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Are those who want a mosque at Ground Zero, Ameriphobes?
Rev Michael Bresciani
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It is hard to believe that liberal politicians and some media are saying that those who oppose the mosque at Ground Zero are using the issue to divert attention away from real issues like the economy. They have labeled the naysayers as Islamophobes: a term that has less meaning today than ever before. Here’s why.
The vast amount of American blood spilled at Ground Zero is not something that can ever be reduced to an “issue” or a “diversion.” To suggest that, indicates that something has been lost in the realm of honor, respect and love for our countrymen. Have we come to that? According to most polls across the nation we have not. Politicians and media have not yet supplanted the will and voice of the people, just yet.
President Obama’s recent, although altogether completely new concern for the constitution is what is being cited for wanting to be fair to Muslims in his tacit endorsement for building a mosque near Ground Zero. What is the meaning of this sudden urgency to show America’s fairness to the world?
We know that trying to build a new Christian church in Iraq is out of the question because the older Coptic and Eastern Orthodox Churches there are under heavy persecution, even as Christians have been fleeing that country for well over two years. We also know the same persecution exists in dozens of Islamically controlled countries. Any attempt to build a Christian church in Mecca would not just fail, but would cost the lives of those who thought it possible if they were insistent about it.
Many years past as a young man, I attempted to assuage a denominational church to change to a non-denominational status. They did not take well to my idea and just when I thought I would lambaste them for their implacability I was rebuked and stayed by a scripture verse that I have no doubt that the Lord led me to. In Lamentations 3:36 the bible says “To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.” The folks who attended that church were in full agreement with those who had years before founded the fellowship. It was meant to be a denomination and that is how they wanted it to continue. I backed off.
It is clear to anyone who hasn’t been mislead by the Johnny come lately socialistically bent textbooks used in our system of education that, our founding fathers were nearly all Christian and they pulled the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from the principles and teachings of the Bible. No amount of historical wrangling can extricate these well known truths from America’s history or her psyche. But alas, some keep trying.
It would seem as we all hang loose to see what “Change we can believe in” as given to us by Mr. Obama is going to look like, we must also let him know that changing our foundational underpinnings will not ever be a “change we can believe in.” Does this President not know that when you knock out the very foundations on which we stand you are left hanging in mid air from absolutely nothing? In any language known to man this is what always precedes the fall of a nation.
But what is it about Islam that America should be looking at, what makes it seem so attractive to our President and a few others so much so that, they want to build mosques in every city and in the very same place where over 3,000 people, mostly Americans, met with an untimely and cruel death at the hands of Muslim extremists.
We can analyze the problem on at least four separate levels in order to get what may seem only a cursory explanation but, if pondered carefully, will be seen as the only explanation necessary. Let’s look at problems with Islam coming to America on these four basic levels, historical, theological, social and practical.
America could not understand why author Salman Rushdie was marked for assassination by Muslim Clerics for publishing his “Satanic Verses.” That was a long time ago and since then America and the rest of the western world has had ample time to study, research and ponder the beginnings of Islam and its place in the world. It is because of this, that it is now known that Muhammad was indeed the first person to cast aspersions on the religion that he was responsible for introducing.
It takes no history major to discover that he was doubtful about the origins of his revelations and at times admitted that it may have been inspired by the devil or a dark spirit of deception. If he doubted wouldn’t we also do well to doubt? We have something to bolster our doubt that Muhammad had no chance to see.
We have centuries of the history of Islam available to us today. It is a bloody history that eventually came to our front door on September 11, 2001, since that happened we have seen some of the best minds in our nation applying themselves to discover every aspect of the Islamic tradition, right down to the nuts and bolts. What they have learned has done nothing to quiet our doubts and fears.
The acceptance of any new trend in the world is often based only on its popularity. An entire body of people emerges when enough people are involved in the new thing and we call that the pop-culture. Unfortunately, we have let this weakest of all forms of reasoning (popular trends) became the mark for religions, ancient or nascent, to be accepted or rejected. If it lasts and if enough people are caught in the sway of it, then it may become what is known as one of the “great world religions.”
The popularity of ideologies, religions or other social behaviors is not really what gives them any lasting credence. Like anything else it is the fruit or the long range outcome of a thing that ultimately determines its real value.
Jim Jones’s religion was popular for a while. Communism was popular for a while. The “Twist” was popular for a while. All of these produced a lot of death and some aching backs but they were soon to expire.
Not only has Christianity survived and flourished for over two thousand years but the fruit of it has survived along with it. What fruit? A partial list would include; millions of renewed lives, equality for women, the end of slavery, and America itself. That’s a pretty impressive list and it is the fruit that establishes the source as much as the obvious better foundation offered by its source.
