Friday, May 23, 2008

Faith-based hatred, Christian-style

There are days when reading the incoming e-mail leaves me wishing for a delete button on my memory, not just the computer. It's not just the offers to enhance body parts; I'm talking about faith-based hatred. Far too much of this garbage claims God's approval for distorted views and even violence.

Muslim jihadists don't corner the market on this, by the way. The latest turd to land in my inbox comes from an alleged Christian who attempts to explain why Jews have suffered persecution throughout history. It's their fault, he says, certainly not our prejudice. I won't spread the manure by quoting it here, but you can be assured that he dredges up every stereotype, false accusation and ignorant anti-Semitic remark he could find.

Then there was the threatening letter that was sent from an organization with "Christians" in its name to a local activist for Palestinian rights (I refuse to name the organization not because I want to protect it but because I don't want to feed it with publicity). The long letter read in part: "... our Ecclesiastical Court has issued an edict inscribing you as a SLANDERER OF ZION and a TERRORIST COLLABORATOR. This means that our 55,000 world-wide disciples are hereby empowered to facilitate your removal from your residence and from the community of peace activists." "Facilitate your removal"? For criticizing Israeli policy?

Add into the mix news stories about the Rev. Rod Parsley's call for the destruction of Islam and the Rev. John Hagee's suggestion that Hitler's Holocaust did the world a favor by driving the Jews to Israel (a necessity for his favorite End Times scenario), and ... well, I'm ashamed that we share the name "Christian."

I hear a lot of complaints that moderate Muslims don't speak out against the extremists -- even though many do speak out, but are ignored. So what should you do when you see your own faith twisted into hate?

45 comments:

Iztok said...

"So what should believers do when they see their own faith twisted into hate?"

What everyone should do, not just believers. Re-evaluate their position and see if there is any validity in the twist or not. If there is, then they need to re-evaluate if they want to be associated with such faith or disassociate from it.

People twist all sorts of things. Good example: Prophets while writing for specific historical events and context are twisted into some future events all the time.

D.J. Williams said...

We stand up and proclaim the truth in love. Nothing exposes error like a healthy rational and loving dose of the truth of God's Word.

Soli Deo Gloria

Gamecock said...

21st Century Christian hatred is e-mails. Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me, comes to mind. For sticks and stones (and machetes, suicide bombers, IEDs, planes into WTCs, etc, see the Muslim variety.

The worst non-Muslim hatred I see in print are Obama's pastor and wife and terrorist Ayers-like friends and the atheists that regularly comment on this blog.

bigcock said...

Some believe the "truth in love" is eternal anguish for nonbelievers.

Iztok said...

Gamecock, I guess you simply forgot early 90's in Bosnia? Where Catholics and Orthodox Christians slaughtered Muslims?

Rwanda anyone?

So what atheists come close to these events in past quarter of a century?

Gamecock said...

I have heard many prominent Jews say that Hagee is a huge friend of Israel and Jews generally. I would like to see his comments that prompted the allegations against him in their full context, as I am aware of many theologians of all sects that have robust debates about theology and history, after which they all go have coffee at Shoney's.

I am aware that The Pope, whom I admire, incredibly, thinks that the Catholic church is the only true church and many protestants that think they are right and that catholics are wrong.

They seek to "convert" each other out of love. Now me, I'm a Baptist, but I'm a Christian first. A Jesus guy.

But I certainly do not begrudge those that see a church's confession and doctrine as very important, and so much so that they think false doctrine can hurt the winning of converts and save their souls.

I suspect that Hagee is being smeared.

I would say that some of his quotes are not helpful in reaching certain people. But then again no one approach is non-offensive to all.

The gospel is an offense to the world.

Gamecock said...

iztok

You forgot to read the "in print" modifier?

Christians lobbied Bill Clinton and the UN to intervene in Rwanda. Christians in the US lobbied Bill Clinton to intervene in the war in Bosnia where the post-Christian European atheists stood on the sidelines appeasing.

So if you want to limit a look at Christians and atheists to 25 years, the anti-theists still fail.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that this topic almost immediately veered off in the direction of who hates MORE. Forget acknowledging that all sides have their faults, and nobody is perfect - at least we're not as bad as THEM.

Iztok said...

"You forgot to read the "in print" modifier?"

Hm... first you say one has to look at IEDs, WTC etc... then modify for "in print"? Wow...

Gamecock said...

iztok

Hmmm is spelled with 3 or more m's. You are incapable of intellectual honesty.

Let's do this. Let's judge the individuals that kill, and not pretend the Christian Church supports any killing. It does not.

Let's count the muslim church leaders that do support killing: see fatwas for cartoons, suicide bombers, the death cult called palestinians after 3 generations of schooling that jews are animals.

Let's look at the majority of atheists that are for dialogue rather than confronting evil, via war if necessary.

