In this predominantly Christian nation, we know that Christians, by and large, are followers of one Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the fellow who is famous for the Sermon on the Mount. Of the beatitudes he lists, one goes, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Since Jesus appeared to be an ardent supporter of peace, it would follow that Christians as a group would be a very peaceful bunch.
The same cannot be said for Muslims and atheists. According to most people you talk to, the former believe in a violent religious doctrine. They are bloodthirsty people who have little respect for the lives of non-Muslims and, sometimes, fellow Muslims as well. Atheists are almost as bad as Muslims because we deny God. With no God to lead us, we lack the inherent morality of Christians and most of us certainly lead hedonistic and selfish lives.
It all seems really straightforward. Christians = peacemakers. Muslims/atheists = supporters of wanton violence.
Not so fast, says Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). In doing some research, he happened across a Gallup poll that turns these assumptions on their heads!
When respondents were asked if the killing of civilians was ever justified by individuals, groups or a government's military, the two groups that were most opposed on any of these grounds were NOT the Christians. No, it was the Muslims and the atheists. In fact, when the question concerned solely the military, nearly 60 percent of Protestants and Catholics gave a big thumbs up. Compare this to Muslim respondents in which only about 20 percent approved!
What we have here is a rather obvious disconnect. The followers of the Prince of Peace tend to support the use of violence against civilians in much greater numbers than Muslims or atheists and slightly more than Jews. Doesn't that seem to you like a strange way to follow someone? (It sure does to me.) It's like Jesus says, "Hey everyone, let's turn left here" and the majority of his flock go tromping off to the right...all the while singing his praises!