Saturday, November 07, 2009

Francis Collins, The Language of God, and the Islamic Faith (Some Old Homework)

It is not difficult to identify examples where the church has promoted actions that fly in the face of principles its own faith should have sustained. The Beatitudes spoken by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount were ignored as the Christian church carried out violent Crusades in the Middle Ages and pursued a series of inquisitions afterward. While the prophet Muhammad never himself used violence in responding to persecutors, Islamic jihads, dating to the earliest of his followers and including present-day violent attacks such as that of September 11, 2001, have created the false impression that the Islamic faith is intrinsically violent. Even followers of supposedly nonviolent faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism occasionally engage in violent confrontation, as is currently occurring in Sri Lanka.[1]

b. Faith in God is harmful, since “throughout history terrible things have been done in the name of religion” (p. 39).

Another favorite of the skeptic. Here Collins drops the ball in my opinion. I will critique two aspects of his work: i. his understanding of Islam, and ii. His understanding of comparative crimes.

i. Collins is getting out of his genre a bit. If I met him I would probably hand him two books by Robert Spencer. Quickly, before I quote Spencer. Muhammad personally ordered (and partook in) the slitting of 900 throats of men, women, and children. Jesus, when Peter cut off the Roman soldiers ear, told Peter to put the sword away and healed the soldiers ear.

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great re­ligious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strongminded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been wor­shipped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their prac­tical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a con­sistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the com­prehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.[2]

Not to mention that just saying the Crusades were wrong is almost juvenile. Robert Spencer talks a bit about the lead up to Christendom finally responding -- rightly at first, woefully latter.

The Third Crusade (1188-1192). This crusade was proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Crusader forces of Hattin in 1187. This venture failed to retake Jerusalem, but it did strengthen Outremer, the crusader state that stretched along the coast of the Levant.[3]

The almost Political Correct myth is that the crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world.[4] I can see with quoting Tillich and Bonhoeffer, although worthy men to quote, they are typically favorites of the religious left. Robert Schuller and Desmond Tutu on the back of the cover of Collins first edition are also dead give a ways. So PC thought is entrenched in Collins general outlook on religion and life. Continuing:

The conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood as the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression, and Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: Early in the eighth century, sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam; and Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction to others, even their own children.

Brutal subordinations and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of Saint Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christians cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.[5]

One person (my pastor) said to paint a picture of the crusaders in a single year in history is like showing photos and video of Hitler hugging children and receiving flowers from them and then showing photos and video of the Allies attacking the German army. It completely forgets what Hitler and Germany had done prior.

Compiled from myself and online sources and is from a debate I had with a Muslim:

Sahih Bukhari is a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), also known as the sunnah. The reports of the Prophet's sayings and deeds are called ahadith. Bukhari lived a couple of centuries after the Prophet's death and worked extremely hard to collect his ahadith. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established. Bukhari's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the most authentic collections of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

Bukhari (full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai) was born in 194 A.H. and died in 256 A.H. His collection of hadith is considered second to none. He spent sixteen years compiling it, and ended up with 2,602 hadith (9,082 with repetition). His criteria for acceptance into the collection were amongst the most stringent of all the scholars of ahadith.

It is important to realize, however, that Bukhari's collection is not complete: there are other scholars who worked as Bukhari did and collected other authentic reports. Okay, CSH1 said very explicitly that the Qur’an does not condone such actions – e.g., murder… right. It is murder we are talking of? Correct? Let’s see if the understanding of the Qur’an and the Hadith point to murder, first the Hadith.

· Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'"

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260, Narrated Ikrima. Also, see Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64, Narrated 'Ali.

