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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Islam's New Role in American Politics


Presidential hopeful talk show commentator Herman Cain recently stated that he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to a cabinet position. This created a minor fire storm of political correctness, and he subsequently recanted his position, effectively placing himself in the back of the pack for 2012. Not so much because of the position, but his lack of resolve demonstrates that he’s capable of being swayed by perceived public opinion.

This is a real problem for a presidential candidate, because once you snatch the brass ring and find yourself in the oval office; you become separated from the people who put you there. There are two types of politicians: Those who operate and lead from core principles (The Leader) and those who are adept at reading the public and reflecting the public’s desire in their actions and words (The Chameleon).

The Leader does well when his principles reflect those of the majority of the people. He will be able to function in times of difficulty by consulting the foundations of his principles and making sound decisions on that basis. If his principles are true, his decisions will be supported by his constituency without having to consult them. These sorts make very good Presidents, but they're rare.

The Chameleon stakes his career on being able to read the mood of the public, and this propels him quickly through politics, until he reaches the Oval office; at which point he’s suddenly cut off from direct contact with the public that provides him his direction, and he becomes one of the most isolated people in the nation. Stripped of his litmus test of crowd reaction, his decision making process develops a fatal lag filter, and he cannot lead effectively, deprived of his primary source of political acumen.

Herman Cain proves by his flip-flop that he’s characteristically a Chameleon. Surely we can do better.

The discussion has introduced a new weapon into the Democrat arsenal of political dirty tricks. The question of the role of Muslims in the American political landscape will have a prominent position from now on. Having smelled blood in the water, the Democrats will continue to hammer this question at all Republican candidates, fully aware that the core republican constituency has a visceral negative reaction to the idea of Muslims in political power. This question will serve only to weaken a Republican candidate, either from their base or from the independent voters, and has no downside for the Democrats.

The Chameleons will stammer and waffle, unsure how to respond because of the political crosswinds pulling them in opposite directions.

Only the Leaders will be able to step forward and use this question to take the offensive, and use their bully pulpit to educate the American public. Allen West is currently the only person I see who seems willing to do this.

The premise behind the Democrat position is that the government should reflect the diversity of the American public. In the name of Diversity the Muslim American population should be represented in American government.

This is a noble sentiment if you don’t understand what it is you’re talking about. If you think this is a morally justified way of selecting our government, then I have to ask this question: In the name of diversity, should the White supremacists of America be properly represented by installing card-carrying Nazis into government positions?

Well, why not? Because Nazis are intolerant? Look at the plight of non-Muslims in Muslims dominated countries around the world. They have second class status in judicial proceedings; they have no chance of winning a legal claim against a Muslim in a Muslim dominated court. They operate at an economic disadvantage, since no contract made with a Muslim is enforceable in a Muslim court for a non-Muslim. They cannot build new places of worship, and frequently cannot repair their existing places of worship. They live in constant fear of a Muslim mob becoming inflamed at some slight and burning their houses and places of worship.

Or maybe it’s because the Nazis are racist, genocidal maniacs? Look at the Muslim sentiment regarding Jews around the world. Anti-Semitism is a hallmark of Islam, and Muslim leaders are not shy about expressing their desire to finish what Hitler started.

Diversity proponents will argue that Muslims in America should not be judged by the actions of radicals overseas. This argument needs to be dispelled. In the first place Intolerance and anti-Semitism are not traits of radical Muslims around the world; this is the normal attitude of the rank and file Muslim population. The average overseas Muslim firmly believes that Israel is a force of evil which should be eradicated, and that Islam is destined to eventually rule the world. The majority of the population in such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, all across North Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf view Osama Bin Laden as a folk hero and support Jihad against Western Civilization in principle if not in action.

Part of the Muslims faith is that Islam demands more loyalty than does one’s nationality. An American Muslim must consider himself a Muslim first, and an American second. If he does not, then one must question his devotion to Islam.

To be a Nazi essentially means that you endorse the fascist political economic model. This political economic structure has advantages and disadvantages, and is no less a viable economic model for discussion as is communism or capitalism. Evaluating fascism as an economic model is outside the scope of this discussion, the point is that we don’t evaluate Nazism on the basic of its primary economic model; we evaluate it based on the demonstrable record it carries with regard to civil and human rights. We refuse to acknowledge or tolerate Nazis is any position of power in our society, and we only tacitly tolerate their presence as long as they don’t break any laws, and we watch them very, very closely. We do this because we’ve seen what the Nazis have done in the past, and we have solemnly vowed “never again.”

