WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO DISCUSS ISLAM?

Keith DeHavelle‘s post, The Jihadist War, features a couple of interesting videos.  The first is a production of Dr. Bill Warner, a scientist/mathematician who decided someone needed to study Islam using statistical methods.  Intrigued by that first video, I decided to watch the one below.

Admittedly, I need to study Warner’s sources more carefully, but in light of what I already know, Warner’s theories make remarkably good sense.

  • Warner argues that political Islam is at war with non-Muslims. He points to history, current events, and Islamic doctrine.
  • Warner claims the rise of Islam brought about the Dark Ages. When I was growing up, I heard everything from the Vikings to lead in Roman pottery blamed for the Dark Ages. Yet while it may make sense to blame the Germanic tribes in part for the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes obviously did not cause the collapse of the Byzantine Empire.
  • Warner argues that non-Muslims have allowed themselves to become too traumatized to face the fact that we are at war with political Islam. He point to the Stockholm syndrome, and he says we are suffering from it. Here Warner and I part company. Frankly, I don’t understand why we refuse to point to political Islam and identify it as hostile and dangerous. Nevertheless, I am certain the Stockholm syndrome doesn’t explain it. I think the explanation has to do with the devout belief of some in multiculturalism. Why do people want to believe in multiculturalism? Since it is so irrational, I am not certain. Yet it does seem to me that those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ find it easier to accept multiculturalism on faith.

Anyway, for those with a short attention span (like me) Warner’s video is a bit long. Nevertheless, it is very interesting. So if you willing to make the effort, please comment. I would like to hear what you think.

71 thoughts on “WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO DISCUSS ISLAM?

  1. Interesting, Tom.

    “I am certain the Stockholm syndrome doesn’t explain it. I think the explanation has to do with the devout belief of some in multiculturalism.”

    Hmm, is there a difference? Stockholm syndrome makes more sense then my belief that we’ve been invaded by alien pod people. In all seriousness however, there has been a kind of brainwashing going on, cultural indoctrination that sure starts to look a lot like stockholm syndrome. I watched it wash across our schools, our TV’s, the media, music…until we started producing people that actually embrace Islam, while hollering about gay rights, women’s rights, completely disregarding Islam’s stance on those issues. Recycling, global warming, gay rights, abortion, and free the Muslims! It is all indoctrination that has played off of people’s emotion and biology, an idea that was born of the 60’s. When I was a child people spoke of bringing about this very thing.

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  2. As an aside, I need to find a different browser, so that I can use it for your new site layout. It breaks the one I have used for years, unfortunately. I do not look forward to this, as I cannot give up my current browser/email system with its three-million-plus two decades of emails.

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

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  3. I believe we are afraid to discuss the dangers posed to our way of life by Islam because we tend to love our comfort zones and stick our head in the sand rather than to confront things that might pose a threat to us. We have a tendency to believe what we hear and what we are hearing today is, “Oh that’s all right, this ship has been built to be unsinkable and there is no way that she is going to sink just because we scraped up against an ice berg. Let’s just ignore all the commotion up on dick and everything will be fine.” —– I call this “The Titanic Syndrome” and I think that is where America is on the issue of Islam right now.

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      1. I am so glad to learn there is somebody else out there who understands there are a lot of people who deny the threats caused by the prospect of Islamic Terror. I was beginning to think I was the only one because I am plagued by apologists who try to make every argument in the world that there is nothing to fear from this plague.

        Thank you so very much for gracing our blog with your reassuring comment.

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  4. I have studied the history of Europe from Antiquity through to the Renaissance presented by both secular and Catholic historians.

    The Catholic historians were more up front about the true nature Islam and tell much the same story as Dr. Warner (though not in such grand detail).

    And it is accepted scholarship in the secular university that the post Roman Empire Europeans made great efforts to preserve the Roman order, language and rule of law.

    And it is becoming ever more clear, as Dr. Warner explains, that the Jihad is what caused the Middle Ages in Europe, not the Christians, who in fact laid the foundation for modernity and Western Civilization.

    The West will either remain Christian or be conquered by the Jihad.

    That’s us, people.

    Just like at the end of Antiquity when Roman culture weakened and allowed the mass migration of barbarians into the Empire, the West is undergoing a similar mass migration today.

    And part of the mass migration of today are hordes of Muslims.

    Those good people (Muslims) streaming into American and European cities are forming the concrete foundation upon which the Jihad will seize power and finally destroy Christian Western Civilization.

    It’s all there as clear as crystal, in our history.

    Thank God for people like Dr. Warner!

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  5. 1. Political Islam is, if you study the movement long enough, arguably at war with Islam in general. At least that’s what Muslims say.

