Islam Archives

On apologizing Christians

In this video, slam poet Chris Tse apologizes for being a Christian (warning: a couple of instances of foul language). Before you watch the video, think for a moment which actions Tse might have singled out as worthy of apologizing for. Consider our culture, its worldviews, and especially how Christians are portrayed in secular media.

How did you do? It really wasn’t that difficult to guess which sins he’d be apologizing for, was it?

As one would expect, some of the politically correct sins presented were: the crusades, homophobia, anti-abortion protests, culturally insensitive missionaries, etc. Now, regardless of whether or not Christians, in general, are guilty of some or all of these infractions, does anyone else find it unsettling that the infractions listed match up with how the Christian and Christianity is portrayed in secular media?

While it appears that Mr. Tse is sincere, albeit naive, I’m concerned about how this type of “apology” dovetails with the secular worldview of the liberal west. I find it interesting that we live in a world which considers all ideas valid, yet demands apologies from those whose ideas which, truth be told, they consider wrong (i.e., not valid). It’s the old, “We will not tolerate intolerance!” mantra. Recall that one of President Obama’s first actions, as President, was to travel ’round the world apologizing on behalf of the United States.

Apologizing, evidently, is in vogue.

I’ve read some commentators who state that we live in a post-modern society which is not really interested in viewing the world through rational, enlightenment eyes. Therefore, any discipline which presents an argument to make its case, such as that of apologetics, is considered old-school. Instead, we’re told, we need to expend our efforts to reach the heart of the person – namely by means of anything relational.

Hence, we see efforts such those to administer so-called social justice to the less fortunate in our midst – or – to deliver apologies for hurting other people’s feelings.

Yet we humans are neither wholly rational or wholly emotional creatures – we are much more than that. We have, after all, been stamped with the Image of God.

As such, worldviews which tout the truth of pluralism are self-defeating, not because they don’t feel right but because they don’t work. In the same vein, apologies for the past actions of a particular group had better have the facts and context of those actions objectively correct, lest such apologies be nothing more than a meaningless flapping of wind.

References: (which I don’t apologize for listing)

The Crusades – Rodney Stark – God’s Battalions

AbortionChristians offering help and healing to those who’ve chosen abortion

Jim Elliot – ’nuff said

Focus on the Family (yes FOTF) – an article that must surely be filled with hate towards the homosexual…

Friday Link Wrap-up

I’ve been on the road this week, and by the time this posts I’ll be heading home.  I haven’t done much blogging as a result, but I have collected a few links.

Remember all the riots, protests and violence when the US military burned Bibles?  Or when Muslims blew the doors off churches, burned Bibles and destroyed every cross they could find?  Yeah, me neither.  Define for me “religion of peace” again?  The actions that the Left calls “Islamophobia” in America don’t hold a candle to what gets done to Christians by Muslims elsewhere, but somehow “Christophobia” hasn’t entered their vernacular yet.

The amount of money the United States now owes is more than all the money in the worldThat’s how bad it is.

Christians protest abortion, the media yawns.  One pro-abortion protestor hits the streets, you get an article with pictures.

Gun owner ship goes up.  Violent crime goes down. If the Left was right about poor economic times causing crime, and that more guns cause more crime, there ought to be more heads exploding on that side of the aisle, if they’re being intellectually honest.

The return of no-money-down mortgages.  Um, that’s what got us into this mess in the first place!

The disappearing homeless.  Well, they’re still there, and likely there are more now that the housing bubble popped.  But the media has gone silent on them.  Guess they’re waiting for a Republican President, like they did before.

And finally, from Chuck Asay, some advice about getting your religion hijacked.  (Click for a larger version.)

"Take This Koran in Jesus’ Name"

In response to (what was going to be) a mass burning of Korans, the Massachusetts Bible Society decided to take action.

As people of the Book, we are joined to Islam and Judaism in a special way and as an organization that has sought to put that Book into people’s hands for 201 years, we cannot stand idly by while the sacred text of a sister religion is burned as our beloved Bibles once were.

Lest the culture believe that Rev. Jones’ position represents that of all Christians, MassBible is prepared to take a counter action.  For 201 years we have given the Bible to those without access.  In response to Rev. Jones despicable act, we are prepared to give two Qur’ans for every one that Rev. Jones burns.

