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Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

I thought there was a very good article on the faith of Reverend Martin Luther King on national review today.
Please see it here: King’s Media Makeover

The key points I took from the article were:
1) King was very much a Reverend in terms of being a man dedicated to Christ
2) The left (and it servant the secular media) by their nature try to de-emphasize that fact
3) The comparison between King (a Christian) and Malcolm X (A Muslim) are compelling, though when you think about the two religions also predictable

The Reverend King:
King received an undergraduate degree in Bible studies; today that would be called a divinity degree. His Ph.D. was in theology, giving him the preferred secular title of Doctor. Like all men (and all Christians) King had his faults; but he was a man seeking the straight and narrow path described by his Lord.

“The Bible wasn’t some strange old book that didn’t have relevance in the modern world. It was God’s word. It was a book that was — and always will be — relevant because it expresses eternal principles and eternal truths.” – Lee Habeeb, National Review (Jan 2016)

King expressed his faith in his speeches which often included biblical and religious references. He used his faith to further the social justice cause. That’s great, but it wasn’t just some secular ideal of justice he was seeking. The social justice he worked and died for was something he saw as the will of God and the work God had placed him on this Earth to do.

Today, any mention of God or religion in the furtherance of social or political causes brings immediate condemnation and cries for separation of church and state. Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and others are hated and marginalized because of their faith. Yet they don’t hold a candle to King when it comes to interjecting faith into their cause. Meanwhile the media (the tormentors of the faithful) doesn’t have this problem with Doctor King; because they completely ignore and whitewash God out of King’s character. Ironically, this would be the worst insult one could inflict upon a true Christian.

Many of Kings speeches contained biblical references. His famous speech “A Knock at Midnight” quoted the parable from Luke 11:5–6

Luke: 11: 5-6 Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”?

King explained the meaning of the parable but expanded upon it…

“Although this parable is concerned with the power of persistent prayer, it may also serve as a basis for our thought concerning many contemporary problems and the role of the church in grappling with them. It is midnight in the parable; it is also midnight in our world, and the darkness is so deep that we can hardly see which way to turn.” — Reverend Martin Luther King

What I find interesting is in the middle of the speech where King explains exactly how we find ourselves in the dark at midnight…

“Moral principles have lost their distinctiveness. For modern man, absolute right and wrong are a matter of what the majority is doing. Right and wrong are relative to likes and dislikes and the customs of a particular community. We have unconsciously applied Einstein’s theory of relativity, which properly described the physical universe, to the moral and ethical realm. . . . This mentality has brought a tragic breakdown of moral standards, and the midnight of moral degeneration deepens.” — Reverend Martin Luther King

THAT could have been written yesterday. It perfectly defines the moral relativism and decay our society half a century later.

In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” King explained the source of rightfulness of his cause…

“We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.” — Reverend Martin Luther King

Did you hear that. King described the “heritage” of this nation as “sacred” and tied it to the will of God. Both (God and our American heritage) demanded social justice be heard.

Today, these would be words of sacrilege to the left… But don’t worry; the left never hears them. Doctor Martin Luther King was a great man who fought for a liberal cause. Reverend Martin Luther King? Never existed.

“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” — Reverend Martin Luther King

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” — Reverend Martin Luther King (I Have a Dream Speech)

“And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!” — Reverend Martin Luther King (The final words of the last public speech he gave)

The Secular Leftist Media:
Then there is the Main Stream Media… the secular media that harbors such hatred for God, Christ, and traditional moral values. What are they to do with a hero of the left that was in fact a man of God? Answer: They re-brand him; they recreate the secular hero from bits and pieces of the man, sifting out the parts they don’t like; much as they do the opposite to founding fathers and conservatives they hate.

Truth Made Up of Lies

What would be the media’s reaction today if someone like Mike Huckabee said the words King uttered concerning lost principles, and absolute right and wrong being a matter of majorities likes, dislikes, and costumes; applying relativity to the moral and ethical realm; resulting in a tragic breakdown of moral standards, and a deepening midnight of moral degeneration?

Answer: The howls of indignation and condemnation would reverberate in the halls of the New York Times, the Washington Post, et. al… How dare such a man try and impose his backward, archaic moral code upon a “free” society that so values the separation of church and state. Such a man should stick to the pulpit and keep his barbarous ideas there where they belong and out of the public arena.

As for these ideas coming from the man Doctor Marin Luther King, the media simply resolves the problem the same way the take care of any bit of history, or facts they don’t like; they cover it up and rewrite it to their lacking. The use the omission of information and when necessary outright misinformation to produce the narrative that will best serve them (and the public).

Lee Habeeb, the author of the original National Review article, challenged his readers not to take his word for it; but to read and watch the mainstream media and see if they could find references to the “Reverend” or any references to his faith. So I searched ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC for “Martin Luther King”… on Marking Luther King Day no less. I was surprised at exactly how little there was out there. Mostly there were picture tributes (which was rather lazy if you ask me). There was one article on ABC that had the “Rev” title in the link to an article, but once there it was not to be found. The article itself was a piece of crap saying that King had body guards with guns and even got a gun permit (after a bomb attack) but he never carried a gun and surely would have come around on gun control. Everything else was just a few puff pieces with no mention of his faith…

And THIS is the state of journalism in our society today.

The left is in a totalitarian mindset today; and the two things dictators get rid of first are God and guns (from those they would rule).

Christ vs Mohammad:
A really eye opening aspect of faith of King was the corresponding faith of Malcolm X. The contrast surprised me when it really shouldn’t have. In fact the contrast in the faith, actions, and lives of the two men is a perfect microcosm of the Christianity and Islam.

Faiths - Christian vs Islam

“King also invoked God’s mercy in his speeches. And nonviolence was his methodology. Peaceful protests, he thought, were the most effective way to stir the conscience of a nation.” — Lee Habeeb (January 2016, National Review)

Guess who didn’t exactly agree with this approach? Guess who would have burned the whole thing down and subjugated America under Islamic (fascist) law?

“The same old slave master today has negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th-century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That’s Tom making you nonviolent. — Malcolm X (Calling King an Uncle Tom)

“A revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. And you sit around here like a knot on a wall saying, “I’m going to love these folks no matter how much they hate me.” No, you need a revolution.” — Malcolm X

“Whoever heard a revolution where they lock arms . . . singing “We Shall Overcome”? Just tell me. You don’t do that in a revolution. You don’t do any singing; you’re too busy swinging.” — Malcolm X

The contrast in these two men is perfect in exposing the contrast between the two religions; the difference between the heads of those religions; and finally the fruits those two faiths produce in the world.

Conclusion:
Like the original author of this column, I have to ask myself what would king have to say about the current problems we face as a nation (especially the black community)? Fatherlessness? Crime? Drug Abuse? Abortion? Leftist Fascism? Movements Built on Lies (Black Lives Matter)?

King was a leftist (though I doubt so left as many today); but he undoubtedly saw government as the instrument for social change. He believed in the redistribution of wealth to help the poor which he cared deeply about. He and I would have disagreed on much; maybe not so much on the goals than on the best means by which to achieve them.

But I believe that we would have agreed upon the fundamental truth that all things are possible through Christ.

