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Anybody catch ABC news? They had a story about All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.

The pastor delivered a sermon re: Bush and the war in Iraq. It seemed pretty mild compared with the stuff Pat Robertson engages in. But they got an IRS investigation of their tax exempt status.

An unasked question in the story was "how the heck the IRS found out about it?" Are they spying in churches or doing mass websearches for sermons?

 

I don't know if Focus on the Family and Pat's org. get tax exempt status but they have openly campaigned for Bush, even going so far as saying he was practically God ordained.

 

OTOH, some conservative churches say they are targetted as well. But they aren't targetting any big

fish, i guess.

 

 

--des

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I agree that it's a bit hypocritical for the IRS to investigate All Saints for making anti-war statements from the pulpit, when they don't seem to be investigating those that are making pro-war statements from the pulpit. <_<

 

That was my sentiment when I heard this on the news. It might have worked 5 years ago but the country has become so anti-Bush/anti-Iraq war people won't stand for it.

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That's what I thought. You can drive by churches and see signs like "God Bless Our Troops". I am am all for blessing our troops, just think what about blessing the Iraqi people. It is an inherently political statement to believe their is one side, and that side is ours. Then there was the 2004 campaign where there were all these fundamentalists saying things like Bush is God ordained or close. I didn't see any investigation of that kind of widespread talk.

 

Actually the All Saints pastor was pretty mild by comparison. He called for the end of the war in Iraq waged by George Bush. He also said you should vote your values basically. Gosh, no conservative churches are saying that!!

I seem to recall GWB showing up at large evangelical churches. OTOH, when Gore showed up at a Buddhist temple in 2000 there was a huge bruhaha.

 

--des

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  • 1 month later...

Saw Bob Edgar on his book tour-he's the former Congressman and outgoing head of the National Council of Churches, an ordained Methodist Minister. A guy asked in the Q & A about All Saints; he said he thought it would all go away after election day.

 

IMO, I don't think All Saints violated IRS rules; the guy preached an antiwar sermon but didn't electioneer. That's acceptable. Same goes for conservative churches. Endorse positions, but not candidates.

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Well I read the statements and also heard what there was on the news. Didn't sound electioneering to me

either. Gosh if you can't stand behind the pulpit and oppose the Iraq war and the actions of the president,

I don't think there is much freedom of speech left-- of course, I might be right about that. :-(

 

--des

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  • 3 weeks later...
These are the kinds of distorions of reality that arise because of deep seated fears, and that side of the equation is driven by fear...of what...I just cannot fathom ; but, it probably has something to do with perceptions of truth.......................

Just a guess, and not my idea to be sure, but I think the motivating fear is the same one motivating fundamentalist Islam: modernity.

 

 

Or could it rather be a fear of the fact that there at least several millions in the world who have sworn to give their lives to accomplish the deaths of infidel Americans, Jews and Christians? They believe their book much as I do mine. Mine commands me to love them, theirs commands them not to take Christians or Jews as friends, but rather to strike of the head of an infidel wherever they might find them. I believe this is the "wisdom" book some here have recommended for study. I agree it should be studied, so that we will know what our enemies think of us. Has anybody here seen the documentary about "radical" Islam called "Obsession"?

 

O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. - 5:54

Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme - 8:39

Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. - 9:2-3

When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. - 9:5

When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.47:4

 

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...t.html#041.6985

Book 041, Number 6985:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; ..................

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES,

BLESS those who curse you,

DO GOOD to those you hate you, and

 

PRAY for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you

 

THAT YOU MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN

 

(Matthew 5:44-45).

Bill

Edited by corinthian
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Or could it rather be a fear of the fact that there at least several millions in the world who have sworn to give their lives to accomplish the deaths of infidel Americans, Jews and Christians? They believe their book much as I do mine. Mine commands me to love them, theirs commands them not to take Christians or Jews as friends, but rather to strike of the head of an infidel wherever they might find them. I believe this is the "wisdom" book some here have recommended for study. I agree it should be studied, so that we will know what our enemies think of us. Has anybody here seen the documentary about "radical" Islam called "Obsession"?

 

O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. - 5:54

Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme - 8:39

Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. - 9:2-3

When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. - 9:5

When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.47:4

 

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...t.html#041.6985

Book 041, Number 6985:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; ..................