'k?

bigcock said...

War is killing.

Iztok said...

Gamecock, I guess you've missed lessons in Bosnia as I've pointed it out. Many Christian leaders there were supporting massacres of Muslims.

This is getting of topic quick.

My initial post was right on in my opinion. When one notices hatred one needs to re-examine its position in regards to particular association and decide if it still fits his personal convictions or not and act upon it.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the world’s great monotheistic religions, or with the sects and denominations within those monotheistic religions, is – as Gamecock points out – that each one thinks it has the one true take on the one and only God. Therefore why don’t we human beings come right out with it and admit the obvious: There is more than one God.

As Iztok notes, “What everyone should do [is] Re-evaluate their position and see if there is any validity in the twist or not. If there is, then they need to re-evaluate if they want to be associated with such faith or disassociate from it.”

I agree. Good point, Iztok. Instead of each and every religion, sect, denomination, cult and all those individualistic Baptist churches trying to ram their beliefs down someone else’s throat, why not pick or discard the best concepts of the lot, and not just on a one time basis, but ongoing? Less arguments, more meaningful faiths and a unity of believers going forward.

LBE said...

Sadly, there really isn't much to be done about such people. I can watch over my own life, heart and tongue and so that by God's grace, my own words and actions bring honor to His Holy Name and not reproach. But I'm certain to blow it from time to time despite my good intentions.

Christians are always going to be judged by Christianity's worst practitioners. I guess it's just our sinful human tendency to want to think the worst. I myself tend to judge the atheists of the world by the attitudes that I see demonstrated on this blog and others. Jane's post reminds me how unfair this is.

In the end, God can look out for His own reputation. If all the unbelieving world sees when they look at Christians are the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials and the Iraq War, then that's all they want to see. By God's grace and through the work of the Holy Spirit, some people are experiencing something else in the quiet and God-glorifying lives of their neighbors and co-workers - the fragrace of Christ to those who are being saved.

Jane, these awful emails are the natural result of sloppy theology and spiritual people everywhere are slopping it to the left and slopping it to the right and one is just as bad as the other. Christians must commit themselves to sound doctrine. Failing to do so doesn't lead anywhere good.

Gamecock said...

War is often justified, as in the interventions by the US in Bosnia and would have been in Rwanda.

agreed?

Gamecock said...

Hagee in context:
excerpt:

"Yet nothing Hagee has said is comparable to what Wright has said. For example, in Wright's Detroit NAACP address, he said that African brains differ from white brains, that black English is no more different from standard English than John Kennedy's New England English was, and that America's repeated acts of terrorism are what brought 9-11's terrorism to America. And, at his own church he was recorded saying, "God damn America" and asserting that we cannot believe government denials that America started AIDS and infected African-Americans with the disease.

Moreover, the totality of Wright's views is virtually entirely race-based, including his continuing praise for Louis Farrakhan, his church's advocacy of "Black values" rather than Christian values, and his teaching that Christianity is rooted in black Africa and that Jesus himself was black.

Most Americans find such views racist. But to Rich, this reaction is "hypocrisy," since a white pastor, Hagee, whose endorsement McCain has accepted, has said equally immoral and bigoted things. Rich provided two examples -- Hagee's criticisms of the historical anti-Semitism of the Catholic Church in Europe and Hagee's statement that Hurricane Katrina may have been God's will as a result of the New Orleans gay parade that had been scheduled for the Monday after the storm.

As it happens, Hagee has completely retracted his objectionable comments on Katrina. Wright, on the other hand, has not only not retracted any of his anti-American and racist comments, he has reaffirmed them. Does this matter to Frank Rich? Of course not. What matters is indicting America for racist double standards.

As for Rich's attack on Hagee for the pastor's "anti-Catholicism," the Times columnist got his facts wrong. Hagee was not calling the Catholic Church "the Great Whore." That is an eschatological New Testament term in the Book of Revelation. Hagee teaches that the "Great Whore" will be an "apostate church" and a "false cult system" made up of all those who claim Christianity yet reject the gospel, whether Catholic or Protestant. He has stated explicitly and publicly -- and should continue to reassure Catholics -- that he does not believe that the "Great Whore" of Revelation is the Catholic Church. For Hagee, the sure sign that a Christian has rejected the gospel is an embrace of anti-Semitism. In the video referenced by Rich, Hagee chooses his examples of "apostate" behavior -- the Crusades, the Inquisition and a Hitler quote referencing the Catholic Church -- not because they are Catholic, but because they are anti-Semitic.