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Given that religious zeal is so far from their [the left’s] hearts, they have a hard time believing the words of the religious. Thus the constant quest to discern the “real” reasons why believers behave the way they do. [Thus attributing extremist Islam to global warming or inequality…]

It is one of the quirks of the modern Left that this inability to understand faith leads them to think better of America’s enemies and worse of their fellow citizens. Thus, jihadists aren’t evil religious zealots utterly dedicated to killing their way to the Apocalypse. They’re oppressed youth in need of a good jobs program. Meanwhile, the Evangelical Christian down the street isn’t simply trying to know and do the will of God — he’s seizing on ancient and discredited texts to justify his hatred for women and gays. — David French December 1, 2015 (National Review)

National Review – The Secular Left’s Religious Ignorance Harms our National Security and Divides our Nation

Signs Indicating Incomprehension

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Introduction:
So it starts with this quote…

“I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests–and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning–and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution–and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”

Democracy in America - Alexis De TocquevilleAttributed often to French writer Alexis de Tocqueville and sometimes his book Democracy in America. The only problem… he never said it. Well, let me be more precise he never said it in those exact words.

To be honest, after reading the quote and reading some of De Tocqueville’s work, it’s almost obvious it isn’t his. It’s too direct and to the point. Not a characteristic found in the writings of the author (or TexasLynn for that matter). 🙂 Sure the sentiment sounds like something De Tocqueville might say… but the words and style don’t match.

Supposedly (according to a Weekly Standard article in 1995) the quote first appeared and was attributed to De Tocqueville in a book in 1941 on the subject of religion and the American dream. Eisenhower used the quote in 1952 in a campaign speech though he didn’t directly attribute it to De Tocqueville. And Ronald Reagan used it in 1982, though attributing it to Eisenhower’s quotation and he used it repeatedly in later speeches. And even Bill Clinton took up the quote in 1994 with Pat Buchanan and Phil Gramm quoting it in 1996. And of course various authors have used the quote.

OK… so the quote (like many others) has permeated the lexicon but was not spoken verbatim by the author it is attributed to. So some who dislike the sentiment of the quote say that if the quote is misapplied, the idea behind the quote is spurious. They like to imply if you are stupid enough to believe Alexis de Tocqueville said that then you’re stupid enough to believe that American goodness (morality) and greatness are intertwined. You’re not that stupid are you… goes the implication…

So where am I going with all this…

The quote is not De Tocqueville’s… BUT the idea behind it… IS. De Tocqueville basically said the exact same thing in a specific section of Democracy in America (see below). I would go so far as to say whoever came up with the original quote likely got it by paraphrasing the very section of the book referenced.


How We Got Here:
Ironicly the section of the book in question was given to me by a liberal friend 🙂 who took exception to the original (inaccurate) quote and my point and wrote “Cherry picking, even if accurately attributed. De Tocqueville ultimately concluded that America was run by the mediocre, who were mistakenly given equal power to their intellectual superiors, and that men of exceptional talent had best go elsewhere. He’s a better cheerleader for elitists than populists.”

Now, I’m no De Tocqueville expert, but I have read some of his stuff and I’ve yet to come across these conclusions; so I asked for a few quotes… which were (begrudgingly) supplied. I read over them, and the conclusions inferred and appreciated the continuance of the discussion. I have no reason to question the quotes and can see how the conclusions offered came about from them.

But… I was intrigued by the last one (and the conclusion) and that is what led me to read the entire section/chapter the quote was lifted from.

The quote supplied and the conclusion went something like this…

“The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other…” — Alexis de Tocqueville from Democracy in America

To which my friend concluded… “(Hint: This is not a compliment or a statement of agreement.)”

OK… so I went to the source… and discovered that if you read the whole sentence it’s harder to reach the (leftist) conclusion that De Tocqueville held this idea (religion and liberty combined) in contempt.

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.” — Alexis de Tocqueville from Democracy in America

Furthermore, if you read the whole paragraph or better yet the entire section or chapter… you realize the exact opposite is true. De Tocqueville does admire the Christian ideals, their conjunction with liberty, and their influence on the young nation. Yes, he acknowledges religious influence should restrict itself in some ways (in other Chapter’s I’ve read), but the author realizes that the Christian religion is an important key and powerful force in America’s greatness.

So…. below is the entire section of the Chapter with my commentary…


How My Commentary Works:
The following is the text with commentary on a section of Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. It has to do with what De Tocqueville observed concerning religion in American in the early 1830s and his perceived influence it had on the young republic. The commentary included is by TexasLynn from the perspective of a conservative Christian in the early 21st century (2014).

[Commentary is coded with a green font, and enclosed in brackets. I hope those reading this get something useful out of it as I did. I find reading De Tocqueville stimulating though requiring some effort. This is due to vocabulary, historical references, and style requiring one to go over some text repeatedly to get the meaning intended. Still it can be well worth it.]

[De Tocqueville (from what I’ve read) admired the exceptional democratic republic the Americans had created for themselves. His writings within Democracy in America were observations, some opinion, advise to those who would emulate American success in a republican form of government, and warnings to his American friends of dangers both external and internal to their system. I may not agree with every conclusion; but I appreciate the glimpse into what was. I also appreciate the almost prophetic warnings of peril De Tocqueville wrote about that we face today.]


Context:
French FlagRemember that the French Revolution ended the monarchy in 1799 and a republic was formed but was quickly followed by the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1804 through 1815. France in the 1830s was toying with republics and monarchies with limited success. When De Tocqueville visited America in 1831 and researched what would eventually be published as “Democracy in America” he had been sent here to study our prison system but instead focused on “why republican representative democracy has succeeded in the United States while failing in so many other places.” (*last portion of quote from Wikipedia) It is from these observations that Alexis De Tocqueville gave us democracy in America; a very useful tool in seeing where we were as early nation and where we find ourselves today… and why.


Source:
Democracy in America – Volume 1 (Translation by Henry Reeve)
Chapter XVII – Principal Causes Maintaining The Democratic Republic – Part II
Section: Indirect Influence Of Religious Opinions Upon Political Society In The United States


Key Points in this Section:(from the translation)
— Christian morality common to all sects
— Influence of religion upon the manners of the Americans with Respect for the marriage tie
— In what manner religion confines the imagination of the Americans within certain limits, and checks the passion of innovation
— Opinion of the Americans on the political utility of religion
— Their exertions to extend and secure its predominance.


America - Christian
Text with Commentary:
I have just shown what the direct influence of religion upon politics is in the United States, but its indirect influence appears to me to be still more considerable, and it never instructs the Americans more fully in the art of being free than when it says nothing of freedom.

The sects which exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due from man to his Creator, but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all the sects preach the same moral law in the name of God. If it be of the highest importance to man, as an individual, that his religion should be true, the case of society is not the same. Society has no future life to hope for or to fear; and provided the citizens profess a religion, the peculiar tenets of that religion are of very little importance to its interests. Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

[De Tocqueville notes that there are many denominations found in the U.S.; and while they differed they had the commonality within the “great unity of Christianity”. To this extent they all generally taught the “same moral law in the name of God”. De Tocqueville observes that men who place their faith in God higher than anything else; place society a distant second at best. From a Christian perspective society is simply a tool or an obstacle as they follow “the way.”]

[Today (2014), that common moral foundation has eroded beyond recognition. Even within the very broad “Christian” tent (sects); there is much more disagreement on what even constitutes acceptable moral behavior. The world encourages “churches” (small c) to accept and embrace immorality as normal and many are churches are eager to comply with worldly demands. Government brings its full weight upon companies, groups, and individuals to do the same. The key point here is that in the early 1830s the idea of morality was more uniform and it strengthened the republic. Now anything goes. Now the very idea once commonly held (that religion and liberty were connected) is repulsive to a large segment of American society.]

It may be believed without unfairness that a certain number of Americans pursue a peculiar form of worship, from habit more than from conviction. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

[De Tocqueville I think notes that for the most part the “sovereign authority” meaning the rulers were religious… or perhaps he is saying Americans held God as their ultimate sovereign? Hmmm… Either way, he correctly concludes that hypocrisy must be common which would be natural to assume when men are involved… so at least that has remained the same through all of time. But of all nations, he points out, the most enlightened of them, the most free of them, is the one most powerfully influenced by Christianity.]

