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Because they weren’t getting enough attention …

Posted by V the K at 1:40 pm - May 22, 2014.
Filed under: Religion (General),War on Christians

… the only belief system in America that sues to force the Government to impose it on everyone else is getting its own TV channel.

A New Jersey-based atheist group is starting the first on-demand TV channel dedicated to godlessness.

The Atheists claim their channel is necessary because — I am not making this up — Hollywood and the major media are too pro-Christian and the Atheists intend their channel as counter-programming against the endless championing of Christian morality on other news and entertainment networks.
Yup.
I am thinking of the potential programs for this station.
  • Those Foolish Believers: Panel show on which all religion is mocked and ridiculed, except Islam, of course.
  • Cross-Country: Reality Show: A group of atheist lawyers travel small town America looking for public displays of the cross and filing lawsuits to have them removed.
  • Circle Jerk – News and Information: Richard Dawkins and a panel of Atheists discuss news of the day while congratulating each other on their lack of belief.
  • It’s a Void and Meaningless Existence, Charlie Brown – Special Holiday Program in Honor of Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s Birthday
  • The Smug Sense of Superiority Hour – with special guest Bill Maher
  • And of course… there will be wholesome, atheist-style, family programming

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‘Noah’ and Not Getting That Religion Thing

Posted by V the K at 11:49 pm - March 30, 2014.
Filed under: Ideas & Trends,Religion (General)

Reading Matt Walsh’s review of Noah, which pretty much aligns with most of the other reviews I’ve read. The film is marketed to appeal to a religious audience, but is contemptuous of religion (the director is an atheist). Also, it’s poorly made, with ludicrous special effects, ridiculous ‘rock people,’ and a muddled plot that bears only a passing resemblance to the Biblical account.  But what struck me were the comments, many of which were along the lines of this one:

Let me ask you a question Mr. Matt Walsh, what’s the point of making this movie if it’s the same as the original story? I mean seriously, do you know nothing about movies? They are made for entertainment, not to pass down stories(Documentaries aren’t movies, they’re documentaries). New things are good. Take a look at the Harry Potter movies. The fifth one, The Order of the Phoenix, was nothing like it’s original, yet it got a 7.4, a somewhat decent review. All in all, don’t judge a movie on whether or not it sticks to the original story, treat it as it’s own story.

This comment, and others in the same vein, made me realize; to a lot of people, there really is no difference between the Harry Potter books and the Holy Bible. There are no sacred texts; no eternal truths. There is just whatever entertains you at a specific moment in time. From that starting point, it’s easy to see the producers missing the point of the Biblical story of Noah: That God will preserve the righteous and faithful, even if the rest of the world perishes because of their evil. It’s a point that doesn’t make it across when Noah, instead of being portrayed as righteous and faithful, is portrayed as deranged and obsessed (which is pretty much the standard for religious folk in the Hollywood universe; except for the Noble Mohammedans.).

Misadventures in Multicultural Studies Indoctrination

Jeff’s post the other day about the questionable workshop at Brown University came to mind recently when I saw a very far-left Facebook friend link to this article by a professor named Warren Blumenfeld who had just retired from a position as a professor of education at Iowa State University.  The article contains the professor’s reflections and gives voice to both his lamentations and his indignity about those students who took his class who were not won over to his worldview and who had the temerity to announce that fact in their final papers.

The course was entitled “Multicultural Foundations in Schools and Society,” and Blumenfeld describes it in the following terms:

I base the course on a number of key concepts and assumptions, including how issues of power, privilege, and domination within the United States center on inequitable social divisions regarding race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, religion, nationality, linguistic background, physical and mental ability/disability, and age. I address how issues around social identities impact generally on life outcomes, and specifically on educational outcomes. Virtually all students registered for this course, which is mandatory for students registered in the Teacher Education program, are pre-service teachers.

In other words, this is a required course in “multicultural studies” indoctrination.  If the course were voluntary, it would be a slightly different situation, but as a required course, it amounts to an example of the sort of thing that conservatives can easily point to as illustrating the left-wing biases of academia.

