Friday, September 10, 2010

Twisting In The Wind

I am nothing short of awe stuck at the world-wide crisis that has ensued after a previously obscure pastor of a church of but 50 congregants in a small Florida town threatened to burn a Quran. I have heard him castigated, called names, belittled, and lambasted over his threats, and that has been from the more conservative of outlets. So, what does this all mean? Six thoughts:

First, the seemingly constant profaning of Christianity not withstanding, people in their hearts I think expect more from the pastor of the little church down the street. After all, they many times call him to speak over their dead relatives he has never known or seen as they stop yucking it up long enough to look their own immortality in the face. Many still go to him to marry their children, or these days their parents, or to perform some sort of meaningless ritual over their newborn children in hopes that the preacher has some sort of special powers to get their offspring safely into the everafter. That only one Quran burning has been mentioned, to a degree I think, is encouraging, all things considered. Think about it, given the multitude of churches in this country, the protracted engagement with Islamic fanatics we are experiencing, the ineptness (don't make them mad) and absurdity (blind and dangerous political correctness)upon which our defense against them is being based, and the rarity, or perhaps more aptly, the absence of such actions as this pastor's speaks highly of the American Church and its standing in the hearts and minds of the citizenry. Ultimately, I think people want to know that the little church on the hill still has the answers to the deep questions of life should they ever feel the need to ask them, and burning another religion's holy book may be quashing that a bit.

Second, and discouraging as can be, is the fact that that same obscure pastor evidently holds the power of life and death, peace and tranquility, and quite possibly world peace itself within the grasp of two match clutching fingers. Aaaahhh am I missing something here? Consider this laundry list:

  1. the Twin Towers bombing
  2. the Millennium Bomber
  3. the 9/11 attacks
  4. the Bali Bombing
  5. the London subway bombing
  6. the Madrid train bombing
  7. the Ft. Hood shooter
  8. the foiled shoe bomber
  9. the foiled underwear bomber
  10. the foiled Fort Dix attack
  11. the oft shouted refrain "death to America"the Pan Am bombing
  12. Egyptian Air 990 tragedy
  13. And many many more

Now what do these all have in common besides the fact that they are massacres or attempted massacres and were carried out in the name of Islam? That's right, they all took place before the Reverend Jones made his threats. What? Are they going to kill people if he does this? How will we know when they start? Now while I don't agree with the pastor and know that he can't back up his actions with scripture, since when does having a boneheaded idea qualified you for such wrath from everyone from the president of the United States to every morning drive time DJ in America? This poor fellow might have just unwittingly set himself up as the administrations George Bush of terror attacks for the foreseeable future. I can hear our president now: "Let me be clear. If Reverend Jones had not threatened to burn that Quarn... why those terrorists would have been home tucking their children into bed instead of slipping through Secretary Nepalitano's elaborate web and blowing people up."

Third, and even more discouraging yet, is America's collective panicked reaction to this man. It does not bode well for us or show insight and leadership that this nation, its president, its news media, and its commanding officer is willing to give away such power to any old hair-brained pastor with ten bucks, ten followers, a match and a penchant for notoriety. Fear appears to be the order of the day with reporters waiting breathlessly, fingers crossed for the good of the world, hoping against hope that this lone Gainsville resident won't exercise his constitutional right and cast us all into mayhem.

Let me proclaim that this is not America! This nation would be doing a great service to itself if it would fear that fear more than it feared threats from wild eyed religious murderers and thugs who are going to carry out thier threats regardless.

Forth, is the misguided contempt born out of fear for anyone who dares oppose anything Islamic. Need we be reminded that this pastor is not going to kill anyone at all? Those who oppose the Mosque do so peacefully. All who resist are accused of being complicit of coarse. But at what point this side of converting does one take a stand? For the fearful, my guess is nowhere.

Such accusations of complicity are nothing new. President Lincoln, told a story in reference to the struggle in which he was engaged of a highway man robbing a traveler. The highwayman warned the traveler that if he did not comply with his demands that the traveler would be complicit in making him a murderer in addition to a thief. This pastor will likewise be accused out of fear as well as those who oppose the Mosque.