(Emphasis theirs.)

The Koran burning was called off, but not this effort.  So a Bible society is financing the purchase of Korans for distribution. 


Given what (I hope) the MBS thinks about the Bible (y’know, that it’s true and gives life and eternal hope and all that), why are they handing out the text of a religion that they are trying to convert people away from?  I think of missionaries in Islamic countries, who fear deportation at best or physical persecution at worst, watching a Bible society working directly against them by spreading the words of the Koran rather than words of Life. 

But that’s not all!  Guess who’s cheering them on?  Duane Shank, senior policy advisor at … (wait for it) … the Sojourners!

While the Quran will no longer be burned, it seems to me that this response followed in the steps of Jesus, showing love and respect where others were showing hatred. It is a strong witness for what Christians should be showing to our neighbors.

By tying the millstone around their neck lovingly and tossing them over the cliff into the sea, we’re showing love and respect.


Is this really what Wallis and the Sojourners hold up as an example to follow?  Why are we pushing them further from Jesus the Messiah?  How, in the name of all that is eternal, is that in any way loving?  A cup of water, a meal, a school in the name of Christ is loving.  Bringing people to a saving knowledge of Jesus is loving.  Supplying them with their own brand of heresy and idolatry is not loving. 

If the Sojourners and the Massachusetts Bible Society really believe that Christianity is true and Islam is false, they have an awful way of showing it.  My respect for both as purveyors of the gospel of Jesus Christ has gone way, way down.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Media Bias Dept.:  The Left got upset when Rupert Murdoch gave money to right-wing groups.  No mention, of course of the 88% of TV network donations go to Democrats.  And how much coverage did you hear about the BBC’s Director General admitting that the state-run news organization has had a “massive” left-wing bias?  Yeah, me neither.  Also, Patterico explains how the media has shaped the national discussion by selective coverage.

Market Watch:  The market is doing more for troubled homeowners than the government it.  CNN is, apparently, shocked to discover such a thing can happen.

“Recovery” Summer Dept.:  Germany’s recover has been fueled to a large extent by private sector consumption and growth, as opposed to the graph I posted earlier showing most of our jobs went to the government.  And irony of ironies, a French bureaucrat had to tell the US about cutting spending spurs growth.  Why can our own guys understand that?

ObamaCare Dept.:  After helping pass the health care bill, one Democratic Senator, using language he helped craft in the bill, is trying to use it to exempt his state from the individual mandate.  “Yeah, it’s a great idea … for everyone else but me.”  Also, reality is putting the lie to the promise that nothing was going to change for you if you like the health care you have.

Film Corner:  The trailer us up for “Blood Money”, an expose of the abortion industry.

Government (In)action Dept.:  The Justice Department is refusing to enforce voter fraud laws, and they’ve plainly said as much.  So one lawyer is using a provision of the law to file the lawsuits the Obama’s Justice won’t.  Our President respects the rule of law insofar as it furthers his own agenda.  No good can come of that.

Gossip Column:  Fidel Castro himself admits that the communist economic model doesn’t work.  It “works” only insofar as you get influxes of cash from, say, a beneficiary either internally (the “rich”) or externally (the USSR).  But on its own, it is an abject failure.  Would that the Left would hear this and stop trying to move us closer to it.

And finally, the last word on the “Ground Zero Mosque” and the burning of Korans, from Rick McKee.  (Click for a larger image.)

How come?

How come when a small group of Muslims kill innocent men, women, and children (e.g., 9/11, Bali, African embassies, Spanish train, British train, etc.), we’re reminded that Islam is a religion of peace, and that the murderous acts were those of fanatics; but when a small group of Christians decide to burn the Koran, there’s nary a word of Christianity being related to peace or that such a wacko group of self-proclaimed “christians” are fanatics?

For Perspective

From a Facebook post by La Shawn Barber:

So much ink and hand-wringing over Koran-burning, yet so little over child killing. Strange, that.

If we could get Democrats this riled up over living beings, we’d have substantially fewer abortion tomorrow.  But they reserve their high dudgeon for … books. 

Well, holy books to be sure, but not all holy books.  See, it all depends on how the believers in said holy book might react.  La Shawn’s Facebook post links to her blog which adds this:

Burn an Islamic holy book, and Muslims kill in retaliation. Burn the Bible, and Christians pray for the one who lights the match and for the crowd cheering.