    2. Tolstoy warns us in War and Peace from trying to ascribe one cause to events, like ascribing the defeat of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia to the genius of the Russia, the faults of Napoleon, or the weather. So also, Islam became prevalent for a number of reasons such as the dominance of the monophysites in Arabia, the frankly charismatic leadership of Mohammad, the lucky circumstances that allowed him to win key battles, the unwillingness of the Meccans to fight, the adaptability of Muslim values with the variety of Middle Eastern cultures, the inherent unifying principles of the religion itself, the laxity with which the Eastern church and empire dealt with the new religion, and so on and so forth on to infinity. Whether or not the Western Empire–for indeed, the East was quite capable to deal with Islam in it infancy but proved quite incapable as it grew into a movement spanning more than a few tribes in Arabia, converging into a system of government and alliances that were arguably stronger than the bonds of the Roman Empire at the Pax Romanum.

    3. While Stockholm syndrome sounds great when you are arguing in order to discredit the points your opponent makes, it does not accurate describe the actual situation. There is not a sympathy or empathy for the jihadists. On the contrary, there is a severe dislike since they go against stated “Western” values like bacon and free condoms (read gluttony and lust). They are unthinkable because, taking after the tripe we are perpetually fed by the likes of Locke, religion is supposed to be private and personal, extending no farther than maybe charity and the odd court case. To suggest that one could be so inspired by their religion as to commit acts of violence, to go to war proclaiming “Deus Vult,” is unthinkable to the Western mind. It is because the Western mind is not religious, it is secular. It cannot understand religion except that thing that makes family gatherings awkward. To run into a people who are not only willing to die for religion and impose it’s precepts over all the world, but kill for it, it rankles the perfect Western ideas we imagined for ourselves. We imagined that everyone could get along religiously if we just kept religion to ourselves. We imagined that everyone would be happy with that arrangement so long as we had plenty of purchased goods and fancy houses. We imagined that we could content the world with decadence and slake the eternal thirst with transitory things.

    This talk of the “destruction” of “Christian Western Civilization” is laughable when we see our modern world for what it is: empty, vapid, and devoid of grounding in truly universal principles. Trying to tack down one thing or the other as the “destroyer” is as ludicrous as when the Russians deemed Napoleon to be the Antichrist. It seeks to find, in keeping with human nature, a reason and a purpose for what seems to be the destruction of the whole world. It seeks for a solution, a restoration of some imagined golden age, a realization of the eschaton we made in our hubris. In the end, it is all vanity. One man, one nation, one people cannot and do not change anything. It is the massive and incalculable movement of humanity towards the beginning and end of all things. We struggle in vain to try and affect things when ultimately we only create our own ruin. The only thing that will come of any plan or strategy will be our return to the dust from which we were formed.

    BUT amid the vain efforts and striving of these supermen we place so much trust in every four years or so, amid the chaos and uncertainty in the world, there is the promise of Christian civilization, dead as it always has been in the eyes of the world, but living still in the Body of Christ. In this understanding, America will never become more Christian by having less Muslims in it, but by confessing in deed more often than word like the thief, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

    Soon comes the great feast of the Nativity. On that day we celebrate the coming of the Lord. Consider the example of Mary who said, “Let it be done.” She believed and accepted into her very body the Lord of All. On that we celebrate her giving what she received. Indeed, this is the example for “Christian civilization.” It is not in the nativity scenes in front of public buildings, or the monuments with the commandments on them, or public prayer in school. What we do in public is acknowledged by men for the Father knows what is done in secret. Rather, it is giving what we have received. It is giving Christ to others by following his example. What is his greatest example? Look no further than the cross.

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    1. Your first two paragraphs sounded good. I have no idea why you had to attack John Locke. Stupid.

      Much of the rest of what you said is a rather weak justification for accepting Muslim refugees.

      Will America become less Christian if we have more Muslims in it? Well, it will certainly become more Muslim.

      Am I totally happy with America? No, but I don’t have the right to change the character of the country by inviting a bunch of people into our country who do not love it. When I look at the Middle East, I see a mess. What is the point of bringing the people who made that mess here? If you think we are guilty of not being good Christians, deal with that problem. Don’t make it worse.

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      1. Locke, in his letter on toleration, can be ascribed the genesis of the moral relativism we see today. The maxim, “every man is orthodox unto himself” places in man a power he was never intended to have: the power, nay, the right to create a god in his own image. How many atheists have you found Tom who have said, “Why is your religion true when there are thousands out there” or something like it? True, the wars of religion were terrible. That doesn’t give everyone the right to simply declare they have the truth. Locke also creates problems because, as I mention in my previous paragraph, he forces religion into a box it was never intended to fit into. His intolerance of Catholicism, for example, stems from the belief in Catholicism that it is the one true faith and that all should belong to it. Locke doesn’t like that. He doesn’t believe anyone should be able to proselytize or evangelize. Religion must stay in the churches, not in the public square. How many times have we railed against the atheistic agenda of the “separation of church and state” crowds that seek to abolish all public signs of religion? They merely put Locke’s doctrine into practice.

