So the central point isn't even about what Jesus would have thought about Islam: it's about the limits of turning the other cheek and contemporary Christians in the interfaith circuit.
In other words, it's not theology: it's politics.
Turning the Other Cheek?
Many interfaith Christians (members of the Church of Interfaith, as it were) are primarily appeasing Islam (as well as the global destructive behaviour of many Muslims) because they may see themselves as tapping into the various Christian traditions of tolerance and “turning the other cheek”.
Many of them are also being "morally self-indulgent" (as the moral philosopher Bernard Williams once put it). That is, they're grandstanding their own piety (or extreme goodness) vis-a-vis Islam and Muslim behaviour.
Specifically on Jesus "turning the other cheek" and his ostensible pacifism.
There have been millions of words written on this subject; though there is still a logical point which can be made here.
Surely Jesus would have realised, quite readily, that there was a limit to his - or anyone else’s - turning of the other cheek.
For example, the logical outcome of turning the other cheek for Jesus is that he might well have been killed for doing so. And that might have happened before his message had been spread.
Not only that: turning the other cheek might have resulted in his beliefs, his relation to God, etc., being expunged from human history and human consciousness. There might have been a kind of Year Zero for Christ as well as for Christianity. (Though some Christians may – or will – argue that this could never have happened.)
It seems obvious to me that Jesus could never have turned the other cheek to such an extreme degree. Yet this is what many – or all? – Church-of-Interfaith Christians are doing today when it comes to Islam and the behaviour of Muslims throughout the world. Or, at the very least, their turning the other cheek to Islam’s imperialism (religious, political and geographic), as well as to destructive and negative Muslim behaviour, could literally result in the effacement of their own religion (Christianity) from the face of the earth.
Surely, just like Jesus, they could/should not accept that.
Though perhaps this is seen as the ultimate example of Christian Church-of-Interfaith tolerance.
This is the ultimate turning of the other cheek.
These ultra-pious Church-of-Interfaith Christians (pious in relation to Islam/Muslims) may well be happy to see their own religion annihilated by Islam. Could you be more tolerant than that? Could there ever be such an extreme Christian inversion of Islam’s imperialism, supremacism and jihadism?
It has been suggested, by a practising Christian, that many of the Christians (usually of the Church-of-Interfaith variety) who stress Christianity’s tolerance and its turning of the other cheek would very quickly and radically change their minds were their own lives threatened. And that’s the crux of the matter when it comes to Interfaith Christianity.
Pampered Western Christians
Most C-of-I Christians - whether in the UK or in the US - are members of the secure and prosperous middle class. Their lives have never been threatened in any way: unlike the Christians in Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Egypt, the Philippines, Sudan, Nigeria, etc. Though the terrible and absurd thing is that they judge Islam (as well as the behaviour of millions of Muslims) from this secure and prosperous interfaith-circuit position.
The world – certainly not the Muslim world - is not an interfaith meeting.
Millions upon millions of Muslims (even some/many of those Muslims who use Church of Interfaith meetings for Islamic dawah) are nothing like the friends they talk to at dinner parties when they discuss the exotic charms and innocence of Islam. Millions upon millions of Muslims would like to kill these Church-of-Interfaith Christians because they are still, well, Christians. Millions upon millions of other Muslims would either like to convert them or to impose a dhimmi status upon those who don’t convert.
Part of the ideology of Church-of-Interfaith Christianity goes like this (if simplistically and ironically stated):
- Christianity/Christians = white = “imperialist”, “racist”, etc. = bad
And the ideology largely explains this new Christian suicidalism.
In any case, Church-of-Interfaith Christians - amongst other lesser things - are the main reason why Christianity is dying in the UK. It has very little to do with secularism.
These pampered and morally self-indulgent Christians are also responsible for the fact that the beast of Islam is feasting and burgeoning on the death of everything but itself.