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10A006 Missionary Murder by Jim Davies, 8/10/2010

On August 7th in North Eastern Afghanistan, Taliban fighters deliberately ambushed and killed ten Christian missionaries, returning to Kabul after providing medical help in Nuristan. The team specialized in treating blindness. The killers claimed they had broken Afghan law by trying to convert Muslims.

That "claim of responsibility" may do more to rally US public opinion behind the war than all of Obama's rehetoric so far. Murdering unarmed healers is about the most vicious act a human being can perform.

On the US side, there are reports of plenty of Christian members of the occupying army, and I suppose that some of them, when they can reach across the language barrier, may take the opportunity to preach their gospel. The murdered medical missionaries did not, according to their colleagues; the Mission has been in the country for four decades and keeps the Afghan law that says that it's a criminal offense to proselytize, to seek to convert any Muslim. Americans are dying, to protect the government that enforces that law.

At the same time, "healing the sick" is a time-honored way to preach the Gospel sotto voce, as it were; a kindly and well-appreciated act of medical help can speak more loudly for the Christian religion than any soapbox preacher. The Mission surely knows that. So in a sense the accusation was not untrue. The problem is the law.

Such laws are common in Muslim countries, and their existence speaks volumes for the intellectual bankruptcy of that religion. Evidently, it is so absurd, so easily demolished by the introduction of a little reason and persuasion, that reason and persuasion have to be excluded by force. Its foundations must be flimsy indeed; it must rest only on brainwashing, indoctrination, mantra. Reason and that religion, at least, are irreconcilable and Muslims know that they will lose any confrontation.

It's like government. Nobody reasons that government is necessary. Such an argument would be doomed to fail; it is intellectually untenable. Instead, its continuing existence is enforced by law. Disobey it, you get caged.

This thoroughly nasty incident confirms, to my mind, that the Muslim religion is easily the most repugnant of the three that spring from the Old Testament - but let's not allow the others to get away lightly. All of them, not just Islam, fear reason. The infamous phrase in Psalm 14, "The fool hath said in his heart 'there is no God'" is the nearest the Bible ever comes to engaging in discussion of the evidence for the existence of a creator; and it presents none at all. Instead, it seeks to pour scorn on its adversaries, by accusing us of being idiots, of denying that existence not by using reason, but in our "hearts", by acts of will. If the Biblical authors had any proof we may expect them to produce it - but they never do. From Genesis to Revelation the text says God did this, and the Lord said that, but never once is the premise of his existence given any support whatever. It is 100% dogmatic, revelatory, unsupported by any external proof - not even the alleged Resurrection.

Like Islam, Judaism and Christianity are both exclusive; each claims to be the one true religion. Jews famously hold that they alone are "God's chosen people" while Christians declare that Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by" him. (John 14:6.) Like Muslims, Jews killed their god's enemies rather liberally in Old Testament times, and Christians have been killing each other for much of the last century; notably in Northern Ireland, where Protestants and Roman Catholics sought to eliminate each other not by reasoned persuasion but by assassinations and indiscriminate bombing.

The most damaging religion of all is government itself, an utterly irrational idea and the most murderous of them all. It is high time humans grew up, and abandoned all these lethal superstitions. A pox on the lot of them.

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