Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What do Al Qaeda and William Lane Craig have in common?

The same justification for religiously sanctioned evil actions.

Over the weekend I read WLC's post justifying the genocide of the Canaanites recorded in the Old Testament. He says:

Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.


So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life.
Then the death of Osama bin Laden prompted me to read a little of his history, and I read this on Wikipedia:

It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people. According to a fatwa issued by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find their proper reward in death, going to Jannah (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam (hell) if they were bad or non-believers.[81] The fatwa was issued to al-Qaeda members but not the general public.
Sounds nigh-on identical, doesn't it? In his article, Craig also attempts to differentiate his philosophy from that of the Jihadists. Frankly, I don't see how the supposed reason for the genocide (maintaining purity) and that of the Jihadis differ. Aren't they also "protecting" their religion from contamination and apostacy? And I don't buy the whole "our god loves everyone" schtick. The god depicted in the Old Testament is definitely partisan, favoring his worshippers over everyone else. The whole love angle came far later with Christianity, which interjected it from pagan sources.