Fifth, we are lost. I touched on this in "Religions Rule", but this is another case of a shell culture; one that has no defining element other than its claim to have no defining element; a culture fat on the luxuries of prosperity, drunk on a government playing sugar-daddy god; and a culture that thinks its liberty comes with the air it breathes. It is no match for the struggle that is upon it, and this hyperventilating over the frustrated actions of a previously--and soon to be again--obscure pastor of a small church gives credence to such charges. America needs to be shaken and given a slap across its collective face if it is to rise up and meet the challenges that are before it.

Sixth and last. The afore named Cordoba Center about which this all begun is being billed as an attempt for Muslims and Americans to sit around and sing Cumbaya. It has failed at this, but it has been successful at achieving the opposite as demonstrated by threats of burning Qurans. As far as those who are in favor of it are concerned, no change. They were in favor of appeasing Islamic radicals before, they are now, and they will be after it is built. As for those it was supposedly attempting to reach, they are insulted, impugned, and further alienated and provoked.

So what are we to gather from this besides the conclusion that violence garners the coward's respect? Are the architects of this Center so completely socially inept that they truly thought that this was a good idea, or was it never intended to do any good but is rather achieving its goal of being a victory Mosque by stirring up trouble so the ones stirred up can be blamed? I honestly don't know, but given its proponent's willingness to abandon their purported aspirations of reconciliation in favor of stridently installing it over the protests of decenters does make me wonder if it ever had any other purpose.



(great Christian explanation here from a favorite author of mine on burning the Quran)

27 comments:

Stan said...

You should publish this, Danny. You really should. Oh, wait ... you already did. Never mind.

Joe said...

Good points!

I abhor the thought of burning the Qur'an, but support his right to do so.

I hope he does as he has since said, and does NOT go through with the burning.

That said, there is no excuse for the over-the-top reaction of the "religion of peace" to this incident.

They kill for one reason only...they like to kill. You can see it in their faces when they do so.

I pray that our leaders will stop making excuses for radical Islam.

Craig said...

Hola Dan,

I agree, we shouldn't make decisions based on how the radicals in the Muslim world react. I believe it was General Petreus, The General On The Ground in Afghanistan, who first raised the specter of danger to U.S. forces as the result of the Koran burning.

The "Pastor" garnering world wide attention is also a joke but hey, the media loves controversy.

I have heard him castigated, called names, belittled, and lambasted over his threats,

Not enough in my opinion. I've heard a lot of sympathy for this charlatan on the Righty talk shows. He's been portrayed as some country bumpkin pastor whose heart is in the right place but a little misguided. An Interesting article in Der Spiegel Online. He's just another deluded Christian con man. I won't hold it against you even though you are both Christians.

First, the seemingly constant profaning of Christianity

Ah, no rant on the dangers of "The Other" would be complete without first putting on the Kevlar vest of persecution. What nonsense.

I know you would like to smear anyone who doesn't see a problem with the 'Mosque' two blocks and out of sight from ground zero as terrorist sympathizers. I would prefer we hunt down the actual perpetrators of terror and kill or capture them.

They wanted a Holy War and that's about what we're getting. I don't get why you, Joe and others are so willing to oblige the radical and, yes, dangerous extremists.

Craig said...

I will comment more on your article when I have time. Busy, busy on my end but I do enjoy our back and forth and appreciate your willingness to engage.

For the record, I couldn't care less if Park 51/ Cordoba House, whatever, gets built or if some ass burns a Koran. He's not the only one, by the way. A couple other nuts are trying to horn in on his act.

My argument is about principle. Principles that I think are essential to American values and the pluralistic society our founders and framers envisioned. I hope to flesh it out later. I'm also interested in your views on what it means to be a 'Christian Nation'.

You've also made comments alluding to the role role of government. I'd love to bat that around with you too.

Later.

Dan said...

Craig said: "I agree, we shouldn't make decisions based on how the radicals in the Muslim world react."

That's not what I'm getting from you at all. Perhaps you can help me with that.

Dan said...

Craig:

From your link

"Naturally the radical Islamophobes know very well that their deliberate provocation could trigger potentially violent protests and riots."

You know...? the name calling does nothing to advance an argument.

Radical = you don't agree with me.

[whatever]phobe = you're a backward moron who doesn't agree with me.

But analyze this sentence carefully with me and then help me understand why it is not the person writing your linked article who has the real phobia.