The planned Koran burnings are being highly, and rightly, criticized by the Left.  There are various reasons cited — Islamophobia, America’s reputation, insensitivity — but given the two different ways those believers react, it appears the Left only complains loudly when they might be hurt by those believers.  It’s more self-preservation than any pretense of religious tolerance. 

And children being killed in the name of convenience?  Well, that’s a right.

Perfectly Legal, But a Bad Idea

No, I’m not talking about the "Ground Zero Mosque".  I’m talking about the Dove World Outreach Center’s plan to burn Korans on September 11th.

There’s nothing unconstitutional about doing with your own property what you wish.  Insofar as there are any relevant ordinances, it’s a local issue.  But also, people are free to exercise their right to protest and express their displeasure at such a thing, and try to convince those who are doing it to reconsider their plans, as I am trying to do.

OK, now I’m talking about the "Ground Zero Mosque".  Or both.

Are liberal websites who criticize the Dove Center’s burning of Korans and mock them anti-Christian bigots?  Certainly this criticism, in and of itself, is not proof of any such bigotry.  They just feel it’s wrong and are expressing their opinion.  I would be building a straw man to suggest that they are motivated by hate of Christians.  Equally, appealing to the constitutionality of this would be ignoring the other, more substantive, points of their protest.

And yet when the tables are turned, out come their straw men and their baseless accusations.  Liberal talking heads speak of constitutionality of building the Mosque on private property and accuse opponents of Islamophobia.  A nutty and drunk cab passenger killing his Muslim cabbie is pointed to as an example of the alleged overall fear, even though the perp was for the Mosque and the Muslim victim against it. 

Why can’t we have a civil discussion about race, religion or any sort of sensitive subject in this country?  This is a big reason why. 

On Park51 or the Cordoba House

I have not offered any opinion of mine own on the proposed Mosque site. I think a lot of odd things have been said about it, not the least of which was the GOP reaction to his expressing the mainstream conservative opinion on the matter, that they do in fact posses a Constitutional right to build but that it is a very bad idea. One has to remember an idea you support, when spoken by one on the other side of the aisle, remains a good idea (and recall that even a broken clock is right twice a day). Another silly thing touted is that this building is “two whole blocks away” and nowhere near the ‘Ground Zero’ location. The reason that notion is silly is that the Park51/Cordoba people have chosen this location is its proximity to the former World Trade site. It seems to me that the those who protest that this is too far away miss a crucial point. Neither the sponsors nor the objectors see that is correct. Doubtless one can point at countless other ideas fronted on this topic which are incoherent or silly. Read the rest of this entry

Friday Link Wrap-up

Yes, it’s that time of the week again, where I toss out a bunch of links that I was too lazy to do a full blog post on.

Turns out the Iraq war didn’t break the bank.  It’s understandable that you might think that, but that only indicates a need to get your news from more sources.  The MSM loves to parrot DNC talking points.

(Liberal) feminism is dead.  Long live (conservative) feminism!

Jim Wallis said that Marvin Olasky (World magazine editor) “lies for a living” when Olasky noted that Wallis got $200,000 from George Soros.  When it was pointed out that he, in fact, did, then came the abject apology in sackcloth and ashes, “Well, it was so small I forgot.”  UPDATE: Wallis has issued a formal apology.

Three months ago, James Cameron was ready to “call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads”, speaking of those who dispute anthropogenic global warming.  At the very last minute, after changing his demands over and over for how a debate was to be run, he cancelled.  Now that takes guts.  Or something.

In England, teachers are dropping history lessons on the Holocaust and the Crusades, for fear of offending Muslims who are taught Holocaust denial and a different view of the Crusades at local mosques.  They’re afraid of challenging “anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils”.  So much for academia being the standard bearer of truth and free speech.

A back door repeal of the First Amendment by … social workers?  Well, when liberal ideologues get ahold of professional organizations, nuttiness does ensue.  Look at most unions.

And finally, a US district judge put a temporary halt to embryonic stem cell research.  Some believe this will devastate scientific research, but  Steve Breen puts it in perspective.  (Click for a larger image.)

Jim Wallis should take it back (and other thoughts on Christians and the Mosque)

As Christians, should our response to the mosque controversy be different than others? As I’ve written, I believe the Muslims seeking to build the mosque should demonstrate American instincts by building it down the road. That aside, how should Christians respond?

