Obama: "remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ"

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GregH's picture

Greg L, fine, yes there are differences between a state religion and prayer in the capital. That is not what I am arguing. What I am saying is there is NO basis for saying that Christianity or any other dominant religion gets special treatment. In other words, just because at the moment, 85% of the country is affiliated with Christianity does not mean that the capital prayer always has to be Christian and no other prayer is allowed. Nor does it mean that because the founding fathers were affiliated with Christianity that only Christian prayer is allowed in the capital to this day.

There is no preferential treatment for ANY religion in the Constitution. Not because the founding fathers associated with Christianity. Not because Christianity is the predominant religion. And if there is Christian prayer in the capital, there is no basis to deny Muslim prayer in the capital.

 

 

Joel Shaffer's picture

Greg Long, did you read the article and/or report or just dismiss it?  

GregH's picture

Sean Fericks wrote:

I think the issue here is that Christ provided Christianity a decoupling of religion from politics and war.  In the OT, we have a form of jihad, blessed by Jehovah.  After Christ, we have personal grace, repentance, and forgiveness.  BC, annihilate the Canaanites.  AD, we go into the world and preach.  Unfortunately, under Constantine, Christianity was hijacked back into the Roman empire as a tool.  It was then recoupled with politics and war.  It lasted this way (with wars, murder, burnings, etc.) until the enlightenment, when we finally realized that human liberty and agency are moral imperatives.  Only hearts at liberty (including the hearts of people of all ethnic backgrounds) can truly trust Christ.  

Islam does not have a Christ.  Islam has not had an enlightenment.  In Islam, Sharia ties doctrine to politics, law, crime, and punishment.  Therefore, Islam cannot coherently argue for liberty.  Islam needs Christ to set its people free.  It needs the concepts of tolerance and liberty to separate the state from the faith.

I think President Obama was trying to speak peace to moderate Muslims.  He was trying to help them see that progress can be made from Sharia and Jihad to tolerance and peace.  He was not trying to insult the Christianity of 21st century America, but he was calling us to remember our history, and act and think in humility.  These are valid and noble goals.  There is enough wrong with his policy.  We should not waste our time being offended by a reasonably decent speech.

 

Sean, that is a great way of putting it. 

Greg Long's picture

Greg, I'm actually closer in agreement to you than you may think, due to the fact that I am a Baptist and that Baptists have taken a strong stand for religious liberty. In fact, Baptists were persecuted by state officials in America, especially in Massachusetts, well nigh into the 19th century.

(Side note: Have you ever thought about the fact that the First Amendment says "CONGRESS shall make no..."? It only prevents the establishment of a national religion. The Founding Fathers came from states that had state religions! Massachusetts wasn't disestablished until 1833.)

What I am arguing against is this false notion that freedom of religion means freedom from religion, and that freedom of religion means there shall be no expressions or promotion of religion in general or any religion in particular, which is absolutely not what the Founding Fathers intended. We know this from their clear actions and words. It's not about the words of the First Amendment (we all know what the words are); it's what they mean. In the last 50 years those words have been interpreted in a way that the Founding Fathers never intended.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Joel, I read some and skimmed some. Is there anything in particular you wish to call my attention to?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

GregH's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Greg, I'm actually closer in agreement to you than you may think, due to the fact that I am a Baptist and that Baptists have taken a strong stand for religious liberty. In fact, Baptists were persecuted by state officials in America, especially in Massachusetts, well nigh into the 19th century.

(Side note: Have you ever thought about the fact that the First Amendment says "CONGRESS shall make no..."? It only prevents the establishment of a national religion. The Founding Fathers came from states that had state religions! Massachusetts wasn't disestablished until 1833.)

What I am arguing against is this false notion that freedom of religion means freedom from religion, and that freedom of religion means there shall be no expressions or promotion of religion in general or any religion in particular, which is absolutely not what the Founding Fathers intended. We know this from their clear actions and words. It's not about the words of the First Amendment (we all know what the words are); it's what they mean. In the last 50 years those words have been interpreted in a way that the Founding Fathers never intended.

Well, I never meant to imply that government should be free of religion. I have no problem with there being religion in government and I know there still is. There is still prayer in Congress for example. What I annoyed by is that many Christians think it should ONLY be Christian expressions of faith even they do not have any Constitutional basis for that at all. It is so glaringly inconsistent. And to bring it back to the theme of this thread, many people for some reason think Obama is required to be an apologist for Christianity because he is an American president. 

