October 6, 2001
Look This One Up Under "Obvious"
Last week, ABC was running a promo for a story to air on 20/20 -- why Christian missionaries are unpopular in Muslim countries.
Hmm. Let's think about this.
Every religion that I know of welcomes newcomers and converts. Holy people of any religion -- rabbis in Judaism, for example -- will speak with anyone who asks about their faith. But most religions don't actively recruit.
Christianity does. Since before the Crusades, Christians have felt it their place to Save the World's Soul. In the old days, they'd go in, followed by soldiers from whatever government was backing them (Spanish conquistadors got a good workout in Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries) and wiped out any indiginous culture that wasn't their specific flavor of Christian. Wiped out the people, too, if they didn't find the faith quickly enough.
Even now, missionaries tend to be arrogant. You'd have to be, to go halfway around the world and spout your faith to a bunch of people who aren't interested. And these people, in addition to the local media, shape the locals' view of the West in general and America in particular.
Wanna ask again why so many people in the Middle East and southern Asia hate America and Chsritianity? 'Cause it seems like kind of a no-brainer to me.