Hi guys. Act! for America is an extreme anti-Muslim hate group. They have a Santa Clarita chapter with its own little facebook group and one of its members is none other than city council candidate Jason Gibbs
So I responded thus (I changed the order just a tad):
I like posts like this… because it gives us all a chance to forgo what followers say or do and look at what the founders of the faith purport… and would make us all happy or weary of the devout followers of the two. (The question then becomes… whom are you for or against? If you are “anti-Trump” because of his past statements about women… or some perceived “tyrannical bent”… would applying this idea make you pro or anti Muhammad — and thus, anti-Islamic?)
MUHAMMAD(a) ordered his followers, and (b) and participated in both digging their graves and cutting the throats of between 600-to-900 men, women, and children. Some of the women and boy and girl children were taken as property. He was a military tactician that lied and told others to use deception that ultimately led to the death of many people (taqiyya): The word “Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing, precaution, guarding.” Lying and cheating in the Arab world is not really a moral matter but a method of safeguarding honor and status, avoiding shame, and at all times exploiting possibilities, for those with the wits for it, deftly and expeditiously to convert shame into honor on their own account and vice versa for their opponents. If honor so demands, lies and cheating may become absolute imperatives.” [David PryceJones, “The Closed Circle” An interpretation of the Arabs, p4] We never see any depictions of Muhammad with children, we just know that he most likely acquired a child bride at age 6 and consummated that “marriage” when she was nine — he was a pedophile in other words; While the Qu’ran states that a follower of this book should have no more than 4 wives, we know of course that he had many more. Many more; Even the most ardent/obedient Muslim still leaves his or her entrance into “heaven” is an arbitrary choice of “Allah” … no story of love and sacrifice.
JESUS, when Peter struck off the ear of the soldier, healed it. Christ said if his followers were of any other kingdom, they would fight to get him off the cross. He also told Peter if he lived by the sword he would die by it.; Christ invited and used children as examples of how Jewish adults should view their faith… something culturally radical – inviting children into an inner-circle of a group of status oriented men such as the Pharisees was unheard of. Especially saying to them their faith must be similar; Jesus, and thusly us, can access true love because the Triune God has eternally loved (The Father loves the Son, etc. ~ unlike the Unitarian God of Islam). Love between us then: (1) my wife and I for instance, as well as family, (2) the love in community/Body of Christ, (3) love for our enemies, etc., has eternal foundations in God; This love from God towards us has caused a Sacrifice to ensure our salvation. Jesus said as well that he has “spoken openly to the world… always teaching in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. ‘I said nothing in secret.’” The Bible also states that God cannot lie… and Jesus is God in orthodoxy. The love of Christ and the relationship he offers is bar-none the center piece of our faith… something the Muslim does not have. Which is why the Church evolved because they have a point of reference in Christ to come back to.
“All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances. Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion” (Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions [New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959], 285-286.).
BY THE NUMBERS
I love the graphics Mrs. Raza put to Sam Harris’ cogent response to Ben Affleck.
(Here is the video description) By the Numbers is an honest and open discussion about Muslim opinions and demographics. Narrated by Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, this short film is about the acceptance that radical Islam is a bigger problem than most politically correct governments and individuals are ready to admit. Is ISIS, the Islamic State, trying to penetrate the U.S. with the refugee influx? Are Muslims radicalized on U.S. soil? Are organizations such as CAIR, who purport to represent American Muslims accepting and liberal or radicalized with links to terror organizations?
The below video is a the original Ben Affleck video challenging Sam Harris. What I didn’t know however is that Ben (and all the panelists) are instructed NOT TO INTERFERE with the interview portion between Maher and whoever his guest is that sits to our right, Maher’s left.
I wanted to repost as well Ben Shapiro’s discussion of this appearance of Ben Affleck on Bill Maher’s show. It was an earlier version of Raheel’s video… but I REALLY liked Raheel’s graphics better:
#Batfleck got pwned!
A good summation of the nembers can be found here, which the below is an excerpt of. Here are some numbers that indicate the percentage of radical Muslims (unlike a Zudhi Jasser or Raheel Raza)…
…Raza breaks down the rising threat with the visual concept of three concentric rings: Violent Jihadists, Islamists, and Fundamentalists. Organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda would fall into this first classification of Violent Jihadists. “There are anywhere between 40,000 to 200,000 Muslims involved in fighting for ISIS across the world. That’s just ISIS; and it doesn’t include the 100’s of 1,000’s of Jihadists fighting for al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and other groups.”
Next is the Islamists. “Islamists want many of the same things as the Jihadists; it’s just that their tactics differ. So instead of engaging in terror themselves, they use the political and cultural system to further their aims.” As she highlights and identifies past and present events, and organizations throughout the world, she brings to light what has been repeatedly been denied. Noteworthy mentions are the Muslim Brotherhood and Council on American-Islam Relations, (CAIR).
The outlying third circle, the Fundamentalists. Raza shares from an exhaustive report by Pew Research revealing, the demographics of Global Islam and the beliefs of these Fundamentalists. In this report, Muslims were interviewed from 39 countries. Here are just a few of the startling statistics:
79-86% of Sharia supporting Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt & Jordan, believe apostates should be executed
27% is the Average of all Muslims polled believe apostates should be executed.
This 27% makes up approximately 237 million Muslim.
39% of all Muslims in the countries surveyed, believe that honor killings can be a justifiable punishment for a woman who has had pre or extra-marital sex
This 39% makes up more than 345 Million Muslims
53% of Muslims surveyed said they want Sharia Law, or Islamic Law to be the law of the land in Muslim majority countries
Of this 53%, over 52% are in support of whippings and cutting off of hands This 52% makes up more than 281 million Muslims Of the original 53%, 51% are in support of stoning if they are unfaithful to their spouses
This 51% makes over 289 million Muslims
These numbers and concerning statistics only continue. When Muslims in countries outside of the Middle East were polled, the concern continues….