Bert Perry's picture

Jay; no worries on that issue.  I am sure that you understand both the hazards recklessness in speech, and in excessive caution in speech, and that you're just drawing the line in a slightly different place than I am.

Joel: regarding the article, all kinds of data indicate all kinds of things to me.  My take-away is that the situation is more complex than simply asserting that 90% or more of Muslims do not favor violent jihad (look at the sections regarding Sharia for example), but even if that were the take-away, I think that up to 100 million people bent on violence (or .1% at 1 million, really) just might be able to do a wee bit of damage.

And to me, that's what makes Obama's feint to the Crusades all the more dangerous--he's avoiding implementing a Christian doctrine that has existed since Augustine, that you try not to kill noncombatants in war.  And I really don't see how the fact that "we" have committed this foul historically ought to prevent us from calling it today.  We would have to assume, if that were true, that anyone who has sinned does not deserve the protection of the law.

Not willing to go there, to put it mildly.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/10/politics/isis-foreign-fighters-combat/...

Seems relevant.

Btw, lest anyone think I'm a "Muslim-basher," allow me to describe my situation a bit.

I currently live--and have lived a number of years now--in Indonesia, likely the most moderate Muslim (majority) country on earth. I count Muslims among my wife's family, many of whom are wonderful people. My wife's aunt bought me a bag for my computer and got our kids gifts from Saudi Arabia when she went on Haj.

I also am friends of friends who have been denied church permits to build their churches (which need permits to open from local Muslims; mosques don't need permits, of course)--in defiance of central govt. authority, which the central govt then pretends never happened. I know converts to Christianity who get harassed in govt. offices for converting.

Islam isn't primarily a religion as many of you think of it. Or it's not just a religion. It's been described as more of a social program, complete with an anachronistic Arabic culture that swallows up native cultures and seeks to establish hegemony over all areas of life. Islam isn't real Islam without Sharia law. Now most Muslims might not even realize this because most Muslims aren't familiar with their own religion. Most Muslims learn how to be a Muslim by imitating other Muslims. Few of them actually understand or follow the Koran, so any comparison between the Bible or Koran--as though they functioned the same--is on the wrong foot.

Anyway, much more could be said, but I must run. Regardless, what should be clear to everyone is that the US got itself in the mess it has by not understanding Islam before it stuck its foot in the Middle East, and it still seems unwilling to today. So it seems for some of the posters here.

Joel Shaffer's picture

The reason that i cited this poll/report was that some on this post were getting carried away by stating that the majority of Muslims supported Islamic extremism. That is just not the case.  However, the stats are still quite troubling. If you take one statistic that about 25 to 28% of Muslims believe that suicide bombings on civilians are sometimes/often justified, even though the vast majority that do not hold to this extreme position, it becomes troubling when you look at the sheer numbers.  If the stats are approximately true, then out of the 1.6 billion Muslims, a little over 400 million hold to this extreme position.  That is still way too high, which is why I believe you make a good point listing the top countries for persecution (the majority are Muslim) from the voice of the martyrs.   But we don't need to exaggerate by creating a stereotype that states the majority of Muslims are extremists. It is still a major problem when 400 million people (a number significantly larger than the population of the United States) can justify suicide bombings on civilians in the name of Allah.      

Greg Long wrote:

Joel, I read some and skimmed some. Is there anything in particular you wish to call my attention to?

Greg Long's picture

Thanks Joel, I appreciate it. I shouldn't have been so dismissive of the article. Again, I realize that the vast majority of individual Muslims in the United States, and many of them around the world, are peaceful and abhor violence. But I still believe that "true" Islam, at least the Islam that manifests itself when coming to power, believes violence is appropriate to conquer in the name of Allah.

Again, thanks to you and others for the interactions.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

It appears that our President has described an Islamist attack on a kosher deli/supermarket as random. as if it were unknown that Islamists have a special animus towards Jews.

Apart from the question of what the significance of Islamist extremism is--and Joel's link provides a hint that it's a big deal--I think we have to be honest and admit that our President has a strong predilection to "shading the truth" in terms of the threats we face in our world.  It would be funny if people were not getting hurt and killed as a result, but unfortunately, that's exactly what's happening.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Greg Long's picture

Notice anything missing from the White House statement on the recent beheadings in Libya? Yes, that's right, any mention of the fact that these Egyptian "citizens" were killed because they were Christians. (The caption on the ISIS-released video refers to those beheaded as "the people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.")

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/15/statement-press-se...

Again, Obama is willing to connect religion and violence when Christians are the perpetrators and Muslims are the victims, but not so much when it is the other way around.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

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