Yet for some reason we tolerate an ideology that at the core has very little difference from Nazi ideology. Because it is self-labeled a “religion,” we give it a pass, even though it openly endorses a fascist hierarchical structure in which the minutest details of individual life are scrutinized to ensure compliance with party (religious) ideology. We look the other way when history and current events repeatedly insist that “never again” has somehow transformed into “right now”. Muslims leaders are openly and brazenly calling for the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the remaining Jews. Christians are being martyred in Muslim countries at a rate never before seen in history, even the darkest early days of Christianity. Muslims Americans do not repudiate these actions; they spend their time instead condemning governments of the West for not being sensitive of the sensibilities of the individual Muslim.

Perhaps if the Germans had declared Hitler a Prophet, and Nazism a religion, they could have sued the USA for violating their right to religious liberty.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jesus is God


It’s a common Muslim argument that Jesus is not God.  It’s a fundamental tenet of their faith, because if Jesus was God, then everything Muhammad said was a lie, since Muhammad elevated himself to the status of a prophet above Jesus.

First of all, Jesus was not a prophet. In all of our accounts of prophets, even Islamic accounts of Muhammad, it’s clearly recorded that God spoke to the prophet in question. The prophet heard and responded to the voice of God, or in Muhammad’s case an angel that he identified as Gabriel (Note that Muhammad is the only case of a prophet being spoken to through an intermediary. All of the Hebrew prophets heard God directly). There is no record in any of the Gospels that Jesus heard the voice of God or was instructed by God in what to do or how to act. There are references in the New Testament that may suggest he was a prophet if taken out of context. These cases fall into two categories: either someone has identified him as a prophet (John 4:19, 6:14, 7:39, 9:17, Luke 7:16, Matt 21:10, 21:46), or Jesus has made an observation about prophets that are also applicable to him (John 4:44, Luke 4:24, Mark 6:4, Matt 13:56 ). Indeed, Jesus can not be a prophet, because “out of Galilee arises no prophet.” (John 7:52).

Four hundred years before Christ, Isaiah foretold the coming of God as Man: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. “But,” Muslims cry out with glee, “His name was Jesus, not Immanuel!” Hold on just a second, Matthew teaches us non-speakers of Hebrew that Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." (Matt 1:23)  It’s not a proper name, but a title. Matthew is very clear that Jesus represents “God with us.”

John is even more direct in the opening of his Gospel:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John1:14

I know that Muslims are kind of weak in drawing logical connections, so to spell it out:  The “Word was God” is followed by “ the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us”.  Now if A=B and B=C, then A=C .  The Word is God.  The word walked among us.  God walked among us.  It’s quite simple, really.

Now Muslims will trot out ad nauseum scriptural references that Jesus is the Christ (true), and that his followers referred to him by a variety of titles: Rabbi, Messiah, Christ, Lord.  And they point out that he never says he is God. 

Well, no, he doesn’t say it, but more than once he’s called God, and he doesn’t rebuke the speaker.  You see, God is not like Allah, he doesn’t have this narcissistic need to blow his own horn.  Allah insists that he is God over and over again, to the point that it becomes tiresome.  As Joseph Goebbels said, if you tell a lie often enough and loudly enough, people will believe it.  It serves God’s purposes better if people come to the correct conclusion on their own.  The God of Abraham is a thinking man’s God.  He’s not going to take you by the nose and lead you to every tiresome article of faith.  He gives you the information you need and then lets you figure it out.  The lesson is learned by the ones who understand much more effectively than by the ones who follow because they don’t know any better.

But the apostles who lived with Christ were too close to the event, entrenched in their own prejudices and beliefs, and couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  Jesus got a little frustrated and gently chided them for not seeing what was in front of their faces:

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.(John 14:8-15)

Here Jesus makes it very clear that he and the father are one.  “Whatever you ask in my name, I shall do.”  Who can answer prayers but God?  Jesus equates himself with God.  “…Keep My commandments.”  Whose commandments?  Only God gave commandments.  Jesus again equates himself with God.