Narrated 'Ali:

· Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64:

Now mind you, this is the Hadith that allows one person to kill another. And this isn’t just something said in the far past, it is being practiced today in every Muslim state. And the killing aspect of jihad is so widely understood (rather than the “spiritual struggle” that is often spoon fed us) that persons are easily recruited for such a “struggle.” A sermon was preached in 2000 by Saudi sheikh Nassar Muhammad Al-Ahmad at the Al-Nour mosque in Al-Khobar… he declared: “There is no solution to this problem, and to any to which the infedel enemy is party, except by waving the banner of Jihad…. The sites holy to Muslims will be regained only by Jihad for the sake of Allah…. When true Islamic is declared, the balance of power will shift…. What freightens the Westmore than anything else in the word ‘Jihad,’ because they understand what it means.”

This isn’t the onlyMuslim understanding of jihad, but its well enough established in Islam to enable these radicals to recruit and mobilize Muslims in Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan, Turkey, Nigeria, the Philippines, Indonesia, and around the world.

In fact, not only does the Hadith, and all early clerics interpret jihad this way, since the inception of Islam (A.D. 600’ish), jihad has only meant this all the way to A.D. 1683. In 1914 jihad was again declared, and since then, it has meant only violence when the imams and clerics speak of it.

The Qur’an states:

· IV.89: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

· II.161: Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, these it is on whom is the curse of Allah and the angels and men all;

· IX. 5-6: Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them.

While many try to sugar coat this as not meaning to kill, a plain reading does imply that the Qur’an, thousands of Muslim professors, clerics, and imams understand it to mean violence, as well as the testimony of 1,400[+] years and millions of Muslims world-wide.

It would be nice for Islam to transform from it’s A.D. 600 interpretation of the Qur’an, America can no longer wait for those guys who decapitated one man to get their hands on nuclear or chemical weapons and decapitate a city.

The Quran is Prescriptive in its announcements, the Bible is Descriptive.

ii. While somewhat good on this topic, I have learned to respond to this in a more effective way. One should ask, “If religion is being rejected for the crimes it has committed, then non-faith (atheism), should be rejected all the more:

The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainly. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law -- materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law.[6]

Dinesh D’Souza goes a long to point this disparity out when he debates Christopher Hitchens. After Hitchens made a his patented argument about evils Christianity had done (who Moral Law he was using seems odd... he expects everyone in the audience to agree with him that there can be moral atrocities without a God), D’souza said this:

  • That’s why the atheist regimes killed more people in one week than the inquisition could kill in three centuries.

If religion is rejected, why not non-religion?

[1] Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (New York, NY: Free Press, 2006), 41.

[2] Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.

[3] Robert Spencer, The Politically Correct Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2005), 147-148.

[4] Ibid., 122.

[5] Ibid., 122-123.

[6] Adapted and condensed from Gregory Koukl, “The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?” Stand to Reason, found at:


(Last accessed 9-9-09).

FBI Make Arrests (Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Chicago Plot) -- Imported from Counterterrorism Blog

Out of all the bad news and missed opportunities with Hasan, I wanted to show that all news isn't bad news on the War On Terror front:

Three names have been doing the rounds in India these days: Maulana Ilyas Kashmiri, David Coleman Headley (a.k.a Dauod Geelani) and Tahawur Hussein Rana; one hard core veteran Jehadi and two motivated ‘would be’ terrorists. They are in the news for plotting major assaults in India. Among them, Ilyas Kashmiri who was rumored to be dead early this year, in fact survived three drone attacks in Pakistan’s Waziristan region, belongs to the Al Qaeda- Harkat-Ul- Jihad- Al-Islami (HuJI) lineage and heads the Qaeda’s deadly 311 brigade. He still carries a head money of US $ 600,000 dollars. His name resurfaced when a report was published in the Asia Times last month. The semi-biographical report titled, “Al-Qaeda's guerrilla chief lays out strategy” was written by Syed Saleem Shahzad of Pakistan who interviewed Ilyas Kashmiri about his future terror plans at his den and on his invitation.

In early September 2009, Pakistani officials and Western intelligence agencies believed that Ilyas Kashmir, Al Qaeda/HuJI operations chief in Pakistan and another close aide of Bin Laden, a Uzbek terrorist commander identified as Nazimuddin Zalalov (a.ka. Yahyo) have been killed in missile attacks in Turrikhel area of North Waziristan.