[That’s not a coincidence, of course. It also speaks to America exceptionalism tied hand and hand with America’s being good. :)]

I have remarked that the members of the American clergy in general, without even excepting those who do not admit religious liberty, are all in favor of civil freedom; but they do not support any particular political system. They keep aloof from parties and from public affairs. In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the laws and upon the details of public opinion, but it directs the manners of the community, and by regulating domestic life it regulates the State.

[There is no denying there is a secular aspect to the American system. It existed then as it continues to exist today. This acts as a check against government involving itself in affairs of religion. But that was meant to be a one-way street. A moral people with a common thread of decency are required to maintain the republic. It is in this way that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles without having to blatantly inscribe them in our Constitution or laws.]

[One of those dammed secular humanist founding fathers wrote on this very subject… Message from John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts (October 11, 1798)]

Gentleman,
While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence… But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance… while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice (Greed), ambition, revenge, or gallantry (amorous attention), would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. — John Adams, 1798

I do not question that the great austerity [meaning plain and simple or windfall] of manners [as in how they act] which is observable in the United States, arises, in the first instance, from religious faith. Religion is often unable to restrain man from the numberless temptations of fortune; nor can it check that passion for gain which every incident of his life contributes to arouse, but its influence over the mind of woman is supreme, and women are the protectors of morals.

[De Tocqueville observes religious faith gives rise to how Americans act. Granted… religion can’t overcome the fact that men are pigs! But Women! They walk the walk (in comparison)! And it is they (in America) who are the protectors of morals and of society.]

[That would still be true today… but society and government encourage women away from such archaic ideas of morality in (ironically) the name of freedom.]

There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is so much respected as in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated. In Europe almost all the disturbances of society arise from the irregularities of domestic life. To despise the natural bonds and legitimate pleasures of home, is to contract a taste for excesses, a restlessness of heart, and the evil of fluctuating desires.

[This religious effect on how Americans act has an influence on how they view and respect marriage. Much more so than Europe; so they spare themselves the many societal ills.]

[Now (in 2014) that the institution of marriage has diminished and is now under constant attack… now that we too despise the natural bonds of marriage as a society… we will suffer more and more “all the disturbances of society (that} arise from the irregularities of domestic life.” As a nation we have a taste for excess, we are restless, and indulge in the evil of fluctuating desires. Prophetic… isn’t it?]

Agitated by the tumultuous passions which frequently disturb his dwelling, the European is galled by the obedience which the legislative powers of the State exact. But when the American retires from the turmoil of public life to the bosom of his family, he finds in it the image of order and of peace. There his pleasures are simple and natural, his joys are innocent and calm; and as he finds that an orderly life is the surest path to happiness, he accustoms himself without difficulty to moderate his opinions as well as his tastes. Whilst the European endeavors to forget his domestic troubles by agitating society, the American derives from his own home that love of order which he afterwards carries with him into public affairs.

[Politics and governance are affected by the state of the family. The Europeans at the time experience tumultuous passions in family and is galled (annoyed) by the resulting governance of the State. In America that was not the case De Tocqueville observed. There the Americans found order and peace at home which affects him implementation of public affairs and society.]

[Now that anything goes in the definition of family (or marriage) we can expect anything goes in the state of public affairs. The rule of law becomes archaic. The foundation of the nation (the Constitution) becomes a “living document”, pliable and meaningless. Anything goes. Again, it’s almost prophetic…]

In the United States the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people. Amongst the Anglo-Americans, there are some who profess the doctrines of Christianity from a sincere belief in them, and others who do the same because they are afraid to be suspected of unbelief. Christianity, therefore, reigns without any obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate, although the political world is abandoned to the debates and the experiments of men. Thus the human mind is never left to wander across a boundless field; and, whatever may be its pretensions, it is checked from time to time by barriers which it cannot surmount. Before it can perpetrate innovation, certain primal and immutable principles are laid down, and the boldest conceptions of human device are subjected to certain forms which retard and stop their completion.

[Then as today, some Christians really believe, other simply go through the motions. This would be an aspect of what Jesus described as hot versus cold Christians. (See Revelations 3:15-17) The reasons for pretending generally fall into one of two reasons 1) Wanting to fit in OR 2) Laziness (knowing my require action on my part… that might ruin my weekend… best to leave well enough alone)]

[In the early 1800s there was probably a stigma to suspected unbelief. De Tocqueville certainly believed that to be true. Today, that societal stigma is gone, and among some certain segments (Hollywood, Media, the Left) the stigma is reversed with members looking down on those who profess religious faith.]

[De Tocqueville observes that in the early 1800s that Christianity reigned in America without any obstacle AND by universal consent. The consequence of that was that “every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate”. This put limits and checks on human nature and its influence on society.]

[Before the human mind can “perpetrate innovation” and “bold conceptions of human device” religion retards (alters) or stops them. Now this may sound as if De Tocqueville is complaining that progress cannot be made because of religion… but in the next paragraph (especially the last line) he makes it clear he considers this these restraints a good thing for men and the republic.]

The imagination of the Americans, even in its greatest flights, is circumspect and undecided; its impulses are checked, and its works unfinished. These habits of restraint recur in political society, and are singularly favorable both to the tranquility of the people and to the durability of the institutions it has established. Nature and circumstances concurred to make the inhabitants of the United States bold men, as is sufficiently attested by the enterprising spirit with which they seek for fortune. If the mind of the Americans were free from all trammels, they would very shortly become the most daring innovators and the most implacable disputants in the world. But the revolutionists of America are obliged to profess an ostensible respect for Christian morality and equity, which does not easily permit them to violate the laws that oppose their designs; nor would they find it easy to surmount the scruples of their partisans, even if they were able to get over their own. Hitherto no one in the United States has dared to advance the maxim, that everything is permissible with a view to the interests of society; an impious adage which seems to have been invented in an age of freedom to shelter all the tyrants of future ages. Thus whilst the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash or unjust.

[American imagination is circumspect (prudent), undecided (undetermined), and checked. This includes inclinations thought up in regard to politics. American society wants these ideas to favor tranquility and durability of the system enacted by the founders. Nothing could be further from the truth today (2014).]

[The nature by which this nation was founded and the circumstances by which it grew from a frontier made Americans bold men. Their belief in the capitalists system attests to that fact. This would be a problem IF there were no trammels (shackles) on that boldness. The Americans would become the worlds “most daring innovators” (that sounds good) AND the “most implacable disputants” (unappeasable rabble rousers) (not so good). But this statement implies we were not such because there were shackles preventing it… so what held us back from this some good, some bad fate?]

[The capitalists and others (revolutionists) who would take things too far are forced by society to… “profess an ostensible respect for Christian morality and equity”, even if they don’t share it within themselves. No one in their right mind would advance the maxim (principle) “that everything is permissible with a view to the interests of society”. No so today…

[De Tocqueville states the idea “that everything is permissible”, which heavily embraced today, would actually “shelter all the tyrants of future ages.”… and it does.]

[And finally if there were any doubt of De Tocqueville opinion of Christianity’s impact on American society; he states “Thus whilst the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash or unjust.”]

[This essential check observed early in the days of the republic is no longer in place having degraded over many decades. Today the rash and unjust are unbounded and the fall of the republic because of it almost certain.]

Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion, for who can search the human heart? but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society.