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES,

BLESS those who curse you,

DO GOOD to those you hate you, and

 

PRAY for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you

 

THAT YOU MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN

 

(Matthew 5:44-45).

Bill

 

 

My Islamic friends tell me that they are taught (although I haven't taken the time to search for scriptural references :( ) that Jews and Christians are "people of the book" and, although we missed a turn (much like Christians see Jews as missing a turn) we are to be respected and treated gently until we see. Much like the difference between a Progressive Christian's approach to a Jew or Buddhist or a fundamentalist Southern Baptist's.

 

The bible has equally disturbing passages about bashing babies' heads on rocks, etc. Some people will always manage to find and follow the worst possible interpretation. That's the nature of religion, not the nature of God. <_<:D

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Or could it rather be a fear of the fact that there at least several millions in the world who have sworn to give their lives to accomplish the deaths of infidel Americans, Jews and Christians? They believe their book much as I do mine. Mine commands me to love them, theirs commands them not to take Christians or Jews as friends, but rather to strike of the head of an infidel wherever they might find them. I believe this is the "wisdom" book some here have recommended for study. I agree it should be studied, so that we will know what our enemies think of us. Has anybody here seen the documentary about "radical" Islam called "Obsession"?

 

(snip)

Bill

 

Bill,

 

Our Bible was used the same way during the crusades. Do we need to quote OT scriptures to you that will show you that anyone can justfy such atrocities to suit their agenda by attributing them to God of the OT Bible to justify the actions of those in power. We are still in Iran because our leader believes God is on our side and what we are doing is right. Perhaps you are not looking with full knowledge of the Koran. I know Islams who love you and do not hate Christians or Jews. Our OT says an eye for an eye and one can take that to be valid to suit ones pleasure. Perhaps you need to read the entire Koran. It is really a wonderful book with pillars not far different than fundamental Christianity or Judism with some exceptions.

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Linda:

that Jews and Christians are "people of the book" and, although we missed a turn (much like Christians see Jews as missing a turn) we are to be respected and treated gently until we see. Much like the difference between a Progressive Christian's approach to a Jew or Buddhist or a fundamentalist Southern Baptist's.

 

Bill,

 

Our Bible was used the same way during the crusades. Do we need to quote OT scriptures to you that will show you that anyone can justfy such atrocities to suit their agenda by attributing them to God of the OT Bible to justify the actions of those in power. We are still in Iran because our leader believes God is on our side and what we are doing is right. Perhaps you are not looking with full knowledge of the Koran. I know Islams who love you and do not hate Christians or Jews. Our OT says an eye for an eye and one can take that to be valid to suit ones pleasure. Perhaps you need to read the entire Koran. It is really a wonderful book with pillars not far different than fundamental Christianity or Judism with some exceptions.

 

 

Hi Linda and Joseph! As expected, we disagree on these matters. Naturally enough, since I am one of those "fundamentalist" Southern Baptists, most likely viewed as having "missing a turn" as well.

 

You speak of "the people of the book", and that the Koran would teach that we are to be treated gently until we see the light, to paraphrase. However, my understanding from various sources such as, to name one, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08692a.htm , is that the Koran is not in any kind of chronological order, and that the various Surahs have been divided into the Mecca period and the Medina period. And the difference being when Mohammed was first trying to get his religion started, and was seeking the cooperation of Jews and Christians. Whereas in the latter period, after he had risen to power and after he had met resistance by the Jews and Christians, well then his attitude was quite different. Hence the later period's very disparaging verses and commands about Christians and Jews, who were now in the same general category with the other unbelievers. Thus, any earlier passages that seem to indicate that the Muslim and the Jews should live together in love and peace are basically superseded by later passages which command that the Jew and Christian must either convert to Islam, or submit to Islam and pay the tax, or die.

 

And regardless, even when you can find verses indicating Jews/Christians should be treated with respect, the bottom line is that all must finally come under the dominance of Islam. So in any Islamic society, according to the Koran, though Christians and Jews may not be always slaughtered out right in the same way as a Hindu or Buddhist would be, they still must live in submission to Islam, in a severely subservient role, as well as paying the nearly bankrupting tax.

