A NOTE FOR JOHN WHOSE BLOG IS “A View From The Middle (Class)”

Why this post? I got a pingback from If a “COEXIST” bumper sticker can raise a fuss, well …  that went into the spam queue. What is If a “COEXIST” bumper sticker can raise a fuss, well … about? Well, John, the author at A View From The Middle (Class), wants us to be more understanding and tolerant. So he spends a few words saying — well here are his words.

This is not meant to condone or excuse the violence and senseless brutality that we’re seeing from some Muslims — note that I said some Muslims — in the Middle East.  All that shows is that religious zealotry comes in all forms and fashions, and it needs to be condemned wherever and whenever we see it.  It takes cojones to do that, and sometimes it seems as though the ones who do have the cojones are in the minority.

Then, with the rest of his post John then goes on to castigate Christian intolerance. What does John use as his point of departure (see here, here, and here)? He uses something entirely, completely, and wholly fitting, the murder of our fellow Americans, several members of our embassy to Libya.

Here are a few words for John and his tolerant ilk.

John — Perhaps the most difficult thing we can do is to put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes and try to see things from their point of view. Should we try? Yes, but we do not have to agree or ignore the fact that what some people believe is wrong.

What Islam teaches is wrong. Islam teaches it is okay to hate non-Muslims. When it is in the Koran, it is silly to pretend Muslims believe otherwise.

Christianity teaches it is wrong to hate anybody. In fact, the Bible teaches us to forbear with the hatred of others, that vengeance belongs to the Lord. Thus, when someone preaches hatred against Christianity or America, we don’t do much about it. The worse punishments we inflict are ostracism and verbal condemnation. Therefore, in America, we can say the most stupid and insulting things. We allow nothing more than the condemnation of stupid and hateful propaganda.

Unfortunately, the United States has no shortage of stupid and evil people. So we do not have to go far to find anti-Christian and anti-American propaganda. If members of our own mass media cannot find people to spout anti-Christian and anti-American propaganda, they will produce anti-Christian and anti-American propaganda of their own. Unless they produce anti-Islamic propaganda, our media elites need not fear being attacked with rocket-propelled grenades. Instead, if any of their fellow Americans criticize their anti-Christian or anti-American propaganda as trash, these self-styled tolerant folk will use their Christian/American detractors as a source of amusement. They will hold them up on display as hateful human beings.

What is the problem? The problem is a double standard. We Americans want to think of ourselves as the epitome of understanding. So when Anti-Christian and anti-American zealots fire rocket-propelled grenades at us and kill us, we just wonder what we might of done to insult them. After all, what right do we have to hold ignorant, backward, uncivilized Muslims responsible for their behavior? Because we are so smart and powerful, we can only hold brilliant, evil, and sly Americans responsible, particularly those bigoted Christian Americans.

Seriously, when Muslim terrorists have to look for excuse (a silly film nobody ever heard of) to justify killing people, how gullible do you have to be to believe such an excuse? That’s not being understanding. That’s being stupid.

So what did John’s post accomplish? John’s post provides an example of what is wrong the COEXIST bumper sticker. The people who have adopted that bumper sticker promote a distorted view of religious tolerance, that is, we must believe all religious beliefs are equally right and good.

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I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
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18 Responses to A NOTE FOR JOHN WHOSE BLOG IS “A View From The Middle (Class)”

  1. genomega1 says:

    Reblogged this on News You May Have Missed and commented:
    A View From The Middle (Class)

  2. You totally missed the point of my blog. Oh well. Better luck next time.

  3. Allow me to add one more thing regarding the last paragraph: “So what did John’s post accomplish? John’s post provides an example of what is wrong the COEXIST bumper sticker. The people who have adopted that bumper sticker promote a distorted view of religious tolerance, that is, we must believe all religious beliefs are equally right and good.”

    No, not necessarily saying that. Try this on for size: it involves opening a civilized dialogue so truths can be revealed and misinformation can be reversed. That’s part of the problem among the fanatics on either side. It’s not encouraging people to convert to Islam or Tao or Buddhism or whatever, but to at least make an attempt to come to a better understanding of each other. Is that asking for too much? Otherwise, the violence we’re seeing now will always go on.

    Anyone who fears that must be a bit shaky in their own religious beliefs. And we can gloss over the hatred that does exist in the Christian world today, but it does exist, only in a somewhat quieter manner.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      John – I am not sure why your comments went into the spam queue. Since there is no telling what some people consider offensive, I changed the Discussion Settings from a “G” to a “PG” rating. Maybe that will help. Anyway, thank you for trying a second time.