I got a response to a Tweet that included the link to this video painting an Islamic Reformation (a future event) as different from a Protestant Reformation. The author of the video wants an Enlightenment influence and not a Reformational style influence as happened between Catholics and Protestants. Here is the video followed by my initial Tweet in response:
Here is my Tweet[s]:
You have a picture of Luther, but then talk about a Catholic invasion? Me, personally, I would like the moderate Muslims to rise up enough to cause a war where the moderates win, and influence (over a few centuries) … the radicals to reform (like the Catholic Church has, and [has] apologized for [past actions]). (edited a tad for readability)
I am going to deal with this two-fold. On the Reformation, and how Christianities understanding of contract and humanity endowed with the Image of God (Hebrew: צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים tzelem elohim, lit. “image of God”, often appearing in Latin as Imago Dei). Secular Humanism is the Enlightenment’s fruits:
Early humanists saw no conflict between reason and their Christian faith (see Christian Humanism). They inveighed against the abuses of the Church, but not against the Church itself, much less against religion. For them, the word “secular” carried no connotations of disbelief – that would come later, in the nineteenth century. In the Renaissance to be secular meant simply to be in the world rather than in a monastery. Petrarch frequently admitted that his brother Gherardo’s life as a Carthusian monk was superior to his own (although Petrarch himself was in Minor Orders and was employed by the Church all his life). He hoped that he could do some good by winning earthly glory and praising virtue, inferior though that might be to a life devoted solely to prayer. The methods of the humanists, however, combined with their eloquence, would ultimately have a corrosive effect on established authority.
Yet it was from the Renaissance that modern Secular Humanism grew, with the development of an important split between reason and religion. This occurred as the church’s complacent authority was exposed in two vital areas. In science, Galileo’s support of the Copernican revolution upset the church’s adherence to the theories of Aristotle, exposing them as false. In theology, the Dutch scholar Erasmus with his new Greek text showed that the Roman Catholic adherence to Jerome’s Vulgate was frequently in error. A tiny wedge was thus forced between reason and authority, as both of them were then understood. (Os Guinness, The Dust of Death: A Critique of the Establishment and the Counter Culture and the Proposal for a Third Way [Intervarsity Press, 1973] p. 5.)
The later enlightenment rejected ultimately any reference to the metaphysical, which means the rejection of the Imago Dei ~ which ultimately devalues any change towards liberty.
Would I want a Protestant “type” Reformation to take place in Islam. Yes, but as you will see… I am very skeptical any reformation is possible within Islam (last comments of the post). The video brings up a specific battle. Let me talk a bit about this battle and the resultant influence of it. I will first post an excerpt from The Fabricated Luther: Refuting Nazi Connections and Other Modern Myths, with some more commentary:
A crucial role in the transmission of the theory of resistance was played by Magdeburg, which was the first city in northern Germany to claim the Reformation faith. It became a model of Lutheran resistance. In fact, it was the last pocket of military defiance in the Smalcald War, which followed the failure of a series of attempts to reconcile the differences between the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran side. In this war, two powerful Protestant princes, Hans of Kustrin and Maurice of Saxony, joined the emperor. The causes for that conflict, which are highly relevant to our subject, will be discussed below At a time when the Protestants throughout the country faced almost certain defeat, it was Magdeburg’s fierce opposition that turned the tide of the conflict and thus presumably preserved the Lutheran faith in Germany. This is how Olson describes the situation in the city in 1549 when it was under siege by the superior forces of the Saxon elector, who were fighting for the emperor’s cause:
The tense situation, in which it seemed that Luther’s movement was about to be crushed, helped form an ecclesiastical party that in one guise or other has persisted within Lutheran tradition ever since, a party claiming to preserve Luther’s true intent. Thus Melanchthon’s observation that “these absurd persons consider themselves the only gnesio [true] Lutherans” had a kernel of truth.125 Their convictions were expressed by the soldiers of the city’s garrison. Outnumbered six to one, they defended Magdeburg as the Saxon elector, in a mopping-up operation after the Schmalkaldic War, mounted a siege against the city on the emperor’s behalf. Under constant fire, they sang about themselves as the last faithful remnant of Luther’s cause—mod-ern Maccabees).126
Olson adds that “in 1550 Magdeburg theologians allied with Matthias Flacius Illyricus, the staunchest among the Gnesio-Lutherans, signed a 1550 Confession, Instruction and Warning.” It claimed not to be original but simply a rehearsal of Luther’s own thought, now stripped of its cautious, pastoral, prewar ambiguity.
A key paragraph of this Magdeburg Confession127 states clearly that subjects of authority, even children and servants, do not owe obedience to those rulers, parents, or employers “who want to lead them away from true fear of God and honorable living.” Those authorities and parents “will become an ordinance of the devil instead of God, an ordinance which everyone can and ought to resist with a good conscience.”128
The center of the lengthy document is a definition of four degrees of injustice and recommendations for appropriate responses to each of them. These are the degrees:
1. Authority, because of human weakness, has its vices and sin and often knowingly or deliberately does injustice in small mean things. At this point of the argument we do not want the lesser magistracy to use force to resist the superior magistracy… .
2. Authority does great and public violence and injustice to its subjects as when a prince, a town, the Emperor, attacks a prince who is innocent in an unjust war against his own oath, duty and law and wanted thus to deprive him of body and life, wife and child, his liberties or of his land and people… . In this case, just as we do not want to order anyone to defend themselves as in accord with God’s command… so too we do not want it to weigh on anyone’s conscience if he does do so… .