 

Joseph, the Christian crusades were a long delayed response to several hundred years of Muslim crusades. The question could be asked "where are all the Christians", regarding all of those lands that were dominated by Christianity before the arrival of Mohammad. But Mohammed being in his character a warrior resulted in the immediate spread in his new religion by the sword, essentially wiping out Christianity in most of these previously Christian lands. The Christians in these lands did not disappear because of a mass voluntary conversion to Islam. It was convert to Islam, or live as a less than second-class citizen while paying the huge tax, or die.

 

But regardless, any so called Christian Crusaders quoting the Bible to justify any slaughter they might commit would have been in gross error. They would not have knowledge of their book, unlike Muslims ancient and modern who had very good knowledge of their book and act accordingly. First regarding the Old Testament: even the Old Testament does not command Jews to leave their promised land and behead people in other countries who will not convert to Judaism. Any student of the Bible should know that these Old Testament passages were very specific commands for a specific people at a specific time. God gave the Canaanites (see Genesis 15:16, and words to Abraham regarding the Amorite) 400 years to repent of their sins, which included such things as child sacrifice on the altar of their pagan gods. Then as He brought Israel out of Egypt to give them the promise land, He also used Israel as an instrument of punishment. After this point, the Jews are commanded to stay in their land. And they are actually commanded to treat with justice and mercy any aliens that come among them, while remembering that they were once also aliens.

 

However, for the Christian, all of this discussion of commands to wipe out anybody in the promised land (who does not leave, so that none of these pagans are left in the land to pollute Israel) is quite irrelevant. We do not live under the old covenant. So you know as well as I do that these Christian Crusaders could not find any words from either Christ or His apostles to hate or mistreat, much less murder, nonbelievers. It is quite the opposite.

 

Any Old Testament verse regarding "an eye for an eye" is an order for how the authorities (not the individual) in the promised land are to deal with one who commits murder. Any reading of it can only show it to be that. In no way is that an order for Jews to leave Canaan and slaughter non-Jews, or for Christians thousands of years later to slaughter non-Christians unless they convert. The order was only for the Jews to take the promised land and drive out all of the child sacrificing idolaters. And it was also commanded for the Jews to stay away from them and not allow them to live in their land. But even if it had ordered them to murder non-Jews in perpetuity anywhere on Earth where they could find them (and clearly it didn't), this would be specifically reversed for Christians, who go by the word of Christ and the apostles as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Bible.

 

So I disagree with the idea that "one can take that to be valid to suit ones pleasure". You will indeed have to show me a verse, NT or OT, that a Crusader could point to commanding him to go to Jerusalem and slaughter en masse Jews and Muslims . I don't believe those verses are there. Of course, a person can do anything they want, and then just say something vauge like "the Bible says I should do it". But that doesn't make the act logical. It doesn't make the act a correct reading of the commands. It does not mean the words are there in the Bible. And for Christians to set out to murder non-Christians because they won't come to Christ is to directly go against all words of Christ and his apostles. And no words can be found in the NT which they can quote to justify their acts. And actually, not even from the OT.

 

I am amazed that people cannot easily see the difference between the Koran and the New Testament (and in reality, even the Old Testament), and in fact the superioroty of the New Testament. If there are any commands to slaughter those of other religions in the Bible, they are clearly superseded (for Christians) by the commands in the New Testament to love those who persecute you and to pray for those who use you spitefully. And in reality, they are even superseded by the law given to the OT Jew, once the Jew has emptied the promised land of the idolaters, with their child sacrifice and homosexual and heterosexual sexual acts which were part of their fertility worship.

 

I have full confidence that no person here can find any New Testament words commanding me to kill Muslims or Jews or Hindus who will not convert to Christ. I think you just can do it, but I await correction. But not so with the book of Mohamed . We can find abundant passages commanding the good Muslim to cut off our heads where ever he might find us. And many "good" Muslims take these words very seriously.

