It's hard for me to get my atheist head around the furor over the assertion of a Wheaton College professor that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God."
Wheaton College, an evangelical college in Illinois, had placed associate professor of political science Larycia Hawkins on administrative leave after she made a controversial theological statement on Facebook that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. The school has now begun the process to fire her due to an “impasse,” it said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Hawkins said on Wednesday that she is “flummoxed and flabbergasted” by the college’s decision.
Well, I'm flummoxed and flabbergasted that anyone is taking this whole thing seriously.
Hasn't anyone thought about this obvious fact: There is no evidence that any God exists. So it's ridiculous to debate whether one non-existent entity is the same as another non-existent entity.
Hey, maybe the Tooth Fairy is the same as Santa Claus.
Could be. They both bring gifts to children. Let's have an argument about this. Fervent believers in the uniqueness of the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus can make their case for not the same. Those who see a hidden unity between these beings can argue for the same.
Of course, since both the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are creations of human imagination, the whole debate would be unfounded in any sort of objective reality.
We'd be analyzing works of fiction, tales that people tell to entertain themselves. It'd be somewhat akin to discussing whether a character in one novel is the same as a similar character in another novel.
The question doesn't make any sense, since both are fictional characters. But I guess it could give lovers of literature something to quibble over after they've had several glasses of wine and aren't thinking very clearly.
Theological debates are absurd, especially when taken seriously. Again, it isn't possible to discuss the inherent nature of something that doesn't exist outside of human imagination.
So Franklin Graham's comments are meaningless.
This is no minor issue that should be debated. Islam denies that God has a Son. They deny that Jesus is God. They do not believe in a Triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God. How the faculty council can now support this professor being allowed to teach students is deeply concerning.
I do agree with Graham on one thing: this issue shouldn't be debated. It should be laughed at. Religious believers arguing over whether one imaginary God is the same as another imaginary God.