        It is with the shutting out of religion in public affairs that leads to the rankling of Westerners when they see the likes of Daesh. Such public displays of their ideological religious sentiments terrify us mostly due to the public nature of the expression. If they killed in secret, would we be as afraid of them?

        My justification comes from mainly two sources:

        First, it is sound COIN doctrine. When dealing with an ideological insurgency, it behooves us not to allow ourselves to be the epitome of their propaganda. I hate to sound banal, but refusing refugees is exactly what the terrorists want. They want refuges to be disillusioned people that they can radicalize.

        Second, its in the Bible. “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
        “You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
        “You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.”
        “You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge.”
        ‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
        ‘Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”
        “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.”

        In my volunteer work with the refugee services provided by my church, none of them expressed a desire to hurt anyone. One woman wants to start her own medical practice having studied for several years to become a doctor in Syria only to be forced out her home because, you know, it got blown up. Another man wants to become a citizen and was talking to me about joining the Army because he believes America is going to liberate Syria and he wants to help. No one I have talked to doesn’t want to be here. Each one talked at length about how great they think America is. I had to laugh at some. One thought we ate steak every day and that everyone wore cowboy boots. As jaded as we get about America slipping away as a land of opportunity, these people have that idyllic hope in America. When I told the female doctor that abortions were legal here, she said, “No! Not in America! America stands for justice.”

        Granted, these are my personal experiences but that is exactly what we need to do with the few refugees we are taking in. We need to have personal interaction and relationships with them. We may be the one person who shows them Christ and fulfills their ideals about what America is about.

        It requires more effort than what the administration is doing and I thank God they are letting the churches take care it for the most part. Because how are they to love America and indeed love us if we do not show them that love? Providing a good example and a faithful witness are essential to integrating them into our country, two things that the government doesn’t seem too interested. Again I thank God they leave it to us.

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    2. @mastersamwise, who wrote:

      1. Political Islam is, if you study the movement long enough, arguably at war with Islam in general. At least that’s what Muslims say.

      Only by including the last bit does this work. Political Islam is Islam. Not all Muslims devoutly adhere to the faith, but the faith explicitly calls for complete political rule. This marks it as very different from Judaism or Christianity, for example, or from religions in general.

      Muslims often downplay political Islam, to Western audiences. But the same Muslims, with rare exception, push political Islam to their Arabic and Iranian and other audiences, bragging about the ascendancy of Shariah law over the West.

      An example: Imam Faisul Rauf (of Ground Zero Mosque fame), so moderate that they got him to give a TED talk on moderate Islam, was pushing his Saudi audiences to give him money so that the Second Cordoba Mosque could help bring Shariah rule to the Western infidels. and mark a glorious victory for Islam. And he wrote a book about bringing Shariah to America to replace the US Constitution.

      As I said, not all Muslims are devout enough or observant enough to care about this, and those make good neighbors. But enough are — perhaps half or so, worldwide, based on polls — that a major problem exists.

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

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      1. I wish more people would just read the Koran. Once they figure out that the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish passages are the more recent, and our own news media and our own government are lying to us the jig is up.

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      2. If you were to speak to, say, a Calvinist thus and say all Christians believe in free will, you would likely get an ear full. As such, conflating all Muslims to your own personal interpretation of their religion is like tacking every Christian to your conception of Christianity. It ignores the varied and conflicting theological issues.

        For example, my neighbor believes he is a devout Muslim. He prays five times a day, goes to mosque, but is a staunch Republican, believes limited government is the best way to go in order to protect Sharia–which he and his Imam believe does not entail cutting hands off–and the religious observances of Muslims. Despite the comments, he says he supports Trump a bit. The point? Painting people with your own can of paint masks the actual color of the wall.

        I think you are projecting the very people that my neighbor and his Muslim community fled from onto Islam as a religion. Again, I go back to Calvinists–an arbitrary section I admit–and applying beliefs they vehemently disagree with.

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        1. Islam is a far more monolithic set of beliefs than are the varied and varigated sects that make up Christianity. Islamic schools differ with regard to which sets of tradition documents are authentic, and which line of control should obtain. But there is no disagreement on the Qur’an itself as infallible, nor of Muhammad as Allah’s prophet. And the other key point is that Muhammad is the example of perfect behavior.

