Read Part 1.
Two Competing Worldviews
Secularism is a religion which makes no reference to God or morality. It is a worldview in which God has no place. If He does exist at all, He lives in quiet, unassuming little churches and never causes a row about anything. He is a private deity. He stays tucked safely away behind closed doors like a fragile china doll. He is never spoken of. He is not allowed to inform anything about us, our actions or how we ought to live our lives.
For example, a new judge was recently appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The new judge opposes homosexual “marriages” and believes authority is derived from God, a position which a leftist rag labeled “extreme.” The new judge hastened to reassure reporters, “The oath that I will take will guarantee to you that my personal political beliefs and my political philosophy will have no impact on me whatsoever… [t]hose things simply have no place inside a court of law.”1
Recently, a French political scientist was interviewed on National Public Radio. The terrorist attack in Nice had just taken place. France had been on heightened security alert since November 2015, when 130 people were slaughtered in a series of coordinated attacks involving suicide bombers, assault weapons and hostage taking. Now, just this past month, a Tunisian madman who had lived in France for 11 years deliberately ran a 19-ton cargo truck into a crowd along the Nice waterfront on Bastille Day. 84 people died. The 31-yr old terrorist, a man who by all accounts was a drug addict, alcoholic, and all-around petty villain, was surrounded by police and shot dead in the cab of his truck. The media was engaged in the usual post-mortem analysis. What can be done? What should be done? What isn’t working? What would drive somebody to do such a thing? This was the context for Myriam Benraad’s interview with NPR. What should France be doing differently? Her answer was remarkable:
We’re conversing again about Islam, as the recent Orlando massacre has raised awareness to a new level. Before September 11, 2001, few people in America ever talked about Islam. Indeed few were knowledgeable enough to carry on a decent conversation. But we now live in a post 9/11 world, and it is difficult to ignore the potential threat of Muslims in our midst. Yes, we need to have a national conversation and we need it to be an honest one.
Undoubtedly, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful individuals, not intent on murder, who are good citizens and neighbors. They live in America because they appreciate the religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution as well as the economic opportunities available here, just like most of us who are not Muslims. But the problem is that radical Muslims keep blowing people up in the name of Islam, and it’s getting harder to ignore the connection between Islam and the constant threat to law abiding Americans.
“In a 911 call during the attack Mateen pledged his allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS. Although the group also claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. officials said they haven’t seen a direct link between the gunman and the terrorist group.”
“Secretary of State John Kerry declared Thursday that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, after facing heavy pressure from lawmakers and rights groups to make the rare designation.” Fox
Our current President is fond suggesting Islam is a religion that promotes peace (as did G. W. Bush). Others, including many in conservative evangelical and biblical fundamentalist circles, insist that “real” Islam, according to the Quran, etc., is inherently violent toward all who do not embrace its belief system.
So what does “real” Islam teach about peace, jihad, and other human-rights topics?
Americans—especially Christians—really ought to stop trying to answer this question. We should also stop making generalizations based on what we believe to be the correct the answer. Here’s why.