I usually wouldn't post something like this to American Creation -- a "History" blog that I see as interdisciplinary with other secondary subjects: theology, politics, law, philosophy; and tertiary subjects like culture and technology.
It's very difficult for instance to avoid political and theological analysis of contemporary events and leave the American Founding off limits. But I discipline myself in not so doing at American Creation; so when I so do, well, I guess I'll be very open about it.
A commenter at a listserv I am on noted the following about the recent terror bombing by a self professed "Christian":
Christianity doesn't align with what he did.
Islam DOES align with what Islamic terrorists do.
There is a difference.
This is my reply:
To the skeptical outsider looking in, arguably this appears self serving sophistry. Something can present itself as "Islam" and "Christianity" and do X or be against doing X. How does one tell what is the authentic version of X apart from its self presentation? Verses and chapters of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran can be proof quoted in favor of or against X.
This isn't to say these holy texts can be used to support *any* position; but yes, they can be used to support many positions.
That's why I support the more enlightened, liberal, rationalistic understandings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
“It has pleased the Providence of the first Cause, the Universal Cause, that Abraham should give religion not only to Hebrews but to Christians and Mahomitans, the greatest part of the modern civilized world.”
-– John Adams to M.M. Noah, July 31, 1818.