An Explanation of Islamic Rage | A Self-Repost

I wrote this in April of 2011. Seems apropos now.

The Koran was recently burned by a Florida pastor, Terry Jones. In response, UN aid workers were attacked and killed in Afghanistan. This has become a predictable outcome when some Muslims are aggrieved. A few years ago, Danish cartoons, some with pointed messages, some quite benign, and some created by Imams to create even greater outrage, caused widespread protest, rioting, and bloodshed.

Real or perceived slights to the Koran or to the prophet Mohammed are often met by violence, rage, rioting and murder. Many times, it is a Christian or a Christian community that is attacked. This is greatly due to the fact that in the Islamic world, it is (incorrectly) assumed that the West is Christian, and thus, if the crime of desecration occurred in the West, it was a Christian action.

For the Christian, there is an apologetic value in Islamic rage. By apologetic, I don’t mean that this is a chance to apologise for the foolish behaviour of the burners of the Koran. If you didn’t burn the Koran, you are not responsible and have nothing to apologise  for or feel ashamed of. This is not a case of guilt by association. By apologetic, I mean that Islamic rage is itself a strong argument against Islam. I do not advocate creating more rage-provoking incidents; this will happen easily enough. What I do wish to point out that this kind of response to criticism betrays a fundamental weakness in Islam. I believe that systems that are false and untrue will have faults that are un-healable.

I think I understand the rage. It is the rage of impotence. Allah does not act: for all the greatness attributed to Allah, he does nothing in the face of insult. Allah does not fend for himself, or protect himself, but depends upon his followers for vengeance. Every unanswered insult against Allah is a sign, a proof, of his non-existence. In the face of insults against Allah or Muhammad, what other response can there be except rage.

If someone takes a crucifix and places it in a jar of urine, it is awarded a spot in an art gallery (this has happened). Why don’t Christians riot, destroy, and kill? For one thing, we aren’t disappointed that God didn’t show up to take some vengeance, because this isn’t what He told us to expect. Look at Matthew 13:24-30, and you will notice that judgement is future.

A parallel to Islamic rage may be found in the defeat of the prophets of Ba’al (1 Kings 18). But before I continue, I wish to make it clear that I do not find a parallel between Elijah and Terry Jones.  I have little to say of him. While much has been said about Jones, and less, significantly, about the Islamic response.

A showdown between 450 prophets of Ba’al and Elijah resulted in the total defeat of queen Jezebel’s prophets. As you read the account, you will be struck by the pitiful hopelessness of their cause. Try as they might, their god did nothing. There was no voice, no action, no sign at all that any of their cries were heard. Ba’al, whom they expected to avenge himself, was silent. But God answered Elijah’s prayer. He then commanded him to slaughter the prophets of Ba’al. The text is clear: the prophets of Ba’all failed because Ba’al failed:  there is no Ba’al. He is false, a lie, a fiction. But he was the religion of the nation. So what’s a queen to do? When Jezebel heard of Elijah’s role in their massacre, she said, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow” (1 Kings 19:2). Then, as now, impotence and defeat gives birth to rage.

©The Wittenberg Door

The Rise of Islam Foretold in the Gospel of John

Actually, not just Islam.

John 16:2 (ESV)

They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.

I realise that in the immediate context Jesus is speaking of the Jews of His day; I also note that very few Jews today seek to kill Christians as a service to God.

A Good Question.

“Well I wonder who would lead us if none of us would vote” the late Larry Norman, “The Great American Novel.”

As a US ex-pat, I can vote absentee in the upcoming presidential election. But  I can only find reasons not to vote for either party, either candidate.

The rest of his lyrics, written sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s, during the Vietnam “conflict” are below. Seems very contemporary:

I was born and raised an orphan in a land that once was free
In a land that poured its love out on the moon;
and I grew up in the shadows of your silos filled with grain,
but you never helped to fill my empty spoon.
 
And when I was ten you murdered law with courtroom politics,
And you learned to make a lie sound just like truth;
But I know you better now and I don’t fall for all your tricks,
And you’ve lost the one advantage of my youth.
 
You kill a black man at midnight just for talking to your daughter,
Then you make his wife your mistress and you leave her without water;
And the sheet you wear upon your face is the sheet your children sleep on,
At every meal you say a prayer; you don’t believe but still you keep on.
 
And your money says in God we trust,
But it’s against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon,
And I say you starved your children to do it.
 