Professor Blumenfeld is particularly alarmed by the case of two female students who tell him quite boldly that the course has not changed their socially conservative Christian worldview:

On a final course paper, one student wrote that, while she enjoyed the course, and she felt that both myself and my graduate assistant — who had come out to the class earlier as lesbian — were very knowledgeable and good professors with great senses of humor, nonetheless, she felt obliged to inform us that we are still going to Hell for being so-called “practicing homosexuals.” Another student two years later wrote on her course paper that homosexuality and transgenderism are sins in the same category as stealing and murder. This student not only reiterated that I will travel to Hell if I continued to act on my same-sex desires, but she went further in amplifying the first student’s proclamations by self-righteously insisting that I will not receive an invitation to enter Heaven if I do not accept Jesus as my personal savior since I am a Jew, regardless of my sexual behavior. Anyone who doubts this, she concluded, “Only death will tell!”

Now while we might question the wisdom of both students in advertising the heresy represented by their beliefs so boldly in a graded assignment,  I think we might also be heartened by their courage in being true to their faith, even if we do not agree with all of the particulars of their worldview.

The professor, however, is shocked and appalled, and the rest of the essay is his attempt to reconcile–through reference to one leftist theory and tract after another–what he calls “our campus environment, one that emboldens some students to notify their professor and graduate assistant that their final destination will be the depths of Hell.”  Notice his word choice, there.  The problem is with the “campus environment” which “emboldens some students.”  It seems like a foreign idea to this professor to think that a university could be a place for the free and open exchange of ideas, especially those ideas that are unpopular.  I trust we will not find him quoting Voltaire or Jefferson anytime soon.

No, instead what we get is a description of and a reflection on a course that sounds like it could have been lifted straight from  the pages of Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, albeit with a more contemporary reading list.  While the professor uses the (more…)

The Mormon record of service to their neighbors — & their country

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:30 am - October 21, 2012.
Filed under: Military,Religion (General)

With Whoopi Goldberg recently confusing Mormons with Quakers, suggesting that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints couldn’t fight for our country, we can expect other media figures, particularly those opposed to the election of Mitt Romney to continue to misrepresent the largest faith indigenous to the United States of America.

Our blog reader bfwebster addressed that misunderstanding in a recent blog post where he reported that not only did Mormons serve in Vietnam, but that a disproportionate (to their percentage in the United States population) number made the ultimate sacrifice for their country:

During the period of the Vietnam War — say, 1965-1974 — the total US population was around 200 million. During that same period of time, LDS Church membership grew from roughly 2.4 million to 3.4 million. That membership is men, women, and children of all ages, both inside and outside of the United States. I have not yet been able to find the actual United States LDS membership for that period, but I will assume that it was on the order of 75% of the total LDS membership, or about 2 to 2.5 million — just a bit over 1% of the US population.

Furthermore, probably only about 50% (if that much) of that membership within the United States represented actively practicing and attending members. So the ratio of active LDS members living in the US to the US population at large during that period was probably on the order of 0.5%, perhaps less.

So, how many self-identified Mormons were killed in Vietnam? 589 out of 58,193, or just over 1% of all US military deaths. In other words, Mormons were at least proportionately represented by population among US military deaths in Vietnam and were likely over-represented.

(more…)

Billy Graham backs Mitt Romney

Yesterday, Sarah credited me (on Instapundit) credited me for alerting her to the Reverend Billy Graham’s decision to back Mitt Romney.  I thought it was a big deal and a ‘good thing,” as Sarah noted.

Evangelist Billy Graham told Mitt Romney” yesterday “that he would do anything he could to help his candidacy. The two met at Graham’s North Carolina home.

And it is a good thing — for a great variety of reasons, primarily that Graham is an evangelical Christian respected by individuals in all walks of life.  Jews have long respected him for supporting Israel and for never asking us to convert.  Some fundamentalist Christians even faulted him for the often ecumenical nature of his appeal.

Grahama has long been considered a pastor to the presidents, “met with every sitting American president from Harry Truman to President Obama.”  Many, including Bill Clinton, have sought Graham’s counsel, but, as Bruce Webster reminds us, “Graham has had a policy in place of not endorsing presidential candidates (cf. this 1980 article)”:

What is truly telling is the language: “I’ll do all I can to help you.” That’s not a tepid endorsement or a ‘lesser of two evils’ resignation; that’s about as full-throated as Graham can get at his age. I will be interested to see if it helps some of those Evangelicals who are concerned about putting a Mormon in the White House to vote for Romney anyway.

Given the respect this man enjoys, methinks it will help Romney with wavering evangelicals.  And it is indeed telling that the respected pastor, who had heretofore been so reluctant to endorse (though he did come close in 2000), has made clear his support for Mitt Romney.