[While religion does not take a direct part in government, good men of Christian values excerpt such influence that religion could be considered the foremost political institution. The concept of not applying one’s Christian faith to voting and governance is absurd to the Christian mind. (Colossians 3:17) And the idea that the two should be separated is leftist propaganda meant to dissuade Christians from participating at all and thus handing over more power to the left.]

[The author does not know the percentage of Americans who “have a sincere faith” because “who can search the human heart”? In answer to that question… “there are few” in any day and age (Matthew 7:13-14) and all of “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). These truths are ageless.]

[Despite not knowing the level of sincerity, De Tocqueville is certain that the people of America hold religion to be “indispensable to the maintenance” of the republic. And at the time, this isn’t just the view of a certain class or party. It is the view of the “whole nation and to every rank of society.” Not so today. That view is held by only a small subset of society, if not a small subset of a party.]

In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, everyone abandons him, and he remains alone.

Whilst I was in America, a witness, who happened to be called at the assizes of the county of Chester (State of New York), declared that he did not believe in the existence of God, or in the immortality of the soul. The judge refused to admit his evidence, on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all the confidence of the Court in what he was about to say. *e The newspapers related the fact without any further comment.

(Footnote e: The New York “Spectator” of August 23, 1831, relates the fact in the following terms:–“The Court of Common Pleas of Chester county (New York) a few days since rejected a witness who declared his disbelief in the existence of God. The presiding judge remarked that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court of justice, and that he knew of no cause in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.”)

[I think here De Tocqueville is saying that individual aspects of denominations might not be adhered to and could even be criticized, but the overall linking of Christianity and its importance to society could not. Doing so would bring even bring into question ones credibility and character. De Tocqueville proceeds to give an objective example of this very thing happening in a New York court. His point was matter of fact. The newspaper also reported this event as simply fact with no further comment.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

[American faith and convictions in Christianity and liberty are not hollow/vegetative but are real. De Tocqueville may not share the same convictions, he is after all simply observing and reporting; BUT this still seems to me to be a compliment in his mind; and he definitely depicts the traits as admirable. It’s interesting that my friend, (or more likely the source he pulled it from) found it convenient to cut the sentence in half.]

[The last thing anyone (especially Christians) wants to hear is that his core beliefs (faith), are seen by another to be barren, vegetative, or lukewarm. De Tocqueville says this is definitely not the case here… this is not a statement of derision or negative judgment. Reading further makes that even clearer.]

I have known of societies formed by Americans to send out ministers of the Gospel into the new Western states, to found schools and churches there, lest religion should be allowed to die away in those remote settlements, and the rising states be less fitted to enjoy free institutions than the people from whom they came.

[De Tocqueville observes that Americans were concerned with other states being religious and thus free. Their concern was so great that they took actions (sending out ministries of the Gospel) to help the new state and protect the old. They become their brother’s keeper so to speak for the good of the brother, but also to protect themselves and their posterity.]

I met with wealthy New Englanders who abandoned the country in which they were born in order to lay the foundations of Christianity and of freedom on the banks of the Missouri or in the prairies of Illinois. Thus religious zeal is perpetually warmed in the United States by the fires of patriotism.

[De Tocqueville observes that early settlers considered the spread of Christianity a patriotic duty; but why? Was it just a question of works and salvation inherent in the Christian faith? Read on…]

These men do not act exclusively from a consideration of a future life; eternity is only one motive of their devotion to the cause.

[OK… salvation was ONLY ONE of the motives… but that implies at least one or more other motives… perhaps worldly considerations? Read on…]

If you converse with these missionaries of Christian civilization, you will be surprised to hear them speak so often of the goods [good things] of this world, and to meet a politician where you expected to find a priest. They will tell you that “all the American republics [states] are collectively involved with each other; if the republics of the West were to fall into anarchy, or to be mastered by a despot, the republican institutions which now flourish upon the shores of the Atlantic Ocean would be in great peril. It is therefore our interest that the new states should be religious, in order that they may permit us to remain free.”

[This is De Tocqueville documenting the mindset of America at the time… These Americans believed that the fate of the one was shared by all; a cancer suffered by one imperils the rest. And those Americans (missionaries) were right in their thinking. It is almost prophetic concerning the state we find ourselves in today. The leftist mindset heavily adopted in certain states putting the rest of us (and the whole nation) “in great peril”.]

Such are the opinions of the Americans; and if any hold (believe) that the religious spirit which I admire is the very thing most amiss in America,

[Perhaps this is where the left would somehow attribute derision on De Tocqueville’s part… but you need only continue reading to see otherwise.]

and that the only element wanting to the freedom and happiness of the human race on the other side of the ocean is to believe with Spinoza in the eternity of the world, or with Cabanis that thought is secreted by the brain,

[Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) argued that God exists and is abstract and impersonal. He viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality… Pierre Jean Cabanis (1757-1808) was a philosopher involved in medicine. He was a ‘sensualist’ in that he believed impressions received by the senses were the building blocks of all knowledge. (I know those descriptions are brief).

[De Tocqueville, I think, does not agree with the philosophies (nor would I)… but I admit I’ve had to go over and over this to come to that conclusion.]

[Anyway… de Tocqueville has framed up his clarification this way (paraphrasing), “If anyone believes the religious spirit I admire is missing in America… I can only reply…”]

I can only reply that those who hold this language (belief) have never been in America, and that they have never seen a religious or a free nation. When they return from their expedition, we shall hear what they have to say.

[And on behalf of Americans… I thank Alexis de Tocqueville for his observation and compliment. I also pray to God that we as Americans may someday regain our faith and heritage as described above. Amen…]

There are persons in France who look upon republican institutions as a temporary means of power, of wealth, and distinction; men who are the condottieri of liberty, and who fight for their own advantage, whatever be the colors they wear: it is not to these that I address myself. But there are others who look forward to the republican form of government as a tranquil and lasting state, towards which modern society is daily impelled by the ideas and manners of the time, and who sincerely desire to prepare men to be free.

When these men attack religious opinions, they obey the dictates of their passions to the prejudice of their interests. Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in the republic which they set forth in glowing colors than in the monarchy which they attack; and it is more needed in democratic republics than in any others.

[Turning his attention to his own nation, De Tocqueville says there are two types of men when it came to republican government in France. First were those who saw them as a “temporary means of power, wealth, and distinction”. He called these men condottieri (mercenaries) of liberty, who adopt whatever they must for their own advantage. He holds these men in disdain…

[The second class of men looks to the republican system for a tranquil and lasting state that helps ensure men are truly free. This is what he saw in America and what he wanted for France and the world. No, he knew we weren’t perfect and even warned America of dangers to democracy and freedom from the outside as well as inside the system itself. But he knew what had been achieved in America was exceptional and other would do well to emulate it.]

[France and much of the world is not religious at the time by American standards and De Tocqueville wants to warn those who see the true benefits of republican government that they must not let their disdain for religion blind them to its necessity to liberty. “obeying the dictates of their passions to the prejudice of their interests.” He knows it is the nature of passionate atheist to cut off their nose to spite their face when it comes to questions of religious liberty. It is still true today.]

[De Tocqueville knows from observation of both worlds that “Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.” He ends this section with two rhetorical questions for those who disdain religion but would enjoy the good fruits of a democratic republic…]

How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed?

And what can be done with a people which is its own master, if it be not submissive to the Divinity?

[Unfortunately, we in America 180 years later… are about to find out.]


Conclusion:
“America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!” is the perfect paraphrase of what Alexis de Tocqueville wrote here. For me, his observations concerning religion (Christianity) and its relationship to liberty and the American republic were prophetic, explaining much of why we are today a nation in decline. His words are also an entreaty to what we must do to restore the republic and pull back from the brink; however unlikely that is in the new American character.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

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Secular HumanismEmbracing Secularism by Those Who Should Know Better:
It’s amazing how people who have lived under and have even overcome the hell of abject communism and/or socialism still find a way to cling to the foundation of secular philosophy that makes them possible.