You are far across the ocean but the war is not your own
And while you’re winning theirs, you’re gonna lose the one at home;
Do you really think the only way to bring about the peace
Is to sacrifice your children and kill all your enemies?
 
The politicians all make speeches while the news men all take note,
And they exaggerate the issues as they shove them down our throats;
Is it really up to them whether this country sinks or floats?
Well I wonder who would lead us if none of us would vote.
 
 
Well my phone is tapped and my lips are chapped from whispering through the fence,
You know every move I make, or is that just coincidence?
Well you try to make my way of life a little less like jail,
If I promise to make tapes and slides and send them through the mail.
 
And your money says in God we trust,
But it’s against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon,
And I say you starved your children to do it.
 
 
You say all men are equal, all men are brothers,
Then why are the rich more equal than others?
Don’t ask me for the answer, I’ve only got one:
That a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son
[youtube=http://youtu.be/3Jl1aoGbdAg]

Why Obama Really Voted for Infanticide | A Repost from Andrew McCarthy of the National Review

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE          www.nationalreview.com

Why Obama Really Voted For Infanticide

 

There wasn’t any question about what was happening. The abortions were going wrong. The babies weren’t cooperating. They wouldn’t die as planned. Or, as Illinois state senator Barack Obama so touchingly put it, there was “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.”

No, Senator. They wouldn’t go along with the program. They wouldn’t just come out limp and dead.

They were coming out alive. Born alive. Babies. Vulnerable human beings Obama, in his detached pomposity, might otherwise include among “the least of my brothers.” But of course, an abortion extremist can’t very well be invoking Saint Matthew, can he? So, for Obama, the shunning of these least of our brothers and sisters — millions of them — is somehow not among America’s greatest moral failings.

No. In Obama’s hardball, hard-Left world, these least become “that fetus, or child — however you want to describe it.”

Most of us, of course, opt for “child,” particularly when the “it” is born and living and breathing and in need of our help. Particularly when the “it” is clinging not to guns or religion but to life.

But not Barack Obama. As an Illinois state senator, he voted to permit infanticide. And now, running for president, he banks on media adulation to insulate him from his past.

The record, however, doesn’t lie.

Infanticide is a bracing word. But in this context, it’s the only word that fits. Obama heard the testimony of a nurse, Jill Stanek. She recounted how she’d spent 45 minutes holding a living baby left to die.

The child had lacked the good grace to expire as planned in an induced-labor abortion — one in which an abortionist artificially induces labor with the expectation that the underdeveloped “fetus, or child — however you want to describe it” will not survive the delivery.

Stanek encountered another nurse carrying the child to a “soiled utility room” where it would be left to die. It wasn’t that unusual. The induced-labor method was used for late-term abortions. Many of the babies were strong enough to survive the delivery. At least for a time.

So something had to be done with them. They couldn’t be left out in the open, struggling in the presence of fellow human beings. After all, those fellow human beings —health-care providers — would then be forced to confront the inconvenient question of why they were standing idly by. That would hold a mirror up to the whole grisly business.

Better the utility room. Alone, out of sight and out of mind. Next case.

Stanek’s account enraged the public and shamed into silence most of the country’s staunchest pro-abortion activists. Most, not all. Not Barack Obama.

My friend Hadley Arkes ingeniously argued that legislatures, including Congress, should take up “Born Alive” legislation: laws making explicit what decency already made undeniable: that from the moment of birth — from the moment one is expelled or extracted alive from the birth canal — a human being is entitled to all the protections the law accords to living persons.

Such laws were enacted by overwhelming margins. In the United States Congress, even such pro-abortion activists as Sen. Barbara Boxer went along.

But not Barack Obama. In the Illinois senate, he opposed Born-Alive tooth and nail.

The shocking extremism of that position — giving infanticide the nod over compassion and life — is profoundly embarrassing to him now. So he has lied about what he did. He has offered various conflicting explanations, ranging from the assertion that he didn’t oppose the anti-infanticide legislation (he did), to the assertion that he opposed it because it didn’t contain a superfluous clause reaffirming abortion rights (it did), to the assertion that it was unnecessary because Illinois law already protected the children of botched abortions (it didn’t — and even if it arguably did, why oppose a clarification?).

What Obama hasn’t offered, however, is the rationalization he vigorously posited during the 2002 Illinois senate debate.

 

When it got down to brass tacks, Barack Obama argued that protecting abortion doctors from legal liability was more important than protecting living infants from death.