          One group made to take exception to this last point — they are called the Qur’an-only school in English and do not give much weight to the Hadith and Sunnah — but they are a tiny fraction of a percent of Muslims and are disdained/chastised/outlawed by Islamic authorities worldwide.

          I recently wrote about another sect of Islam, the Ahmadiyya, a recent start-up in the nineteenth century that purports to advocate for peace, and is generally the closest one could find to devout moderate Muslims. But they represent less than one-tenth of one percent of Islam, and they too are under penalties of various kinds and often considered apostates; takfir is pronounced upon them regularly.

          I don’t mean that only a tenth of a percent of Muslims can be considered moderate — only that most Muslims, who are moderate, are not deeply devout practitioners of the faith. In a similar fashion, most of the US is nominally Christian, but a very much smaller percentage of them could be considered devout students of their faiths.

          There is a key difference: Christianity as practiced by the devout leads, generally, to good works. Islam, as practiced by the devout, leads to Shariah law. Every political area where Muslims have control has Shariah law implemented, and expanding to the degree that such control is complete. Saudi Arabia, ISIS, Iran and other places fully implement the hudud (deaths and dismemberment by Shariah) as part of their official bodies of laws. Other nations and regions do so informally, though more local religious councils.

          In England and Canada, Shariah law is implemented only partially, locally, reflecting not the benign nature of Shariah but merely the lack of sufficient political control by Islam, the political system. Your friend who wants Shariah is unlikely to fight to the death to prevent the implementation of hudud punishments by it, as is dictated by the Qur’an. But even if he were one of a few enlightened souls who would do so, it simply means he would be quickly marked for death himself.

          Here is a key point: The Al Azhar Islamic authority in Egypt is to Islam as the Vatican would be to Christianity, if 90% of Christians were Catholic. This authority is looked up to by almost all Muslims world-wide. And they denounce the Ahmadiyya and the Qur’an-only schools as takfiri — unIslamic, apostate, enemies of Islam, and subject to being killed at leisure. But they have refused to make such a pronouncement about ISIS, Hamas, al Qaeda or Hezbollah.

          Effectively, the leaders of Islam reverse the positions of Obama and Clinton, and declare that it is the mild-mannered moderate groups that have “nothing to do with Islam.”

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

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        2. “But there is no disagreement on the Qur’an itself as infallible, nor of Muhammad as Allah’s prophet.” There is no disagreement among Christians that the Bible is infallible but wars were fought over John 6:53. My point is that, while there is consensus that the Quran is infallible, the interpretation thereof is so varied that tacking down Muslim belief in general is as hard as Christian beliefs in general. There are main groups that are the most stark like Shia, Sunni, Ibadi, Sufi, and Ahmadiyya. Then in each of these except the latter two there are several schools and movements and each one has imams of differing opinions even in the same school.

          This diversity of opinion is causing a large portion of Muslims to eschew from these defined groups. Thus, non-denominational Islam is growing to such an extent that Kazakhstan’s Muslims are 74% non-denominational.

          As regards to Quadi’s Fatwa that you mention, it practically covers Daesh, Hamas, and Hezbollah since all these groups base their ideology on that of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which the fatwa specifically condemns. http://www.yanabi.com/index.php?/topic/415493-drtahir-ul-qadris-histroic-fatwa-cetrtification-from-by-al-azhar-university

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  6. I am going to highlight what I believe is the wisdom that every Christian needs to come to terms with living in the West and perhaps especially in the United States.

    ” To suggest that one could be so inspired by their religion as to commit acts of violence, to go to war proclaiming “Deus Vult,” is unthinkable to the Western mind. It is because the Western mind is not religious, it is secular. It cannot understand religion except that thing that makes family gatherings awkward. To run into a people who are not only willing to die for religion and impose it’s precepts over all the world, but kill for it, it rankles the perfect Western ideas we imagined for ourselves. We imagined that everyone could get along religiously if we just kept religion to ourselves. We imagined that everyone would be happy with that arrangement so long as we had plenty of purchased goods and fancy houses. We imagined that we could content the world with decadence and slake the eternal thirst with transitory things.

    This talk of the “destruction” of “Christian Western Civilization” is laughable when we see our modern world for what it is: empty, vapid, and devoid of grounding in truly universal principles.”

    I use to debate the wisdom of enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and the merits of the Constitution of the United States as the bastion of traditional values–Christian. At some point, one must realize if that is indeed true, why does it appear that assertion keeps losing steam? In many ways, we should reexamine the founding documents of the United States and philosophies of Western society and ask, “Do they truly represent Judeo-Christian values?” We must also ask if one comes to the conclusion that yes they did, have they been twisted so much into the philosophy of modernism that they have become merely the chains of secularism?