But while Rich and others could have honestly, if mistakenly, believed that Hagee was referring to the Catholic Church in that video, it borders on slander to compare John Hagee with Jeremiah Wright. Hagee has been preoccupied with the suffering of the Jews at the hands of Christians. One would think that the preoccupation of a major Christian leader with Jewish suffering at the hands of Catholics and Protestants -- Hagee has been just as critical of Martin Luther's anti-Semitism as with that of the Church -- would be welcomed by a liberal Jew such as Frank Rich. After all, liberal Jews and liberal non-Jews have been unsparing in their criticism of Christian, especially the European Catholic Church's, oppression of Jews."

more later

bigcock said...

Hagee and Wright are Christians and a Christian comments on the justification of war.

Anonymous said...

iztok,
The fallacy in your thinking is that you say if a group of people "associated" with a given faith does something wrong you need to re-evaluate whether you want to be associated with that faith or not.

Nothing could be more ridiculous.

If you ever actually read the Bible, you'll see that Jesus warned of people that claim to "know" Him but they do not.

You will know them by their fruits. This means by their actions. Read Matthew 7. Go ahead, do it right now so we don't have to fight over this.

Thus, the Bible itself warns of those who will misrepresent Christ.

That does not make the Bible untrue or Jesus any less alive than He is today.

Imagine someone running down the street with a Wachovia employee shirt on and they beat up a homeless man. Does that mean Wachovia does not exist? Nope, it means they had a bad representative. Its the same thing with Christianity.

Jesus NEVER condoned using violence, you know that. Don't keep trying to twist things about Christianity.

Iztok said...

"Jesus NEVER condoned using violence, you know that. Don't keep trying to twist things about Christianity."

Are you absolutely sure about that?

Here is my answer:

1. Jesus and God are one of the same. Unless you claim they are not. So are you claiming that OT God never condoned violence?

2. Perhaps you can read Luke 19 and re-evaluate your statement?

bigcock said...

Religion will lead to billions of people dying. We need to speak out, as Sam Harris has, before it's too late. An excerpt:

"Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next fifty years. According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry here on earth. It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that if the city of New York were suddenly replaced by a ball of fire, some significant percentage of the American population would see a silver lining in the subsequent mushroom cloud, as it would suggest to them that the best thing that is ever going to happen was about to happen—the return of Christ. It should be blindingly obvious that beliefs of this sort will do little to help us create a durable future for ourselves—socially, economically, environmentally, or geopolitically. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency."

Gamecock said...

iztok stumbles into the truth re Jesus is God, and that violence is justified in just wars, self defense, defense of others and just punishments by Caesar.

bigcock said...

"But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." - Jesus

God told Bush to invade Iraq.

pornstudent said...

Bush hallucinated God telling him to invade Iraq.

LBE said...

God did not tell Bush to invade Iraq and Bush never said God told him to invade Iraq. That's just something people say because they hate Bush and hate Christians.

You say he said it - find me the quote.

bigcock said...

According to BBC, quoting Palestinian Foreign Minister, Nabil Shaath:

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

pornstudent said...

But, see White House denies Bush God claim.

Iztok said...

Gamecock,

anonymous said Jesus NEVER condoned violence. I just answered that part.

Luke 19: In the parable of the talents, Jesus says that God takes what is not rightly his, and reaps what he didn't sow. The parable ends with the words: "bring them [those who preferred not to be ruled by him] hither, and slay them before me."

So tell me how exactly was this justified?

Mind you Jesus still condoned violence regardless. So anonymous was simply wrong.

pornstudent said...

See Global Peace Index Rankings.

The countries most at peace are ranked first. The United States is 97th. Americans' belief in Jesus doesn't making them peaceful.

Nick said...

The war debate doesn't interest me honestly.

But the real question is "Which faith is true?" Someone can be a jerk with the true faith and someone can live like a saint with a false faith.

I believe we Christians should watch our words, but I'll also say there's times I've had to get tough with some people and call a spade a spade. I'm very slow to do such though.

Gamecock said...

Two kinds of peace:

Tyranny: Where the peace comes after the government kills all the dissenters - see USSR/China

Freedom's peace after victory

All freedom in the world is due to the USA's victories over evil megalomaniacs and the deterrent value of our mere existence.

bigcock said...

I prefer the peace that has nothing to do with a government.

Gamecock said...

AMEN ON THAT PEACE BC

Gamecock said...

Rape of a name? Prager says yes.

http://www.townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=3&ContentGuid=4fe0942c-0794-4d4c-9d54-0ef355386dd7

bigcock said...

"There are people, many of them Jews, who believe that God was behind the Holocaust... My point is that there is nothing anti-Jewish in John Hagee's belief that God was behind the Holocaust." - Prager

Anonymous said...

Pornstudent, funny that that piece denying that God told Bush to invade Iraq quoted Scott McClellan.

His recent book isn't exactly flattering of Bush. Wonder if he'll change his story about God telling Bush to invade Iraq now that he's telling us what he REALLY thinks.