      Onto the subject of fanatics. I generally try to avoid calling others names. Instead, I speak of behavior. While some Muslims are willing to engage in a frank discussion, their religion dictates otherwise. That is why the adherents of differing faiths have great difficulty practicing their faith in nations where Muslim’s predominate. Yet what are you complaining about? When it is so difficult to find Christians persecuting the members of other faithss, why waste so much time complaining about Christians who condemn the intolerance of Muslims? If you want to properly define and defend religious freedom, doesn’t it make more sense to condemn the behavior of the people who are most intolerant of other religions?

      You speak of fear. Then you virtually ignore the obvious threat before you and attack those at whose side you stand. What drives such strange behavior? Fear? Do you fear not being politically correct?

      BTW – Because man is depraved, particularly those who have not been reborn in Christ, the violence will go on. Only God can change the character of a man. When we permit Him, God will change the nature of that which is in our hearts. Thus, from a Christian viewpoint, the dialogue exists — we defend freedom of conscience — for two reasons.

      1. God requires us to love each other. In part, we show our love by respecting each other’s God-given rights.
      2. Where people have religious freedom, we can tell them of Jesus. That permits each who hears of Jesus the opportunity to freely choose to be reborn in Christ Jesus.

      • “While some Muslims are willing to engage in a frank discussion, their religion dictates otherwise.” — There are things in the Old Testament we are dictated to do that Christians today don’t believe in doing, right? I’d say MOST Muslims are willing to engage in a frank discussion, not just SOME. I’m curious, how many Muslims have you sat down and had a frank discussion with and really gotten to know and understand them?

        “When it is so difficult to find Christians persecuting the members of other faithss, why waste so much time complaining about Christians who condemn the intolerance of Muslims? If you want to properly define and defend religious freedom, doesn’t it make more sense to condemn the behavior of the people who are most intolerant of other religions?” — Do you really want to go there? Do you rrrreeeaaalllly want to go there? I’ll keep this one fairly simple: the Republican candidate for President belongs to a religion that’s been persecuted for over a century and a half, often times violently, by members of other Christian faiths. And that’s not even a start.

        “What drives such strange behavior? Fear? Do you fear not being politically correct?” — No. Do you fear basic common sense? If you find that response laughable, it’s no more laughable than your question. It comes down to a simple matter of trying to get along with each other despite differences so we don’t blow each other off the face of the Earth. Unless that sounds good to you.

        I won’t argue your final Biblically based points. And I don’t deny that the uprisings in the Middle East more than likely have something to do with an al Qaida 9/11 anniversary movement more than they do a rotten video, but isn’t it possible that al Qaida members used that video to spur on their intended movement? And who put that humiliating video together? If Jesus were depicted in a less-than-favorable light in a film, Christians too would react with outrage. For one example, I point to the days when the film “The Last Temptation of Christ” was released. Look up the violent reaction to that (bombings in France) and who was responsible for that violence.

        I could give examples of other acts of modern-day Christian violence that have nothing to do with anti-Muslim sentiments, but that would start a whole other — and much bigger — debate.

        You seem to be pushing the notion that Christians are perfect and can do no wrong simply because they’re Christians. Believe it or not, I am a practicing Christian myself, fully baptized in 1998 at the age of 37 after searching long and hard for a denomination I could fully accept. In fact, I’ll be the guy at my church in my Saturday Sabbath this weekend filling up the baptismal pool so my daughter’s best friend can be baptized herself. I’ve fully accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I’m not ashamed of that.

        However, no matter how much we as Christians try to portray ourselves as being perfect and much more perfect than Muslims or any other religion, we still need to remember the fact that we are still humans and we are very much imperfect. There is only one who is perfect, and that is Him.

        I don’t care what religion anyone belongs to. No matter what religion anyone belongs to, what makes them a better human being is what’s in their heart. That’s where their Savior lives.

  4. boomersdad318 says:

    I am curious to hear your thoughts on the idea that perhaps neither belief system is correct and that they both teach the same view about each other. As reference I offer Dueteronomy 13:6,8-15 and Sura 2: 187 – 189.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      boomersdad318 – What has Sura 2: 187 – 189 got to do with Deut 13:6-15? I think you cited the wrong part of the Koran.

      Anyway, for what they are worth, I suspect I have already offered my thoughts in this matter. Check out:

      http://citizentom.com/2010/09/14/the-bible-and-the-koran-have-parallel-texts/

      and

      http://citizentom.com/2008/08/24/ridiculing-apostate-or-simply-confused/

      President Obama actually mocked the same Bible passage you cited. That in part is what the second post is about.

      Note one thing in particular about Deuteronomy 13:6-15. It ends this way.

      12 “When you are living in the towns that the Lord your God gives you, you may hear 13 that some worthless people of your nation have misled the people of their town to worship gods that you have never worshiped before. 14 If you hear such a rumor, investigate it thoroughly; and if it is true that this evil thing did happen, 15 then kill all the people in that town and all their livestock too. Destroy that town completely.

