Disorder Reviews: Islam vs. Judaism vs. Christianity

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Martintox

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I have a new album and a new Disorder Reviews blog. I have recently recovered from a stroke, and I am now in serious debt.

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ISLAM VS. JUDAISM VS. CHRISTIANITY

Anyone who's grown up in an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo school knows how it feels to be caught between multiple religious worlds. You had the school rabbi's son who always charged interest when a non-Jewish borrowed a pencil off him, the Sufi transfer student who tided over half the girls in the class by talking about his Muhammad spirituality bullshit on recess, the Protestant who sucked up to the teachers all the way to grade 12 even though she got absolutely nothing out of it the whole way, the Buddhist who always got sick from Saṃsāra when an exam came up, the Hindu who changed every single lab computer wallpaper to the same porn image of Vishnu, and the one that became an atheist and vanished without explanation shortly thereafter. In these days, it was paramount to assert the dominance of your faith -- no easy feat when you consider that children are extremely devout and just about incapable of engaging in a leveled debate, but that didn't stop many of us from trying regardless after the Catholic PE teacher told us he'd crucify the next one to start a fist fight. In this edition of Disorder Reviews, I retrace some of the most essential arguments that we had made in favor of each major Abrahamic religion (polytheists need not apply), in the hopes that an adult mindset will help us figure out which version of God can beat up everyone else.

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ISLAM

It's best to start with Islam, as it was easily the most contentious of the three Abrahamic faiths back on the playground. The main reason for this is that, in its original Classical Arabic version, the Quran was written so as to be very open to interpretation, making the extent of Allah and his prophets' abilities much more ambiguous than any of your Dragon Ball Z power level buffoonery. The disadvantage is weaker denominational unity -- to give you a quick illustration, a Shia kid got stoned once during Ramadan while everyone else was at the cafeteria, and not a single Sunni told the staff who did it. While this made large-scale classroom operations a lot more difficult to coordinate, this also meant that the Muslims at school had an incredible amount of leeway in extolling the virtues of Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah and Islam, the Man of All Men in Absoluteness, Completion, Perfection, and a whole bunch of other titles they listed off so that the bell would ring before the teachers could give us homework. Everyone knew they were full of shit, but who was going to say otherwise when the non-Muslims didn't know Arabic? I had a Mormon friend who tried to learn the language, and he converted out of the blue; let's just say that dissuaded people from arguing based on scripture every time some kid said their faith in Allah gave them the armor of ultimate power that could withstand infinity+1 damage and you can't go higher than that.

Not only does the ambiguity of the Quran help shut down many arguments, it also makes it a terrifying weapon thanks to its understandable overlap with Jewish and Christian lore. As an example, a Sunni clique had once decided to pull a fast one on a rival Catholic crew by singling out each member and telling them a different version of Jesus' crucifixion (the spiciest take was that he flew from the cross inside a golem in the image of the Virgin Mary, and a gigantic younger version of Mary put all the souls of Jerusalem into a singular consciousness that Jesus unraveled so that he could choke the living hell out of Mary Magdalene). Words cannot describe the unbridled rage in those boys when they met in the cafeteria and started talking about all these different interpretations. If your Ethiopian school cafeteria has a massive fissure on the floor that they still haven't been able to fix, that's what happens when a bunch of Christians learn about the "Rebuild of John the Baptist 3.0" theory.

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JUDAISM

For all of the strengths that come with the open-ended writings of the Quran, the main shortcoming is that most non-Muslims will not even bother to take this scripture seriously if the translations are an inadequate way to read it -- good luck trying to convince kids to learn Arabic just so they can see how cool your God is. The Torah, however, is a very different story, with advantages that other texts cannot even hope to have; while the Jews of my school generally played things very low-key, I had seen some of them come in clutch when debates heated up. First off, the Torah is very short, as it encompasses the first five books of the Bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy), which also means that the Muslims and Christians are already aware of the broad strokes of their scripture. Second, it's written in a much more straightforward way in its original language, meaning that translations are very faithful, ensuring high accessibility and a high conversion rate (but not exactly; more on that later). As a result, it doesn't take too much effort to look into the Torah and find out that, while the stories are the same as in the Bible, there are some extremely strong exclusive details: for one, Adam had a homoerotic relationship with the serpent that tricked Eve into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, and the two tried to build their own heaven after being banished from the Garden of Eden. The serpent even has a whole succession of descendants, two of which (one solid and one liquid) fought each other atop a golem (not the same type as in the Quran).