    I ponder questions like these and others often, am I merely too afraid to make the correct judgment?

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    1. @Philip Augustine

      Church and state are two separate actors. In the United States, the church was suppose to act upon the state and urge state actors to maintain a high moral character. That did not happen. Why? There are a multitude of reasons; however, I think our primary failing was that parents let the government, an overtly secular institution assume the primary responsibility for educating children. Hence, with each successive generation, we become further removed from the Judeo-Christian values upon which this society was formed. People, including our leaders, don’t know what the Bible says, much less understand it. Hence, we are unable to maintain the Judeo-Christian values the founders once upheld.

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      1. You certainly have a traditional interpretation of the separation of Church and state. Two actors moving forward in a direction rather than opposed at every angle. Education may certainly be the key. The idea of relativism and that scientific fact is cannot fall prey to the manipulations of metaphysical perceptions of mankind is an acid eroding every traditional institution, which ultimately is the goal of Liberalism, even Classical Liberalism for that matter as it stresses the importance of the individual.

        What has the importance of the individualism left us? It has gutted faith and supplied modernism with the methods to promote Gay Marriage, Gender Theory, Abortion rights, Eugenics etc.

        You’ll find no aid in the rationalist writers– even if you can articulate arguments of Natural Law– of the Enlightenment because one is still operating within the philosophy of those that oppose any sense that the world operates with moral truths.

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        1. We are individuals. It is individuals who have God-given rights that governments exist to protect.

          Christianity is about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died on a cross because God so loved the world, but each of us is saved only when we individually accept Him as our Lord.

          As individuals, we can have a personal relationship with Jesus. Do crowds make a difference? Yes. When as individuals we choose to gather together and worship Him, He is present with us.

          Hence there is nothing wrong with stressing the individual. Haughty pride is, however, a sin. Jesus calls upon each of us to humbly accept Him as our Lord. As individuals, our Lord calls upon us to obey the Golden Rule and serve as His hands and feet.

          Our problem is to remember what we owe Caesar and what owe God. When we give our children to the state to raise, we cannot dedicate them to God.

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        2. All good and well. For the religious–Christian— God defines rights and morality not mankind’s metaphysical perception.

          As Individuals we must choose God; however, the idea that rights are self-evident as Jefferson spoke is as Anti-Christian rhetoric. Rights are not self-evident among men, they are metaphysical constructs, mere deductive reasoning will bring man to his conclusion. You cannot hold them and you can only view and perceive them in your mind.

          Modernism has taken the idea of self-evident rights and twisted them into relativism of its image. What is a current mantra” love is love?” or what it use to be “Free Love” No it is not. For example, Love and marriage is the expression of the dignity of man and woman sharing the love of their union for a family. The idea that gay marriage is the same representation of this love is fallacy. As the family cannot be produced by this love then it is a relationship bent merely on pleasure, thus reducing the dignity of everyone involved. Modernism promoting the wisdom of the relative individual and their self-evident rights has led to this falsehood.

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        3. Much of what I say is for food of thought of points raised by a Russian Orthodox friend. I think his criticisms do have merit and the Russian Orthodox has suffered first hand from materialism and modernism. I enjoy your responses as I want to hear good arguments for and against.

          So Tom, here’s a thought in American history. Have you studied in depth the writings of the origins of the American revolutionary war? A good example is John Dickinson’s letters. He expressed the concern with the transgressions of colonists were with Parliament not the King. There are many abuses of a King, but what led to this conflict was not the King–although he may have proved the catalyst–it was a form of democracy!

          Since winning the revolution, Americans have assumed no matter what that democracy is the greatest form of government. What’s the evidence? And please provide what you think, as humanity should at times ask self reflecting questions.

          It’s important to understand that to keep “the people” united in a democratic government the easiest way is to provide them with a common enemy. It’s interesting that the United States has been at war for almost its entire existence.

          What was the form of government that the Jews asked for in 1 Samuel 8. God gave them Saul and removed him for David Acts 13.

          Naturally Monarchy derives its rights from God and the will of God is represented by the Church. Of course, this is not to say that the divine right’s of Monarchy doesn’t have its problems. Yet, it is biblical nonetheless.

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        4. Do I understand you right? Do you actually think 1 Samuel 8 provides a case for monarchy. In “Commonsense,” Thomas Paine cited that passage as proof God condemns monarchy. Anyway, check my latest post. It deals with at least one of the issues you raised.

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        5. The idea doesn’t originate from me; however, I’ve heard it used many times within Orthodox circles, but regardless, why would any consider scriptural interpretation twisted from the godless Thomas Paine-some call the filthy little atheist of the founding era? I remember having to write a paper and the professor had the students choose between Paine or Jefferson, juxtaposing documents like Common Sense to the Declaration of Independence, Paine desires chaos and even early on his opinions would be adverse to scripture. He makes the same mistakes as Leo Tolstoy.