In a definitive scene after the resurrection, Jesus is identified by the scientist of the group, Thomas, who is reluctant to believe anything that he can’t feel, see, hear, touch and measure.  Note that when Thomas identifies him, Jesus is not angry, does not rebuke or correct him, but indeed seems pleased, satisfied that the truth is sinking in.

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.(John 20:27-29)

Does Jesus rebuke Thomas?  No, he instructs him, and acknowledges his belief.

Throughout Christian history, it has been acknowledged that Christ was God in the form of man.  This is a fundamental article of faith stated in the Nicene creed: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”  This belief is not disputed by any Christian community that maintains a tradition of apostolic succession from the original twelve disciples.  This is what they believed, and this is what they taught.  Throughout the letters they refer to Christ as "Lord" (in the Greek, "Kurios", Master, Authority -- a title also given frequently to God.).

 John unabashedly states that Jesus is God. John was one of the twelve, often described as the “most beloved” apostle of Christ. Who would know better than John? An illiterate seventh century poet from a thousand miles away who converts from polytheistic paganism says Jesus could not be God. The man who was closest to him throughout his ministry, who took his mother as his own and cared for her for the rest of her life, says Jesus was God. This is not even a close call.

This is very difficult for Muslims to grasp, since from the cradle they are trained to think linearly and uncritically.  They are immersed in a faith that is at time contradictory and makes little sense.  This faith controls every aspect of their lives, right down to toilet habits.  It does not allow for questions or independent thought, but blind, unthinking obedience.  The penalty for not observing this obedience includes death.  But Jesus was an intelligent man.  He played word games to amuse himself, and spoke in riddles and metaphor to make his followers think.  The Muslim response to a metaphor from Muhammad’s time is to take a sword and cleave it in two.  Muhammad was too one-dimensional to think in symbolic terms, too controlling to let people figure the truth out for themselves, because it would be bad for him if the truth they found didn’t involve him as the center and spokesperson of God.  Muslims today are faced with a dilemma of relating to a world where Western values dominate, and logic is required to function, yet they must maintain an intellectual blind spot with regard to faith, because one dare not peek behind the curtain.  As a result, their arguments consist of ad hominem attacks, derision, often foul language and threats, and yet seem completely incapable of disassembling a logical argument.  In the marketplace of ideas, they are bankrupt.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Intolerance of Islam

Why is it so impossible for Muslims to coexist peacefully with Christians?  Because Islam is threatened by Christianity.  Muslims know that the only reason Islam continues to exist is because it holds its slaves in fear, fear that to leave Islam is to invite the death penalty.  Islam keeps its slaves ignorant, feeding them from birth a diet of lies and twisted truths, teaching them to hate others- people who have little animosity towards Muslims.  Islam prevents its slaves from accessing the beliefs of Christianity, banning and disparaging the study of Bibles, for fear that the truth would expose the lie of Islam.  Islam hates non-Muslims and seeks to persecute them, to demonstrate to the Muslim masses that you cannot be a non-Muslim and be happy, lest the vast multitude of lip-service Muslims simply leave Islam.

If Islam adopted a more tolerant attitude, allowed people to worship their God as their conscience dictated without interference, promoted peace and recognized the brotherhood of man, acknowledged that a man's relationship with God is a personal matter between him and God alone, practiced that no person should be coerced to worship in a particular fashion. . . why inside of generation, Islam would virtually disappear from the face of the Earth!

Even with all of the totalitarian guards that Islam has erected to defend its ignorant theology, it is doomed, because you cannot keep the truth from so many people forever.  As more people see the truth and turn away from Islam, it will scream louder, become more strident, its lies will become more outrageous, and it will lash out in frustration at the enemy that seduces its faithful away with truth.  Instead of melting quietly away as it should, it will self-destruct in a paroxysm of violence, as Satan seeks to harvest his crop of souls before they return to the path of truth. We see that starting today.

How can the truth be defeated?  If the Muslim believes that Islam is the truth, they should put down their weapons and embrace the non-Muslim, the Jew.  Their truth will protect them and their beliefs.  They should be able to persuade the infidel to become a Muslim without fighting them or subduing them.  They should be able to prevent the apostate from leaving Islam by simply stating the truth to them.   Since Islam must constantly attack the infidel, since it must kill those who leave Islam, this demonstrates that their ideology is bankrupt, their truth is a sham, and that they must gain through violence and force what they cannot possibly do through reason.