
I am not a fan of religion in general, but I am fascinated by religious text. I look all religious publications the context of NOT believing they are the divine words from the mouth of God. They fascinate me because I view them as windows into the past - the culture of people and how people thought long, long ago.
The Bible is full of contradictions because it's a huge compilation assembled from many different sources. There exists many cases of blatant sexism. Why? Because in that era in time women were almost unanimously considered inferior to men. Let's look at an example verse.
34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
"Shut up inside the church you wench!"
Now, I am quite sure I can go online or talk to any number of Christians who will give me lengthy explanations as to why this crap doesn't really say what it appears to say. I'm sure to "properly interpret" this I would require a deep rooted and fancy understanding of the bible.
And you know what? ALL of them are full of s***. The bible was written during a time when men were less than women, in fact, women treated like crap. In a few places the bible advocates this treatment, case in point the above passage.
The bible also advocates killing sorceresses (witch hunting), killing people who have sex with animals, and there are lots of other things in it that are extremely taboo in today's society.
As the times change interpretations by "experts" conveniently change as well to suit the times. As I stated before the bible is a big compilation which causes contradictions. These contradictions become most obvious when you compare the old testament to the new. The overall tone
(contradictions not withstanding) of the old testament is "God is all powerful and fear him" in the new testament the overall tone for Jesus is "all loving perfect forgive all ultra-pacifist" - again - contradictions not withstanding.
The bottom line is I do not give an ounce of credence to "fancy" interpretations of the bible that are meant to explain away all the things that have become taboo by modern society.
Now, let's move on to the Quran. The full text of every chapter (surah if you prefer) is available here.
A great deal of the Quran was written while they were at war with "unbelievers." As a person who's seen combat I can tell you it is the very nature of war to dehumanize your enemy. In Vietnam the enemy were "gooks" and in WWII the Germans were "krouts."
The overall tone (contradictions not withstanding) of almost the entire quran is one of contempt for - and violence toward "unbelievers." Verse after verse after verse reflects this.
Copy and paste the link above. Start going through each and every page. Do a word search for "unbeliever" and "disbeliever" and see how often the words pop up. (Surah 1 doesn't have them). And of course read what it says and the context for yourself. Throughout the Quran unbelievers are the most commonly discussed subject, or so it seems.
Just like Christians, moderate Muslims have fancy explanations for all of this because the words are taboo in modern society. I don't swallow their explanations anymore than I swallow Christian's explanations for weird crap in the bible.
There are many Muslims who take the contemptuous words toward nonbelievers quite literally. There are others who explain them away. What makes one right and the other wrong? I guess the truth can only be told by people who died long, long ago. Those who actually wrote the words.
For now though, the Quran offers ample fodder for those would do harm to others and those who run tyrannical regimes. An infidel draws a silly cartoon and the war cries of the Quran call mass mobs into violent action, and people die.
Disagree with me all you like, but this is not about bigotry. I don't have any particular feelings toward people based on the color of their skin or what they call God. I don't have any particular feelings toward anyone based on what religion they choose to follow. I judge people based on their actions, and that's it.