Now, all this made the Jewish kids an intimidating force in lore slams, but conversions were much dicier in comparison. See, what they normally didn't tell you in the heat of the moment is that Judaism remains an ethnic religion all in all, so if you're not actually of Jewish blood, it's not exactly the same thing. Some of them used that as a provocation tactic, since the Muslim kids din't particularly like the idea that Jews somehow had bathroom privileges just because they had particularly wiggly blood inside of them, but this ultimately prevented the Jewish groups at the time from reaching numbers comparable to the bigger crews.

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CHRISTIANITY

Christianity was the big one, for two very literal reasons: first, when it comes to sheer numbers, they dominated just about every other religion. Everyone had it in for the Christians (except the Muslim kids that didn't pretend the Ashtiname doesn't exist), because they wouldn't be able to stand a chance alone -- even a single denomination was bigger than some of the non-Abrahamic cliques. Starting a fist fight of faith with a Christian when the playground supervisors weren't around was pretty much asking to get swarmed by about 20 other classmates. Second, they have MASSIVE scripture. Remember how the Torah only had five books? The Bible has over 60 of them, and that's without including apocryphal texts such as the books of Enoch and Judith. Yes, the Jews and Muslims also had some of that material, but only some. Back in the day, Christian circles had designated scholars whose sole purpose was to remember as much lore as possible in case of lore slams, and it wasn't uncommon for the bigger cliques to have more than five of them with their own specializations.

By far, their most powerful asset was their extremely in-depth account of Jesus. When a kid started talking about how he fought off 100 Romans alone, had a bromance with Judas that led to the latter fucking Mary Magdalene in front of him, and murdered hundreds of mutated children, the argument was pretty much over 90% of the time; no one could even touch that. In the remaining 10% of instances, someone pointed out that the story didn't end there, at which point all the Christians were forced to remember just how much the New Testament shit the bed. After his resurrection, Jesus started traveling around aimlessly with a mentally incapacitated Mary Magdalene in tow, soliciting the help of a former female Roman officer, her sex slave, a pagan witch girl (what did the Gospel of Luke mean by this?), and a boy who won't shut the fuck up about becoming the ultimate prophet. An entire book touches upon a particular stint in which the group are stuck on a boat for seven years -- even the school bishop pretended that wasn't a part of the Bible. This may have been the one weak spot in the Christian kids' arsenal, but it was one that they desperately had to leave unexposed.

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WHO WINS?

Now, I would normally declare Christianity the winner by claiming that the fluff of the New Testament does not invalidate the transcendent qualities of the earlier scriptures, but since I have mentioned in a prior review that I'm an Ethiopian Orthodox myself, this would be an extremely biased remark and an indelible stain on the integrity of my articles. Thus, based on the sound and unbiased advice of my employers at the help of the Disorder Reviews property, I will instead consider Islam as victorious, and that Rebuild of John the Baptist 3.0 is actually not as bad as Christians say, and I believe that Rebuild of John the Baptist 3.0+1.0 will be more than worth the many years of wait, as is the edict of Muhammad the Opener, the One Who Calls Unto God, the Final Messenger and Servant of Allah.

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PointlessKnowledge

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The one that wins is the one that can tell us why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which is the standard method of determining a victor.
 

SupahEwok

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Commendable, but I choose Islamic-Christianity synthesis and proclaim The Prophet, PBUH, a Saint in the Catholic canon
I agree, I think Catholicism which embraces Muhammed as a canonized saint wins. That has such an enormous reach over the pedophilia market to be an effective monopoly, which would use uncompetitive market forces to subsume all other religions under it.
 

Drathnoxis

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The one that wins is the one that can tell us why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which is the standard method of determining a victor.
It's got cinnamon sugar swirls in every bite! Yes, I win! Now everybody has to follow Drathnoxism and commit revolutionary suicide!