The other two names, Headly and Rana came as a bit of surprise to many in India and in the US. But their plan made one thing clear about the intention and capability of terrorist outfits (like LeT, Al Qaeda and JeM) that have transnational reach and global Jihadi agenda. These two men are part of a Lashkar-e-Taiba plot to attack major landmarks in India and Denmark. The US investigating agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have so far neutralized what is now dubbed as LeT’s ‘Chicago Terror Plot’. Headley was arrested early in October 2009 by the Joint Terrorism Task Force at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. He was reportedly planning to travel to Pakistan in near future to meet Ilyas Kashmiri and other terrorist leaders. His accomplice and co plotter Rana was arrested from Chicago later in that month.

According to FBI affidavit filed in a Chicago court, Headley had visited Pakistan a number of times before and constantly in touch with his LeT handlers (two Pakistan based LeT terrorists are still to be identified) in Pakistan through emails. As per the FBI the email communications revealed that a LeT mastermind in Pakistan was placing a higher priority on using Headley to assist in planning a new attack in India than on completing the planned attack in Denmark (facilities of Jayland Posten, the Danish newspaper which carried a cartoon strip of Prophet Muhammad in 2005 and perhaps (I suspect) a commando type assault during the upcoming Climate Summit). Any audacious attacks on these spots (and in India) would have given Lashkar-e-Taiba a position parallel to Al Qaeda in the international terrorism arena.

In June 2003, FBI made a similar breakthrough arresting at least seven Lashkar sympathizers or world be terrorists from in and around Washington region (3 from Maryland, 3 from Virginia and one in Pennsylvania), for providing material support to LeT.

The latest foiled LeT plot targeted vital landmarks, installations and elite boarding schools, as per the FBI investigations. The LeT is obviously planning Nov 2008 Mumbai type assaults in India and the possible targets were National Defense College, New Delhi, Doon School in Dehradun and Woodstock School in Mussoorie. It has been reported also that these terrorists have major plans to target the American and the Israeli nationals in India....

Steve Emerson on the Fort Hood Shootings - IPT Import

This is imported from: Investigative Project on Terrorism

Part 1 - Should the shooting at Fort Hood be seen as a terrorist attack?

Part 2 - What are some of the other terrorism related stories from 2009?

Part 3 - What has CAIR's (Council on American-Islamic Relations) response been?

Part 4 - Should officials be doing more to prevent attacks by soldiers they've identified as radical?

Jihad's 5th Column - IBD Import

War On Terror: The Fort Hood terrorist is being portrayed as an "anomaly," an "aberration," a "lone wolf." Sadly, he's just one of many examples of jihadist traitors in the ranks of the military.

Together they form a dangerous Fifth Column, and the Pentagon — thanks to institutionalized political correctness — is doing next to nothing to root them out .

Instead, brass are actively recruiting Muslim soldiers — whose ranks have swelled to more than 15,000 — and catering to their faith by erecting mosques even at Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va. More, they're hiring Muslim chaplains endorsed by radical Islamic front groups, who convert and radicalize soldiers.

In the wake of the worst domestic military-base massacre in U.S. history, this is an outrage to say the least. And the PC blinders explain how Fort Hood commanders could have failed so horrifically in protecting their force from the internal threat there.

The terrorist suspect, an Islamic fanatic, penetrated deep into the Army's officer corps before gunning down, execution-style, more than 40 of his fellow soldiers. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 at the Texas post, which boasts some 40 Muslims.

Witnesses say he shouted "Allahu Akbar" — Allah is great! — before opening fire in a crowded building where troops were sitting ducks, waiting to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, both wars that Hasan angrily opposed. "Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor," he reportedly said earlier this year, referring to the U.S. — the country he swore to protect.

During the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, another devout Muslim in the Army had a similar conflict. Sgt. Hasan Akbar also resorted to violence, fragging 17 fellow soldiers, killing two. Why? He opposed the killing of fellow Muslims. "You guys are coming into our countries, and you're going to rape our women and kill our children," he was overheard by soldiers who survived the grenade attack as saying.

