Yes, we’re a myopic bunch, we Christians. No question about it. Your post got me asking myself why that’s the case. Here are my thoughts, posted to the ether (when I should be getting ready for work):
Sometimes, when you love someone a lot, you get nearsided. For example - if you have a wife or husband, and somebody says something askew about them (or is perceived to have said something negative about them), you could take offense, yes? It wouldn’t necessarily be because you weren’t smart enough to understand that your anger wasn’t logical, no? After all, aren’t we all (and shouldn’t we be) very sensitive about someone we love?
Similarly, we Christians are a strange lot in some ways. We fall in love with someone. He commands us to love him first, and then love others with “agape” love. Sacrificial love. A love that makes a Samaritan pull over for a loathed rival. A love that takes a man to a terrible death for “atonement”. Unfortunately, sometimes, that love manifests itself in us humans as a scared man cutting off an ear to defend his best friend.
So, when someone speaks of Saints, they’re speaking of our brothers and sisters. When someone speaks of “Creeds”, they’re speaking of our love letters. It’s hard for us to hold our love for our family in tension with our love for our neighbors - but that’s exactly what Jesus commands us to do.
I would say that our (sometimes pejorative sounding) responses aren’t always because those of other religions are pulling us out of our “comfort zone”. (There are plenty of smart Christians too after all, wouldn’t you say? Some of us have even been to other countries and speak more than on language! (this is meant as a joke to lighten the mood a bit).
My hope and belief is that a Christian’s responses are - if they really love Jesus - driven out of love. Love for our King. Love for our family. And sometimes we draw our swords when we shouldn’t, and He tells us to stop playing the fool, and we’re thankful for His mercy and kindness.
And now I’m really late. And it’s your fault. But I forgive you. Kind of. Not really.