The Instigator
Yvette
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Husker
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Christianity is a greater threat to American freedom than Islam

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,060 times Debate No: 12335
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

Yvette

Pro

I propose that Christianity poses a greater threat to American freedom than Islam.

Rules:
1.) Semantics are not welcome.
2.) Civility please.
3.) The burden of proof is on myself.
4.) Agree to the rules in round one, present our arguments in round two.
5.) American freedom is a vague concept. If my opponent agrees, we can focus on "American freedom" as being "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as well as the Constitution and its general values being upheld. If my opponent disagrees we can save space by finding a better definition in comments.
Husker

Con

The way I see it is that these are the threats to freedom offered us by Christianity:

1. A thread of sexism in Christian values: defining a woman's childbearing role and a husband's authority over their wife.

2. A thread of homophobia in Christian values: opposition to gay marriage from Christian lobby groups and a general belief that homosexuality is sinful.

3. A Christian-backed neo-con military imperative to impose itself abroad.

4. A highly organised creationist lobby waging a shameless war on science in an effort to undermine the scientific facts that contradict the Bible's claims.

Now, let's look at Islam:

1. A thread of sexism in Muslim values: a woman is worth half that of a man; hijabs and burkhas; arranged marriage; forced arranged marriage; the legal subordination of women to men.

2. Virulent homophobia arguing that homosexuality is a social disease.

3. A militant wing of Islam looking to intimidate non-Muslims into respect for the religion.

4. Creationism seeing a hitherto unknown rise in Europe, primarily as a result of the rise of Islam.

It seems to me that Islam shares Christianity's sexism, only it is slightly worse. That is shares Christianity's homophobia, only is slightly worse. That it shares Christianity's militant desire to spread globally, only is slightly worse. And that it shares Christianity's desire to undermine science in an effort to validate its beliefs, only is about as bad.

Furthermore, freedom of speech is a clear prerequisite for 'freedom'. While Jesus is happily satirised by South Park and Family Guy, etc etc, Muhammed has become a subject which fear of terrorism has turned into a no-go area. While many Christians object to blasphemy but have to deal with it, the level of immunity from critique that the prophet Muhammed now enjoys is absolute in the mainstream media.

It is all a matter of spectrum. I would argue that if you plotted a Christian spectrum and a Muslim spectrum of most liberal to most extreme, the average Muslim will be more extreme than the average Christian.

Since Muslims have a higher birth rate than that of Christians, their numbers are going to grow at a faster rate. As a democracy, America will inevitably have to factor these numbers into its public policy. Islam is a problem for the of all secular democracies with a fast-growing Muslim population.
Debate Round No. 1
Yvette

Pro

"The thing about religion is that it provides a powerful language through which you can justify any ideology." —Reeza Aslan

Apologies to my opponent--I intended to simply agree to the rules in round one and present my argument in round two. My opponent needn't have presented any argument as the burden of proof is on myself--so I apologize that you did more work than you needed to because I was unclear. Also, thank you for accepting my debate.

RESPONSE
"It seems to me that Islam shares Christianity's sexism, only it is slightly worse. That is shares Christianity's homophobia, only is slightly worse. That it shares Christianity's militant desire to spread globally, only is slightly worse. And that it shares Christianity's desire to undermine science in an effort to validate its beliefs, only is about as bad."

The trouble with your comparison of the two religion's risks to American freedom is that it focuses not on effect but on rhetoric. We agree that the two religions do harm freedom in these four ways as you've outlined. And you have no disagreement from me that Islam is more objectionable in each of those four areas as well. It is more intolerant, its radicals more militant, etc. The problem, of course, is which has the greater effect on America's freedom? The answer is undeniably Christianity.

"Furthermore, freedom of speech is a clear prerequisite for 'freedom'. While Jesus is happily satirised by South Park and Family Guy, etc etc, Muhammad has become a subject which fear of terrorism has turned into a no-go area. While many Christians object to blasphemy but have to deal with it, the level of immunity from critique that the prophet Muhammad now enjoys is absolute in the mainstream media."

My opponent's only offers one example of Islam having any effect on American freedom: being unable to draw its prophet due to fears of retaliation. Let's forget for a moment whether these fears are even rational: the inability to draw one religious icon which is not a significant figure in America (aside from how much we talk about not being able to draw him) hardly constitutes a grave violation of liberty. It certainly is censorship, and thus wrong, but its overall effect on America is laughable.

