In a recent essay, Rev. Susan Russell compares Muslims who “behead journalists” with Christians “who blow up women’s health clinics.” In doing so, she disingenuously attempts to make readers believe that Islam and Christianity are equally susceptible to violent extremism.
“Yes,” Russell writes, “there are Muslims who advocate murder for ‘infidels,’ behead journalists and discriminate against minorities.” But, she continues, there are also “Christians who blow up women’s health clinics, burn crosses on lawns and lynch their African-American neighbors—using their religion as an excuse for their violent extremism.”
Along with claiming that the Koran is no more violent than the Bible, Russell, a member of the National Clergy Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood, seems to find vandalism to abortion clinics as disturbing as public decapitation on global television.
There are a number of problems with Rev. Russell’s logic of moral equivalence.
To begin with, abortion clinics have little to do with the euphemism of “women’s health” and everything to do with killing unborn children. Destroying property whose sole purpose is the elimination of innocent human life is hardly on the same moral plane as the slaughter of journalists or humanitarian workers who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.