 

And once again, there is the bottom line, as always. You may indeed know some Muslims who love me and do not hate Christians or Jews. But that doesn't mean they are the good followers of their book or their Prophet. You know some of them who love me, but there are millions upon millions of Muslims worldwide who clearly take these commands to kill you and to kill me as being currently fully in force. So indeed that's how it has been ever since Mohamed walked the earth. Mass slaughter of non-Muslims by Muslims anywhere the Muslims can gain the power to do so is what we observe, just as the book commands. That's the bottom line . I'm not aware of any mass slaughter of non-Christians by Christians currently going on anywhere in the world. Can anybody point any incidents out to me? I'm not aware of it happening even by Christians who are ignoring the commands of Christ. I do not know of any hints by even a Jerry Falwell or a Pat Robertson that Christians should do anything other than love their enemies and pray for them. Do you guys know of any examples? But in the meantime, in any land where Muslims have the power, things go on just as they did in 700 A.D., with Islam being spread by the sword, just as it was from the beginning with the Prophet Mohammed.

 

There is nothing wonderful about the Koran, in my opinion. I see nothing beautiful in it. Of course, I don't use the "pick the sentence you like and ignore the rest" approach with the Koran any more than I do for the Bible.

 

Perhaps you can show me some verses commanding love for all of mankind, including the non-Muslim, the Muslim's enemies? I haven't read every single word of the Koran, I have read a lot of it. Maybe these verses are there and I have missed them? I would appreciate it if you can show me where they are so I can read them. Now I believe I have indeed read some verses commanding love and mercy for fellow Muslims. But I have found nothing superseding and canceling the commands to kill the infidel where ever you might find him.

 

Love to all in Christ's name

 

Bill

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By the way, regarding the title of this thread: separation of church and state, for progressives only.

 

Though I haven't read the entire Koran, I do have a copy of the Constitution and all of the amendments and have read every word of that more than once.

 

What is this so-called separation of church and state in the Constitution, in a way that people mean this phrase today?

 

Now I see a First Amendment which prohibits the United States Congress from passing any laws respecting an establishment of religion (going by the way that word was used in the 1700s, I suppose this could either mean "showing favoritism" to any particular Christian sect, or it could mean "in respect to" or "regarding". In other words, affairs regarding religion within the states are not of the US federal government's business. They are to stay out of it, and PASS NO LAWS either showing respect for one Christian denomination over another, or more likely meaning PASS NO LAWS in regards to religious matters within the states. And then of course the rest of the prohibition AGAINST PASSING LAWS prohibiting the free exercise thereof -- in addition to the free speech part.

 

Now once again, who is it that is to pass no laws? The individual states, most of whom had state religions at the time their elected representatives ratified the Constitution? No, CONGRESS SHALL PASS NO LAW.

 

Naturally, much prayer went into the Constitutional convention. Wasn't that unconsttutional?

 

Today, somehow this has been morphed into a situation where the federal government prohibits prayer in a classroom in some state far from Washington.

 

Anyway, I was wondering if I had missed it. Just where is it in the Constitution where it says that a teacher cannot carry a Bible into a public classroom, or that they can not pray or lead students in voluntary prayer in a schoolhouse in a state/city/county school or other nonfederal institution?

 

By the way, go back to the Clinton administration and see which churches suffered IRS persecution/investigation. I suspect you will come up with a larger list of conservative churches and you will progress in churches. Much larger. But either way, it's my opinion that according to the Constitution, the IRS, which is an arm of the US Congress, should not have one word to say regarding anything that is said in any church, whether progressive or conservative. For them to do so is quite unconstitutional, a complete setting of the First Amendment on its head. The First Amendment is now read to say "Texas(Insert state of choice, to replace "congress") shall pass no law" and Congress may indeed "prohibit the free exercise thereof".

 

Bill

Edited by corinthian
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But regardless, any so called Christian Crusaders quoting the Bible to justify any slaughter they might commit would have been in gross error. They would not have knowledge of their book, unlike Muslims ancient and modern who had very good knowledge of their book and act accordingly. First regarding the Old Testament: even the Old Testament does not command Jews to leave their promised land and behead people in other countries who will not convert to Judaism. Any student of the Bible should know that these Old Testament passages were very specific commands for a specific people at a specific time. God gave the Canaanites (see Genesis 15:16, and words to Abraham regarding the Amorite) 400 years to repent of their sins, which included such things as child sacrifice on the altar of their pagan gods. Then as He brought Israel out of Egypt to give them the promise land, He also used Israel as an instrument of punishment. After this point, the Jews are commanded to stay in their land. And they are actually commanded to treat with justice and mercy any aliens that come among them, while remembering that they were once also aliens.