At the latest World Summit of 2013, Lech Walesa (Nobel peace laureate) spoke to a summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners at Warsaw. There he called for a new “secular Ten Commandments”; the purpose of which would be to underpin (worldly) universal values.

“We need to agree on common values for all religions as soon as possible, a kind of secular Ten Commandments on which we will build the world of tomorrow.” – Lech Walesa

Mr. Walesa also thinks we need to globally define the economy of tomorrow “that’s definitely neither communism nor capitalism as we have it today.”

So what would this “new” social and economic system be called exactly? Socialism? Walesaism? Any details on how this “new” system will work and how it bring humanity together?

All this leftist intellectual crap is absurd and frankly stupid; but what would you expect from anyone who attends or give any credence to the “World Summit”.

Absurdity:
“Common values for all religions”? The very idea is, to be frank, incredibly naive and stupid. How exactly does one get religions to adopt these new common, secular, worldly values? Christians are warned repeatedly NOT to do that very thing. I can only guess at what practitioners of other religions think of the concept. How open to this idea would the followers of Muhammad be? I say start with those guys first and see how it goes. 🙂

And the concept of secular moral commandments is itself an exercise in abstraction. The very idea behind the Ten Commandments rests upon a higher authority; one that gives the commands as universal truth and a foundation upon which to build a stable society. If there is no higher authority, the commandments don’t mean anything nor does the implied foundation exist.

Secular Commandments? Commanded by who? The world? The United Nations? Mankind? If anything, morals as defined by secular men are as relative and shifting as a foundation of sand. So I’m guessing this would be a “living document” kind of thing? A set of commandments that constantly shift as our culture evolves (progressively of course). Sound familiar?

Leftist Utopia:
This is all leftist utopian bullshit. Like communism, socialism, and Obama riding unicorns; it all looks good on paper, it all sounds dreamy in a speech. In practice it is insidious. We know where this stuff leads. It has led us there before at the cost of millions of lives and it can and likely will do so again. There is after all nothing new under the sun.

Unfortunately Lech Walesa is advocating that we move to a system that we already have. Secularism and moral relativism is the very definition of our society and the direction we continue to slouch towards. Walesa and those who share his view just want to put something down on paper to make themselves feel better about that direction; as if there were a plan.

The First Three:
Humoring the left… I wonder what the Ten Secular Commandments would look like? I can think of the obvious first three right off the bat.

1) WAR IS PEACE
2) FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
3) IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

There you go… just seven more.

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True Freedom… Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

July 4th - 2013

Happy Independence Day. God Bless America.

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People - Prope FrancisGreat! First, I’m dissing Islam and Muslims… Now I’m having issues with the new Pope! What’s a good Christian boy to do!? I kind-of liked the last one (the Pope that is), Benedict (he called a spade a spade); but I’ve really had no opinion on this new one, Francis, until now. He seems to have recently decided to bend to the world’s demands for political correctness. And that is bad; very bad for a Christian religious leader such as him.

So what’s my beef? His answer to the theological question of “If even atheists have been redeemed by Jesus?”

He kind-of answered the question (incorrectly) and then beat around the bushes for a while. (In my humble opinion.) His initial answer that was wrong was “Even them, everyone.” He proceeded to beat around the bush by including. “We all have the duty to do good… Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point.”

THIS is pretty well what I would call an Oprah answer, a worldly answer; and it is probably shared by a majority of the people who would call themselves “Christians”. And it is wrong, dangerous, and the exact opposite of what Christ taught. I’ll explain further.

It’s an Oprah answer:
I remember years ago that Oprah (who I think considered herself a Christian, maybe she still does) stated that there are many paths to God/Heaven and it’s up to each of us to find the way that works for us. I think Pope Francis’ answer kind of takes this approach… the wrong approach.

Religion - Christian - Leave World for ChristThis is a Worldly Answer:
The World likes this approach and idea also. It’s the “Can’t we all just get along” approach. It pretends that we’re one big happy, equal, community; that everyone considers everyone else’s religious beliefs just another of many truths. Like the concept of Communism; it really sounds great on paper. In practice it requires a lot of rationalization and ignoring of obvious truths (see Islam as “the religion of peace” for example).

A majority of “Christians” probably believe this to be true and not knowing any better would profess as much. Most are Christians because of birth, they rarely attend services much less study the teachings of Christ and really don’t want to be bothered with the details of faith. That knowledge may require change and inconvenience and who wants that? Their desire for things not to be as screwed up as they are causes them to embrace this “We are the World” philosophy. I generally think of these people as CINOs (pronounced see-no’s); Christian in Name Only.

When people accept this world view they disregard the biblical warning of if you are of (embrace) this world you are not of the next (heaven/salvation). Thus Jesus’ warning, Matthew 7:21-23 (AMP) – Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven…

Wrong:
This answer is wrong from a Christian perspective because it’s not what Christ taught; plain and simple. If that (what Christ taught) is the standard by which you answer that question then no, atheists have not been redeemed by Jesus.

Now if you want to go by gut feelings, or what you think is right or should be… then that answer is perfectly fine; but be sure to clarify that it is not the answer taught by Christ. In other words, take off the Pope hat and say… now this is how I feel as a human being…

I know this may sound judgmental and even harsh; and I don’t mean it to be; so let me clarify further from what I believe IS a Christian (as taught by Christ) perspective. It is not my intention to scream at anyone that they are going to hell (that is not my place to say). I just want to make it clear that we ignore what Christ taught (if He is the Son of God) at our own peril.

Christ DID give his life for the remission of sins for every last atheists in the world. It is a gift of grace He offers to every atheists; just like he offers it to every sinner (that’s all of us). Thus he did what he did so that everyone (even atheists) have hope, have a chance, to be redeemed by Him. BUT this gift must be accepted. He is not going to grab you and force you to accept what he offers… You (We) have a choice to make.

    I believe the plan of redemption through Christ is this.

  1. Hearing (The good news, the gospel, who Jesus is and why He walked the Earth)
  2. Believing (That the good news, the gospel, is true)
  3. Repentance (Regret that our sin caused Jesus to have to pay the price He did so that try and change our ways and follow his example)
  4. Confession (Confess to the world that Jesus is who He says He is)
  5. Baptism (Part of Repentance and Confession; we are “reborn”; we die to this world and share in his resurrection unto the next. We rise from a watery grave so that we may share in his resurrection from the literal grave.)
  6. Salvation (We accept the gift of redemption; not because we deserve it or eanred it; but because we have faith that God LOVES us and wants us to be with Him.)

That’s it. That the base, the foundation.

Religion - Christian - Salvation - Cross as Bridge

With that plan in mind, an atheists is caught in a paradox. He can’t accept the gift of redemption without believing in the redeemer; but he can’t believe in the redeemer without ceasing to be an aethiest.

The most quoted verse in the New Testament it John 3:16… and properly so because in one sentence it sums up the key to the whole gospel.

John 3:16 – (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It’s doesn’t say “that whosoever is a good person and does good deeds should not perish… It specifically states belief (and implies following) in Jesus Christ.

As for being a good person, the apostle Paul explained this in his letter to the Roman Christians. Romans 3:10 (AMP) – As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. No one understands; no one seeks out God. All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!

This concept (express by Paul above) also helps us understand that the gift of salvation offered us us just that; a gift and not something we earn by doing good things.