3. When the lesser magistracy is forced by superior magistracy to certain sins, and when it can not tolerate such injustice without sin so it raises opposition and also bears its sword… . We have to pay careful attention here that… in resistance to public forces some higher law or command of God is not broken which would make the resistance unjust… .
4. When tyrants become so mad and crazy that they persecute with weapons and war not only the persons of the lesser magistracy and subjects in a legitimate case, but also (attack) in these persons the highest and most necessary rights and also our Lord God himself… if say a prince or emperor were to become so reckless or mad as to suspend the law of marriage and discipline and set up another law… permitting all sorts of shameful misbehavior… we and other Christians can resist with calm confidence.
This document helped provide the theoretical basis for one of the most celebrated events in the history of resistance—the fourth Huguenot war that began after the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572 and ended in 1598 with the Edict of Nantes that guaranteed the French Protestants the freedom to practice their religion.
The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre prompted Theodore Beza, who was then Calvin’s successor as “Moderator of the Venerable Company of Pastors of Geneva,” to formulate arguments in favor of armed uprising. Beza, who had repeatedly served as chaplain to Huguenot forces in France, completed his work in June or July 1573 and first distributed it with a title page that made it appear to be the Magdeburg Confession. The title read: Of the Right of the Magistrates Over Their Subjects. A very necessary treatise in these times to advise the magistrates as well as their subjects of their duties: published by those of Magdeburg in the year 1550 and now revised and augmented by several reasons and examples. The purpose of this cover was to bypass Geneva’s municipal authorities, who feared reprisals from the king of France, according to Robert M. Kingdon.129
Beza had already shown great interest in the Magdeburgers. In his treatise De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis (1554), he favorably mentioned their defiant attitude.130 To be sure, Du Droit des Magistrats is anything but a copy of the Magdeburg Confession. Kingdon writes: “It is longer and more elaborate; its examples stem from different sources, and finally the reasons on which he bases the treatise, are markedly different.”131
But the key phrase in Beza’s treatise has a distinctly Magdeburg flavor. Chapter 10 carries a title that reads like a summary of the fourth degree of injustice.132as described by the Gnesio-Lutherans: “Si estant persecute pour la religion, on se peat defendre par armes en bonne conscience” (“If one is persecuted because of one’s religion, one may in good conscience defend oneself with arms”).133
125. Melanchthon and the Gnesio-Lutherans opposed each other over the question whether the terms of the Augsburg Interim should be observed, e.g., whether liturgical practices demanded of the Lutherans by the other side should be considered adiaphora (indifferent) and therefore observed. Melanchthon and his followers, the Philippists, favored this. The Gnesios, led by Matthias Flacius Illyricus, opposed it. Flacius, who had come to Germany from the area formerly called Yugoslavia, coined the famous phrase “In casu confessionis et scandali nihil est adi-aphoron” (“When provocations demand an act of confession there is no such thing as an indifferent practice”).
126.Oliver K. Olson, “Matthias Flacius Illyricus,” in Shapers of Religious Traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 1560-1600, ed. Jill Raitt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 4.
127. I used an unpublished translation by A. M. Stewart of Aberdeen University, which is in my possession.
128.Olson, “Matthias Flacius Illyricus,” 38.
129.Robert M. Kingdon, introduction to Theodore de Beze, Du Droit des Magistrats (Geneva: Droz, 1970), mi.
The book goes on to connect the confessions and evolution of Lutherian theology that came from and out of this conflict to having given Bonhoeffer theological animus (as well as other confessing Lutheran’s) to stand against Hitler. Even to the point of Bonhoeffer being involved in the plot to kill Hitler (the Bomb under his desk attempt). So, as much as we would like to package history like the Law of Excluded Middle (an either-or-scenario, no third scenario allowed) in a belief in some Utopian “goodness” within man that can guide him through an “a” or “b” choice… we know this is not the case. And our government was founded on this Reformational view of the nature of man.
Here is an understanding of just how much the Reformation influenced America’s founding, followed up by Thomas Sowell referencing this understanding implicitly. First, and exceprt from a seminary paper I wrote entitled, “Reforming America” (p. 3):
The founding of America is complicated, but one thing that is not is the influence of religion on her founding. Let us be clear about something beyond the belief that America’s founding was simply “religious,” it would have been impossible without it. Not only impossible, but the type of government and documents that were produced by the pre-American zeitgeist are unique in history. Is it possible to believe that a theological system had an effect on the founding of the United States? The answer, according to John Eidsmoe, is “A great deal:”
Calvinism, like any theological system, encompasses both a world view and a view of human nature. The way one views the world and human nature will determine one’s choice for effective government. As James Madison asked in Federalist No. 51, “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?”
And it is this view of mankind’s nature taken from the ideas of Luther and Calvin that paint the picture of the “total depravity of human nature — that man is by nature sinful and unable to please God.” Another author makes the point that the political circumstances of Luther and Calvin seem to have become incorporated into fundamental beliefs of their theological systems. Ergo, when the Puritans came to the New World “they brought with them not merely a religion, but a social vision, whose roots lay in a small town in modern-day Switzerland.”
 John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1987), 19.
 Alister E. McGrath, Reformation Thought: An Introduction, 3rd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1999), 233.
While not explicitly referencing this influence, Thomas Sowell distinguishes between progressive worldviews in their political and economic stances. Contrasting it with a more conservative worldview affecting those same areas. This comes from the first chapter of my book entitled, “Technology Junkies” (see pp. 6-8):
Christianity is closely tied to the success of capitalism, as it is the only possible ethic behind such an enterprise. How can such a thing be said? The famed economist/sociologist/historian of our day, Thomas Sowell, speaks to this in his book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. He whittles down the many economic views into just two categories, the constrained view and the unconstrained view.