Clearly, his loyalties lay elsewhere. And he's hardly alone:

  • Navy Signalman Hassan Abujihaad last year was convicted of tipping off al-Qaida to battle group movements in the Persian Gulf, including disclosing classified documents detailing the group's vulnerability to terror attack.
  • Army reservist Jeffrey Battle in 2003 pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage war against the U.S., confessing he enlisted "to receive military training to use against America."
  • Army reservist Semi Osman in 2002 was arrested for providing material support to al-Qaida and pleaded guilty to weapons charges after agreeing to testify against other terror suspects.

Who's Funding CAIR?

Chris Matthews: "Religious Right the Problem" - "We may never know if religion was a factor at Fort Hood"

Crazy Chris Matthews - Religious Right a problem (Chris Matthews -- "Religious Right Most Like the Taliban"), Muslims not.

Well … yes, that’s true, if you think anything short of Hasan sitting up in his hospital bed and declaring “why, indeed, religion was a factor at Fort Hood” amounts to irresponsible speculation. But here’s what we’ve got so far, according to eyewitnesses, colleagues, and friends. He considered the war on terror a “war on Islam” and himself a Muslim first and an American second; he thought Muslims had the right to stand up to the “aggressor” in the Middle East and is suspected of posting things online about the selfless heroism of jihadist suicide bombers; he was placed on probation for proselytizing about Islam to patients and colleagues and was sufficiently devout that he refused to have his picture taken with women; he once used a lecture at a medical conference as an opportunity to discuss how the Koran orders decapitation for infidels; and, oh yes, he yelled “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire.... (HotAir h/t, read more)

Why does MSNBC even have CAIR on in a serious role?

Robert Spencer Discusses the Fort Hood Jihadist on the Savage Nation (Plus: Honor killings Update)

Robert Spencer: Islamic Honor Killings

Col. Peters Speaks the Truth About Fort Hood Attacks - TERRORISM

Legislative and Judicial Chaos -- Political Sermons the Best Remedy? Of Course

...He that ruleth over men, must rule in the fear of God. As if the royal prophet had said, “It is necessary, civil rulers should have upon their minds a becoming sense of God and religion: And it should govern their public conduct. Whatever they do, in their several stations, should be done under the guidance of an habitual awe of God, a serious regard to his governing will, and their accountableness to him. This is the principle that should have a predominating sway in all exertments of themselves in their public capacity.” This I take to be the true sense of the words.

To be sure, ’tis the truth of the thing. Civil rulers ought to be possessed of a principle of religion, and to act under the direction of it in their respective stations. This is a matter of necessity. I don’t mean that it is necessary in order to their having a right to rule over men. Dominion is not founded in grace: Nor is every pious good man fit to be entrusted with civil power. ’Tis easy to distinguish between government in it’s abstracted notion, and the faithful advantageous administration of it. And religion in rulers is necessary to the latter, tho’ not to the former.

Not but that they may be considerably useful in their places, if the religious fear of God does not reign in their hearts. From a natural benevolence of temper, accompanied with an active honest turn of mind, they may be instrumental in doing good service to the public: Nay, they may be prompted, even from a view to themselves, their own honour and interest, to behave well in the posts they sustain, at least, in many instances. But if destitute of religion, they are possessed of no principle that will stimulate a care in them to act up to their character steadily and universally, and so as fully to answer the ends of their institution....
(Charles Chauncy, sermon from 1747 (1705–1787). The most influential clergyman in the Boston of his time and—apart from Jonathan Edwards the elder—in all New England, Chauncy was graduated from Harvard and served as pastor of the First Church in Boston for sixty years.)

If the ministers within the good old US of A would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their righteous influence cause our nation to take the needed sharp turn away from the secularist progressives’ speedily approaching putrid pit. (Big Hollywood, more below)

This imported article from the Washington Times comes with a hat-tip to Down On the Farm. It is another example of the PC culture that infects the Left and distorts their understanding of the Constitution and freedom of speech and thus, religion. Where are the religious people saying enough-is-enough?