 

Bill,

The same reasoning stands here. Any Islam extremist quoting the Koran to justify slaughter they might commit is in gross error of the Koran. You speak only from the perspective of one who has taken portions out of the Koran without reading it all and using the same reasoning you use with the OT. You quote places in the OT where it says one thing but someone can take another place and take it out of context and justify their agenda. You would accuse them of gross error but in their mind the Bible justifies them. Who is right? With a little study one can find scripture in either book to justify almost anything in the name of God. Its just a matter of ignoring those things that oppose ones view and accepting those things that seem to support ones view. You can say "Any student of the Bible should know that these Old Testament passages were very specific commands for a specific people at a specific time" but that is your perception and is meaningless because on the contrary Christians can't even agree among themselves as to what passages mean or we wouldn't have over 1000 different sects of Christianity today.

 

Just some thoughts for you to consider,

 

Love in Christ,

JM

 

PS It seems to me the problem with your accusation concerning Islam is that you use Christianity to create and propogate ill will and separation instead of unity. It seems to me there is no peace in your words or reasoning. You may not agree but it seems obvious to me that your post does little to support the love Jesus spoke of so much and is the foundation of his message. May you be blessed with all understanding.

Edited by JosephM
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Any Islam extremist quoting the Koran to justify slaughter they might commit is in gross error of the Koran. You speak only from the perspective of one who has taken portions out of the Koran without reading it all and using the same reasoning you use with the OT

 

9.5: "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them , and take them captives and

besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free

to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. "

9.29: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited,

nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and

 

Well, I offered anybody here the chance to provide the Koranic verses are that would cancel out such verses as the above, which are abundant in the Koran. What is the context of the above that causes it to not mean what it says? Where are the other verses that would show that a terrorist using the above verse to justify his killing of non-Muslims would be in gross error? You say I'm not showing love by pointing these things out. But I say the truth is love, and Christ and His Word is love. Show me the verse in the Koran that is the equivalent of "love your enemies, and pray for them to use you spitefully". Some Koranic verses that would show me that I am misunderstanding the verses which I have been quoting here. I am definitely open to persuasion, I just need to see some evidence.

 

You quote places in the OT where it says one thing but someone can take another place and take it out of context and justify their agenda. You would accuse them of gross error but in their mind the Bible justifies them. Who is right? With a little study one can find scripture in either book to justify almost anything in the name of God . Its just a matter of ignoring those things that oppose ones view and accepting those things that seem to support ones view. JM

 

Okay, as I have already asked, Old Testament or New Testament, where are the verses that can be used to justify the murder of nonbelievers in perpetuity? Now I see the verses that command Israel 1400 years before Christ to enter the promised land and either chase out every body that is there or kill them. But where are the verses that command the Jews to leave the promised land killing unbelievers as they go? And even more importantly, where are the verses that command Christians to do such as that ? Now it's easy to find in the Bible verses that would seem to condemn such practices. But where are the verses that you seem to feel I am ignoring that command Christians to slaughter non-Christians? Or even Old Testament verses that would seem to be commanding Christians, or even Jews today, to do such? There must be some of these verses that I am "ignoring" while I am just looking at the verses that make my point. So I'm ready for anybody to point out which verses these are to me.

 

PS It seems to me the problem with your accusation concerning Islam is that you use Christianity to create and propogate ill will and separation instead of unity. It seems to me there is no peace in your words or reasoning.

 

 

Forgive me if you think I am not promoting the unity and equivalence of all religions and all people. But all religions are not equivalent, and evil does exist in the world. The truth is very important, even if feelings are hurt. We are commanded to love them and to pray for them, and I do. But that does not mean we have to be blind to the obvious. If you want to test out tolerance and diversity, go to Saudi Arabia or any number of other Muslim countries and try to openly tell somebody about Christ, and then get ready to say goodbye to your head. But at least then any of us that did that would be in the same category as the apostles, receiving a great blessing from Christ for suffering persecution in His name.

 

In Christ's name and said with love

God bless you all and I hope you're going to have a happy Thanksgiving!