The constrained vision is a tragic vision of the human condition. The unconstrained vision is a moral vision of human intentions, which are viewed as ultimately decisive. The unconstrained vision promotes pursuit of the highest ideals and the best solutions. By contrast, the constrained vision sees the best as the enemy of the good— a vain attempt to reach the unattainable being seen as not only futile but often counterproductive, while the same efforts could have produced a more viable and beneficial trade-off. Adam Smith applied this reasoning not only to economics but also to morality and politics: The prudent reformer, according to Smith, will respect “the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people,” and when he cannot establish what is right, “he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong.” His goal is not to create the ideal but to “establish the best that the people can bear.”
Dr. Sowell goes on to point out that while not “all social thinkers fit this schematic dichotomy…. the conflict of visions is no less real because everyone has not chosen sides or irrevocably committed themselves.” Continuing he points out:
Despite necessary caveats, it remains an important and remarkable phenomenon that how human nature is conceived at the outset is highly correlated with the whole conception of knowledge, morality, power, time, rationality, war, freedom, and law which defines a social vision…. The dichotomy between constrained and unconstrained visions is based on whether or not inherent limitations of man are among the key elements included in the vision.
The contribution of the nature of man by the Judeo-Christian ethic is key in this respect. One can almost say, then, that the Christian worldview demands a particular position to be taken in the socio-economic realm.* You can almost liken the constrained view of man in economics and conservatism as the Calvinist position. Pulitzer prize winning political commentator, Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), makes the above point well:
At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply.
A free market, then, is typically viewed through the lenses of the Christian worldview with its concrete view of the reality of man balanced with love for your neighbor…
See for instance: R.H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2000 [originally 1926]); Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003 [originally 1904]); Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York, NY: Random House, 2005); Thomas E. Woods, Jr., How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2005).
Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (New York, NY: basic Books, 2007), 27.
Ibid., 33, 34.
Walter lippmann, Public Opinion (New York, NY: Free Press, 1965), 80.
Another item worth noting is WHERE the Founders of these Great States got the bulk of their influence or philosophy from, many are surprised about this:
Where, then, did our Founding Fathers acquire the ideas that produced such longevity? Other nations certainly had access to what our Founders utilized, yet evidently chose not to. From what sources did our Founders choose their ideas?
This question was asked by political science professors at the University of Houston. They rightfully felt that they could determine the source of the Founders’ ideas if they could collect writings from the Founding Era and see whom the Founders were quoting.
The researchers assembled 15,000 writings from the Founding Era—no small sample and searched those writings. That project spanned ten years; but at the end of that time, the researchers had isolated 3,154 direct quotes made by the Founders and had identified the source of those quotes.
The researchers discovered that Baron Charles de Montesquieu was the man quoted most often by the Founding Fathers, with 8.3 percent of the Founders’ quotes being taken from his writings. Sir William Blackstone was the second most-quoted individual with 7.9 percent of the Founders’ quotes, and John Locke was third with 2.9 percent. ” Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the Founders quoted directly out of the Bible 4 times more often than they quoted Montesquieu, 4 times more often than they quoted Blackstone, and 12 times more often than they quoted John Locke. Thirty-four percent of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible. “
The study was even more impressive when the source of the ideas used by Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke were identified. Consider, for example, the source of Blackstone’s ideas. Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws was first introduced in 1768, and for the next 100 years America’s courts quoted Blackstone to settle disputes, to define words, and to examine procedure; Blackstone’s Commentaries were the final word in the Supreme Court. So what was a significant source of Blackstone’s ideas? Perhaps the best answer to that question can be given through the life of Charles Finney.
Charles Finney is known as a famous revivalist, minister, and preacher from one of America’s greatest revivals: the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s. Finney, in his autobiography, spoke of how he received his call to the ministry. He explained that—having determined to become a lawyer—he, like all other law students at the time, commenced the study of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws. Finney observed that Blackstone’s Commentaries not only provided the laws, it also provided the Biblical concepts on which those laws were based. Finney explained that in the process of studying Blackstone’s, “he read so much of the Bible that he became a Christian and received his call to the ministry.” Finney’s personal life story clearly identifies a major source of Blackstone’s ideas for law.
So while 34 percent of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible, many of their quotes were taken from men—like Blackstone—who had used the Bible to arrive at their own conclusions.
Numerous components of our current government can be shown—through those early writings—to have their source in Biblical concepts. For example, the concept for three branches of government can be found in Isaiah 33:22; the logic for the separation of powers was based on Jeremiah 17:9;t the basis of tax exemptions for churches was found in Ezra 7:24.
In other words, the Reformation and all it’s streams of influence, weighed heavily on the Founding documents of our nation. Again, from my seminary paper and contractual understandings (pp. 11-12):
Even the idea of social contract and the implementing of such a contract is applied by Calvin [pre-Lockian]:
The theory of social contract is generally traced to seventeenth-century philosophers such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. But a century earlier, Calvin had asked the entire people of Geneva to accept the confession of faith and to take an oath to obey the Ten Commandments, as well as to swear loyalty to the city. People were summoned in groups by the police to participate in the covenant.
Again, without the like of Calivin, Wycliff, Luther, and others, the Bible that so stirred the political thought of our founders and whom they read in turn, America would not be here today. This public understanding of many of the precepts of the Bible caused Luther, and subsequently Calvin, to “maintain that all believers shared in the priesthood, in opposition to the Catholic understanding of the priesthood as a separate class unto itself.”
 Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 564-565. The author mentions a book as well on page 565: See J. T. McNeill, The History and Character of Calvinism (New York, 1957), p. 142. See also Chapters 2 and 12 of this study, where the theory of social contract is traced to the Papal Revolution and the formation of cities as sworn communes.
 W. Andrew Hoffecker, Revolutions in Worldviews: Understanding the Flow of Western Thought (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2007), 233.
Also take note of how the Reformation influenced Locke’s philosophy versus the progressive understanding via Rousseau’s influence: Locke vs Rousseau.
Now, onto the second part of this “enlightened” critique of the opening video of this post. What about the enlightenment? What did it lead to ultimately? Did the Protestant Reformation influence the American experience versus the Enlightenment influencing another “Constitution”?… in France:
Fact: The American Revolution was not like the French Revolution
The Americans defended their traditional rights. The French revolutionaries despised French traditions and sought to make everything anew: new governing structures, new provincial boundaries, a new “religion,” a new calendar—and the guillotine awaited those who objected. The British statesman Edmund Burke, the father of modern conservatism and a man who did understand the issues at stake in both events, considered himself perfectly consistent in his sympathy for the Americans of the 1770s and his condemnation of the French revolutionaries of 1789.
In a certain sense, there was no American Revolution at all. There was, instead, an American War for Independence in which Americans threw off British authority in order to retain their liberties and self-government. In the 1760s, the colonies had, for the most part, been left alone in their internal affairs. Because the colonists had enjoyed the practice of self-government for so long, they believed it was their right under the British constitution. The British constitution was “unwritten”—it was a flexible collection of documents and traditions—but by an American conservative’s reading, the British government had acted unconstitutionally in its restrictive acts and taxation.
While Americans sought the self-government to which they believed they were constitutionally entitled, the colonists did not seek the total transformation of society that we associate with other revolutions, such as the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, or the Russian Revolution. They simply wished to go on enjoying self-rule when it came to their internal matters and living as they always had for so many decades before British encroachments began. The American “revolutionaries” were conservative, in the very best sense of that word
Let us quickly show a humorous take of the French Revolution, as, this is where this discussion is headed:
That quote from Jefferson is expanded on a bit by a wonderful post at What Would The Founders Think?, and deals with the animus behind the French Revolution inspired by the Enlightenment:
Marxism-Leninism is also expansionist and internationalist. One has only to look at the famous slogan “Workers of the world unite!” or Marx’s contention that the world’s proletariat has “a world to win.” In Marx’s own words:
It is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far — no only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world.
This international focus and quasi-religious belief in the inevitability and superiority of communism justified almost any action, and hearkens back to the events of the French Revolution. Thomas Jefferson, in a famous letter to William Short was willing to accept, if not condone, the wanton violence that marked the French Revolution:
The liberty of the whole earth was depending on the issue of the contest, and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. Were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is.
In 1793-1794 Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins beheaded 40,000 French citizens. Lenin himself made the comparison with the violence of the French Revolution. “It will be necessary to repeat the year 1793. After achieving power we’ll be considered monsters, but we couldn’t care less.” He and his cohorts described themselves as “glorious Jacobins.”
Communism has never concealed the fact that it rejects all absolute concepts of morality. It scoffs at any consideration of “good” and “evil” as indisputable categories. Communism considers morality to be relative, to be a class matter. Depending upon circumstances and the political situation, any act, including murder, even the killing of thousands, could be good or could be bad. It all depends upon class ideology.
Now, let compare the above to some Kirk’ian understanding of Burke:
That real Jacobinism never has come to Britain or America is in some considerable measure the work of Edmund Burke’s conservative genius. He first succeeded in turning the resolute might of England against French revolutionary energies; and by the time of his death, in 1797, he had established a school of politics founded upon the concepts of veneration and prudence, which ever since has opposed its talents to the appetite for innovation. “We venerate what we cannot presently understand,” he taught the rising generation. His reverence for the wisdom of our ancestors, through which works the design of Providence, is the first principle of all consistent conservative thought.
Burke knew that economics and politics are not independent sciences: they are no more than manifestations of a general order, and that order is moral. He applied his great practical intellect to a glowing delineation of this principle of order, and his work is suffused with the imagination of a poet and the keenness of a critic. Greatly though he disliked an easy familiarity with metaphysics, he saw that the struggle between order and innovation in modern times has its cause in a metaphysical and religious problem: as Basil Willey points out to us, Burke perceived that the root of evil in society “lay in the meddling instinct which presumes to interfere with the mysterious march of God in the world. Burke was of the company of those who are continually conscious of the weight of all this unintelligible world; he was more aware of the complex forces which hem us in and condition all we do, than of any power in us to act back and modify the very environment that limits us.” Men never will be gods, Burke was convinced; all their will and virtue is required if they are to attain mere genuine humanity; and (as Aristotle said) a being that can exist in isolation must be either a beast or a god. Radical innovations would cut us off from our past, destroying the immemorial bonds that join generation to generation; they would leave us isolated from memory and from aspiration; and in that condition, we would sink to the level of beasts, “We have not (as I conceive) lost the generosity and dignity of thinking of the fourteenth century; nor as yet have we subtilized ourselves into savages.” But how are we to be saved from the fierce tide of demoniac energy, the flood of unprincipled aspiring talents and ferocious envy, which is called Jacobinism?
Our hope for safety against the consequences of intellectual fallacies lies in our steadfast adherence to right opinion. Taken as a whole, Burke’s accomplishment is the definition of a principle of order; …. His system is an anticipatory refutation of utilitarianism, positivism, and pragmatism, as well as an attack on Jacobinism. Burke’s almost unparalleled talent for social prediction informed him that the Revolution in France was no simple political contest, no culmination of enlightenment, but the inception of a moral convulsion from which society would not recover until the disease, the disorder of revolt against Providence, had run its course. To check it, he adapted the reverential view of society, the idea of Aristotle, Cicero, the Schoolmen, and Hooker, to the conundrums of the modern world.
