I began once again to read the voluminous writings of Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” which have been gathering dust on my shelves for some time now.
His thoughts on America in the 1830’s are still relevant today. I wasn’t that deep into the first volume before I came across a passage that resonates with many today regarding the difference between Christianity and Islam.
There are the anti-Muslim voices among us who take a certain pleasure out of comparing the barbarism of radical Muslims today claiming that Islam believes in putting to death all those they rule over who do not accept the teachings of Mohammad. Christians, they are quick to point out, were never this brutal and what little had occurred disappeared in the dark ages.
But de Tocqueville sets us straight on this as he points out how the small colony of Connecticut utilized elements of the Bible to promulgate their code of laws back in 1650.
“The legislators of Connecticut”, de Tocqueville tells us, “begin with the penal laws. and strange to say, they borrow their provisions from the text of the Holy Writ.”
“Whoever shall worship any other God than the Lord” says the preamble of the code, “shall surely be put to death”
“This is followed by ten or twelve enactments of the same kind, copied verbatim from the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Blasphemy, sorcery, adultery and rape were punished with death; an outrage offered by a son to his parents was to be expiated by the same penalty. The legislation of a rude and half-civilized society was thus applied to an enlightened and moral community.” (Vol.I, p.37)