Senate Democrats are proving once again that no judicial nominee is too extreme for them to stomach. A move seems to be afoot to open debate on the Senate floor this week on the nomination of David Hamilton of Indiana to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. This judge is a radical's radical.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Friday to his fellow senators outlining his objections to Mr. Hamilton, who is a federal district judge. The senator first objected to Judge Hamilton's stated belief that judges should effectively amend the Constitution - "writing footnotes to the Constitution," the judge called it - through evolving case law. Second, Judge Hamilton has publicly and specifically embraced the president's "empathy standard," which even Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has now openly rejected.

Third, Judge Hamilton in many cases has shown an extreme hostility against innocuous expressions of religion in the public square. Mr. Sessions noted, though, that Judge Hamilton's odd ruling in Hinrichs v. Bosma "prohibited prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives that expressly mentioned Jesus Christ ... yet he allowed prayers which mentioned Allah."

Fourth, Mr. Sessions pointed out that "lawyers in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary describe Judge Hamilton as one of the most lenient judges in his district on criminal matters," including the case of a police officer who videotaped his own sexual encounters with two teenagers. The senator also objects to the judge's extreme actions in blocking an "informed consent" law on abortion.

Finally, in light of the property rights movement stemming from the Supreme Court's infamous Kelo decision, property rights advocates may want to take a close look at his representation of the city of Indianapolis in 1992 in Reel Pipe and Valve Co. v. City of Indianapolis, in which property owners were forced to sell property against their will to benefit other private "economic development."

An Obama administration official has said the nomination is "a kind of signal" about the sorts of judges the president wants. In reviewing Judge Hamilton's record, that signal should be seen as a red light warning senators to stop this nomination.

There was a time when sermons bristled with political discourse and cultural topics of the day , which drove Big Hollywood lists the top 10 reasons why pastors and priests avoid political and intense cultural issues and thus aid and abet evil (listed below). All one has to do is read a sermon or two from the book Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805 to see that the clergy standing idly by while such religious disparages against the Christian "ethos" of our nation is shoved down our throats by the legislative and judicial arms of our nation to see that these topics are fair game in the pulpit.

