This morning I read a news story about members of a Christian church who were arrested after a 19-year-old son of two of the suspects died from blunt trauma injuries. Apparently he was beaten to death in the church. There are other victims as well. While the motives in this particular case are not yet clear, it is not unheard of for certain Christian fundamentalists to severely beat children. After all, the Bible considers it wise and beneficial to beat children (Proverbs 23:13-14), and any “Bible believing Christian” follows what the Bible says.
If this had been Muslims in a mosque instead of Christians in a church, the many Americans who seem to think that all Muslims abuse children, rape girls, and behead non-Muslims would be up in arms. But because these are mostly white Christians who were likely following their interpretation of the Bible, this tragedy will be forgotten by the end of the day.
If your response is that these are fringe Christians who do not represent mainstream Christianity, here’s what you need to understand: the exact same thing is true about the difference between extremist Muslims and mainstream Islam—especially in the United States.
So for all of the (mostly Christian) Americans who vilify Islam and constantly call on Muslims to denounce terrorism and violence—which they actually do with regularity—if you have any integrity you will spend just as much time, if not more, calling out Christians who do heinous things like beat their children to death. Didn’t Jesus say something about addressing the log in your own eye before worrying about the splinter in someone else’s eye?
Oh, and contrary to Proverbs 23:13, sometimes when you strike a child with a rod they actually do die. It turns out that the Bible doesn’t kill people—people kill people.
God help us.