Works versus Faith in Christ

So if God tells us accepting Jesus is the way to redemption, does He want us to do good things, to work for the betterment of our fellow men. Absolutely. BUT he doesn’t want us to do them in hopes that they will pay the price of admission into heaven or unto redemption. Why? Because he knows that we can never save enough through our works to earn what we seek. Placing our faith in our works (our good deeds and charity no matter how great) is a poor and inadequate substitute for where (actually Who) our faith should be placed. Which brings us back to John 3:16 and the plan of salvation. Knowing we lacked the ability to ever pay that price he sent his Son to do it for us. In fact He (Jesus) was the only one who could pay that price in all of creation. God knew this, LOVED us that much, and sent Him on our behalf.

So here we are beating around those bushes from earlier. “Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point.”

No! We won’t. No as far as redemption is concerned; if Christ IS who He said he is. Sure He will be the meeting point. Sure every tongue will confess who He is. But it will not be a confession of joy for all.

The idea of “can’t we all just get along”. The idea that we’re all right. The idea that we all need to accept and respect and praise the many paths to salvation (or Jesus). This universal, worldly view is just that; worldly.

So let’s be clear. Redemption from a Christian perspective is not for sale at any price. Just doing good does not get you (or us) there; and we (Christians) do a horrible disservice (if we are right) to infer otherwise.

As Christians we should bend over backwards to embrace and acknowledge the good non-believers do. We should lead by example and show our faith by our works (doing good). We should be ready to give an answer for our faith and joy. We should pray for all to find what we have.

But we should not leave the drowning to their own devices because the world wants to pretend they’re not drowning. You don’t tell a drowning man that he isn’t really drowning and to try different strokes. You tell him the life preserver is to his right and help him find it. And the Pope, of all people, should know that!


(View from the Left… who of course get it wrong also)

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Religion - Islam - Jizya - Spitting WaterIntroduction:
This fortunately (or unfortunately… I’m not sure which) turned from being a reply to something worthy of its own post. I would suggest reading the original post and the reply from MustafaHoward before proceeding.

A Muslim gentleman (MustafaHoward) took exception to my recent post concerning the Islamic idea of Jizya (taxes on non-Muslims by Muslim states) and how some Muslim clerics today say that western welfare and social programs are a form of jizya.

This is basically a detailed reply to his objections and his attempts to “educate” me concerning the verses in the Qur’an that were quoted and interpreted by me in the original posting.

First Second & Third:
First an apology for not being completely clear in my original post. Please understand that I was not always trying to translate or quote the Qur’an. I was trying to give my interpretation of the verse from what I had read. Anything in “quotes” was taken from a translation of the Qur’an. Anything not was my interpretation. In hindsight I see that was not apparent so I apologize for that lack of clarity. MustafaHoward did not see this and that is my fault.

Still, I suspect MustafaHoward would disagree even with my interpretation (not translation) so the point is minor. It could even be argued that the words I chose in my interpretation were wrong or misleading… They’re not… (see below)

Quote - Frankness - Disraeli, BenjaminSecond, an apology for my frankness. I’ve never been one to beat around the bush and this posting and response has me riled up a bit. 🙂 If your sensitivities require excessive tact and pretending that certain things are true when they obviously are not (as is done the Main Stream Media and leftist apologist when breaching the subject of Islam and terrorism); then I would suggest reading and commenting elsewhere.

Third, comments and dissenting views are welcome and even encouraged; but they obviously will not go unchallenged. Past posts are proof of that. So here we go…


Jizya (Confounding the Definition of a Duck):
>> Jizya: not something to worry about. There’s no one attempting to collect jizya from you, is there?

Concept - Its a Duck - Islamic DuckWow… condescending right off the bat! Impressive… but I don’t bully that easy… I would suggest another tactic.

Ummm… Actually… in the post… that’s pretty well EXACTLY what I’m saying is happening. “Islamic clerics (of both terrorists and “moderate” variety) have identified western social programs as a form of jizya that Muslims are entitled to and should take advantage of.”

Let me be clear. I’m not the one who came up with the idea of welfare being a form of Jizya. Muslim clerics are the ones espousing and preaching the idea to their followers. I am simply relaying the information and commenting on the moral and social implications.

Unfortunately, as is one of the main complaints of the original post; not only is someone “attempting to collect” a form of jizya from me (and all taxpayers by proxy of the government); they are actually succeeding due to the ineptness of the Massachusetts and Federal government. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are proof and examples of this.

So your (MustafaHoward’s) original assumption is wrong… isn’t it?

Your approach in refuting my original post seems to be to shoot the messenger and then muddle the debate. You simply pretended that I defined this (welfare and social programs) as jizya and then you proceed telling me that this doesn’t fit the definition as defined by the Qur’an.

Do you refute or denounce the idea (jizya through western welfare) as espoused by Muslim clerics? Nope. Do you offer that it’s a minority interpretation and offer evidence and/or quotes from clerics who say the opposite? Nope.

Instead you choose to give me a text book “traditional” definition of jizya and say that since what is happening doesn’t fit the letter of the law from the Qur’an so… we can’t call it jizya… despite your guys (Muslim clerics) being the ones who dreamt this stuff up. Granted, crazy people dream this kind of stuff up all the time, and it’s harmless as long as nobody acts on it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

In essence, it walks like a duck, it talks like a duck, your guys say it’s a duck. You have a book that also mentions something about bills and feathers that don’t quite fit so your position is for me to even mention the duck is wrong and slanderous. … It’s a duck!


Qur’an 3:28 (Friends or Protectors)
>> You mistranslated Qur’an 3:28: it doesn’t say friends, it says protectors. It doesn’t say false pretenses: it says “unless you are afraid of their threat”.

Religion - Islam - Non-Believer as FriendI think I interpreted and understand the verse just fine. It DOES say “friend” (in three of the six translations on Quran.com).

Here’s the list:
Sahih International: “allies”
Muhsin Khan: “Auliya” (supporters helpers, etc.)
Pickthall: “friends”
Yusuf Ali: “friends or helpers”
Shakir: “friends
Dr. Ghali: “constant patrons”

It doesn’t say protectors in any of them. The closest any translation comes is using the word “patron”.

You are correct in that it doesn’t say “false pretenses”. These are my words, my interpretation of the verse. And, I stick by them. Personally I think the false pretenses aspect here is self-evident, but I will explain it. (see below)

For the benefits of those following this post, Here is what each of the six translations on Quran.com actually say for (3:38) concerning when a Muslim can ally or befriend himself with a non-Muslim:

Sahih International: “except when taking precaution against them in prudence.”
Muhsin Khan: “except if you indeed fear a danger from them.”
Pickthall: “unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security.”
Yusuf Ali: “except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them.”
Shakir: “but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully”
Dr. Ghali: “excepting that you may protect yourselves against them (in manner) of protection.”

I stick by my interpretation because someone who takes a “friend” or “ally” or “patron” because he fears them and wants to keep a close eye on them is NOT REALLY being a “friend” or “ally” or “patron”. He is simply pretending to be and hopes to fool the other person into believing he is genuine. Another phrase one might use to accurately describe this behavior is … acting under “false pretenses”. And this (acting under false pretenses) is the only exception Allah makes for having this type of relationship with a non-believer. On the plus side subjugation seems OK though…

So you are incorrect concerning “protector” and correct concerning the idea of fear of danger (which doesn’t affect the negative connotation of the verse at all).

So looking at the entire verse one more time…

Qur’an 3:28 (Sahih International)(Numbers are added by TL to associate the portion of the verse with the TL interpretation below)
(1)Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. (2)And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah , (3)except when taking precaution against them in prudence. (4)And Allah warns you of Himself, (5)and to Allah is the [final] destination.