An order in society, good or evil, just or tyrannical, must always exist. We have been “marshalled by a divine tactic” to unite in a state which recognizes the true idea of justice. Men are saved from anarchy by veneration of the divine and fidelity to prescriptive wisdom. They are saved by prejudice and gradation.
One of the main points I am trying to get across is that a strict Enlightenment understanding of change makes things worse, and it is the influence on Western (esp. American) culture of the Reformation coupled with Enlightenment advances that has made the understanding of a proper “Reformation” or “Revolution.” In other words, the end result of the Enlightenment was massive death by guillotine for rejecting the new “tradition” that was secular:
With the Jacobins in control, the “de-Christianization” campaign kicked into high gear in 1793. Inspired by Rousseau’s idea of the religion civile, the revolution sought to completely destroy Christianity and replace it with a religion of the state. To honor “reason” and fulfill the promise of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen that “no one may be questioned about his opinions, including his religious views,” Catholic priests were forced to stand before revolutionary clubs and take oaths to France’s new humanocentric religion, the Cult of Reason (which is French for “People for the American Way”).
Only a bare majority of clergy, called “nonjurors,” refused to take oaths to the republic. About 20,000 priests did so and another 20,000 left the country. Many ex-priests publicly denounced their religion, swearing they had never believed it, and “vied with each other in ribaldry and blasphemy.” Vicar Patin stood in front of a revolutionary club and said the “earmarks” of a priest were: “To bestialize humans in order to better enslave them, to make them believe that two plus one is one and a thousand other absurdities, to enter into a compact with our former tyrants to share with them spoils taken from the people.”
Revolutionaries smashed church art and statues. One explained that he had broken the noses off church statues because they were “hideous apes” that deserved to be crushed and used for pavement. At the Cathedral of Notre Dame, hundreds of medieval sculptures of prophets, priests, and kings were yanked from their pedestals and decapitated or hurled in the Seine. The cathedral’s priceless thirteenth- and fourteenth-century stained-glass windows were smashed.
Notre Dame fared better than the Third Abbey Church at Cluny, once the most magnificent monastery in the world. Revolutionaries torched the archives and sacked the Romanesque building, leaving behind nothing but a pile of rubble.
The word “vandalisme” had to be invented to describe the wanton destruction of the abbey church of Saint Denis…
The Founders knew well that the new country they were forging rejected the enlightenment, not as a whole, but in part. There would — never be a comparison like the one found in Robert Morris’s video on comparing the Reformation with the Enlightenment. History laughs at such rudimentary understandings. Like it does at the simplistic understanding in pop-culture of “religion” causing war[s]… see:
All the above being said, do I think Islam CAN BE reformed? Ultimately I do not. This reformation would require a few things, for instance, in an old discussion about Mosques, there was a Muslim man that joined the conversation. I have expanded a bit on what a truly moderate Muslim would look like (like Dr. Qanta Ahmed or Dr. Zuhdi Jasser), they would have to:
1) reject the Sīrat Rasūl Allāh (Life of the Messenger of God; Arabic: سيرة رسول الله), the biographical sketch of Muhammad’s life;
2) as well as the rejection of the Hadith (the Hadith literature was compiled from oral reports that were in circulation in society around the time of their compilation long after the death of Muhammad);
3) change positions on the Qur’an as descriptive (descriptions of historical events and battles that are not prescriptive to attitudes and modern culture ~ like Jews and Christians understand large portions of the Old Testament);
4) reject the reading of the text so that the al-Madīna suras (verses) do not supersede the Meccan suras, which are peaceful;
5) allow for manuscript and literary criticism that is allowed in Jewish and Christian discussions:
▼ For instance, manuscript evidence shows clearly that Mark 16:9-20 is known to be a later insertion into the Biblical text. Biblical critics as well as faithful believers can acces thie historical record to say this is fact. A well-known critic of the text is Bart Ehrman who notes this as well as a well known conservative Christian scholar like Daniel Wallace… as well as most Bibles noting this (for instance one of my study Bibles notes this ~ a:http://tinyurl.com/mg3oove and b:http://tinyurl.com/lx2mn2w). THIS is not allowed in any Muslim nation. I have many books written by modern and classical Greek atheists in my library. THIS is not allowed in Muslim nations. Nor is textual criticism. And when such things are noted, fatwas are put out on the heads of those who say as much about verses added to Qur’an. (Example: Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.)
So, we see from the following examples of how this would be a real tough road to ho:
So do I really think Reformation or Enlightenment is possible in Islam. No. I don’t. The only Reformation that can encroach on the Muslim is one of the truth of Jesus Christ being the Way.
Graham reached out to Muslims and invited them to convert to Christianity (via Gateway Pundit):
“I want to say something to all the Muslims that may be watching this that are confused and are afraid themselves. I want them to know that God loves them and that Jesus Christ died for their sins — and Christ will forgive them and heal their hearts… And they don’t have to die in a jihad, they don’t have to kill somebody else to please God. God loves them and he will accept them through faith and through his son, Jesus Christ.”
In a separate debate, the American Islamic Leadership Conference (AILC) recently announced support for a Michigan bill (HB 4679) that would prevent state judges from utilizing foreign laws. This, to the surprise of some, would include Sharia law. This group, comprised of Muslim adherents, is opposed do any state court decisions that would conflict with American law. In an official release, the group writes:
As American Muslims, we believe that the law should treat people of all faiths equally, while protecting Muslims and non-Muslims alike from extremist attempts to use the legal instrument of shari‘ah (also known as Islamic jurisprudence, or fiqh) to incubate, within the West, a highly politicized and dangerous understanding of Islam that is generally known as “Islamism,” or “radical Islam.”