Islam concludes that the problem with the world is that it has the wrong god; we are all missing something theologically, that, they cannot accept. Christianity says nay, but the problem with the world is singular and universal. The problem is sin. All men sin and are in need of a Savior.
According to God the reason we shouldn’t get involved with the worship of other gods is because they are simply nonexistent.(De 32:39) There is no choosing between their god and our God because there is only one God and he has provided a revelation of himself not dependent on men or the visions of some prophet. He entered history in the fullness of time and dealt with sin and man’s misguided notion that there are just dozens of ways to get to God.
Christ had no uncertainty about his mission, “…for this cause came I into the world.” (Jn 18:37) He never doubted the source of his revelation “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (Jn 8:28b) He never doubted that he was the only way to directly reach God, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6) Finally, he never doubted that pseudo saviors and false religions would creep into the world and in some cases become what are now referred to as “great religions.” And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Mt. 24:11)
I could be charged with repeating this saying all too many times but for the few who may have missed it, “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Satan must stop short at the door of anything marked as a religion.” The god of this world (Satan) uses religion more than all other temptations and diversions combined to lure men away from their own salvation.
In fact Christ did not enter the world to create a new religion, he came only to provide men with salvation by dealing with their sins and thereby giving them something that is not too important in other religions, which is simply, life. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)
Dealing with the theology of Islam would not be complete without looking at the way Christ brought salvation to the world versus the Muslim idea of salvation. In Islam, only the promulgation of the Muslim religion can bring the world to salvation. Unfortunately the Koran has clearly spelled out to the Muslims that they have a perfect right to hate and destroy those who won’t receive their message.
The advancement of Islam is predicated on the shedding of other people’s blood while in Christianity salvation is supplied only by the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross. Advances in Christianity are accomplished through the preaching of the gospel but no one can be forced to receive it, they must come to it on their own or not at all.
The capstone of Christ’s life and ministry has always been his final act. We call it the resurrection from the dead. Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin Jim Jones, and yes, even Muhammad are still only dead. Christ never asked us to put our faith in a nonexistent god or a dead prophet or savior as he himself said “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Mt 22:32)
It is no secret that the social system that is spawned by Islam is a seventh century draconian dinosaur that creates a living hell for women. They are held as second class citizens who can be stoned to death for minor infractions. They must be clothed in a Burqa in some Islamic countries for their entire lives. Will America’s 150 million women submit to this, ever?
If a woman is raped in Muslim nations she will be put to death if she cannot find four male witnesses to the crime. This goes beyond cruel on to the level of pure insanity, is this kind of treatment what we want for our women in the USA? Children are stoned and have their hands cut off for simple theft. How American does that sound? Socially speaking most of what Islam practices everyday in Muslim countries would be a complete disaster to the social structure of this nation.
We hear a lot about the many Muslims in this nation who are said to be moderates. We have also seen what happens when they step over the line to become radical as in the Fort Hood massacre where after years of living as a moderate, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan decided to take his Muslim beliefs more seriously and kill others on the Fort Hood complex. That any Muslim can suddenly change on a whim into a dangerous radical makes it anything but a practical religion.
In Erie County New York a TV station owner killed and beheaded his wife in an honor killing. He started a TV station with the intention of bridging the cultural gap between Americans and Muslims. What possessed him to suddenly become a radical Muslim is of the same nature as what may have sparked the same in Maj. Nidal Hasan. Whether whim or fancy, it is that short distance across the line from moderate religious practitioner to crazed radical murderer that worries us the most about the so called “moderate Muslims.”
Behavior that is shaped and guided by Sharia law may be acceptable in Muslim countries but in America most of us are satisfied to go with the Constitution.
Those who are guided by the Bible have no call to become violent for any reason. If someone else does not accept our faith the most we can do is pray for them and continue to be the best example of Christ likeness we can. This is more civil, more humanitarian and certainly much safer.
When Muslims strike out to destroy those who will not receive their faith they are labeled as radicals or extremists. Those in politics and those who spearhead today’s drive for religious pluralism think we can just take the Muslim beliefs into the mix along with other faiths. This very naďve supposition does nothing to change the minds of Muslims and contrary to what is being said about Islam being a “great religion” the Koran has over 100 references that allow, or encourage Muslims to use force, violence and death as a means to deal with its perceived enemies. This is why we call them radicals.
Another kind of radicalism was proposed by Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. How radical is this: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6: 27, 28)
It must be noted that while Christ called upon us to love our enemies, which includes radical Islamists, he never asked us not to recognize that they were after all, our enemies. Christ has demanded that we be loving, not naďve.
So what are the practical aspects of Islam for America? I must admit that after study and careful consideration of the history, the derivation and the practice of Islam I could not find any.
http://www.americanprophet.org has since 2005 featured the articles of columnist Rev Michael Bresciani along with news and reviews that have earned this site the title of The Website for Insight Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe.
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