      Since God does not condone stealing, He did not allow His people to receive any reward for killing idol worshippers. For what He apparently thought was a good reason, He just wanted idol worshippers executed. So you may want to consider what that reason might be.

      • So then god doesn’t have to follow his own dictate thou shall not kill? He issues this and not a paragraph later he breaks it and his subject break it. Seems hypocritical at best.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          boomersdad318 – Rather than taking the care to be correct, you are apparently saying things for effect. That makes anything you say hard to take seriously.

          Anyway, you have raised two issues.
          1. What did God order His chosen people to do? I suggest you consider the difference between killing and murder. The Bible prohibits murder.
          2. Is God subject to His own commandments? Are parents subject to the rules they give their children?

        • I take great care to be correct in my assertions. It would appear that we had a genuine difference of opinion on the matter of what is correct.

          1: As the definition of murder is as follows.
          Noun
          The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
          Verb
          Kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.

          Now being that god had just issued the 10 commandments, edicts, dictates, or laws by which his true followers were to live their lives. Then instructs them to kill their neighbors the in order that they might take or steal their land.

          2: I would say that if the god in which you believe is the active god, the god of the bible, who gets involved in human affairs. Then yes he must operate by his own rules. Parents must operate in accordance with rules that are set for their household and children less they appear inconsistent and their children do not trust them. Because as we know children are very attuned to noticing when rules are not applied fairly across the board. So therefor I would absolutely say that god, any god must be bound by the laws which are attributed to being given by him. And if he is not then he is no different that King John of England, or Saddam Hussein of Iraq. A dictator not truly concerned with the wellbeing of those under his leadership. But one who solely wants control and subjugation of the people.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          boomersdad318 – Let’s consider your points in the same order you presented them.

          1. Israel was a theocracy. When God ordered the people of Israel to kill those among them who were clearly breaking His commandments, they were just enforcing the Law. By your own definition, that is not murder.

          Since you were raised in a nation with a Christian heritage (Christians are under the new covenant.), you tend find what God ordered the people of Israel to do a bit repugnant. We allow freedom of religion, but God had given Israel the Ark of the Covenant. So the people of Israel had little excuse for not knowing the One True God. Moreover, the manner in which pagans worship their gods tends to be evil in and of itself (i.e., child sacrifice). Therefore, the form of worship merits punishment.

          2. The next time you see a five-year old driving a car, smoking, drinking liquor, signing a contract, and so forth, do you intend to explain to the adults involved why that child should not be allowed to do all things we do not allow children to do? I doubt you will find many who think hypocrisy and good parenting are one and the same. However, if the child remains unharmed, you may induce a few belly laughs.

          Why do we hold parents responsible for their children? Doesn’t it have something to with significantly greater knowledge and experience? God is omniscient. Even as parents, we are not omniscient. Therefore, we should not expect God to let us do much. Instead, we should be thankful he has confined us to a playpen, one tiny planet that circles a small sun in a little galaxy.

          God knows all the things you and I cannot conceive of. Reflect upon this verse and try to imagine what is involved.

          Romans 8:28 Good News Translation (GNT)
          We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.

        • Well then I am glad that I do not believe in the god that you example. A capricious, ill tempered, and jealous construct. That people attribute to taking care of them, but in actuality was created by man to control other men through guilt. I find your dialog and lack of historical understanding unacceptable. The facts that ordering to kill someone else to take their land under the guise of dealing judgment on peoples who don’t agree with your insane preachments that your god has told you that they are evil. This is totalitarian and uncompassionate. And the fact that you welcome this and eagerly accept it shows how delusional this belief system is.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      Check out my last post.

      If you are truly seeking the truth, you may also wish to check out the post before that one too.

  5. Citizen Tom says:

    John – I cannot hold up either myself or Christians as perfect. When only Jesus is and could be a perfect human being, what would be the point of trying to prove any group of human beings is perfect? So that was not the point. On a statistical basis, it is relatively difficult to find American Christians persecuting those of other faiths. Christian societies generally disapprove of such behavior. Are there exceptions? Am a nervous about goooooing there? No. Look at your own example. Isn’t Mitt Romney running for president as the candidate of the Republican Party?

    When there is really not too much we can do it, you worry too much about us blowing each other off the face of the earth. The problem is about what we believe. Even though you do not want to discuss what is in the Bible, the problem is one of Christian doctrine. Man is depraved. We sin. What the Bible is about is how Jesus offers us salvation. Both the Old Testament and the New tell Jesus’ story, and both the Old Testament and the New tell us about the same unchanging God.

    What both the Old Testament and the New teach us is that we must love God and each other. Therefore, devout Christians — Christians who believe what the Bible says — do not often persecute others just for believing something different. Except for loving God and each other, we know there is nothing else we can do that our God will accept as right and proper.

