Once more in the Independent
, and I promise this will be a quick one, Mark Steel produces a staggeringly disingenuous argument that boils down, in its essentials, to the fact that Christianity is precisely as backward an intolerant as Islam:
The most common justification for ridiculing Islam is that the religion is "backward", particularly towards women, as a fundamental part of its beliefs. The Sun's old political editor suggests this as a defence of his newspaper's stance, saying that under Islam, "women are treated as chattels". And it's true that religious scriptures can command this, such as the insistence that, "a man may sell his daughter as a slave, but she will not be freed at the end of six years as men are." Except that comes from the Bible – Exodus, Chapter 21, verse 7.
The Bible is packed with justifications for slavery, including killing your slaves. So presumably the Sun, along with others who regard Islam as a threat to our civilisation, will soon be campaigning against "Sunday Schools of Hate" where children as young as seven are taught to read this grisly book. And next Easter they'll report how, "I saw a small child smile with glee as he opened a Cadbury's egg filled with chocolate buttons. But behind his grin I couldn't help but wonder whether he wanted to turn me into a pillar of salt, then maybe sprinkle me on his menacing confectionary treat."
Right. When the universal belief of Christians is that their lives are to be lived in strict accordance to the rules laid down in the Bible, then that will be a fair analogy. If Mark Steel can name the mainstream Christian churches that believe that the laws in Leviticus should be the only source of law in this country, then I'll agree with him that there is a problem. Unless he can, he should acknowledge that he's being ridiculous.
Labels: Media, politics