Christianity is not a religion of peace. Christian Scripture portrays a God demanding that Canaanites be butchered as a sacrifice. The Crusades, the Inquisition and the execution of witches in Salem, Mass., all characterize the essence of Christianity.
One can look no further than the “Waco wackos” – followers of a Christian renegade, Branch Davidian prophet, David Koresh – to find an example of what Christianity is all about. They filled the basement of their compound with an arsenal of weapons, using them, presumably, in service to the Prince of Peace.
Franklin Graham would be offended by such reasoning, but he is adamant in applying the same logic to Islam: “Islam is not a religion of peace” (“ Duke reverses on Muslim prayer,” Jan. 16 news article). Graham’s problem is not only branding all Muslims as rapists and beheaders but also assuming there is only one true faith and only one interpretation, namely his own.
Legitimate questions exist regarding how best to promote the acceptance of religious pluralism and inclusiveness at Duke University and elsewhere. However, Graham’s absolutist fundamentalism is the sworn enemy of such religious cooperation and religious freedom.
Bernard H. Cochran
Professor emeritus, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Meredith College