"Naturally[oh yes, the natural order of things, radicals, Korans and Matches. Happens all the time, so much it's... well...natural. People blowing things up and killing people, never happens at all, especially if those who do so are a part of a certain religious group... apparently]the radical Islamophobes... [the radical Islamophobes. Who are they? Are they a member of a group that goes about murdering people indiscriminately when they are offended? No. Are they going to kill anyone or are they threatening to kill anyone? No. Is {he} exercising his vaunted free speech right? Yes. But wait, where did the word "he" go? Somehow it got morphed into "they". Hmmmm, now how did "he" get turned into "they" by people who decry guilt by association?]...know very well that their deliberate provocation...Is this a normal misguided soul? Not at all, he is the face of many who are evil because they knoooooow what they're doing is inciting....wait... who are they inciting? let's see]could trigger potentially violent protests and riots."[Muslims? Why what, besides your radical Islamophobia would make you think that? Apparently this article is referring to no one in particular, just normal everyday citizens? So, are the radicals going to break out in violent protests and riots? Not at all, what would possibly be radical about that? Evidently various unconnected people breaking out in violent protests and riots is not radical at all. No phobias in play here. Just normal everyday peace loving people minding their own business until the real scum of the earth, those radical Islamophobes strike a match and casts them all into involuntary riotous and violent fits.

So what am I, as a sane thinking person to do with this logic? One thing is for sure, I can't take this kind of thinking seriously. It has the feel of propaganda, by whom and for what purpose, I couldn't say.

A good argument would go something like this:

By carrying out this act Jones could upset Muslims who take the burning of their Holy Book very seriously. There is a very real fear that if he carries through with his threats to burn the Koran it could trigger Muslims the world over to erupt into riots that could turn violent.

No evil boogie men here, just truth.

Dan said...

Craig:

From your link

"Naturally the radical Islamophobes know very well that their deliberate provocation could trigger potentially violent protests and riots."

You know...? the name calling does nothing to advance an argument.

Radical = you don't agree with me.

[whatever]phobe = you're a backward moron who doesn't agree with me.

But analyze this sentence carefully with me and then help me understand why it is not the person writing your linked article who has the real phobia.

"Naturally[oh yes, the natural order of things, radicals, Korans and Matches. Happens all the time, so much it's... well...natural. People blowing things up and killing people, never happens at all, especially if those who do so are a part of a certain religious group... apparently]the radical Islamophobes... [the radical Islamophobes. Who are they? Are they a member of a group that goes about murdering people indiscriminately when they are offended? No. Are they going to kill anyone or are they threatening to kill anyone? No. Is {he} exercising his vaunted free speech right? Yes. But wait, where did the word "he" go? Somehow it got morphed into "they". Hmmmm, now how did "he" get turned into "they" by people who decry guilt by association?]...know very well that their deliberate provocation...Is this a normal misguided soul? Not at all, he is the face of many who are evil because they knoooooow what they're doing is inciting....wait... who are they inciting? let's see]could trigger potentially violent protests and riots."[Muslims? Why what, besides your radical Islamophobia would make you think that? Apparently this article is referring to no one in particular, just normal everyday citizens? So, are the radicals going to break out in violent protests and riots? Not at all, what would possibly be radical about that? Evidently various unconnected people breaking out in violent protests and riots is not radical at all. No phobias in play here. Just normal everyday peace loving people minding their own business until the real scum of the earth, those radical Islamophobes strike a match and casts them all into involuntary riotous and violent fits.

So what am I, as a sane thinking person to do with this logic? One thing is for sure, I can't take this kind of thinking seriously. It has the feel of propaganda, by whom and for what purpose, I couldn't say.

A good argument would go something like this:

By carrying out this act Jones could upset Muslims who take the burning of their Holy Book very seriously. There is a very real fear that if he carries through with his threats to burn the Koran it could trigger Muslims the world over to erupt into riots that could turn violent.

No evil boogie men here, just truth.

Craig and Heather said...

this is another case of a shell culture; one that has no defining element other than its claim to have no defining element; a culture fat on the luxuries of prosperity, drunk on a government playing sugar-daddy god; and a culture that thinks its liberty comes with the air it breathes. It is no match for the struggle that is upon it, ...America needs to be shaken and given a slap across its collective face if it is to rise up and meet the challenges that are before it.