  1. Fear of Man: If you purport to be a man of God then your regard for God and His opinion must trump the trepidation of the creature God created from spit and mud. Come on, man of God, don’t fear the crowd . . . we’re peons with cell phones who’ll shoot Botox into our foreheads. We’re weird and fickle weather vanes of what’s en vogue. You’ve got to lead us. Therefore, move into the Moses mode and command us to be and do what is holy, just and good. The grinning, mild, subtle Oprah approach doesn’t seem to be stemming the current flood of cultural filth.
  2. Ignorance: Most people are not bold in areas in which they are ignorant . . . always excepting Janeane Garofalo, of course. I know keeping up with all the pressing political issues is maddening, but that’s life, brother, and if you want to be a voice in society and not just an echo, you have got to be in the know. Staying briefed is par for the course for the hardy world changer.
  3. Division: Y’know, I hate the current non-essential divisions in the church as much as the next acerbic Christian columnist. Squabbling over the color of the carpet, who’ll play the organ next Sunday or who is the Beast of Revelation, is stupidity squared. That being said, there’s a time and place for a holy throw-down and an ecclesiastical split from political policies and parties. For a minister to seek unity with secularists when they are trashing and rewriting Scripture with impunity is to side with vice and to allow darkness to succeed.
  4. Last Days Madness: Many ministers do not get involved in political issues because they believe that “it simply doesn’t matter” since “the end has come.” These defeatists believe that any change in the jet stream, war, earthquakes, a warming globe, the success of a corrupt politician—or even a new Shakira video—are “proof” that God is getting really, really ticked off and that His only recourse is to have Christ physically return and kick some major butt. Attempting to right culture is, in the defeatists’ eyes, equivalent to polishing brass on a sinking ship; therefore, they are content to simply pass out gospel tracts, tramp from Christian rock concert to Christian rock concert, eat fatty foods and stare at Christian TV.
  5. Sloth: Classically defined, sloth is lethargy stemming from a sense of hopelessness. Viewing our nation and the world as an irreparable disaster, where our exhortations, prayers, votes and labors will not produce any temporal fruit, leaves one with all the fervor of a normal guy who’s forced to French kiss his sister. If you’re wondering why your flock is so apathetic, Pastor Eeyore, ask yourself if you have stolen the earthly hope that their valiant efforts can actually prevail in time and not just in eternity.
  6. They don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status: Many pastors, priests and parishioners have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This can make pastors who don’t, or won’t, get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season.
  7. They bathe in paltry pietism: Pastors avoid politics because such concerns are “unspiritual,” and their focus is on the “spirit world.” Yes, to such imbalanced ministers, political affairs are seen as “temporal and carnal,” and since they trade in the “eternal and spiritual,” such “worldly” issues get nada. This bunch is primarily into heavenly emotions and personal Bible study, and they stay safely tucked away from society and its complicated issues. How sweet. They forget that they are commanded to be seriously engaged with our culture or fall into the worthless manure category Christ warned them of (Mt. 5.13). Snap.
  8. They have bought into the Taliban comparison: Pastors have muffled their political/cultural voices because they fear being lumped in with Islam by the politically-correct thought police. The correlation made between Christians’ non-violent attempts at policy persuasion and the Taliban’s kill-you-in-your-sleep campaigns is nothing more than pure, uncut crapola.
  9. They can’t say “no” to minutiae: Some ministers can’t get involved in studying or speaking out regarding pressing issues simply because of the ten tons of junk they are forced to field within their congregations. Spending time wet nursing 30-year-olds without a life and being bogged down in committee meetings over which shade of pink paint should be used for the women’s ministerial wing of their church, ministers are lucky if they get to study the Bible nowadays—much less anything else.
  10. They like the money: The creepy thing about a lot of ministers is their unwillingness to give political or cultural offense when offense is needed, simply because taking a biblical stand on a political issue might cost them their mega-church, which means their seven homes, their Bentley and their private jet. Oh well, what do you expect? Christ had His Judas, and evangelicalism has its money loving hookers.

If the ministers within the good old US of A would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their righteous influence cause our nation to take the needed sharp turn away from the secularist progressives’ speedily approaching putrid pit.

Here are some links to actual sermons:

Mythbusters Co-Host Kari Byron & A .50 BMG

The Face of a Heroin, Sgt Munly, God Bless Her and Her Family -- Atlas Shrugs Makes A Good Point!

From Atlas Shrugs:

This is poetic justice. The jihadi mass slaughterer was taken down by a ... woman! Think about that. Let's blast that shiz through the caves of Tora Bora. That's the real story. It should be wall to wall on Al Jizz.

It would have been much worse had she not responded.

The New York Daily News had this to say about her:

...Just three minutes after Hasan shot up his fellow soldiers, Munley tracked him down outside a pre-deployment facility and unloaded on him at close range.

"She fired on him twice and drew the attention toward her. He immediately spun around and charged her," said Chuck Medley, director of emergency services at Fort Hood.

"She fired a couple more rounds and fell back, continuing to fire."

Munley was hit in both legs and her wrist during the gun battle but stayed on her feet and kept firing at the charging gunman.

"She struck him a couple times in the upper torso and he went down," Medley said.

"When she rounded that corner, she made a split-second decision to put her life at risk. If she had not responded the way she had, we would have had an extremely high number of dead and injured."

Munley, a civilian cop employed by the Army, was recovering at the hospital Friday and was unavailable for comment, but she was doing well enough to take several calls from friends.

"She said one of the bullets hit an artery and she lost a lot of blood, but she sounded in good spirits," said country music singer Dierks Bentley, who met Munley at a July 4 event and called her Friday.

"She was laughing and joking."

To her friends, relatives and former colleagues in North Carolina, Munley's bravery was par for the course....

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