          Here’s an opinion on the topic of 1 Samuel 8:

          “Clearly, whether Israel chose a monarchy, a republic, democracy, dictatorship, or any other form of civil government, it was an abandonment of God. In choosing a king, they were doing openly what they had repeatedly done in the period of the Judges. A godly king could restore God’s government, as David and others did.”

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        6. God gave Israel David. That is true. However, I suggest you consider the problems 1 Samuel 8 describes with respect to monarchy. I suggest you consider David’s failings. Then put yourself in the place of the Hebrews. In those days, each people idolized their king.

          What is the point of a constitutional republic? Republics exist where men accept the fact we all are just men, and none of us can be trusted with power. Only God is God, and no man can substitute for Him.

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        7. Republics are weak and just as capable of corruption. Take the United States for example, if you can call it a Republic anymore–The Supreme Court may make it in oligarchy–The will of the people is represented only during an election and that will is one produced by the general education of the the republic. The general education is a product of special interest and mass media. If we are to consider the failings of David, let us consider the failings of the founding fathers, the constitution, and the people.

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        8. Furthermore Tom, if no man can substitute for God, how does this differ when we change it to ‘men’? Why is it wisdom or holy to bound a group of people to the signatures of 39 men on a piece of parchment and pretend none of those men are without failings? Aren’t these men who hold power over people from the grave?

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        9. @Philip

          Republics are weak? Paine is an Atheist? 1 Samuel 8 advocates monarchy? Those are not even factually correct assertions, and the attack on Thomas Paine was simply uncalled for. Did Paine have political enemies? Yes. Because he was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, and Jefferson had enough principles to stand by his friend, Jefferson’s enemies viciously smeared Paine.

          Anyway, it is Christmas Eve. So we both have other things to do. Nevertheless, I suspect a sequel to my last post would be interesting.

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        10. Tom, claiming the 1 Samuel 8 is advocating for monarchy is merely an interpretation of what is presented in scripture. It has nothing to do with facts, as Thomas Paine created his own metaphysical interpretation of the scripture.

          Here is an essay written by Professor Alison Joseph were she examine scripture as a historical document; however, examines in under the historiographical school of literary turn. The goal for the Deuteronomist to create David and Jeroboam into prototypes of good and bad kings.

          http://www.academia.edu/8590639/Portrait_of_the_Kings_The_Davidic_Prototype_in_Deuteronomistic_Poetics

          What Joseph shrewdly articulates is that people writing in an era prior to Marxist and Van Ranke historiographies would simply write differently than you and me. They would also view things differently than even Thomas Paine. The concept of writing history in this manner of metaphor created out of oral tradition would even be foreign to Paine.

          http://www.academia.edu/8590639/Portrait_of_the_Kings_The_Davidic_Prototype_in_Deuteronomistic_Poetics

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        11. @Philip

          I have no idea who Professor Alison Joseph might be or whether you are even correctly understanding her books.

          1 Samuel 8 is not obscure. If we put ourselves in the position of people of Israel, we can easily understand it.

          God compared the rule of a king to their current system of government, His rule. Whenever we give someone some kind of divine right to rule over us instead of deferring to God first, we are just asking for trouble, and that is exactly what the people of Israel got. It is also what tyrannical rulers have done for every nation, brought trouble.

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        12. “Whether you understand her correctly,” A bit rude wouldn’t you say Tom? I been critical of Thomas Paine, Classical Liberalism, and other ideas, but never personally rude to you–if so I apologize.

          Furthermore, I’ve scored near perfect reading comprehension on both the ACT, SAT, and ASVAB, so I’m fairly sure I have a grasp on her topic. Joseph’s first topic discusses the school of historiography of Literary Turn in the first chapter– It’s a metaphysical understanding on the topic of both the writer and reader.

          The Bible, according to Joseph, gives you literary examples of a good rulers and bad rulers. It’s a thesis, I simply take it that you disagree with her, which is not a surprise.

          Republicanism does promote division–Classical Antiquity is where you can find plenty of examples if not in modern times. Let’s take a look at ” Self-Evident rights” of Classical Liberalism that is promoted by this Republic. Again, why are they self-evident? What makes them self-evident? Nothing. In fact, again adverse to Christianity because you must have free will to listen to God’s commands. These self-evident rights are purely metaphysical constructs from Jefferson and Paine. Rights can also not be self-evident if everyone lives by an individualist philosophy, it’s contradictory philosophy, Unity is the only path to freedom, the only.