  1. If you are a Muslim, never take a non-Muslim as a friend or ally.
  2. If you do this Allah will not help you in any way.
  3. Allah allows an exception to this rule in that you may ally or “befriend” a non-Muslim if you fear them and want to take prudent precautions.
  4. But when you do this remember and fear Allah and his possible punishment.
  5. Allah is the end-all be-all…

Quote - Fake Friend

>> The Muslims of Madina were not the betrayers of their agreements: it was the non-Muslims, mostly some of the Israelites and hardened pagans.

So you say… Them dam Jews and pagans you say…


Qur’an 2:225 (Unintentional, Idle, and Vain Oaths)
>> Qur’an 2:225 It doesn’t say “breaking your oaths”. It says “mistakenly spoken”. Otherwise, there is required penitence and expiation of fasting for breaking promises.

Religion - Islam - Oath on QuranAgain, “breaking your oaths” is my analysis/interpretation, not a quote. So no… those exact words do not appear in this verse of the Qur’an. But strangely enough… neither do yours (“mistakenly spoken”), though you seem to be trying to quote the Qur’an.

Here is what the Quran (2:225) in all six translations on Quran.com actually says:
Sahih International & Muhsin Khan & Pickthall: (All use unintentional): Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.
Yusuf Ali: Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
Shakir: Allah does not call you to account for what is vain in your oaths, but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.
Dr. Ghali: Allah will not take you to task for idleness in your oaths, but He will take you to task for whatever your hearts have earned; and Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Forbearing.

You say there is “otherwise” a “penitence” and I’m sure that’s considered a big part of Islam. But I just don’t see it here. I see a lot of pardoning and justifying… “does not impose blame”, “will not call you to account for”, “will not take you to task for”.

    The requirements for this lack of accounting:

  1. Your oath (word) was thoughtless, unintentional, vain or idle… AND
  2. Your heart (intentions) were good towards Islam and Allah. Sure you will be held into “account” if your heart isn’t doing what Allah wants; but what doesn’t fit that bill? (I assume penitence is mentioned somewhere else because it’s not here.)

Thus my original interpretation of “Allah will not hold you to account for breaking your oaths as long as your intention (faithfulness to Allah and Islam) is good.” is right on the money.


Qur’an 66:2 (PO-TAY-TOE… PO-TAH-TOE)
>> Qur’an 66:2 : It doesn’t say dissolution. It says absolution, which again, is that a penitence and expiation are required.

Concept - Pronounce - PotatoeOK, let’s try again.

Sahih International: Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths.
Muhsin Khan: Allah has already ordained for you (O men), the dissolution of your oaths.
Pickthall: Allah hath made lawful for you (Muslims) absolution from your oaths (of such a kind), and Allah is your Protector.
Yusuf Ali: Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases)
Shakir: Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths
Dr. Ghali: Allah has already ordained for you (The believers) the lawful absolution of your oaths.

Well, much better! At least this time they (the various translations) agreed with you two out of the six times; but still less than “dissolution” which got three votes. Not that it matters. Whichever word is used doesn’t change the meaning that much. Both imply the breaking of the oath, absolution just also implies a little more guilt, blame and penalty free.

dissolution: the undoing or breaking of a bond, tie, union, partnership

absolution: act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties

>> In Islam, anyone who dissolves his oaths is known publicly as a liar, and he/she will be reputed as such in this life and punished in the next.

So you say… this verse sure doesn’t say that. It says pretty plainly states that Allah dissolves, absolves, and expires the oaths of Muslims.

Even if “absolution” requires some “penitence” (that’s not really mentioned here); the idea of freeing the Muslim from his oaths is clearly there. All penitence really does is equate it to a parking ticket. Double parked? Break you oaths to non-believers? Make sure you pay that fine! But honestly… I don’t even think it goes that far.

So again, I completely stand by my interpretation of this verse. I’ll let those who read this exchange decide for themselves.

>> So, it’s not a habit of practicing Muslims.

I cannot say… I sincerely hope you are right.


Qur’an 3:54 (A Concession)
>> Qur’an 3:54 – “And they (Israelites and Romans) plotted (to kill Jesus), and Allah also plotted, and Allah is the best of those who plot.” Arabic is huge… (“makar” never used to describe Almighty PLAN…) But, when you translate to English, it needs a deeper study of the language and its contextual usage.

Religion - Islam - Islamic JesusLet me concede a point on this one. The verse 3:54 here does fall within the context of Islamic Jesus being a disciple (I hope I used the right word) of Allah (as told by Muhammad). Saying that verse 54 is the Jews and Romans plotting against Islamic Jesus seems a bit dyslexic (when looking at the “context”) to one who is not learned enough in Arabic I suppose; but then I grant, so is the interpretation of Allah being a great deceiver.

Looking at context… (Qur’an 3:50-56) In the previous verses Islamic Jesus is chastising the apostles/disciples for not believing properly in Allah and them (his disciples) then properly submitting and declaring and groveling etc… Then comes verse 54 and all the scheming that implicitly refers to Jews and Romans… Then I think it’s Islamic Jesus telling the disciples how Allah told Islamic Jesus he will purify him and make those who follow him superior to those who disbelieve (yet another message of superiority and subjugation of non-believers)…

Religion - Islam - Jesus is the Slave of AllahJust for my Christian brethren out there who don’t really know how the Qur’an depicts Jesus and the disciples, here is but a taste (Sahih International):

3:52-53 – But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?” The disciples said,” We are supporters for Allah. We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]. (53) Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger Jesus, so register us among the witnesses [to truth].”

Can you just imagine Peter (the mouth of the apostles) saying such a thing!?

Anyway, back to the concession…

I concede this (Allah the deceiver) may be a loose and incorrect interpretation of this verse. It is no more plausible than the Jews, Romans, Jesus, and Allah all plotting and Allah being the best at it…

>> Arabic is huge

[Puzzled look] … It has more words than other languages? If so, is this a point of pride or something?

>> We would never use the word “makar” in describing the plots of evil people in the same meaning as the Divine Ordainment of the Almighty whose PLAN encompasses all events.

Are you saying that “makar” is or isn’t used here? If it’s not… I would concede the point. But I’m suspicious that you didn’t tell us what word was used.

Or are you saying “makar” means something different depending who it refers to? (The second argument would bring us back to confounding the definition of another duck.) I would expect if Arabic is so huge then another word with the proper meaning could have been found.

But OK… I’ll have to take your word for it and will try to extend that courtesy. I don’t have the time or inclination for that much research.

>> But, when you translate to English, it needs a deeper study of the language and its contextual usage.

Contextual, I just looked at. (see above)

So are you saying I’m never really going to understand Islam unless I study and learn Arabic? And by extension am not qualified to form an opinion or comment on the teachings of the Qur’an unless I learn Arabic first?

That’s convenient. It’s equivalent to saying don’t think for yourself, let me tell you what’s in there and what to think about it. I grant that many religious leaders seek that type of obedience. But it’s a quest for control and power… not truth.


Slandering al-Fakhr al-Razi
>> Your “translation” of al-Fakhr al-Razi’s statement seems a slander.

Religion - Islam - Fakhruddin RaziOK… so provide the non-slandered “translation”. A link… some text… would be just fine.

Tell me what in the text is wrong? Which ideas are not his? The concept that the Muslims should spare the lives of non-Muslims as if it’s their natural position in the world? The idea that non-believers must subjugate themselves with humiliation and servility (a common theme in Islam)?

You yourself say non-Muslims should be “allowed” liberties (assuming a lower status) which says to me you believe Muslims have the authority (via Allah and Islam) to grant (or not if you choose) this liberty. This is not too far off from these quoted statements by Fakhruddin Razi.

I will also add that this concept is the very antithesis of American founding principles; that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But that’s another post entirely.