We Interrupt Our Petty Lives for this Announcement:

Ever since I first heard of Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian pastor held captive in that horrible subnormal nation by its rulers for the crime of apostasy, I’ve had as my homepage at work the American Center for Law and Justice website which had been counting the days of his incarceration.

That count has ended.

While I was out of town this weekend with my partner and away from the news, Pastor Nadarkhani was released by the court that had originally sentenced him to death. The charge of apostasy has been reduced to that of evangelizing, and his punishment to time served.

There is so much to say that if I did would look like gift-horse material. For now, let’s all just say a prayer of thanksgiving that he has been delivered from these savages and is currently back in the embrace of his family.

Let’s also further pray that now that he’s out of jail he will find safety. All to often in places like Iran, prisoners of conscience are released from official bondage only to be torn apart by the mobs that populate such backward countries.

If you’d like to know more about Pastor Nadarkhani and his trials, check out the link to the ACLJ above.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

On the HHS Mandate

There’s so much to celebrate today: My beautiful home state turns 136 today, Michael Phelps has made history with his 19th medal on behalf of America, and Ted Cruz not only won, but schwacked establishment candidate Lt. Governor David Dewhurst by a margin of over 13 percentage points in yesterday’s Texas GOP runoff, sending a clear message that the Constitution is back in business (or will be, come January) in the US Senate.

However, I have to admit, today is a sad dark day for America.

While Youcef Nadarkhani spends his 1024th day in an Iranian prison for the crime of having become a Christian, our Nation took another chip out of the rock of religious liberties as well. Surely we cannot compare the offense to religious freedoms that President Obama’s and Kathleen Sebelius’ mandate that employers abdicate their First Amendment rights (which goes in effect today) to those of Pastor Nadarkhani. But while mayors across the country attempt to deny a business owner his Due Process and First Amendment rights, today calls attention to just how far we’ve come in our Nation.

I actually woke this morning to a fraternity brother’s post on his Facebook page that read:

Btw american women everywhere, congratulations!

Today your insurance plans MUST ‘cover specific preventive health services for women without cost-sharing, such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. These services include well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, STD screening and contraceptives.’

I caution those who would vote for romney (especially women who would vote for romney) to recognize the implications of a repeal. We would eliminate the gains that have been made today, and will continue to be made by the landmark legislation for the next 5 years.

As offensive as it is to someone like me who’s pro-life to see someone write in literally congratulatory tones about the growth and spread of abortion, this is also symbolic of just how far we’ve come. (more…)

On Pastor Worley, Crackpot Ministers & the Media

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:04 pm - May 24, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Religion (General)

Over the past week or so, I have seen numerous postings on Facebook and a number of stories on CNN about a North Carolina pastor who somehow seems to have forgotten about the biblical injunction to love your neighbor:

I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn’t get it past the Congress,” Pastor Charles L. Worley can be seen telling his Providence Road Baptist Church congregation in the video, which had more than 250,000 YouTube views by Tuesday.

“Build a great big, large fence – 50 or a 100 miles long – and put all the lesbians in there,” Worley went on to say in his May 13 sermon at his Maiden, North Carolina, church. “Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed them. And you know in a few years, they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

Does this guy really believe that only homosexuals can produce homosexual children?  (That would be news to my heterosexual Mom and Dad.)  Even those trusting in the efficacy of “reparative therapy” don’t favor herding gay people into concentration camps.

As CNN and our Facebook friends focus on — and rightly condemn — Mr. Worley, I wonder where these folks were when other crackpots were preaching hate from their pulpits.

It is sick that members of Worley’s flock would stand by their pastor, preferring his word to the biblical command to love your neighbor.  His congregation though is only one of many.  But, he’s not the only pastor preaching hate.  It would be nice to see CNN expose those on the Christian left who seem incapable of accepting that some of their neighbors merit affection.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Lori builds on my point:

The anti gay preacher is a loon and so is Wright. The media are all over this very inconsequential preacher (that conservatives sure think is flakey and hateful), but they were mum about Wright, who preached hating whites and hating America. It’s not just anti gay hate that needs to stop, it all needs to stop.

The Democrats’ War on Religion?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:41 pm - March 10, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Random Thoughts,Religion (General)

He gets Catholics upset. Now, we learn this (check out the last headline):

Must be part of the Democrats’ plan.