About 6 years ago, we were discussing with friends a similar topic and I've not forgotten one man's assertion that what we need is a good dose of persecution to wake us up.

And lately, I've been wondering if he was right.

Do you think it's possible that our lack of moral definition and unified purpose as "one nation under God" has thrown open the door for those who would forcibly take the wheel and steer us in a specific direction?

H

Z said...

And now the Imam's found to hang out with a Muslim TRUTHER! OH, the plot thickens, doesn't it? :-)

I don't support the burning but support his right to do it, BUT it just RANKLES me that THEY made him stop...muslim threats again.. Man, are we wimps, or WHAT?

Craig said...

Craig said: "I agree, we shouldn't make decisions based on how the radicals in the Muslim world react."

That's not what I'm getting from you at all. Perhaps you can help me with that.


Regarding the (this is how I will now refer to the building) Cordoba Initiative, Park 51 Community Center, Culinary School with prayer rooms. The CIP triple C.

It's being built by American citizens for what sounds to me like noble reasons. They've taken all the proper legal steps. There is no credible reason to distrust the Imam. The opposition has been ginned up using lies, distortions and peoples fear of Islam in general. Fears that aren't born out in reality. It's ugly and un-American.

I agree with you, there are sick, twisted followers of Islam committing horrible crimes and they will continue to do them whether CIPCCC (I like my new acronym) is moved or if someone doesn't burn a Koran. My only concern with respect to radical Islam is; they commit terrorist acts to terrorize a population. They've succeeded in terrorizing a whole lot of people into thinking all Muslims are out to sever their heads and impose Sharia Law.

This is a good article by Lawrence Wright who also wrote the definitive book on 9/11, The Looming Tower. It's short. Read

As for the Koran burners. They could accomplish the same thing by tatooing "I'm an idiot" on their foreheads.

Dan said...

Craig

Could you please further clarify your statement?

You said:


"The opposition has been ginned up using lies, distortions and peoples fear of Islam in general. Fears that aren't born out in reality."

It sounds like you are saying that it is unreasonable to fear Islam, even in light of these events:

the Twin Towers bombing
the Millennium Bomber
the 9/11 attacks
the Bali Bombing
the London subway bombing
the Madrid train bombing
the Ft. Hood shooter
the foiled shoe bomber
the foiled underwear bomber
the foiled Fort Dix attack
the oft shouted refrain "death to America"the Pan Am bombing
Egyptian Air 990 tragedy
And many many more

You also repeatedly use the phrase, "ginned up" in your comments. This I interpret as "agitating without base".

Are you, in light of this list of events, all of which were perpetrated in the name of Islam, claiming that the "people's fears of Islam in general" of which you speak are baseless?

Would you claim that the resistance to the burning of the Koran was not based on fear?

How would you define noble?

Was this statement:

"As for the Koran burners. They could accomplish the same thing by tatooing "I'm an idiot" on their foreheads."

a noble thing to say about a fellow human being?

Why is such language reserved for those who, like the much acclaimed Andres Serrano" are expressing their constitutionally protected right of free speech, but I never hear such inflammatory language in regard to murderous Muslims?

Is the reluctance to speak of Muslims in this tone out of fear or respect?

Finally, do you think that statements like this give you more credibility in the advancement of your argument, or less?

Dan said...

Craig

Oh and by the way, what's with the new picture?

Dan said...

Heather said

"Do you think it's possible that our lack of moral definition and unified purpose as "one nation under God" has thrown open the door for those who would forcibly take the wheel and steer us in a specific direction?"

Yes, I most definitely do. The main gist of my article "Religions Rule", even though it was predictably misinterpreted as an Anti ground zero Mosque article, was based on this assessment. I actually gave more ink castigating liberal Christianity than Islam, and for good reason I think.

I have begun to ask the question: how should I raise my children in order to prepare them for a world that was much different than the one I inherited. And also I have begun to ask for revelation on the many ways in which I am sure that I contributed to its coming, and do so still, so that I might repent.

Craig and Heather said...

I have begun to ask the question: how should I raise my children in order to prepare them for a world that was much different than the one I inherited.And also I have begun to ask for revelation on the many ways in which I am sure that I contributed to its coming, and do so still, so that I might repent.

I can relate to this. Definitely not an easy thing to face.