          Individualism is the acid of Classical Liberalism that natural will erode the freedoms of traditional Christian institutions–I mean look! It’s doing this to the traditional family right now as I am writing.

          Christians can either realize that their Christianity is a philosophy that rejects Classical Liberalism of the West, difficult because Westerners are indoctrinated into liberalism as even Western conservatives are merely liberalism’s shadow(look at the history). Protestantism of the West also brings “democracy” and Classical Liberalism into the Church, which is eroding denominations of moral principles as I write– take a look at divisions amongst the Lutherans.

          Ultimately, Westerners argue for a a very special form of nihilism, of a belief ultimately in nothing. Since nothing is universally binding on individuals, there’s nothing worth fighting about (other than the idea that nihilism itself is true- whatever ‘truth’ actually means or could mean in such a context).

          Classical Liberalism that promotes Individualism is a radically different vision when compared to Christianity (or even from the classical philosophers such as Aristotle or Plato). David Bentley Hart notes; “true human freedom is emancipation from whatever constrains us from living the life of rational virtue, or from experiencing the full fruition of our nature; and among the things that constrains us are our own untutored passions, our willful surrender to momentary impulses, our own foolish and wicked CHOICES. In this view of things, we are free when we when we achieve the end toward which our inmost nature is oriented from the first moment of existence, and whatever separates us from this end- even if it comes from our own wills- is a form of BONDAGE…..This means we are free not merely because we can choose, but only when we have chosen well. For to choose poorly, through folly or malice,…is to enslave ourselves to the transitory, the irrational, the purposeless, the (to be precise) subhuman…. Hence Augustine of Hippo defined the highest state of human freedom not as “being able not to sin” (posse non peccare) but as being unable to sin (non posse peccare): a condition that reflects the goodness of God, who, because nothing can hinder Him in the perfect realization of His own nature, is “incapable” of evil and so is infinitely free.”

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        13. @Philip

          “Whether you understand her correctly” is an insult?
          😆

          Didn’t you dispute my understanding of 1 Samuel 8? Was I suppose to insulted? Sorry, I did not know better.

          Frankly, your test scores don’t interest me. If I need to, I can use the examples reading comprehension that you have already provided.

          I have not read either of Joseph’s books. There is an enormous amount out there to read. I cannot read all of it. So far you have not given me enough cause to read what Joseph wrote.

          Why are our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness self evident? I think this is one of those times it is best to answer questions with questions.
          1. Are our neighbors composed of individual people or one big homogeneous collective?
          2 Is each soul saved one at a time? Does God judge us individually or collectively?
          3. Don’t we turn to God in love because He first loved us?
          4. Don’t we strive to love our neighbors because of His example? Is it not self evident that we should love our neighbors? Do we give love to individuals or to big homogeneous collectives?
          5. Isn’t respecting the rights of our neighbors part of what is required to love our neighbors?
          6. The Bible tells us to love God and our neighbors. Is it not self evident that the Bible is the Word of God? Why?

          You argue against Individualism, what you are arguing against is to some extent a straw man of your own creation. Essentially, the basis for your argument against your straw man is the imperfection of man. Yet Classical Liberalism has never rested upon the perfection or even the perfectibility of man. In fact, Classical Liberalism argues against tyranny because no man or group of men can rule with perfect justice. Whenever the experiment has been tried, we usually get something closer to perfect tyranny.

          What has been the lesson of history? I think it is this. Because only He is perfectly holy, we can each only trust God to be our sovereign.

          The Bible says God loves each of us personally, individually. If we are willing to love and trust Him, He would perfect each of us personally and individually.

          Do you have a better alternative? Is there some way we can trust and love God collectively? I believe we can worship God collectively, but don’t we each have to accept Jesus as our savior first?

          Like

        14. Tom, Please you insult yourself by not admitting your statement was subtle dig at one’s ability to comprehend arguments.

          Furthermore, my assertion is about whether rights can truly be self-evident. They cannot because they are metaphysical. They are either purely the creation of man or they are given by God–God allows you still the choice to follow.

          Your assertion against that I have created a straw-man stinks, it stinks of red-herring because I am not speaking about the perfection of mankind, I am speaking about the self-evidence of rights. There simply are none.

          Essentially by your numbering you’re arguing that Individualism as essentially ”freedom” (and hence the “free” market) negatively, as the absence of restraint. Hence Michael Novak’s “In the system of Democratic capitalism, every vice must be allowed to flourish.” In this system of Individualism with such a definition of “freedom”, the only sin is constraint and the original sin is government regulation—the error of Conservative Classical Liberalism and the bane of Christianity as modernism sweeps away the fear of sin and hell.