Maybe if Mayor Bloomberg had studied American history, he might not have excluded clergy from 9/11 commemoration

As I drive to Colorado to celebrate my father’s upcoming birthday, I have been listening to Ron Chernow’s wonderful biography of George Washington.  Last night, when crossing Nevada in the dead of night, but with the temperature fluctuating from the mid-90s to low 100s, I learned of the trials that great man faced when first taking charge of the Continental Army, then little more than a ragtag collection of  state militias, in 1775.

Among other things, the then-green Commander-in-Chief was concerned about the spiritual welfare of his men.  From his “General Orders” of July 4, 1775 (one year before that day would become the most significant one on an American’s calendar):

The General . . . requires and expects, of all Officers, and Soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine Service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defence.

Wonder how the ACLU would have reacted had it been around at the time.

Contrast the father of our country with the the current Mayor of New York City:  “New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not reconsider his decision to exclude clergy from the ceremony marking 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a spokesman said Friday.

RI recognizes same-sex civil unions; equality activists upset

With a vote of 21 to 16, the Rhode Island Senate approved a measure to grant

. . . legal rights to same-sex partners “without the historical and religious meaning associated with the word marriage,” a statement from the Rhode Island General Assembly said.

“We have made great progress in our goal of providing increased rights, benefits and protections for gay and lesbian couples,” [Democratic state Rep. Peter Petrarca, the bill's sponsor said]

The bill, writes my friend Dale Carpenter

manages to do what nobody else has done: unite supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.  Marriage Equality Rhode Island says it establishes “second-class citizenry.”  The National Organization for Marriage says it is “disappointing and dangerous.”  Caught in the middle were legislators, including the openly gay head of the state house, and Governor Lincoln Chafee (expected to sign the bill), who predicted this was the most they could do for at least a couple of years.

The New York Times reports that the legislation “was offered as a compromise this spring after Gordon D. Fox, the openly gay speaker of the Democratic-controlled House, said he could not muster enough votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill.”  Despite this compromise, we learn in a press release from “Freedom to Marry” that gay marriage advocates are asking the Ocean State’s governor to veto the bill:

. . . Freedom to Marry and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) sent a letter late yesterday evening to Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee calling on him to veto the civil union bill currently under consideration if it comes to his desk in its present form.  The bill contains a provision that would allow  religious organizations and their employees to disregard couples’ civil union status, creating unprecedented, onerous and discriminatory hurdles for same-sex couples seeking to take care of one another.

(more…)

My Objections to Draw Mohammed Day

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:10 am - May 20, 2010.
Filed under: Free Speech,Religion (General)

Please note I started writing this before Nick’s post went up, completing it only after I saw it on the blog.  And due to time constraints, won’t have time to address his points directly.  

As some of our readers know, while we at GayPatriot usually agree on the big issues of the day, we have a difference of opinion on whether or not to participate in Draw Mohammed Day.

I believe this blog should not participate and out of respect for pious Muslims who do not use their faith to intimidate “non-believers”, assault critics, murder innocents, or otherwise attack Western civilization, we should not defy a central tenet of that faith, not depicting their prophet visually.  I believe we should show the same respect for any faith.  And wonder why it is that some who criticize this project would, in different circumstances, mock Catholics or deride Mormons.

Instead of attempting to spit in the eye of an entire faith, which appears to be the purpose of this stunt, I believe we need stand up for those assaulted for speaking their minds.  And wonder why the liberal civility police (who neglected their role in the Bush Administration) are more ready to condemn Tea Party protesters because they (the “civility police”) believe their rhetoric leads to violence, but are reluctant to climb those who actually engage in such violent acts or actually call for the death of a people.

That said, I believe the aforementioned project is a juvenile stunt, no different from some staged by the gay left.  It will be counterproductive, doing more harm than good, possibly offending those most victimized by radical Islam–moderate Muslims.

Well, I lost the battle to have this blog keep out of this controversy, but in the process of making my case, did engage in a great discussion with Bruce and Nick on the idea.  Given my time constraints, I won’t be able to present as thoughtful a post as I would like, so instead, I’ll simply, belong the “jump,” post (and edit) part of my e-mail to Bruce on the matter. (more…)

Rejecting Domestic Partnerships for God’s Sake?

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 8:48 pm - October 7, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Religion (General)

I very rarely find myself agreeing with Andrew Sullivan, but on this post of his from yesterday I have little choice (hyperbole excluded):

Here’s the latest ad from the Christianist right opposing Washington state’s domestic partnership law. It’s a useful reminder that it doesn’t matter what equality is called – civil unions, domestic partnerships, civil partnerships, or civil marriage – the GOP believes in no rights for gay couples whatsoever. And in this ad, the argument is explicitly religious and has no secular case to make whatever. It also implies that gays are child-molesters.

