If you’re going to criticize Hamas and Al-Qaida, the reasoning goes, then you should be just as critical of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

This reasoning is so faulty that one wonders how those who say such things can avoid feeling utterly embarrassed by them.

The difference between militant Islam and conservative Christians is this: militant Muslims are militant, and conservative Christians are not.

Conservative Christians may have their views on abortion, homosexuality, free markets and any number of other issues. So?

Secularists (read: anti-Christians) have their views on all these issues, too.

So what’s the problem with conservative Christians having theirs?

It can’t be that Christians are blameworthy for wanting to impose their views on others by voting, holding office and taking part in the political process, because the secularists clearly want to impose their views on others by doing that, too. Do secularists have the right to do it but Christians don’t?

This highlights the difference between the Christians in America and militant Islam.

People who engage in terrorist acts, such as beheadings and crashing airliners into skyscrapers, are not respecting the democratic process and are therefore not to be tolerated. (Groups that aid and abet terrorists should not be tolerated, either.)

When Jerry Falwell and his ilk start cutting off heads and crashing planes in the name of Jesus, those who draw a moral equivalence between militant Islam and conservative Christianity will have a point. Until then, they’re either (morally) obtuse or deliberately obscurantist.

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