Craig:

They've succeeded in terrorizing a whole lot of people into thinking all Muslims are out to sever their heads and impose Sharia Law.


There is a huge difference between saying "Islam is not remotely a people-friendly religion"
and
"I hate all Muslims because some take very seriously the pro-militant, anti "infidel" aspect of certain writings within the Quran".

Regardless of whether adherents engage in terrorism, they are kept away from the truth of who Christ is and the violence that is done to the souls that are locked into the religion is the worst crime of all.

As it appears you are an atheist, I do not expect you will recognize my point as a valid one. But make no mistake...the "purists" within the Islamic world view "moderate", non-aggressive Muslims as being just as wrong as those who refuse to convert.

Please consider Dan's list again. The rotten fruit of taking the teaching of this religion to it's (il)logical end is evident. The extreme behavior of the terrorists is simply revealing the extreme nature of the religion.

Heather

Joe said...

I have stopped in at a convenience store/food counter run by a Middle Easterner for at least six years. He is Muslim. His food is good, and I have always gotten good service there.

The last time I stopped in there, another customer commented about the Qur'an burning and the owner of the shop replied, "You Americans had better watch your backs."

The look on his face was grim and even menacing.

I don't think I'll patronize that store any more.

Is that Islamaphobic? So be it.

Craig said...

It sounds like you are saying that it is unreasonable to fear Islam, even in light of these events:

Yes, it is unreasonable to fear all of Islam because of the criminal actions of a few. I do think it is reasonable to have a healthy fear of Muslims who use religion to justify their heinous acts.

I won't engage in a tit for tat, your religion has as many crazies as theirs. There are, probably, more violently crazy Islamists than Christianists. I will say, people who bomb clinics where abortions a performed or murder doctors are acting on a perverted interpretation of Christianity. This weekend, there will be 20 to 30 thousand white guys and gals who belong to the Christian Identity movement, running around in the woods wearing camo and shooting squirrels with AK47's, just waiting for some excuse to start shooting brown and black people.

When General Jerry Boykin, an Army general who sees the war on terrorism as a clash between Judeo-Christian values and Satan, stands, in uniform, and tells an audience that "our God is bigger than their God; it ain't helping. Someone living in, say, Iraq whose family was just incinerated by a bunker buster or cluster bomb, might get the impression that the people from another country occupying their country are engaged in some sort of religious crusade to wipe out Muslims.

So, when someone like Imam Rauf, a Sufi Muslim (they're the Quakers of Islam, for god's sake), wants to build a CIPCCC to promote peace and understanding in the hood, I say, why not?

I understand that you don't trust any Muslim. How do you see this playing out? For me, everyone dropping their silly superstitious beliefs would change the world for the better but that isn't going to happen so I'll support the ones who don't see good works as 'filthy rags' and want to make this world a little better. The ones who aren't obsessed with the promise of everlasting life. (Have you ever really stopped to think what a colossal bore that would be?)

What about you? how would you finish this sentence? The only good Muslim is a __________Muslim.

Craig said...

You also repeatedly use the phrase, "ginned up" in your comments. This I interpret as "agitating without base".

Your interpretation is correct. Many lies have been told about the Imam, the location, the intentions of the Imam, the history of Cordoba, etc. Rauf, the Muslims living in New York, the 10 to 20,000 Muslims serving in the Armed Forces and the vast, vast majority of 1B Muslims in the world haven't, wouldn't commit these crimes and condemn such actions.

Are you, in light of this list of events, all of which were perpetrated in the name of Islam, claiming that the "people's fears of Islam in general" of which you speak are baseless?

Yes.

How would you define noble?

I should have used a synonym of noble. I still think it works but
maybe 'honorable' would have been a better word choice.

1.
in accordance with or characterized by principles of honor; upright: They were all honorable men.
2.
of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished.
3.
worthy of honor and high respect; estimable; creditable.
4.
bringing honor or credit; consistent with honor.



a noble thing to say about a fellow human being?


I think it's honest. Anyone who thinks burning a Koran, a Bible or a Beatle record will accomplish something is an idiot.

Why is such language reserved for those who, like the much acclaimed Andres Serrano" are expressing their constitutionally protected right of free speech, but I never hear such inflammatory language in regard to murderous Muslims?