In the statement, the group also claims that it sees no problem with the law and that it will not, as some would likely charge, hamper the rights of Muslims. Additionally, the AILC opposes the “fear mongering” it claims more radical groups are undertaking here in America, writing:
As American Muslims we are conscious of the fact that Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups and other Islamists and their surrogates in the U.S. are trying their best to portray any opposition to manifestations of shari‘ah law as “racism” and “discrimination against Muslims.”
Asra Nomani from The Daily Beast hits the nail on the head with one statement to CNN, which is that the current security situation is set up more to offend everyone equally than to actually catch terrorists. Nomani, herself a Muslim, advocates profiling as the basis of a rational security protocol that looks for the threat and uses resources for that purpose, rather than harassing women traveling with breast milk, as an example. We already profile in other security efforts, Nomani reminds us, such as the war on drugs, where Colombians get much more scrutiny as a matter of course. We also profile in the opposite direction in visa-waiver programs. Why not add profiling — a technique used in law enforcement for serial murders and rapes — as a tool to enhance airline security and end the waste of time and effort on TSA’s part?
The Hidden War. There’s a war going on and the major battles take place right here in America. It’s a hidden war against the freedom and values we all take for granted. The enemy is taking advantage of our country’s democratic process, and using it to further its own aims. Most people, busy with their daily struggles don’t even realize there’s a war. And that’s just the way the Radical Islamists would like things to remain.
….Akbar Ahmed, Professor of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, says he sympathizes with those who object to the mosque’s planned proximity to Ground Zero. “For most Americans, 9/11 remains as an open wound, and anything associated with Islam, even for Americans who want to understand Islam – to have an Islamic center with so much publicity is like rubbing salt in open wounds,” Ahmed told AP.
The current Miss USA, Rami Fakih, who is the first Arab-American to wear the crown and is a practicing Muslim, agrees with the critics. She told CBS Inside Edition, “It shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.”
Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told The Daily Caller that the Ground Zero mosque “is not a humble Islamic statement. A mosque such as this is actually a political structure that casts a shadow over a cemetery, over hallowed ground. 9/11 was the beginning of a kinetic war, it is not an opportunity for cultural exchange. It was the beginning of a conflict with those who want to destroy our way of life.” Jasser added, “I am in no way looking to infringe on First Amendment issues. I approach this as a Muslim that is dedicated to reform.”
Shi’ite Muslim Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, wrote an article called “A Muslim Case Against the Mosque” on his blog. In it, he argued that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s plan to build the Ground Zero center was not to promote reconciliation and understanding. Instead, says Schwartz, “the plan is obviously provocative and confrontational – and it’s hard to imagine that Rauf didn’t know that long before it became public.”
“That’s one big reason why American Muslims, like other Americans, should reject the project – particularly if they really want to adhere to traditional Islamic principles. I say that as a Muslim convert since 1997,” Schwartz wrote on August 3. “Traditional, moderate Islam teaches Muslims living in non-Muslim-majority societies to obey the laws and customs of the countries in which they reside. They must avoid conflict with their non-Muslim neighbors whenever possible.”
Schwartz isn’t for pushing the First Amendment to the point of antagonizing people – to him, the issue should be courtesy toward one’s neighbor. In this case, he seems to agree with non-Muslim conservative critics that the mosque near Ground Zero is insensitive to others.
Muslims from other countries are chiming in their support for the critics. “Building a mosque there will increase hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims in the West,” Gamal Awad, a professor at Cairo’s Al Azhar University, told the Los Angeles Times. “It will further connect Islam with a horrible event.”….
So what is it? The anti-Islamic/anti-1st Amendment Right versus the pro-Islamic/pro-1st Amendment Left? OR, is it moderately minded/truly reformational/pro-Islamic/pro-1st Amendment Muslims against the Left and radical Islam (as proven by the Imam’s statements [more will be uncovered I am sure of it] and ties to “funny money”)??….
I enjoy political cartoons. One cartoonist whom tends to be moderate-left is John Cole. I comment here-and-there on his work. the most recent comments from me were on this particular drawing he did:
I wrote the following to John and others reading his comment section (I added some emphasis that I could not on his site):
This is something the people who support this particular mosque will be regretful for (well, maybe not regretful, I mean the Left is still proud they essentially killed millions in Vietnam by pulling out). There are already ties to bad money and some supremacist quotes and writings popping up from this Imam and his financial sources.
The funny thing is ~ I mean besides the idea that the people who supported the student uprising in Iran are now supporting the same people that squashed that uprising ~ the people that we want to support [truly moderate and reformational Muslims] WOULDN’T WANT to build a mosque here.
One other point [sorta]. The argument seems to be that if you oppose this mosque you are fomenting some prejudicial fear. This tactic of argument works for those who are The shallow thinkers making them as well as The shallow thinkers hearing them. It is similar to people telling me that being against same-sex marriage is somehow prejudicial, or homophobic. They are typically surprised to find out many homosexual persons are against this “same-sex marriage” movement. (http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/2010/06/joy-behar-vs-homosexuals-on-same-sex-marriage/) I never get an answer as to how these gay people are homophobic. Showing that these cards whipped from hip-high are vacuous and not thought through.
Just like the “if you are against [this mosque you are against] ‘freedom of religion’” argument. Many moderate Muslims are against the building of this mosque. Are they xenophobic or Islamaphobic? Do they hate the Muslim faith? OR, do they realize that supporting extremism IN THEIR OWN religion is anti-religious?