 

Bill

Edited by corinthian
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Forgive me if you think I am not promoting the unity and equivalence of all religions and all people. But all religions are not equivalent, and evil does exist in the world. The truth is very important, even if feelings are hurt. We are commanded to love them and to pray for them, and I do. But that does not mean we have to be blind to the obvious. If you want to test out tolerance and diversity, go to Saudi Arabia or any number of other Muslim countries and try to openly tell somebody about Christ, and then get ready to say goodbye to your head. But at least then any of us that did that would be in the same category as the apostles, receiving a great blessing from Christ for suffering persecution in His name.

 

In Christ's name and said with love

God bless you all and I hope you're going to have a happy Thanksgiving!

 

Bill

 

Ok Bill, Thanks for your wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. I guess you can't see in the paragraph above where you yourself are using the Bible to justify your own agenda and calling it love. Perhaps it is good for us all to be blind. Perhaps then we might really see what is before us.

 

Thanks for responding and a Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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Forgive me if you think I am not promoting the unity and equivalence of all religions and all people. But all religions are not equivalent, and evil does exist in the world. The truth is very important, even if feelings are hurt. We are commanded to love them and to pray for them, and I do. But that does not mean we have to be blind to the obvious. If you want to test out tolerance and diversity, go to Saudi Arabia or any number of other Muslim countries and try to openly tell somebody about Christ, and then get ready to say goodbye to your head. But at least then any of us that did that would be in the same category as the apostles, receiving a great blessing from Christ for suffering persecution in His name.

 

Try going to some places here in the USA and defend the Qur'an!

 

What if Christians were all judged by the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, Fascists, those who killed indians, those who held slaves, segregationists, those who beat spouses and children, those Catholics who massacred Protestants, those Protestants who massacred Catholics, the Inquisition? Not such a great judgment, right?

 

You are a fantastic and wonderful person. God loves you and so do I. Happy Thanksgiving.

Edited by mystictrek
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Anyway, I was wondering if I had missed it. Just where is it in the Constitution where it says that a teacher cannot carry a Bible into a public classroom, or that they can not pray or lead students in voluntary prayer in a schoolhouse in a state/city/county school or other nonfederal institution?

 

Finding that line has been and is and will be tricky.

 

But, look at it from a different point of view. Let's say there is a classrom somewhere in the USA with about half Christians and half Muslims and the teacher brings in the Qur'an and says that we must stop for prayer now as prescribed by the Qur'an. The Christians don't have to participate but maybe they like the idea of stopping for prayer and maybe they start thinking that the mosque might be better than the church?

 

I wouldn't like it at all that the teacher is influencing students that way. Would you like it? Wouldn't you try to stop it?

 

The teacher in a public school is an agent of the state and must agree to follow state guidelines. Right?

 

I believe one of the reasons why the Roman Catholics built parochial schools was to protect their children from the promotion of Protestantism by influential teachers. Makes sense to me not to allow teachers to promote a particular brand of Christianity in a class room setting.

 

Kind of the opposite happened to me in 1962-63. A Roman Catholic teacher teaching World History used the course to defend and promote the Roman Catholic interpretation of European history which he had just learned at Seton Hall. This happened in a public school in northern NJ. I was penalized for defending Protestantism in that clasroom setting. The area was probably 65 per cent Protestant and 30 per cent Roman Catholic and a maybe 5 per cent Jewish.

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Try going to some places here in the USA and defend the Qur'an!

 

What if Christians were all judged by the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, Fascists, those who killed indians, those who held slaves, segregationists, those who beat spouses and children, those Catholics who massacred Protestants, those Protestants who massacred Catholics, the Inquisition? Not such a great judgment, right?

 

You are a fantastic and wonderful person. God loves you and so do I. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Hi there Mystictrek, I appreciate your kind sentiments, and wish the same back at you!

 

Do you feel there are some places in the Christian dominated USA where a person could go and start defending the Koran and end up beheaded? Or dragged through the streets, bodies burned and hung from bridges? I don't know of any place like that in the United States, or the other Christian nations, even though they are mostly only "used to be Christian" nations. There is a vast gulf in all aspects of human rights, between the Muslim nations and the historically Christian nations.

