Race and Religion – An Inaccurate Comparison :: by Dan Payne

I recently watched an interview on a major American cable news network between an anchor who is noted for being liberal and a guest who is growing in her notoriety for political activism against the infiltration of radical Islam in America. The guest interviewed that morning is most widely known for organizing the “Draw the Prophet” cartoon contest held on May 3, 2015 in Garland, Texas.

The contest was the scene of an attack carried out by two gunmen who were motivated by ISIS and inspired by the Charlie Hebdo attack carried out in Paris, France on January 7, 2015. The two gunmen were killed by a policeman on the scene.

At some point during the interview, after hurling accusations of Islamophobia and the like, the journalist attempted to qualify his accusations with a comparison that puzzled me. He compared the controversy surrounding the graphical depictions of Muhammad to that of using of the n-word.

The interview then suddenly mushroomed into a debate about the journalist and others succumbing to Sharia Law in America. In my opinion, both the interviewer and the interviewee missed a major point.

An entire group of people made up of different races who choose to follow the same religion (Islam) is not the same as an entire group of people made up of one race who follow many different religions. One group is identified by their religion and the other is identified by their race.

Those who would be offended by graphical depictions of Muhammad are adhering to a religion by the choice of their own conscience. Race has nothing to do with it.

Those who would be offended by the use of the n-word are adhering to their own race by birth. Race has everything to do with it.

One can choose to convert from Islam to Christianity however one cannot choose to convert from being of Caucasian to African descent. One can choose their religion but they cannot choose their ancestry. (One should think this point to be very obvious.)

To compare these two groups of people as being the same is like comparing the tree to the man who planted the tree in the middle of a wheat field. The comparison is not accurate because one group has a choice in what they believe and the other group has no choice in how they are born.

It can be argued that the religion of people born in theocratic countries, such as those in the Middle East, is by birth and not by choice. However, it still comes down to a matter of personal conscience, even for them. They still have the ability to choose to follow a different faith if the message of a different faith happens to be shared with them.

In contrast, a lion cannot wake up one day and choose to have stripes like a tiger, (unless there’s a tattoo studio or a salon nearby). A tiger will always be with stripes and a lion will always be without, regardless of the preference of each.

It is a known fact that the same political union in America that supports the freedom of suppression (yes, I meant to say that) is the same group that supports the rights of gays and lesbians to publicly and legally display their affection for one another. They say that being gay is not a choice therefore gays should be treated the same as other groups that enjoy certain legal rights afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution.

They are making the point that since gay people have no choice but are instead born gay that they should be included in the same category as other minorities who are likewise born into their own minority in America.

One would hope then that those who believe being gay is not a choice of conscience but a right of birth would also understand that comparing a religion (choice) to a race (birth) is not an accurate comparison. It seems as if there is a movement in America to defend the entire religion of Islam under the guise of defending a minority of people.

As I know it, the vulgar use of the n-word is an offense because it disparages an entire race of people based upon the circumstances of their birth of which they had no choice, as if their race is somehow inferior to others. It is the same as the vulgar insults used against Jewry.

On the other hand, artwork depicting a prophet of a certain faith offends an entire group of people because it disregards the standards and principles adhered to by those who choose to follow that particular faith.

It’s interesting to observe how little respect the world shows toward those who adhere to a certain other faith who are also offended at the fully public and continuous disrespectful and vulgar use of the name of the Lord of their faith in vain.

I wonder if the same protections and respect offered to the entire group of people who choose to follow Muhammad will be offered to the entire group of people who choose to follow Christ?

Maybe we shouldn’t hold our breath for that one.