'Idiots' is too mild a word to use for the crazed, murderous, criminal, heinous Muslims who commit those atrocities. These are all words I've used to describe the terrorists in our discussions here. I never hear such inflammatory language in regard to murderous Muslims? Really?

It's funny you bring up Andres Sarrano. He was a nobody getting a little grant money until some Christians made a huge stink over one image. Most people, Christians included, just shrugged and rolled their eyes, then forgot about it. Some Christians and political opportunists decided it was yet more religious "persecution" or an issue about arts funding they could use to rile up the base.

I guess his intention was to shock and it worked. Ironically, in the context of you bringing him up, he started getting death threats from offended Christians and Serrano went from nobody to somebody. His career took off.

I don't know much about Serrano's work but I thought at the time, as a piece of art, "Piss Christ" was Crap. It's trite, juvenile, pretentious and idiotic. Just like a lot of modern art that's trying to be 'edgy'.

Finally, do you think that statements like this give you more credibility in the advancement of your argument, or less?

I have no idea.

Craig said...

Craig

Oh and by the way, what's with the new picture?


It's from the Dick and Jane books. I came across it and I just liked the expression on her face. It's sort of ambiguous. Could be delight, fear, surprise, astonishment, etc. Since many people use avatars to make some point or express something about themselves, I thought it would be a way to make folks think I had some deep and meaningful reason to use it.

I thought it would be a clever way to trick people into thinking I'm clever.

Craig said...

There is a huge difference between saying "Islam is not remotely a people-friendly religion"
and
"I hate all Muslims because some take very seriously the pro-militant, anti "infidel" aspect of certain writings within the Quran".


Well, in my opinion, both are ignorant statements.

Please consider Dan's list again. The rotten fruit of taking the teaching of this religion to it's (il)logical end is evident. The extreme behavior of the terrorists is simply revealing the extreme nature of the religion

The same could be said of Christianity. Before the religion embraced modernity, the 'Blasphemers' were burned, drown, made to wear scarlet letters, had their tongues pierced with red hot pokers. All kinds of nasty stuff. And this was happening here at the time of our Founding. There are still Christians killing and maiming children because they're possessed by demons.

So, get off your high horse and join modernity. You might like it. Your fruit (that always sounds a little naughty to me. Guess that's 'cause of the atheism.) is looking a little old and moldy.

Craig said...

The last time I stopped in there, another customer commented about the Qur'an burning and the owner of the shop replied, "You Americans had better watch your backs."

Hey Joe,

Wow, my instinct would be to say "What do mean" or something like that. You know, a little dialogue.

Joe, are you sure That Muslim wasn't trying to slowly poison you with his 'Good Food'. Oh well, go crawl back under your bed.

Enough of this. I have to go walk the dog.

Craig and Heather said...

There is a huge difference between saying "Islam is not remotely a people-friendly religion"
and
"I hate all Muslims because some take very seriously the pro-militant, anti "infidel" aspect of certain writings within the Quran".


Well, in my opinion, both are ignorant statements.

You're entitled to an opinion. Opinions don't change facts.

Please consider Dan's list again. The rotten fruit of taking the teaching of this religion to it's (il)logical end is evident. The extreme behavior of the terrorists is simply revealing the extreme nature of the religion

The same could be said of Christianity. Before the religion embraced modernity, the 'Blasphemers' were burned, drown, made to wear scarlet letters, had their tongues pierced with red hot pokers. All kinds of nasty stuff. And this was happening here at the time of our Founding. There are still Christians killing and maiming children because they're possessed by demons.

I said "Islam prevents people from seeing Christ for who He is", not "Islam prevents people from converting to some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Christianity".

Again, there's a difference which you don't seem to recognize.

So, get off your high horse and join modernity. You might like it. Your fruit (that always sounds a little naughty to me. Guess that's 'cause of the atheism.) is looking a little old and moldy.

LOL! Would joining modernity require that I stop trying to understand what others say and then personally insult them when I decide I disagree?

H

Craig said...

I said "Islam prevents people from seeing Christ for who He is"

"Christianity prevents people from seeing Allah for who He is."

not "Islam prevents people from converting to some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Christianity".

Not "Christianity prevents people from converting to some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Islam".

Yes Heather, I recognize the difference. You see I can plug in any theology amongst the hundreds in the Christian religion alone who lay claim to the Absolute Truth. Same goes for Islam which you portray as a monolithic belief.