He’s still an idiot for the “Christianist” crack and claiming that the whole GOP rejects “civil unions, domestic partnerships, civil partnerships, or civil marriage”. I didn’t get his complaint about this ad supposedly implying gays are child molesters. It had enough to object to without raising this.

Whether Sullivan wishes to acknowledge it or not quite a number of Republicans support civil unions or domestic partnerships, though it is fair to say that a majority do not agree with same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, he is correct about one wing of the GOP. They do not support any of these arrangements. Religion should have no role whatsoever with Washington State’s domestic partnerships.

I can only imagine the loud complaints from this cadre of the self-righteous when other religious groups, like say Muslims, start running ads they disagree with that blatantly appeal for votes because of what is taught in the Qur’an.

– John (Average Gay Joe)

Obama Refuses to Meet With Dalai Lama

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:30 am - September 18, 2009.
Filed under: Freedom,LA Stories,Religion (General)

Oftentimes, in L.A., you’ll see an aging Volvo or a new Prius sporting a “Free Tibet” bumper sticker, often alongside a sticker promoting a Democratic candidate or left-wing cause.  It seems the many Buddhists in this town ally themselves (at least politically) with the other left-wing denizens of this burg.

Wonder how they’ll react when they read this (if the media bothers to report it):

A new low: Obama refuses to meet with the Dalai Lama to avoid offending the Chinese, gaining the distinction as the only one to break the string of presidential visits dating back to George H.W. Bush. Does he really imagine that the Chinese will give him brownie points for this? Apparently, setting off a trade war over tires is fine (well, Big Labor wanted it), but a visit with the Dalai Lama is too great a “risk” for Obama. You can’t say his priorities aren’t clear.

This is as bad as one of the biggest blunders of the Ford Administration.

Commenting on Obama’s refusal, Michael Goldfarb offers:

Instead of standing up for human rights, cultural autonomy, and the long-suffering Tibetan people, Obama kowtowed to Beijing. Maybe if his name were Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Assad, Tibet’s leader could get a White House meeting.

Politicking during Mass – How is this even legal?

The Catholic Church speaking up forcefully about its teachings on same-sex marriage is clearly protected under the First Amendment, a right I strongly support even though I just as strongly disagree with their view. However, how is their collecting money during Mass for a political campaign even legal? The tax exempt status churches and other organizations enjoy is not a right, but instead is a privilege we as a society extend for valid reasons. This privilege is one I personally see as a bulwark against government intrusion into freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Yet I do not see such direct intereference in the political process by such tax exempt churches and organizations as being part of the bargain. Certainly this isn’t unique as the Catholic Church isn’t the only such organization to take such bold steps, one can undoubtedly find many examples on all sides of the political spectrum over the years. This leads me to question though whether tax exemption in modern times has become nothing more than a subsidy of sorts which religious and secular organizations exploit in order to further their own agendas, whether liberal or conservative, something that groups not having such a luxury are at a disadvantage in countering. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine our laws concerning tax exemption, but I must admit to concerns about even such a move as this because given the partisan use this “re-examination” could be put to the reason for even having this privilege could be put into jeopardy.

I’d be interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on this…

- John (Average Gay Joe)

Skewed Vatican Policy On The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 8:53 am - January 8, 2009.
Filed under: Religion (General),War On Terror

[T]he authorities of the Catholic Church do not defend the existence of Israel — which its enemies want to annihilate, and is ultimately at stake in the conflict — with the same explicit, powerful determination with which they raise their voices in defense of the “nonnegotiable” principles concerning human life.

This has been seen in recent days. The authorities of the Church, and Benedict XVI himself, have raised their voices in condemnation of “the massive violence that has broken out in the Gaza Strip in response to other violence” only after Israel began bombing the installations of the terrorist movement Hamas in that territory. Not before. Not when Hamas was tightening its brutal grip on Gaza, massacring the Muslims faithful to president Abu Mazen, humiliating the tiny Christian communities, and launching rockets every day against the Israelis in the surrounding area.

