The five minute window between approximately 5:16 and 5:21 p.m. is my least favorite time of the day. Not only am I usually waiting for a bus that has about a 25% chance of showing up, that’s when both the sports radio talk show that I listen to and the Michael Medved show hit commercial breaks. This leaves me a few options: turn off the darned radio for a few minutes, see if one of the FM stations is playing a good song, or flip to Sean Hannity. Perhaps out of some yearning to perform an daily act of penance I often choose option three. (To understand why this is a quasi-penitential act for me, you can read my post about Hannity here.) At least he usually has on a guest during this time slot who is both more informative and entertaining than he is – a low bar to be sure.
Today he had two guests, both Muslim. One was a woman that I’ve heard on his show before. I am not sure if she is currently a practicing Muslim, but she clearly thinks that it is in the thrall of radicals, and she makes this clear by practically shouting each word that she speaks. The other gentleman was a “moderate” Muslim. The few minutes of the exchange that I listened to largely consisted of the former insisting that the latter’s abhorrence of sharia law and radicalism was a minority viewpoint within Islam, and the latter insisting that he represented the majority viewpoint. Neither really advanced any supporting evidence for either viewpoint save to just insist more fervently in their respective positions. Thrilling radio.
Before tuning out to return to the vitally important discussion of the NCAA tournament (perhaps an even stricter form of penance), the man said something that struck me as rather bizarre. He stated that he did not think that any religion was any better than any other, and that to believe that one’s own religion was superior to other religions was a sign of arrogance.
Come again?Now I guess I should be somewhat appreciative that he does not cling to the belief that the infidel shall be put to the sword, but this strikes me as a rather extreme swing in the opposite direction. After all, we’re not talking about one’s preferred floral arrangement. We’re talking about religion and the path to eternal salvation. A true believer within any of the Abrahamic faiths, at the very least, would theoretically hold that his own faith is the true one – after all, why hold to said faith if it isn’t the true one? If one believes that’s one’s faith is true, then presumably one also believes that God has laid out a specific path to eternal salvation. So if you believe that God has laid out a specific plan, isn’t it then an insult to God to claim that every other religion is just as good? You’re basically insinuating that all these other flawed belief systems are equally as good as that established by the one true God. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not challenge God’s authority.
Is it arrogant to believe that one’s own faith is superior to another’s? Not if you are more concerned about your own soul than pc sentimentality. This is not to say that you need to boastfully mock people of other faiths. “Ha Ha! You’re number two, sucker! Make sure you pack sunblock because you’re gonna be burnin’ in HELL!!!!” Humility is also a virtue. But I don’t understand how anybody can view as equally valid religions which are presumably inferior paths to heaven., at least not if you are serious about your faith.