I can't help but think you, Dan and Joe are that much different than extremist Muslims. The big difference is, whether you know it or not, that Christianity in the U.S. has been tempered by modernity. While I don't think any of you would kill in the name of your beliefs, you have no problem justifying discriminating against an entire group of Americans based on their religion.

Also, I don't see many fundamentalist Christians speaking out against the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just collateral damage in "The War on Terror". Before you say I hate the troops, they're following orders. I hate the policy.

LOL! Would joining modernity require that I stop trying to understand what others say and then personally insult them when I decide I disagree?

I used the same language you used to insult an entire religion.

It's odd that you would call the Christianity practiced by the Puritans, "some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Christianity". Then Dan and perhaps you too, would use the quotes of John Adams to claim we are or were a Christian nation. Adams was a Unitarian who didn't believe in the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus. So who's brand of Christianity do you endorse?

Craig and Heather said...

Yes Heather, I recognize the difference. You see I can plug in any theology amongst the hundreds in the Christian religion alone who lay claim to the Absolute Truth. Same goes for Islam which you portray as a monolithic belief.

Actually, I'm aware that there are many variations within the Islamic religion.

Absolute Truth is the Person of Jesus Christ. If a belief system obscures the reality of our need to enter into a relationship with Him, it is not people-friendly. That goes for frameworks that call themselves Christian (and there are many) as well as anything outside of that realm.

I can't help but think you, Dan and Joe are that much different than extremist Muslims.

It's too bad you can't overcome your prejudice. ;)


The big difference is, whether you know it or not, that Christianity in the U.S. has been tempered by modernity.

Unfortunately, that is correct. Also true, though, is the fact that "modernity" does not equal "civility" or tolerance of those whose beliefs are different. You've demonstrated this pretty well.

While I don't think any of you would kill in the name of your beliefs, you have no problem justifying discriminating against an entire group of Americans based on their religion.

Where did I say I want to see other people oppressed? I haven't even called anyone "idiot".

Also, I don't see many fundamentalist Christians speaking out against the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just collateral damage in "The War on Terror".

Why do you assume I would be for our govt. ordering soldiers to kill civilians?

Before you say I hate the troops, they're following orders. I hate the policy.

I don't know what our govt's motives actually are and have used the exact same defense concerning support for our troops.

LOL! Would joining modernity require that I stop trying to understand what others say and then personally insult them when I decide I disagree?

I used the same language you used to insult an entire religion.


You have no problem with saying it's wrong for our govt to send soldiers to kill people who did not personally attack us but I cannot say a religion is wrong because it kills souls?

How is expressing concern for the well-being of another being insulting?

It's odd that you would call the Christianity practiced by the Puritans, "some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Christianity".

Why is it odd? Do you believe I am incapable of recognizing error within a Christian religious movement simply because I identify as Christian? Even Christians make mistakes and some mistakes are much more offensive than others. I'm not going to try to defend something I believe was done in error.


Then Dan and perhaps you too, would use the quotes of John Adams to claim we are or were a Christian nation. Adams was a Unitarian who didn't believe in the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus.

Adams was not the only Unitarian leader in our history. George Washington is reported to have been a Freemason. The govt policies concerning native Americans were often atrociously unjust. Blacks being abducted, mistreated and forced to work as slaves is a blight on our national history. "We hold these truths to be self-evident" is not grounded in Biblical theology, but rather in a naturalistic moral appeal, "IN GOD WE TRUST is emblazoned on our money and I seriously wonder what god is being referenced...

I don't claim the United States to ever have been a "Christian nation". I do believe it's history has been Providentially directed, just as has all of history. And, I believe that there have been genuine Christians (even some who have made some terrible mistakes) who have helped shape our country for the better over the years.

Heather

Craig and Heather said...

I said "Islam prevents people from seeing Christ for who He is"



Allah requires submission and promises reward for those who are good enough to please him. Perfection is required for any of us to be able to enter into the presence of Almighty Jehovah God.

Find something that will convince me that Allah's interested in engaging in a loving, two-way relationship and that he's done anything (like offer his own son in replacement for our imperfection) to ensure his followers of his concern for their well-being.