Don’t take my word for it. There’s a transcript of a state senate debate, which took place on April 4, 2002. That transcript is available here (the pertinent section runs from pages 31 to 34). I quote it extensively below (italics mine). After being recognized, Obama challenged the Born-Alive bill’s sponsor as follows:

 

OBAMA: Yeah. Just along the same lines. Obviously, this is an issue that we’ve debated extensively both in committee an on the floor so I — you know, I don’t want to belabor it. But I did want to point out, as I understood it, during the course of the discussion in committee, one of the things that we were concerned about, or at least I expressed some concern about, was what impact this would have with respect to the relationship between the doctor and the patient and what liabilities the doctor might have in this situation. So, can you just describe for me, under this legislation, what’s going to be required for a doctor to meet the requirements you’ve set forth?

SENATOR O’MALLEY: First of all, there is established, under this legislation, that a child born under such circumstances would receive all reasonable measures consistent with good medical practice, and that’s as defined, of course, by the … practice of medicine in the community where this would occur. It also requires, in two instances, that … an attending physician be brought in to assist and advise with respect to the issue of viability and, in particular, where … there’s a suspicion on behalf of the physician that the child … may be [viable,] … the attending physician would make that determination as to whether that would be the case…. The other one is where the child is actually born alive … in which case, then, the physician would call as soon as practically possible for a second physician to come in and determine the viability.

SENATOR OBAMA: So — and again, I’m — I’m not going to prolong this, but I just want to be clear because I think this was the source of the objections of the Medical Society. As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it — is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved. Is that correct?

SENATOR O’MALLEY: In the first instance, obviously the physician that is performing the procedure would make the determination. The second situation is where the child actually is born and is alive, and then there’s an assessment — an independent assessment of viability by … another physician at the soonest practical … time.

SENATOR OBAMA: Let me just go to the bill, very quickly. Essentially, I think as — as this emerged during debate and during committee, the only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made an assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purpose of the mother’s health, is being — that — that — labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, or she made an error, and, in fact, that this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that that physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical measures and practices that would be involved in saving that child. Now, it — if you think there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, then maybe this bill makes sense, but I — I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects as well that doctors feel that they would be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations and that, essentially, adding a — an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion. Now, if that’s the case — and — and I know that some of us feel very strongly one way or another on that issue — that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these are children who are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they’re looked after.

This is staggering. As Obama spoke these words, he well knew that children were being born alive but precisely not looked after by the abortion doctors whose water the senator was carrying. As Stanek put it, as many as one in five — twenty percent — were left to die. That was what prompted the legislation in the first place.

Through Obama’s radical prism, everything “is about abortion and not live births.” But in reality, this had nothing to do with “burden[ing] the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.” It was about the legal and moral responsibilities of doctors and nurses in circumstances where, despite that decision, a living human being was delivered.

Obama wasn’t worried about “the least of my brothers,” the child. He agitated, instead, over “what liabilities the doctor might have in this situation.” And what kind of doctor? A charlatan who would somehow “continue to think that it’s nonviable” notwithstanding that “there’slet’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.”

Given the choice between the charlatan and “that fetus, or child — however you want to describe it,” Barack Obama went with the charlatan. The baby would end up limp and dead, whether in the operating room or the utility closet. It was, Obama insisted, about abortion, not live births.

– Andrew C. McCarthy is NR’s legal-affairs editor and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad.

 

Permalink

Revival is Not Political

I do not know of a single instance, in 2000 years of church history, where true revival in the church has come on the heels of political victory. If revival comes from God, it comes from God, and He is not influenced by the affairs of men. People will vote their values, and if their values are pagan, so will be the leaders. It is foolish to think that the “right man” (or woman) at the helm will bring back a Christian era of peace for the church. Politics, leading faith, has never happened in a good sense. We need godly leaders, but these will only arise from a godly populace, which is something we do not have today.

History is replete with examples of great political good arising from Christian revival. It is never the other way around, however.

In the US election (and Canada and Europe mirror the same sort problems), the choice is between a man who espouses a “government-is-all” idolatry, and a polytheistic (Mormon) idolatry. Christians who see government as the saviour from all earthly woes need only to consider ancient Rome and the Christian church’s place in it. Christians who think a Mormon will stand firm on anything need to look at the history and historical cover-ups within Mormonism and the sharp antithesis it is to Biblical Christianity.

No Christian should see either party as “God’s choice” in the matter; rather, in my opinion, God is not smiling, and these choices reflect judgment, not blessing.