12-04-2010, 11:21 AM
Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Western Mass
Re: A Common Thread Among Monotheistic Religions
Originally Posted by PatsFanInVa
The three Abrahamic faiths share the following common thread:
The responsibility of the strong to protect and care for the weak. It is taken as a given that the wealthy must care for the poor, that those in comfortable families should care for widows and orphans, that taxes be raised and devoted for the upkeep of the less fortunate.
It strikes me as curious that combatants in our current "holy war" on the internets are consumed with the practice of the other guy's religion - complaints of how Islam or Christianity are practiced, ignoring the present-day moral outrages perpetrated in the name of one's own "side."
We spend hours claiming that specific cases illustrate the heart of our "opposite number," yet never examine the core teachings of each of these faiths: caring for our own neighbors (not, as one might assume from reading here, noticing the "mote" in the other guy's eye.)
How can one claim a religious outlook in any of these three faiths, and also advocate less, rather than more, concern for the less fortunate among us?
Obviously the atheist can rail against the hypocrisy of all religion. The Christian can blather on about the horrors of Sharia law among some Muslims. The Muslim can point to equally horiffic behavior perpetrated by some Christians. A Jew such as myself has plenty to complain about at the hands of all the above, and has plenty to answer to if we decide that Jews must all answer to the behavior of the Israeli state (pretty shaky proposition, and one that could be answered with justifications - but just an example.)
What none of us seem to do is examine the heart of these three faiths, not "one-upmanship" and holy war, but caring for the weak among us.
The justification of all these religions has always been tied to their ability to touch a commonality among their respective communities, a space where your wealth does not buy you the ultimate prize. Furthermore, in each of these religions, we're called on to alleviate the misery that's inherent in inequality of wealth.
How can one profess one of these three religions, and simultaneuously profess that the less fortunate should be cut off from the help they need?
I agree with most of this, although I am not entirely sure that Islam emphasizes protecting the weak. I am sure that there are those who distort the Quran, but at the same time it is a historical fact that Mohammed himself was a warrior who spread the new faith at the point of a sword. Since he is considered the "most excellent example" of conduct, it leaves room for similar behaviors for those that follow him.
Maybe Nikolai could help out here, as I don't know where to find verses in the Quran, passages in the Sunnah or events in the hadith that demonstrate an emphasis on protecting the weak (apart from their acceptance of Islam).
Alms are for the poor and the needy and those employed
to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have
been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage
and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer:
(thus is it) ordained by Allah and Allah is full of knowledge
Do you think this is an under-emphasized element of Islam out of error? Is the passage above on those that was later abrogated?