But, of course, the self-censorship is ridiculous. Even including the 9/11 attacks, which greatly skews the results, I calculate that the average amount of Americans killed each year by Islamic terrorists worldwide is only 461. Without 9/11, that number is only 39. Compared to the 36,000 killed each year by the seasonal flu alone, that number is laughable. Terrorism only has an effect because of Americans' inability to put things in perspective. [1] [2] [3]

"It is all a matter of spectrum. I would argue that if you plotted a Christian spectrum and a Muslim spectrum of most liberal to most extreme, the average Muslim will be more extreme than the average Christian."

No disagreements here. However, it is because Christianity is such a generally respected and prominent aspect of America that it is able to work its extremism and intolerance more easily.

"Since Muslims have a higher birth rate than that of Christians, their numbers are going to grow at a faster rate. As a democracy, America will inevitably have to factor these numbers into its public policy. Islam is a problem for the of all secular democracies with a fast-growing Muslim population."

Between 1990 and 2008 the total rise in the Islamic population amounted to...0.3%, which isn't so problematic. Compare to the 28.7% rise of primarily Catholic Hispanics. [6] [7]

CHRISTIAN POWER
You have admitted in your own words that Christianity DOES affect the freedom of the United States in four ways: homophobia, sexism, war, and the crusade against evolution. I think we will also agree that in the past Christianity has been used to justify racial segregation, miscegenation laws, slavery, Native American genocide campaigns, westward expansion, and more. In addition to the agreed-upon effects of Christianity in America in the present day, Christianity also:

(1) Reduces who is able to win the presidency. I point to the history of American presidents, in which non-Christianity has remained a serious offense to voters. The refusal of Christian hardliners to vote non-Christian seriously limits the ability for a non-Christian to become president. It also has a general influence on political elections. [4] [11]

(2) Controls half of the two-party system. [5] [12]

(3) Exerts a powerful influence on policies. Churches and religious organizations such as the Mormon church are capable of raising millions to deny liberties in states their members aren't even in. Secretive Christian groups such as The Family influence key decision makers behind closed doors, for example. Decision makers who rely on their faith [9] [11]

(4) Marginalizes and violates the rights of the large minority of non-Christian and especially non-religious Americans through national days of prayer, classroom declarations of "one nation under God", etc. [8]

If we disagree on any of those points, let me know.

CONCLUSION
We have agreed that Christianity harms American freedom through homophobia, sexism, war, and creationism. I assert that Christianity also reduces variation in elections, controls half of the two-party system, exerts a powerful influence on policies, and violates the rights of non-Christians. Islam's effect on America is mediocre at best, stemming from its 0.3% rise in population and the few Americans killed every year by Islam. The language of Islam does not influence voters, Muhammad is not praised by the American government, our leaders do not rely on their Islamic faith. It's homophobia, sexism, and militancy all trouble other countries. Christianity, however, exerts a direct and powerful influence over American politics.

1.) http://www.cdc.gov...
2.) http://www.wolframalpha.com... {17,+60,+60,+57,+29,+12,+2992}
3.) http://www.infoplease.com...
4.) http://en.wikipedia.org...
5.) http://www.guardian.co.uk...
6.) http://en.wikipedia.org...
7.) http://en.wikipedia.org...
8.) http://friendlyatheist.com...
9.) http://www.nytimes.com...
10.) http://news.bbc.co.uk...
11.) http://en.wikipedia.org...(Christian_organization)
12.) https://docs.google.com...
Husker

Con

Husker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Yvette

Pro

My argument stands, Christianity is a greater threat to American freedom than Islam. I await my opponent's rebuttal or forfeiture.
Husker

Con

Husker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Yvette

Pro

My opponent continues to waste my time, but still has time for one last argument.
Husker

Con

Husker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cogito-ergo-sum 6 years ago
Cogito-ergo-sum
@ Valtarov

It was either Payne or Jefferson who said - "I tremble for my country when I think that God is just"
This is in direct reference to slavery, now slavery is not Good. But the religious in charge thought it was fine, as they felt it was fine to kill to Amalakites and enslave their women for deviant reasons. Christianity backs slavery, as Hitchen's says, religion offers nothing except to make things more Toxic.
Posted by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
"Your freedom to have an unquestioned worldview? Your freedom to be free of all things in the public sphere that annoy you whilst heaping that annoyance onto those with whom you happen to disagree?"