About Hamas and its vaunted “mission” of wiping the Jewish state from the face of the earth, about Hamas as an outpost for Iran’s expansionist aims in the Middle East, about Hamas as an ally of Hezbollah and Syria, the Vatican authorities have never raised the red alert. They have never shown that they see Hamas as a deadly danger to Israel and an obstacle to the birth of a Palestinian state, in addition to its being a nightmare for the Arab regimes in the area, from Egypt to Jordan to Saudi Arabia…

Good analysis by Sandro Magister of Chiesa. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Vatican remark likening Gaza to a “big concentration camp” enrages Israelis.

UPDATE: Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican downplays tensions over Cardinal Martino’s remarks.

– John (Average Gay Joe)

Well, If The Mormons Showed Up Shirtless….

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:41 am - July 15, 2008.
Filed under: Religion (General),We The People

…maybe I’d consider the LDS Church!

PatriotPartner alerted me to this steamy item.  It was actually in the online version of the Charlotte Observer newspaper.  Mormons Exposed – the calendar!

The 2008 Men on a Mission calendar features twelve handsome returned Mormon missionaries from across the United States who, for the first time ever, have dared to pose bare-chested in a steamy national calendar.

Usually seen riding their bicycles and preaching door-to-door, these hunky young men of faith explode with sexuality on each calendar page. Hand-selected for their striking appearances and powerful spiritual commitment, the “devout dozen” are stepping away from the Mormon traditions of modest dress, and “baring their testimony” to demonstrate that they can have strong faith and be proud of who they are, both with a sense of individualism and a sense of humor.

I’m not quite sure what to think of this — real, satire, little bit of both?

Anyway…. a little-bit of eye candy for you today.  Pass the offering plate!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Truth About Muhammad


I finally had the chance to get through this book, via the unabridged audio verson.  It’s a rather interesting work, though more along the lines of religious apologetics in my view than useful political commentary.  As an apologetics piece and even an unabashedly biased view of history, Robert Spencer’s work is quite powerful.  Christianity and Islam have fundamental differences and while co-existence is needed for mainly temporal reasons these shouldn’t be glossed over.  Yet take this book for what it is:  a Christian look at Muhammad and Islam and it certainly articulated many of the reasons I myself do not follow the latter.  It would be foolish to rely solely upon this book for information about Muhammad and Islam for it is only one look at these subjects.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and will probably seek more on these topics.

Where Spencer fails in my view is the first and last chapters, wherein he attempts to turn a religious apologetics piece into contemporary political commentary.  He is correct that Islamofascists, Muslim radicals or whatever term one wishes to employ about those Muslims who use violence to further their goals, are inspired by the violent beginnings of Islam.  Any religion can be exploited as an ideology to be wielded in the temporal realm.  I’m not quite sure what Spencer is asking for in these chapters.  While Spencer himself is a fellow Catholic, this appears to be a dubious flirtation with the medieval notion of Christendom that one sees among many  American Protestants today. It’s a rather curious flirtation at that because on the one hand they wish to maintain the American ideals of democracy and freedom, but only seen through the lens of their brand of Christianity. Nor are they consistent even in this as most would reject stripping ‘heretics’ or atheists of their rights under the Constitution. Yet if we look back on what Christendom meant to the medievals, then matters which cause harm in the spiritual realm are all also matters of State concern. The lines between Church & State are very tenuous, if not non-existent in many cases. Under this scheme, atheism and heresy are just as bad as murder. Indeed, one could reasonably argue that they are worse since it’s not just the body that is killed but the eternal soul and society as a whole suffers from the confusion these sow by obscuring the Truth. I’ve yet to see how their dubious flirtation with this notion resolves the inconsistencies in their reasoning, let alone a full understanding on their part of how adoption of this idea would kill the “American experiment”.  The “fiction” the secular West maintains about Islam being a “religion of peace” is a useful and necessary one.  Granted, we shouldn’t be blinded by such rhetoric, and such is ripe for parody and dry moments of irony, but unless we are willing to reinstate Christendom, take up the Cross and eradicate Islam once and for all, Spencer’s commentary here isn’t very applicable in resolving modern conflicts.  Understanding one’s enemy is one thing, adopting an antiquated worldview in combating them is quite another.

UPDATE: It appears that this post elicited comments from Mr. Spencer and caused a bit of a stir at his site as well as on this blog. Instead of creating a new posting about this, I thought it more prudent to respond there. You can find Mr. Spencer’s comments and my reply here. Please note that as this is the first time I’ve posted there it may take a few hours for my response to appear as comments there are moderated.

– John (Average Gay Joe)