 

You ask me "what if" Christians were a all judged by the behavior of a long list of nasties which you provide. But Christians cannot logically be judged by the behavior of any of these, unlike the situation with Islam.

 

For you see, none of these nasties which you mentioned can find any words in the Bible which would justify their lapse from Christian principles. I think people here must actually agree with me on this, because I have asked for any scriptures now several times, and not a single one has been provided. There are no scriptures exhorting Christians to hate and mistreat other people, even people of other religions. As we Christians all well know, we are instead to love those who hate us and pray for those who spitefully use us. Not that we can always do it, this calls for the supernatural power of Christ. But it is what Christ calls us to do, I'm sure we will all agree. So the examples you list are examples of somebody calling themselves one thing, while clearly being another. As the Bible says, even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. But that doesn't mean he is one.

 

Unfortunately, not so for our Muslim friends. They have and believe and love their book as much as I do the Bible. At least the truly devout ones do. And unfortunately again, this is a book which frequently exhorts them to kill the infidel. That would be you and me, the infidels. That would be anyone who is not Muslim. Although, the book does allow for them to give "the people of the book" a certain amount of slack. We don't necessarily have to be beheaded right off the bat as long as we live in subservience to Islam and pay the tax.

 

I'm sure there are relatively secular Muslims who don't believe in these violent words of this book. Sadly, there are untold millions who believe every word of it. To the extent that for many of them, the best thing that can happen to them in this life is to die killing Jews, or perhaps with a slightly lower reward Christians and the various pagans. Then their reward in Paradise will be incredible, much more than for the average Muslim. There's no reason for us to pretend that this is not the current world situation. Simply look at the violence that exist in all Muslim nations. Then look at the death and destruction that frequently is carried out against non-Muslims in non-Muslim nations once they have allowed a significant number of Muslims in. It's all pretty consistent. Then once we have taken a look at that, then just look at the history books and see what the history of Islam is from day one with Mohammed. Yes, all very consistent.

 

I don't know why it is I've heard about, my whole life, the evils of the Christian Crusades. And yet, until I started looking into the history of it, I never heard a word of the hundreds of years of Muslim invasion of Christian and non-Christian (India in particular) nations that had occurred prior to the Christian Crusades, or even following the Crusades. These vast invasions and enslavement of nations to which the Crusades are actually a response! It's hard to find any information about these Muslim invasions and vast slaughters in the school books or on television. At least it seems to be hard to find this information in modern times. You will need to have somewhat older history books to read much about it.

 

http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/mode...oghal_atro.html

"The world famous historian, Will Durant has written in his Story of Civilisation that "the Mohammedan conquest of India was probably the bloodiest story in history". India before the advent of Islamic imperialism was not exactly a zone of peace. There were plenty of wars fought by Hindu princes. But in all their wars, the Hindus had observed some time-honoured conventions sanctioned by the Sastras. The Brahmins and the Bhikshus were never molested. The cows were never killed. The temples were never touched. The chastity of women was never violated. The non-combatants were never killed or captured..................Islamic imperialism came with a different code--the Sunnah of the Prophet. It required its warriors to fall upon the helpless civil population after a decisive victory had been won on the battlefield. It required them to sack and burn down villages and towns after the defenders had died fighting or had fled. The cows, the Brahmins, and the Bhikshus invited their special attention in mass murders of non-combatants. The temples and monasteries were their special targets in an orgy of pillage and arson. Those whom they did not kill, they captured and sold as slaves...........Hindus found it very hard to understand the psychology of this new invader. For the first time in their history, Hindus were witnessing a scene which was described by Kanhadade Prabandha (1456 AD) in the following words:

"The conquering army burnt villages, devastated the land, plundered people's wealth, took Brahmins and children and women of all classes captive, flogged with thongs of raw hide, carried a moving prison with it, and converted the prisoners into obsequious Turks."

