Tuesday, December 22, 2015

MAHER v AFFLECK

A friend of mine, who has travelled to the Middle East many times, sent me a link to the video of a speech by Raheel Raza, the President of the Clarion Project, a Washington non profit activist organization. It is the most complete, factual and statistical explanation of the religion of Islam that I have ever seen. It explains a lot, and demonstrates the need for dialog about Islam in an atmosphere of common sense. Common sense. That would be the opposite of political correctness.

Do yourself and your country a favor. Take just a few minutes to listen to Ms. Raza. http://go.clarionproject.org/numbers-full-film/

The plain truth is that Islam, like all religions, is a roadmap for  how people ought to live. Like many – probably most – religions, Islam purports to convey to the human race the wisdom and wishes of the Creator of the Universe.

Muslims call Him Allah, Jews call Him Yahweh, Christians call Him Father. By whatever name, all people of faith look to God for knowledge, protection, help and patronage of all sorts. Pleasing God is what people of faith do, or try to do, in the belief that God wants us to be happy, healthy and heroic.

So it is that there is a close relationship between religion and morality. Religions teach people the difference between right and wrong. George Washington told us that a few, well educated and intelligent people may be able to figure out a code of conduct for themselves, without any help from the Creator. But he acknowledged that most folks need some fire and brimstone to stay on the right track.

The problem is that Islam has never experienced an enlightenment. It remains a primitive belief system which comingles religious doctrine with civil law. 

American law is an offspring of the English Common Law, which in turn grew out of ecclesiastical courts and a monarchy which enjoyed the imprimatur of the Roman Catholic Church. When the hegemony of Rome was lost in the sixteenth century, a number of Christian Churches were established, and the next two centuries saw almost continuous religious warfare.

The American revolution came about in the wake of those religious wars and was largely affected by the desire to have a government that was neutral on the great religious issues. So if we are a Christian nation, it is a nondenominational form of Christianity. Perhaps is it more accurate to describe the United States as a secular Christian nation, if there can be such a thing.

Ms. Raza insists that the vast majority of Muslims in America are assimilated; that they accept our customs and laws at least to the same extent that conservative Christians do. But I wonder if there is such a thing as secular Islam.

Islam is, by definition an evangelistic religion. Especially in this age of instantaneous electronic communication, Islamic preachers aggressively seek to recruit converts. Even the most peaceable Muslims believe that their faith is the one true religion, and while they may not be given to beheading infidels, they are surely in favor of converting all non Muslims to Islam.

Many American liberals are conflicted about Muslims. A recent debate between television personality Bill Maher and screen actor Ben Affleck gave us a good look at the schizophrenia among Obama Democrats.

I stayed up late last night watching and listening to a video of their debate. The concentric circles of Islamic votaries described by Raheel Raza were the main theme of that debate. Does Maher depart from his liberal persona when he says that the Quran condemns infidels? Is he being reactionary when he says that terrorism is committed in the name of Allah?

I have to say that I don’t think there is much hope of converting even the most ‘progressive’ Muslims to the kind of American secularism endorsed by Ben Affleck. But I do wonder if many of them might accept traditional, conservative Christianity.

Maybe it’s time for militant Christians to remind the world that theirs is the one, true, holy, universal and humane religion, and begin competing vigorously and unapologetically for the hearts and minds of every man and woman on the planet.


  

6 comments:

  1. Judge, in your fourth paragraph you write, "By whatever name, all people of faith look to God for knowledge, protection, help and patronage of all sorts. Pleasing God is what people of faith do, or try to do, in the belief that God wants us to be happy, healthy and heroic." In your last paragraph you write ..."Christians to remind the world that theirs is the one, true, holy, universal and humane religion,".... I'm not sure how you reconcile the two statements unless you drop back to the basic concept of "faith" that your religion is the one true religion. It certainly isn't provable.

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    1. Religions with the same purpose can still compete.

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    2. ......and that competition to show that my God is the true one and only God has lead to wars that have resulted millions of deaths.

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  2. Jesus was a Jew. He introduced radical interpretations of the place of Hebrew laws in peoples' lives. He said what was True but He ALLOWED people to choose. "Let those who have ears, hear". Christianity, unlike Islam, converts by encouraging change through a change of heart. Islam converts under threat of the sword. No choice is given. We do NOT need a militant form of Christianity. "Put up your sword", "by their fruits ye shall know them." Fervent Christianity is not imposed upon others but upon oneself.

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  3. The title of the Church Militant refers to Christians who are living and are daily confronting the Devil. Theirs is a war of words, of teaching, of example, of charity. It is a war fought not with guns but with the courage to face evil, to condemn sin, to love and forgive sinners, and to stand for the truth.

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  4. Here is what Pope Francis has to say about evangelization: http://m.vatican.va/content/francescomobile/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

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