Cross in the wreckage of Ground Zero

I certainly believe that in dissent and argument Christians should demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Here are some thoughts in this case:

Love (Your Enemies, Your Neighbors): We cannot hate Muslims because of their faith or even because of acts done in the name of Islam. We just can’t. Opposition to the placement of this mosque doesn’t mean we hate the individuals seeking the mosque or supporting it. Love for our neighbor does not mean we have to support everything they want to do. We’ve been down that road in other arguments.

Blessed are the Peacemakers: We do need to be peacemakers. But part of keeping the peace is to avoid provocation. While the mosque shouldn’t be built in a grieving area, Christians also should not be burning Korans and putting up signs about Islam being of the devil.

Kindness: Don’t portray these NYC neighbors worse than they may be. You don’t know them and I don’t either. Christians should not use hurtful language or false characterizations. There is enough ugliness in the media. Tone it down.

Protect the Faith: There are plenty of efforts to restrict the religious liberty of Christians in America. Don’t give those who wish us ill any ammunition to use the next time a Christian church wants to express itself in the public square. I do find it interesting that the liberals who are so vocal about the religious liberty of those who are wanted to build this mosque are rarely seen in the defense of any Christian display, building, or expression.

Jim Wallis Outrage

Did you see the articles or appearances by Sojourners head Jim Wallis on this topic? He wrote that as Christian peacemakers, we should support our Muslim friends in their desire to build a house of worship near Ground Zero.

While I don’t share Wallis’ politics, I share a Savior. But I’m troubled by what he wrote in his column. Not so much his arguments (although I disagree), but by his character assassination of his fellow Christians. He argues that peaceful Muslims should not judged because of the actions of Islamic 9/11 terrorists any more than he, as an evangelical Christian, should be “judged on the basis of fundamentalist Christians — some of whom have said and done terrible things.”

Rev. Wallis, are you really equating the rhetoric of fundamentalist Christians with the actions of terrorists who murdered thousands of people?

Over the years I have provided communications and public relations counsel and services to many Christian leaders (still do), both fundamentalists and (although not Wallis) evangelical liberals. I find this statement by Wallis as abhorrent as I did Jerry Falwell’s ill-timed assertion that Americans brought the 9/11 attacks upon themselves because of their sins.

Wallis should retract this statement. And I’ll hear him out on the mosque issue and on reconciliation when he completes a Jerry Falwell statue at the Sojourners headquarters. To paraphrase Wallis: “What does it mean to love our enemies as Jesus instructed us? Wasn’t Jerry Falwell your brother and your neighbor?“

Jim Wallis of Sojourners

Tea Party Violence! (Oh, Never Mind.)

An Islamic cabbie was stabbed by a white guy in New York City.  The all-knowing Left jumped on this as clear proof that Republicans are to blame for this.  Juan Cole said this explicitly.  Foster Kramer at the Village Voice wondered aloud if this was the first "Ground Zero Mosque" hate crime.  (More finger pointing from the Left noted by Michelle Malkin.) 

Turns out the attacker supports the building of the mosque.  Little inconvenient truth, that.  And the cabbie?  He’s opposed to it.  This just turns the Left’s arguments upside down and they’re scrambling to deal with it, updating those posts to try to tie this attacker to the Right, or blame the Right for him regardless of his politics.

What’s next, liberals firebombing the offices of a Democrat?  Why, yes.

But hey, those Tea Partiers are just so violent, right?  Right?

Shouting Mosque in a Crowded City

What wrong with my argument in this fictitious scenario? (Well, the thriving small group is true.) The case law that has developed over the centuries protects religious expression, but it has created limitations that allow the religious and non-religious alike to live in peace and in attractive and functional communities. I can’t build a church in my neighborhood because of zoning laws (and other community codes). But I can buy some land about a half-mile from my house and build one, in an area that is zoned commercial.

A church group cannot sing its praises at high decibels late at night near residences. A large church couldn’t be built in an area that could not sustain high-density parking. We could list exceptions to religious expression, and specifically church building, all day. You can build the church of your choice in a community, but not necessarily exactly where you want it.