For those who do not get outside MSNBC type news, here are some interviews/articles with moderate Muslims:
So what is it? The anti-Islamic/anti-1st Amendment Right versus the pro-Islamic/pro-1st Amendment Left? OR, is it moderately minded/truly reformational/pro-Islamic/pro-1st Amendment Muslims against the Left and radical Islam (as proven by the Imam’s statements [more will be uncovered I am sure of it] and ties to “funny money”)??
I have gotten responses to this such as: “there are strip clubs, Burger Kings, bars at ground-zero… how can this be a sacred place?” To which I simply respond:
“Those were in place before 9/11, plus, 19 strippers didn’t fly planes into the Towers. (Non-sequitur: you proved my point, guys carrying Qur’ans not whips and chains or cherry flavored undies attacked us.) 3,000 people were killed by people doing it in the name of Islam. In fact, part of the reason they attacked was because of these gentlemen clubs, so I would rather have more of those and less of mosques to foment radical religion. So there should be — like other places where tragic events happen — a buffer zone for sensibilities. That building (besides being funded by “funny money” and being headed up by an Imam that said we were partly responsible for 9/11. There are other places for him to build a Mosque and for conservatives to bury Dems by their support of him as more quotes and radical positions come out. But a building where parts of human remains and pieces of jet were found, is unsupportable. Hell, even Howard Stern gets it.” (http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/2010/08/tearing-down-that-which-no-one-believes-the-left-and-the-ground-zero-mosque/)
Thank you for your visitors taking the time in reading this and for John being truly fair enough and freedom minded enough to allow shlubs like myself to challenge his lifeblood. For all the items I may disagree with him on, he shows that his work [a single frame drawing] can produce feelings and cause separate wills to clash. Which is why I absolutely love political cartoons. A Single frame can catch a whole idea that others would have to express in multiple paragraph’s [like myself].
SO, I do not wish to merely tear down, but build up: “John, keep up the ‘bad’ work” (tongue-in-cheek).
I wanted to build a bit off of that first sentence I wrote, “This is something the people who support this particular mosque will be regretful for.” Regretful because they are supporting a radically supremacist Imam and mosque, and so I confidently tell people that more and more quotes will be shown from this Imam and more and more terrorist ties will be revealed via donors. And so, here are the first compilations of some wacky stuff this Imam has said. I am sure more will be revealed soon.
Whilst the NY Times front page spins interfaith yarns into PR gold faster than Rumpelstiltskin and accords godlike status to Imam Faisal Rauf, new audio surfaces. Here are a couple of soundbites of tolerance: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: “We tend to forget, in the West, that it has blood on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US lead sanction against Iraq lead to the death of over half a million Iraqi children.”
No mention of the 270 million victims of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilation and enslavement. No mention of the recent slaughter by Muslims of Christians, Hindus, Jews, non-believers in Indonesia, Thailand, Ethiopia, Somalia, Philippines, Lebanon, Israel, Russia, China……………. no candor, no criticism of Islam. Imam Feisal: “The West needs to begin to see themselves through the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world, and when you do you will see the predicament that exists within the Muslim community.”
On the question of reforming Islam and expunging the texts of the threat doctrine and mandated violence and conquest: Imam Feisal: On the issue of the reformation, in terms of what is again intended by it, Islam does not need a reformation. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: “So men will say: women, you know, they’re emotional, ….. whatever, whatever, and women will say: men, they’re brutes, insensitive, etcetera, and you have the beginning of a gender conflict. If gender is not what distinguishes us we’ll look at skin colouring and say: n***** or whities, or whatever”
Reverend Al Sharpton was unavailable for comment. Too busy endorsing the Islamic supremacist mosque. Imam Faisal: And when we observe terrorism, whether it was done by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or by al Qaida or whoever is behind the bombings in London or those in Madrid,
Note, when he says about the London and Madrid bombings,that was five days after the London attacks and over a year after Madrid. It was common knowledge who the perps were at that time.
In July 2005, Ground Zero Imam Rauf gave a public lecture, presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre/UniSA International and The Migrant Resource Centre, entitled, What does it take to change the relationship between the West and the Muslim world? His remarks were devastating.
….New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it’s not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as “Fitna,” meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.
The Koran commands Muslims to, “Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book” — i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of “fitna”
So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the “Cordoba Initiative” and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?
Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?
There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.
As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.
The Koran implores Muslims to speak the truth, even if it hurts the one who utters the truth. Today we speak the truth, knowing very well Muslims have forgotten this crucial injunction from Allah.
If this mosque does get built, it will forever be a lightning rod for those who have little room for Muslims or Islam in the U.S. We simply cannot understand why on Earth the traditional leadership of America’s Muslims would not realize their folly and back out in an act of goodwill….
LAHORE, Pakistan — Gunmen stormed two Pakistani mosques belonging to a minority Muslim sect in Lahore on Friday, seizing hostages among worshippers, setting off grenades and sparking a bloody shootout with police.
Gunfire and explosions rang out at the mosques — one in the upscale neighbourhood of Model Town, where a suicide car bomber struck in March, and the second in the heavily congested area of Garhi Shahu.
They are both mosques of the Ahmadis, also known as Qadiani, and have tens of thousands of members. Rights groups say the sect has long been persecuted in Pakistan and has remained an occasional target of sectarian attacks.
“Terrorists have attacked mosques. They are firing and using grenades. They have taken people inside the mosque hostage,” district civil defence official Muzhar Ahmed told AFP by telephone from the scene in Garhi Shahu.
Founded by Ghulam Ahmad, who was born in 1838, the Ahmadi sect has a number of unique views including that Ahmad himself was a prophet and that Jesus died aged 120 in Srinagar, capital of Indian-ruled Kashmir….