That was written in remembrance of Alauddin Khalji's invasion of Gujarat in the year l298 AD. But the gruesome game had started three centuries earlier when Mahmud Ghaznavi had vowed to invade India every year in order to destroy idolatry, kill the kafirs, capture prisoners of war, and plunder vast wealth for which India was well-known. "

 

 

I believe even the Pope recently gave a sort of apology for some of the atrocities associated with the Roman Catholic Church in history. Does anybody know of any Muslim leaders issuing apologies for the slaughters carried out by Islams great leaders in the past, over a period of many hundreds of years? I believe instead all of these great leaders are still revered to this day by most, or many, Muslims. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Oh well, I know this is not well received at this site. And I'm sorry if I offend any of you. I started on this defense of Christianity (yes, even fundamentalist Christianity) in response to

"Just a guess, and not my idea to be sure, but I think the motivating fear is the same one motivating fundamentalist Islam: modernity.".
Apparently this was comparing fundamentalist Christianity (or any form of Christianity) to fundamentalist Islam. When there simply is no comparison, they are almost exact opposites. If fundamentalism is referring to getting back to the fundamentals, getting back to the basics. Fundamentalist Christianity calls for us to love sinners as Christ loved us when we were ourselves lost sinners, and to do our best to avoid a long list of sins ourselves. And it does preach that some day God will judge sin. Not me or some preacher, but God will judge. Thus we are called to warn against His judgment. Many are offended at this. But how does that compare to fundamentalist Islam? Much easier to deal with the sinner (infidel) in Islam. There is certainly no call to love him in the Muslim scriptures. Is there? If there is, please correct me and show me where. "Kill the infidel where ever you may find him." Prophet Mohamed.

 

So there is nothing irrational in a healthy fear of Islam. Not by the student of history, which gives ample reason to fear Islam. Since there does not appear to be much of anything that has changed in Islam since the time of Mohammed.

 

Besides, aren't most of you progressives feminists? How can you even stand the thought of Islam, if you consider the plight of women in virtually every Islamic nation? There is no "I am woman hear me roar" in 98% of Islamic nations, and that may possibly apply to 100% of Islamic nations. There is lots of forced female circumcision. Not to mention honor killings of female family members who might have been raped thus bringing dishonor to the family, or women who dared to have a sexual relationship with an unauthorized male.

 

Enough of that grim subject!

Happy Turkey Day!

 

Love,

Bill

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Finding that line has been and is and will be tricky.

 

But, look at it from a different point of view. Let's say there is a classrom somewhere in the USA with about half Christians and half Muslims and the teacher brings in the Qur'an and says that we must stop for prayer now as prescribed by the Qur'an. The Christians don't have to participate but maybe they like the idea of stopping for prayer and maybe they start thinking that the mosque might be better than the church?

 

I wouldn't like it at all that the teacher is influencing students that way. Would you like it? Wouldn't you try to stop it?

 

The teacher in a public school is an agent of the state and must agree to follow state guidelines. Right?

 

No, I wouldn't like it. And if we can keep the federal government out of every intimate detail of our lives, the local population and government should be able to handle that quite well, according to the will of the people. Yes, the local schoolhouse is the agent of the state, as in "the State of New Jersey". They are not an agent of the federal government. Or at least they were not until the federal government decided to effectively take them over, as they had taken over so many other aspects of our lives. CONGRESS SHALL PASS NO LAW.

 

The situation you described re: Koran should be handled locally. It's probably good to remember that more than half of the states that, with great trepidation, handed over some of their power to the new federal government -- more than half of the states had official state supported churches. The fear these states had was of the new federal behemoth interfering with how they ran things in their states, regarding religious matters. Or any other matters other than the few specific powers they gave to the feds. Hence the very first amendment: Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

 

Bill

Edited by corinthian
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Forgive the belatedness of this response; I have only read the first post and looked at the link to be sure this was the same situation I was thinking it was.

 

I saw this rector speak when I visited the National Cathedral in Washington DC last year. The Gospel reading for that day happened to be the verses about "no one comes to the father except through me".

 

Regas deliverd a sermon that brought tears to my eyes about how the love he had come to know through Christ had brought him to a heartfelt understanding that there are many valid paths. He spoke of how he believed that spiritual people of other faiths were finding their own way. He said that , in his heart of hearts, he believes that there must be more that the traditional meaning involved in this text. And then he said that, while Christ may not be the only way, he personally sees him as the only way-- for himself.

 

If I had been allowed to, I would have stood at the end and applauded.

 

On the bus trip back home, it became apparent that some in our congregation felt the message was utterly scandalous and heretical.

 

I don't think George Regas is any stranger to controversy.

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