The Supreme Court famously limited First Amendment speech rights that would put others in unnecessary peril.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote for the majority in 1919:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. […] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

I don’t know if disapproval of the mosque would be legal. But I am convinced that while this Islamic congregation may have the right to build, it is not right for them to build so near the sad scar on our national consciousness that is Ground Zero.

This seems amazingly simple to me. There may be a great distinction between the tenets of the faith that guided the terrorists and the faith that guides the daily lives of these Manhattan adherents. I don’t know their hearts. But there is no doubt that the terrorist acts of 9/11 were committed in the name of Islam, and it is inappropriate, un-neighborly, and unnecessarily provocative—and probably dangerous—to build a Islamic house of worship so close to what will always be a memorial and shrine to the tragedy and those who were lost.

As Americans, we have a good history of living side by side with people of different races, ethnicities, faiths, and social class. But we’ve maintained that peace not by trying to test the raw edges of those relationships, but by avoiding unnecessary stress points.

Friday Link Wrap-up

You know racism is seriously on the decline when the New York Times is left to complain about the insufficient diversity of third base coaches in baseball.

Highly-placed Muslims around the word are coming out against the mosque near Ground Zero.  In fact, there is apparently a widespread belief among Muslims that opposing any mosque construction is a sin, so we’re probably not hearing as much opposition as it out there.

For the purposes of the November campaign, Democrats won’t be trying to sell ObamaCare as a cost savings.  Rather, they’re going to try to sell it as an improvement to health care, never mind the cost.  Oh, and that cost?  Paid for by the wealthy, so don’t worry.  Like they have an unlimited supply of cash to finance this administration’s unprecedented red-ink-o-rama.  The link has loads of claims in a recent presentation and how they just don’t pass "Common Sense 101".  One of the slides says that the Dems will work to improve the bill.  For cryin’ out loud, it just passed!  Why wasn’t it improved before passing it, if the improvements are so obvious?

New unemployment claims rose by 500,000…unexpectedly!  We’ve tried it the Democrats way for over a year now, and the stimulus just ain’t stimulating anything.  But their solution to failed plans is more of the same.  Prepare for more unexpectedness in the months to come.

Chuck Asay says it best, in pictures.  (Click for a larger version.)

Chuck Asay

On Ramadan

While recently I pointed to a remark that we shouldn’t believe things we hear just because we didn’t know that thing before. But … 

I heard that in Egypt during Ramadan, the month-long fast, Egyptians eat three times more than when the fast isn’t present. The explanation had to do with how Ramadan is observed. The Ramadan fast is from dawn to dusk, nothing is eaten during that time. However, after nightfall the fast is broken. And typically during the month of Ramadan people either are or entertain guests and make a feast of it. So much so that the average consumption is far greater during the fast, than afterwards.

I thought that odd. 

Didn’t the Beatles offer that one should never eat on an empty stomach?

Friday…er…Monday Link Wrap-up

That’s what happens when I take a Friday vacation day.

Democrats are in a struggle with Republicans to see who can repeal portions of ObamaCare first.  And now that Harry Reid has actually read the bill, he’s finally realized that this is going to hurt the hospitals in his state more than it’s going to help them.  As much as Democrats complained about the delays in getting the thing passed, you’d think they’d have read it by the time it did.

Put Obama in the Oval Office, and he’ll repair our standing with the world…or so went the campaign thought.  A poll of Arab public opinion, supposedly an area where Bush had destroyed our credibility, shows that little had changed.  In fact, some indicators are even worse than under the eeevil Bush.

A very interesting article suggesting that Evangelical Churches are the new “Mainline” Christian churches, and that the traditionally “mainline” denominations, as they have become more liberal, shrink and thus have less influence on society (spiritually speaking).  A very good interview of Rodney Stark, who’s been following this a long time.

I’ve been asked, regarding the Tea Partier’s wish to reduce government spending, why now?  Why not during Bush or Clinton or even Reagan.  I keep saying that the spending going on now is unprecedented, and Bruce McQuain explains some of the reasons and ramifications of this spend-fest.

How’s that stimulus stimulating the economy?  Not so well, actually.

The “classy” Left, taking its usual name-calling tact against the Tea Party.  And lest you dismiss this as some loner in a basement, it’s got huge funding partners.

And finally, a study in religious tolerance from Chuck Asay.  (Click for a larger image.)

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