For the record “my translation” and slander of al-Fakhr al-Razi is not mine. I found this exact translation in several places. One of which can be found in Wikipedia article on the jizya. Wikipedia quotes the source as “al-Razi, Fakhr al-Din (1981). “(9:29)”. Tafsir al-Kabir. Dar Al-fiker.”

Religion - Islam - Muslim Hissy FitI can’t imagine the “translation” is that far off since it is found in the Wikipedia. Not that Wikipedia is all that accurate, but it strikes me as an organization very susceptible to political correctness. I suspect that any mistranslation or misquote within the article would have resulted in Muslim hissy-fits by now and thus capitulation by Wikipedia. Perhaps, MustafaHoward, you might want to direct this complaint to Wikipedia. I suspect they would be much more responsive to bullying via political correctness than I am.

Back to the actual words of al-Fakhr al-Razi. I assume this is his interpretation of Qur’an 9:29 which says (Sahih International) “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”

Ahhhhh…. it sounds so much more reasonable when you get it straight from the source…

>> Muslims are taxed in Islam. Americans are taxed in America. People are taxed everywhere. Jizya is a tax, not an “extortion”.

Government - IRS - TaxesAmericans taxed in America is a straw man argument and nothing to do with this debate. IF America taxed Muslims differently from others, it would be… but that’s not the case.

Muslim nations taxing via Islam. It’s their business… and again a straw man argument.

Where jizya IS relevant to this post is that Muslim clerics have declared western welfare and social programs a form of jizya that Muslims are entitled to and should take advantage of; and certain recent Muslim terrorists have indeed done that. You and I seem agree that this is an inaccurate interpretation of the Qur’an definition and purpose of the jizya. Yet you attack the messenger (me) as if I had come up with the idea. It’s your guys who are espousing this crap; but you don’t address that. You just muddle the issue by droning on the “traditional” definition of a duck (jizya).

Admittedly, I did call jizya “Islamic sanctioned extortion of subjugated peoples”. And… I stand by that. MustafaHoward tells me it’s not extortion based on the “traditional” definition in the Qur’an. My response is that the “traditional” definition in the Qur’an has rarely (if ever) been practiced. The words in the Qur’an just give religious, legal, and conscientious cover to the extorter.

In practice jizya is like a Chicago shake down where a business buys insurance (also called protection) from the mob. This is to ensure their establishment doesn’t burn to the ground. The guys selling the protection are the ones who will burn it to the ground if the businessman (enjoying the liberty and protection) doesn’t pay; and all parties involved know that. Jizya works on the same concept. The only difference… words in a book that pretend otherwise.

>> Again, they were allowed their liberties and enjoyed the protections of the Muslims.

Religion - Islam - Jizya - SubjugateI just love your use of the word “allowed” here… [groveling]… oh thank you, thank you, thank you for this privilege…

As for the “traditional” idea of a non-Muslim receiving/enjoying “protection” (from outside aggressors) from Muslim “benefactors” (state or people)? That would assume they manage to somehow survive their Muslim “benefactors” in the first place. The very concept would be laughable if not for the seriousness of the life and death struggles these people must endure.

I have never seen any evidence of either liberties or protections. The actions of Muslim nations around the world today and their persecution of non-Muslims speak louder than anything positive that might be found in the Qur’an. And the inaction of “moderate” Muslims to right these wrongs speaks even louder.

Carrying the logic just a little further, if it (protection) doesn’t really exists today despite all the claims otherwise, who in their right mind would believe it ever existed?

Political - Liberal - Coexist

>> In fact, the earliest Muslims and those who followed enjoyed peaceful coexistence with those of other religions.

Obviously I’m skeptical to put it mildly. Statements like this are just politically correct propaganda to promote the false idea of the “religion of peace”.

But give it try. Give me an unbiased (non-Muslim, first-hand preferably) account of the “peaceful coexistence” and “protection” enjoyed by other religions living in a Muslim nation.

>> So, what has changed? I’ll leave that for you to either research on your own, or you can ask my opinion if you like.

[Huge belly laugh!] Nothing! [More laughing] 1400 Years! And NOTHING has changed! Your original premise that things were ever substantially any different than today is… wrong!

The “traditional” practice of jizya, the enjoyment of merciful rights and protection, the peaceful coexistence, the singing of “We Are the World”… NEVER EXISTED! And the whole idea that it did is, again, nothing but propaganda from Islamist and their useful idiots.

Just one example of this… we (the United States) have had to deal with this crap off and on, off and on for our entire history. Beginning with the Barbary Wars in the late 17 and early 1800s we were afforded the honor of paying ransom and tribute (also known as extortion) as our ships were plundered and our citizens killed and enslaved by Muslims. Of course the payments were never enough; and as required in dealing with any bully and/or tyrant we eventually just had to build a big enough navy to kick their collective asses to get it to stop.

200+ years ago? Today? What has changed? Not a dam thing!

History - Thomas Jefferson - Barbary Pirates

Your opinion? Is based on a false premise that things were ever different from today. But please suit yourself if you feel the need to share it. Since I approved your original comment it should post just fine.

>> I thoroughly appreciate your disgust with and anger with the 2 mis-guided men who committed the multiple murder in Boston. They have gone now to meet their Maker, Who will deal with them most appropriately.

Really glad to hear those words! Got any actions to back them up…?

But at least on the words we agree! Though not (of course) on the Maker they will meet.

>> And if you don’t like Islam, there is no compulsion in Religion.

Oh how I wish that were true! But no… We don’t agree. That (non-compulsion) generally applies for pretty well every other religion I know of… except Islam. My impression of Islam is that Muhammad and/or Allah pretty well DO consider it compulsory; as do many of Islam’s followers. Spread Islam by word or sword… Convert or die… (or at least subjugate and pay jizya for a time).

Religion - Islam - Allah or the BladeQuran (9:5) (Sahih International)
And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists [as in those who believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to you Christians reading this] wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, (meaning convert to Islam and pay Islamic taxes) let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Wow… thanks Allah]

Non-Compulsory my ass. I guess when you consider death as a valid option mercifully afforded the un-believer then sure… you can stick with the non-compulsory argument.

Sure some Muslims don’t take it that far and that’s great. I guess we should be grateful even. But enough do take it that far that we still (after centuries) have the radical Islamic problems we have today. And instead of cleaning up their mess in their own house (faith)… “moderate” Muslims STILL leave it for us infidels to deal with.

>> What I would ask is that you show respect to Muslim human beings and our Holy Books by not mistranslating them.

Concept - Respect - EarnedNO man, nor holy book, is entitled to my respect. EVERY man and his beliefs (espoused in holy books) ARE entitled to opportunities to EARN that respect. And I freely and gladly extend that courtesy.

Islam, Muslims? How many opportunities do you need before you clean up the radical mess in your own house (faith)? How many of our people (non-Muslims) must pay the price for the anarchy in your religion before YOU deal with it? Every courtesy has been extended AND we’re still waiting! Respect!? Do us a favor! Don’t just expect it. Don’t just demand it! Do something to Earn it!

Even more than the sound of guns, and bombs, and crashing jets; the inaction from “moderate” Muslims is deafening!

Again, please try and forgive my bluntness; but I’m really sick of this crap! And those who should be fixing the problem are sitting on their hands; and sometimes, SOMETIMES, gather the courage to utter WORDS like “I thoroughly appreciate your disgust with and anger with… [Fill in Muslim atrocity Here].

And as for my “mistranslating”; I’ve presented my case stating that I believe my track record is just fine in that regard. I’ll let those who read this blog decide for themselves.

>> Take Care.

Thank You… You too.

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