I'm sorry, but that describes Christian Americans to a tee. Christians are by far the majority, and challenging unnecessarily religious government practices is often met with hostility. I'll turn this around on you. Why is it necessary to have it there? How does it infringe on YOUR liberties at all to not have religious references in what is supposed to be a secular government? I don't demand that Christians remove themselves from the public sphere. I demand that Christians remove their religion from my government. I don't demand that my government declare itself "one atheist nation" or ask my fellow citizens to affirm their atheism. I demand it not ask me to declare loyalty to a Christian nation, and I demand it not ask me to affirm someone else's religious beliefs. What is threatened is my right to a government which is not religious and which is separated from any church.

"The government was founded believing, and the nation, in general, sees itself as being under the guidance and blessing of a being higher than themselves."

I disagree that it was founded to be a religious government, but that doesn't matter. It shouldn't be.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
I am not responding to the debate, but rather your opinions. I read and understood what I was complaining about, and put great thought into my reply.

Remind me what liberties are threatened by there being a disingenuous hint of belief in God in public practice? Your freedom to have an unquestioned worldview? Your freedom to be free of all things in the public sphere that annoy you whilst heaping that annoyance onto those with whom you happen to disagree?

The government was founded believing, and the nation, in general, sees itself as being under the guidance and blessing of a being higher than themselves. The government isn't infringing upon any real liberty of yours (it isn't forcing you to pay tithes or believe in a religion; you're still free to choose not to do those things).

I find it highly amusing that you pretend to know why I would say something. You don't know the first jot about who I am or am not and why I would say one thing or another.
Posted by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
Unfortunately, you have every reason to defend your worldview against attack, while I have no reason to attack Christianity any more than any other religion - only worry about it's effect on my own life, just like I may worry with Islam, etc. I even said that Islam is worse, but Christianity affects my country more directly.

Also: you apparently did not read the debate well. This is fine, considering it is not being voted on yet. However, my opponent made all the claims for what sort of effect Christianity influences when it comes to homophobia, creationism, sexism, intolerance, etc. I never claimed Christianity itself is homophobic, anti-science, sexist, intolerant, etc--if you read, I consistently said Christianity's effect on America was one of homophobia, anti-science, sexism, intolerance, etc. The effect. You even admit this yourself--"Certain parts of Christian doctrine have been abused for ideological gain". Next time, please actually read what you're complaining about.

"the absurd notion that a "National Day of Prayer" or "Under God" violates someone's rights"

You would say that, being a Christian and entirely comfortable with the idea. As for me, my liberties are threatened when my government declares itself religious. There is no reason my government needs to do this, yet Christians like yourself repeatedly defend it.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
Apparently knowledge of the subject (which you seem to lack) makes one biased. How strange. And of course, you have no bias at all against Christianity which would influence your presentation of it.

Christianity is hardly homophobic, militant, sexist, opposed to science, and intolerant. Furthermore, everything listed under your "Christian Power" argument is either legal and at worst neutral (elections and policy influence) or are blatantly false (the absurd notion that a "National Day of Prayer" or "Under God" violates someone's rights). Certain parts of Christian doctrine have been abused for ideological gain, but any true reading of the Christian faith does not violate any freedom (as opposed to license). "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."—John 8:32.
Posted by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
I can hardly think of a more biased person to decide whether or not it's jaded.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
I can hardly think of a more jaded presentation of Christianity.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Yes, very much so. I think part of the problem is that culture does often gets mixed in. Like if you look at other faiths such as Hinduism, the Indian practice of widow burning gets in there too although I'm not sure if that one is cultural or religious.
Posted by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
You are right in that culture and religion are very mixed together in general. Though my counter argument is going to focus more on other things.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
I just want to mention that things such as arranged marriage are cultural rather than Islamic. Islam does not command people to have arranged marriages. Also, hijabs are not meant to oppress a woman. I have other criticisms of the con side, but I'll save them for pro to address. ^^
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by paulexcoff 6 years ago
paulexcoff
YvetteHuskerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 6 years ago
GeoLaureate8
YvetteHuskerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Vote Placed by DylanDraper1993 6 years ago
DylanDraper1993
YvetteHuskerTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by FREEDO 6 years ago
FREEDO
YvetteHuskerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70