Jesus said unto them [the Jews], If God were you Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (John 8:41-45)Of course, that is Christian-confined New Testemant text - there is also text that is universal across Judaism and Christianity, in the Old Testemant.
If you hear that in one of the towns which Yahweh your God has given you for a home, there are men, scoundrels from your own stock, who have led their fellow-citizens astray, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods," hitherto unknown to you, it is your duty to look into the matter, examine it, and inquire most carefully. If it is proved and confirmed that such a hateful thing has taken place among you, you must put inhabitants of that town to the sword; you must lay it under the curse of destruction--the town and everything in it. You must pile up all its loot in the public square and burn the town and all its loot, offering it all to Yahweh and your God. It is to be a ruin for all time and never rebuilt. (Deuteronomy 13:12-16)This sort of dogma is not what encourages innovation, science, and progress. This sort of dogma is what encouraged the Middle Ages, ignorance, and persecution. So why is it that the West is worth saving? Simple. The West has had a Protestant Reformation and an Enlightenment, and religion, for all its faults, is left to the background of life, rather than at the very center of life that it currently holds in the Muslim world. In short, it is secularism that has made science, progress, and the Western way of life possible. It is this tradition that is worth saving. Why was India prevented from being an economic powerhouse all these years? I would argue that in India's case, it was the fact that it was conquered by the Muslims, and then the British, and in a colonial state for centuries on end. This is not proof of India's cultural inferiority, or the inferiority of Hinduism. Actually, as mentioned, India is currently booming. So what is it about Western culture that is worth saving? There is a good argument to be made that while many of the elements are certainly found within Judeo-Christian norms, many pillars in this foundation are also found further east, in the science and tolerance of Hinduism and in India. The West that produced Handel's Messiah also produced the Inquisition. The West that produced the ceiling of the Vatican also condemned Galileo as a heretic (and did not recant this condemnation until 1992). Certainly, it cannot be denied that some of the greatest works of art and music were commissioned by the Church. And yet, how many works were burned? How many works were declared heresies? Why is that always ignored, in the glorification of Western culture? How is it that the West currently embraces democracy and freedom? Where in the bible does it speak of democracy? Answer: nowhere. Certainly, there is the famous quote "Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, give unto God that which is God's," HOWEVER, that is hardly a call for democratic/republican self-rule. It also hardly says "Thou shall not have a religious government." Rather, it says that if there is a non-Christian government, Christians should respect it. (and even this is absent in Islam!) Indeed, the very calls of eternal damnation to those who disobey the letter of the bibical law practically necessitate a Christian government that can act as mommy and daddy for the population, policing the souls of its inhabitants. So why are explicitly Christian governments generally absent from the West? Simple: the years of the Inquisition and Holy Wars have taken their toll, and for the most part, the West learned its lesson, and no longer seeks to impose the 'will of God' via the sword. I am a proponent of Western culture specifically because it was able to overcome its barbarous past, and embrace the values of tolerance and secularism. Such values are what are behind the very foundation of the United States - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof - and behind the modern advances in science, medicine, technology, and civil liberties. We are more free now than we ever have been, and yet this has less to do with any principles seen in the bible, much more to do with Greek tradition that was rediscovered by the West, as well as Solomonic principles of tolerance and government that are part of Jewish tradition and culture - but in many ways contradict the faith (Solomon allowed idols within the Holy Temple, and even built temples for other faiths!). Lest we forget, the founders of the United States were deists, as were the Enlightenment thinkers who were advocating democracy/republican rule. To sum this up: we are not fighting a war of Christianity v. Islam. That war was fought during the era of the Crusades, and in many ways led to a stalemate. The war being fought in the world right now is one of civilization against barbarism. Make no mistake about it: barbarism is not limited to Islam, however, the Christian world, unlike the Muslim world, underwent a Protestant Reformation, and more importantly, no longer is advocating bibical literalism. This is not a war of Christ v. Muhammad. The Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Daoists, Confuscists, atheists, and even secular Muslims are all in this fight together with Christians. This is a war of reason v. unreason, science v. dogma, progress v. regression. Religion may be motivating many to fight, and yet unless the Christian fundies succeed in recreating a modern Inquisition and religious state in the West, that ship has sailed. This war being fought is a very old war, and the war against Islamofascism (aka barbarism) is but a new front on the age old war of reason versus unreason. Make no mistake about it: many atheists are themselves quite unreasonable. Their hatred for Christianity obscures them to the threat of Islamofascism, and often causes them to aid and abet those who actually wishes to destroy them. (see: Chomsky, Michael Moore, etc) They are the modern useful idiots. But this war against reason is being fought on many fronts. Lest we forget, Pat Buchanan believes Western culture may not be worth saving as it is not religious enough (and admires the Muslims for their religiousity), as does Jimmy Carter. These are deeply religious Christians. Then there are the "Jesus Campers," who seek to replace the Constitution with the bible. All these people are aiding and abeting the war on reason in their own way. In this war on reason, it is clear that the #1 threat are Islamists. However, we cannot confuse this as a new Crusade, even if the religious right and certainly Islamists see it as such. This is rather a fight to save civilization from un-civilivizing effects of barbarism. Period.