Yes Heather, I recognize the difference. You see I can plug in any theology amongst the hundreds in the Christian religion alone who lay claim to the Absolute Truth. Same goes for Islam which you portray as a monolithic belief.

I will respectfully say no, you most certainly do not recognize the difference. "Plug and play" theology might work in comparing one world religion to another. It might even get you a foot in the door concerning biblical Christianity. But it falls apart when you get to the Person of Christ.

And I am well-aware that there are differences within the Islamic faith structure. It doesn't matter which branch you walk out on, though. None of them offer a chance for true reconciliation with our Maker while still in this life.


I can't help but think you, Dan and Joe are that much different than extremist Muslims....you have no problem justifying discriminating against an entire group of Americans based on their religion.

I can't speak for Dan or Joe, but you are more than welcome to point me back to where I said "we need to oppress and mistreat American Muslims because their belief is different than mine."

Sorry Craig. Your statement just doesn't sound very "modern", tolerant or well informed. Hope there's no hidden prejudice involved in your thought process ;)

....

Craig and Heather said...

Also, I don't see many fundamentalist Christians speaking out ...Before you say I hate the troops, they're following orders. I hate the policy.

I don't know what the govt policy actually is concerning Iraq and Afghanistan but can assure you I have never celebrated the bombing/killing of any middle east dwelling civilians.

For the record, I'm also capable of supporting the troops while questioning the beneficial nature of the things they are sent to do.

I used the same language you used to insult an entire religion.


Where did I order Islamic adherents to "get off their high horse"?

Have I called anyone an "idiot"?

It's odd that you would call the Christianity practiced by the Puritans, "some form of religious activity that goes by the name of Christianity".

I'm not allowed to say I disagree with the specific religious activity you mentioned @ September 16, 2010 11:54 AM ?

Then Dan and perhaps you too, would use the quotes of John Adams to claim we are or were a Christian nation. Adams was a Unitarian who didn't believe in the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus.

I won't presume to speak for Dan.

Adams isn't the only past leader who could be described as Unitarian. I don't subscribe to the idea that America was ever a Christian theocracy. We aren't national Israel. I believe God has providentially directed the history of our nation just as He has every other nation. And I believe God-fearing people in every era have taken part in shaping the culture.

So who's brand of Christianity do you endorse?

I don't shop the Christian faith like it's a department store full of designer clothing.



Heather

Dan said...

Craig

As a rule I will engage people as long as I think it is productive.

Your anger is now evident and you are no longer being rational. As I suspected it would, your irrational hatred of Christianity is apparent now for all to see.

I don't blame you, mind you, I was once where you are. We hate the idea that we are not simply products of evolution and that not only will abortion clinic bombers, cluster bombers, twin tower bombers, racists, terrorists, and everyone else you and I have decried in this dialog, will be held to account one day for their lives, but that you and I, as individuals, will be held to account as well.

Your words betray you. They do so in your appeal to objective truth. That truth has an author and your own words affirm it. They betray that you know that you are not a mere meat machine produced by time and chance appealing to some ex nihilo moral authority. It is not wrong to kill because Craig's evolution produced neurons happen to be firing a certain way. It is wrong to kill because your creator says so, the same creator that you yourself will be held to account by. It will do any of us precious little good on that day to say that we were for some temporal building in New York, or this or that cause or religion or church; or that we thought that cluster bombing innocent civilians was horrible. No, on that day, you, Craig, will give an account for your life, and you will be found lacking, just as every other person will. IT is that truth and the hatred of it that motivates you irrational stance here. Deny it if you like, I've heard it, indeed I have screamed it myself. I fully expect you to as well, but that anger in you has a root, and that root is in the truth of your condition before a Holy and Righteous God. Therefore I beg you to Kiss the Son and humble yourself to pray for revelation to the God who is there.


Otherwise Craig, I no longer feel the need to respond to you. Your comments, I think, reveal enough.

Cheers

Craig said...

Your anger is now evident and you are no longer being rational. As I suspected it would, your irrational hatred of Christianity is apparent now for all to see.

Huh? So, if anyone disagrees with you they hate Christianity? You have a real talent for finding persecution where it doesn't exist.



It is not wrong to kill because Craig's evolution produced neurons happen to be firing a certain way.

Why not ask me what I think instead of telling me.

Oh well, so long and good luck with your afterlife.

Sorry everyone's out to get you.