    The world teaches a different doctrine. The world teaches we must earn salvation. Undoubtedly, you know that idol worshippers once sacrificed human beings on the alters they built to their gods. Seeking what the desired at any cost, prideful men and women paid the price for what they wanted by sacrificing even their own children to idols they imagined would reward them — if only they paid a high enough price.

    Little has changed. In their own evil way, as an offering to their twisted visions of government, Nazis and Communists sacrificed millions in concentration camps.

    Look about you. Is it that hard to find evidence that the sacrifices continue?

    What Islam teaches is the world’s doctrine. What Islam teaches does not involve respecting the rights of others. Mohammed taught a doctrine of conquest. Consider just this one example. How do Christians and Muslims define the term “martyr”?

    Before denying his love for Jesus, the Christian martyr will give up this life.

    To stop him from killing the infidels, the Muslim martyr must be killed.

    What does God find in each human heart? Is it more important than the religion we are born with? I think so. I believe we each have a longing for God, and this longing helps to explain why Christ Jesus tasked us to spread His Gospel. He offered those of us who have been given much something we can share in love, His Word.

    • Tom, we find Christian acts of violence any time an abortion clinic gets blown up or a doctor is gunned down. Then, Christians are forcing their beliefs on others. No, I’m not a fan of abortion, but I also don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on others. And did you look up Christians’ response to “The Last Temptation of Christ?” Blowing up a theater? I’m done with this, enjoy your view.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        John – Consider what you are doing. Here is the logic.

        - The perfect religion would produce perfect people
        - There are Christians doing bad things.
        - Ergo, Christianity is not the perfect religion.

        In order for Christians to call the Bible the Word of the God, do Christians have to prove that anyone who even calls himself a Christian is perfect? Why? Christian doctrine does not teach any such thing. Nonetheless, if you cite an act of “Christian” violence, you seem to think you have scored all the points you need to make. Yet you go to the trouble of pointing out your Christian credentials. That, to say the least, is a puzzle.

        While it is true that a Christian’s conduct will affect what non-Christians think of Christianity, we should not expect all who call themselves Christians to be perfect. Jesus came to save us — sinners — not perfect people.

        Look at what the Bible says about the people Jesus saved. Look at His chosen Twelve. None achieved perfection in this life. Even after Jesus chose them, each apostle lived his life as a work in progress. Because he never had faith in Jesus, one failed entirely. He betrayed our Lord.

        Will we find evidence of God’s perfection in this world? If we do, we will find it through faith.

        Hebrews 11:1-3 Good News Translation (GNT)

        To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God’s approval.

        It is by faith that we understand that the universe was created by God’s word, so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.

      • Dear John,

        I have written before that it is inappropriate to blame religions equally for troubles in the world today.

        The total death toll from abortion clinic bombers (and Christian terrorists of all sorts, as nearly as I can tell) in the last half century is in the tens — far less than 100. It is approximately the same killed by jihadizst (Islamic terrorists) on any given day … before breakfast. I think that there is an obvious issue of scale.

        Moreover, when someone professes that the Christian faith motivated him to kill, he is catigated by Christian leaders; They will have none of it. When Usama bin Ladin and his Muslim Brotherhood spin off attacked the World Trade Center again, he received commendatioms from Muslim leaders around the world. For example, the Islamic leadership council of Pakistand awarded him the Sai’fAllah — the “Sword of Allah” — the highest award to the most righteous.

        Right now, an Islamic cleric who openly advocated the death of all Jews and the destruction of the West has a radio audience of sixty million thoughout the Middle East. I’ve read editorials in Indonesian newspapers (hardly a top country for the terrorist list) advocating killing any Christian you see. The paper prints these without comment; they seem unremarkable even in the English-language version of the paper.

        They ARE unremarkable. The sentiment is common, hence the ability to raise thousands of “Death to (America/Israel/the West/civilization)” protesters in any city with a substantial Muslim population, even Detroit.

        When you find a Christian talking about killing people, there’s a good bet that he is a leftist, and that this is the part speaking. Phelps, the leftist civil rights lawyer turned “God Hates Fags” preacher/Democrat candidate is an example of this sort. Jim Wallis is not far off of this, though approaching the “Death to America” schtick from an economic angle. But again, it is his Marxism rather than his Christianity that drives this. (A pity, I think, that such a person would have the ear of President Obama.)

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  6. Citizen Tom says:

    Keith – Thank you for your comment. By pointing to facts we cannot refute because we all know them to be true you provided an unassailable argument. What is sad how many people simply choose to ignore unpleasant facts. I suppose such indifference also explains a great many bankruptcies and our nation’s huge deficit. :-(

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