Friday, July 23, 2010

They're Going to take over! -- Anti-Muslim Political Rants

Who would have thought that the decision to build a mosque in Manhattan, a block or so from the World Trade Center site, would take on a national political spotlight.  But, as we know, none other than Sarah Palin has twittered her opposition, and created a word of her own in the midst of the tirade.  Now, I really don't care about Palin's use of the word "refudiate."  The accurate word would be "repudiate," but that's the least of our problems.  It's easy to ridicule Palin, but all that seems to do is endear her more to people across the country -- the ones Palin calls "real Americans."  "Real Americans" are, as you know, Christians.  More specifically conservative ones -- the ones that Richard Dawkins has determined are to be considered real Christians as well.  

Newt Gingrich chimes in by saying that there should be no mosques near ground zero as long as there aren't churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia.
There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.
My question is -- when did a theocratic/autocratic country set standards for the United States.  I thought that this was a free country, where we are free to practice our faith as we please.  Would Sarah and Newt think it okay for a church on that site?  If so, then how can you discriminate against Muslims who wish to have a place to worship in Manhattan?

Now, I'm not naive -- there are terrorists out there who are Muslim.  There are also Muslims who dream of a world empire.  But there are Christians with the same dreams and attitudes.  But, anti-Islamic rants and policies will do little to bring down the tensions or promote peace.  They do little to enhance the American reputation as a place of freedom and opportunity.

Of course, these are politicians and they are appealing to people who have been lead to believe that a Muslim horde is about to descend.  Demagoguery of right and left has always worked well, especially when it has played on religious fears.  Remember 1960 and the fear that Jack Kennedy would get his marching orders from the Pope?  Now, there is a play on the fears that seem to infect a near majority within the Republican Party that the current President is a secret Muslim.   Plant the fears now and you don't have to be overt with attacks later when you're a candidate.

But, according to Newt, the Islamists are bent on taking over, and thus destroying our society.  Consider this:
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.
It is unfortunate that we are at this place in time.  But, with the nation at war in two Muslim countries and provocative behavior coming out of several others, you can see how this is problematic politically.  But, I'm not a politician, I'm a pastor and a theologian.  My greatest concern is that we are failing in our call to love our neighbor.  So, can't we stop the rants?!  I say now is the time for Americans to recognize the genius of the nation and embrace the freedoms placed in the Constitution that protect religious expression.

8 comments:

Rial Hamann said...

Bob

Thanks for the voice of rationality.

Gary said...

No, we can't stop with the rants. Cornwall, if you get your way, the day will come when Muslims will take over the USA. When that happens, you will have the choice of either converting to Islam, or being killed. And if that occurs, I'm sure you will wonder how this could be happening.

Islam is not a peaceful, live and let live religion. If we value our future, we must prohibit any more muslims from coming to the US. But, of course, we won't.

David Mc said...

Gary, Let your light shine and the American Muslims might just find our faith is compatible with theirs. Anyway, they'd be free to convert if they wish without fear of state sponsored punishment. It's the beauty of our system. We still have the chance to be the light of the world. Why do you speak against it? Even if you're correct, you're fighting against our own potential glorious martyrdom. What future are you referring to?

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Gary, if we do as you suggest then America ceases to be the nation envisioned by the founders. But of course, should we try this it wouldn't be the first time. For years there was a ban on Chinese immigration, and the numbers of others, whether Catholic, etc., have been tried -- but again I'm reminded of the words on that statue sitting in NY harbor. I guess we meant it when we put it there -- but no more!

Now, as for this irrational fear that they will take over the country, I very much doubt that this will happen. There are maybe six million out of population of over 200 million. Most Muslims I know simply want what we all should want, to live together with our neighbors in peace.

Mystical Seeker said...

I wonder how many of the people who make bigoted statements about Islam actually have Muslim friends or acquaintances. If not, then their bigotry is just an expression of ignorance. If so, though, then these people are obviously compartmentalizing big time, since anyone who has actually worked and lived with Muslims knows that Muslims are people just like the rest of us. Think of the cognitive dissonance that must arise when one goes around spewing comments about how Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims but in turn having to deal with the fact that none of their Muslim acquaintances have tried to kill them.

People like Gingrich and Palin are obviously demagogues who appeal to people's ignorance and fears, and I suppose that is the problem. History is rife with demagogues who whipped up hatred against the "other". We see this in two forms in the US--one is directed at Muslims, and the other is directed at immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. The basic thread that runs through this is xenophobia, which is also what lay behind the violent anti-Semitism in Europe in the 1930s. Certainly the US has had its share of xenophobic hatred in its history--the Know Nothing party of the nineteenth century being an old example.

Gary said...

Cornwall, you mean the founders envisioned a country in which Christianity, and other non-Muslim religions were outlawed? They wanted a country that used it's military might to force other countries to convert to Islam? The founders wanted a country where grown men married ten year old girls? I had no idea. I went to public school, but that wasn't the picture our history books painted of the founders.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Gary,

I don't know how you got that out of what I wrote. The Founders envisioned a nation where people of all faiths could practice their faith in freedom -- with no group domineering over others, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. I have no more interest in living under a Christianist empire than a Muslim one!

David Mc said...

Let's consider the Christian communities in Muslim dominated society. I have known Chaldeans (Christians from Iraq) and Muslims from all over. They have been a positive part of the Detroit metro area for years. I'm sure they all shudder at the thought we would change our ideals to pander to the paranoid, ignorant and hateful wishes of some in this country who want to pattern, unlawful, unAmerican Saudi style policy. This would surely send the wrong message and increase the senseless slaughter of innocents abroad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen... no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

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