Anonymous said...

"All freedom in the world is due to the USA's victories over evil megalomaniacs and the deterrent value of our mere existence."

Hope you enjoyed our brief stint as the world's top dog because now we're quickly becoming the junkyard dog.

Just look at the way Dumbass Dubya handled his natural disaster, Katrina, vs. the way Hu Jintao is handling his, the Sichuan earthquake.

Dubya isn't fit to wipe Hu's butt when it comes to responding to disasters.

Dubya was in denial for weeks (probably hopin' Jeezus would fix it), while Hu got some real action going real fast.

Atheists are funny like that.

Now which country looks like a third-world sh-thole run by bumbling imbeciles? China or the U.S.?

Forget about 50 years ago, this is todays reality. And tomorrow will be even more of the same.

Eventually, it will become obvious just as it did to the British when they finally woke up and realized that they no longer ruled the world.

We're quickly becoming hasbeens, only most people in the U.S. haven't realized it yet.

Anonymous said...

How could any religion survive if it taught that the gods loved the unbelievers as much as the believers?

After all, sometimes ya gotta kill to defend the faith.

Gamecock said...

Mouse of anon roared (squeaked, actually):

1 - "Hope you enjoyed our brief stint as the world's top dog because now we're quickly becoming the junkyard dog."

You? Not we/us? Most of world history is a story of tyranny. Freedom has had a brief stint, solely due to the USA, thanks to judeo-christian values inducing responsible exercise of liberty producing wealth enough to satisfy needs, wants and enough to make us more powerful than megalomanical enemies that dominated history before 1776.

Quickly "becoming" a junkyard dog? I always laugh at those that use the -ing words, as it is proof positive that one has no non-ing words to make their case.

May 29, 2008 reality:
Strongest military: USA
Strongest economy: USA (btw, we grow a new China every three years)

2 - "Just look at the way Dumbass Dubya handled his natural disaster, Katrina, vs. the way Hu Jintao is handling his, the Sichuan earthquake."

Katrina: less than 1000 dead
Sichuan: 80,000 and counting

see also:

http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2006/05/13_ghosts.html

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/2315076.html

3 - "Dubya isn't fit to wipe Hu's butt when it comes to responding to disasters."

Hu needs to get off his butt and have a cultural revolution that can build houses.

4 - "Dubya was in denial for weeks (probably hopin' Jeezus would fix it), while Hu got some real action going real fast."

Fix it. NOLA was in better shape after Katrina than China before the EQ.

5 - "Atheists are funny like that."

They are real fast when they slaughter their own people in the millions. Not so fast at building a San Francisco.

6 - "Now which country looks like a third-world sh-thole run by bumbling imbeciles? China or the U.S.?"

The air and water is so bad in China that nations are bringing their own food to the Olympics.

7 - "Forget about 50 years ago, this is todays reality. And tomorrow will be even more of the same.

Eventually, it will become obvious just as it did to the British when they finally woke up and realized that they no longer ruled the world.

We're quickly becoming hasbeens, only most people in the U.S. haven't realized it yet."

non sequitur

becoming v realize "it"

How long have you lived in China, btw?

Iztok said...

Here is more of hatred from the top:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24878944/

"The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of female priests on Thursday, punishing them and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication."

All because Jesus didn't appoint a single woman as an apostle!

So much for equal rights.

Anonymous said...

Okay lamecock, show me where we (USA) grows a "new" China every 3 years.

Come on now, facts and figures, not
your usual BS. You can't be using GDP, so what are you using?

Some "facts" and "figures" pulled out of Dubya's butt or his alcohol-shriveled, Jeezus-lovin' brain?

See if you can get the most obvious lie straight before we tackle the others.

Anonymous said...

"Katrina: less than 1000 dead
Sichuan: 80,000 and counting"

OK, so Dubya couldn't manage a natural disaster 1/80th the size of the one that Hu is handling.

"Georgie" couldn't get "Brownie" off the golf course long enough to take a look at what was going on down there.

What's your point, that Dubya's even more incompetent than we thought?

Anonymous said...

Why do you want to know how long I lived in China? What difference would that make?

Anonymous said...

Hey, lamecock, what about your moronic claims about US growth vs. China?

If you're having trouble finding sources, try the CIA World Factbook.

I'm giving you a big clue here.

You're so wrong it's laughable, except, like so many Christians nowadays, you actually believe your own BS is fact.

Gamecock said...

Anonymous

I didn't know you had lived in China. But your irrational insistence that China is kicking US butt made it more likely that you had since even most American libs aren't that ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so living in foreign countries just makes you more ignorant about them, eh?

That's the problem with so-called "conservatives" today.

Many don't see that the world HAS changed. Or they choose to ignore it in favor of good ol' 1950's style "patriotism".