          Your love for Classical Liberalism creates myopic love for “republics.” However, you fail to see its vast short comings and how it’s been used against Christianity. Can there be a better government, let me ask you Tom, do you really believe that a republic that promotes secularism–abortion, sexual promiscuousism, gay marriage, theft, death etc. One that also attempts to negate Christian evangelization is a better government than one with a devout Christian King or an autocrat ? It’s certainly true, the King could be tyrannical, but this government that you’re defending is not?

          Like

        15. @Philip

          There are separate issues. The first is how to we find true freedom. The second is how we govern ourselves. You err by incorrectly relating the two issues.

          In the post, I talk about how we obtain freedom. https://citizentom.com/2008/11/19/when-do-the-people-steal-their-own-freedom/.

          That post is about John 8:31-38. So long as we are enslaved sin, we cannot have true freedom. We are unfit for it. The problem is similar to, but not quite what you described.

          Is America still fit to be the land of the free? Time will tell. Since I have never argued that either I or my countrymen are perfect people, I don’t know why you expect me to do so now. Imperfect people is your excuse for tyranny. My own imperfections are what I need Jesus to help me correct.

          So how should we govern ourselves? If enough us have committed our lives to Jesus, we have a choice. We can set up a republic with limited government. If too many of us are enslaved by sin, we have no choice. We will tyrannize each other. And whether you realize it or not, tyranny is what you are attempting to self-righteously justify.

          Note that you have yet to explain what you would actually substitute for a constitutional republic. You have said we have no self-evident rights. You have not said what government exists to do. You have just implied that somebody (some divinely chosen king I suppose), whoever that might be, has the right to bully everyone else into line. Otherwise, you say individuals will exercise their freedom to do evil.

          Like

        16. Tom, what you’re saying makes no sense. I make an observation that Classical Liberalism, Individualism, and Republics are tyrannical and your reply is that I am self righteous and I support tyranny and I don’t even know it. An absurd circulus in probando! Can you make a linear assertion?

          So let’s try it again, You tell me not to judge, I refute it and show how they are only observations. You reply “shrug.” I’ll take it that you’re conceding to being a hypocrite, fine enough, you admit it.

          Tom have you ever studied logic? it’s fairly basic let’s take a look.

          You accused me of a straw-man, but let’s breakdown one of your points, shall we?For example: If the Christian God is the one true God and Thomas Paine does not believe in the Christian God. He is Godless. It’s simple deductive reasoning. Again, you ‘shrugging’ concedes that you’re a hypocrite. A logical statement, based on reason–I think Paine wrote a book on it– not self-righteous. You’re statements are good examples though.

          Also, I proposed that if he does believe in God and yet would reject the trinity he would be in contradiction to Christ’s statement. Again, just using reason.

          However, still not a judgment, as I never said what would ever be the consequences of said actions.

          Do you know what judging and judgment are Tom?

          Like

        17. @Phillip

          It seems you wish to debate, and that is okay. However, tired of your unrelenting attacks on my beliefs, I asked you to explain your own beliefs. Unfortunately, it seems you don’t know how to keep up your end of the conversation. It takes more than foolish, indefensible, propositions; the convenient redefinition of terms; fancy language; and prolific insults. Yet instead of any serious ideas, that is what you produced.

          Pity.

          Like

        18. Tom,

          So we need to hit the restart.

          I just want to have a serious conversation. I think you carry a sense of wisdom from your posts. I think we need reflection on what we believe. For one, I am an American, but I don’t think Americans ask or criticize America in this way. I think it would be wise to do so from time to time.

          So I ask myself: Why are rights self-evident? Does Republics cause tyranny? Is it really a better form of government? Does democracy and individualism promote morality–Anglicans to Lutherans to Methodists are allowing (not necessarily all of these) gay marriages,gender theory, pro-choice etc.? How is liberty good in this regard?

          I’m not necessarily a proponent of what I am saying, I think I said that before. Many of these thought come from a Russian Orthodox who loves Vladimir Putin. He would probably respond, “Putin has saved far more Christians in Syria than your Godless government.”

          However, this is why I do want to challenge your beliefs and to do a bit aggressively to be able to learn your counter responses. I don’t necessarily believe the R. Orthodox, but I wanted genuine pointed responses.

          Like

        19. @Philip

          Hit the reset? If you wish.

          You suggest that Putin may have saved more Christians, but are his motives any more pure than the motives of America’s leadership? Theoretically, America can replace its leadership. Can Russia do so as easily? Is that important? Does the moral character of a nation arise from its people or descend from its leadership? Should the moral character of a nation arise from the people or descend from its leadership?

          What do you believe and why?

          Like

        20. I have been a proponent of Lockean philosophy. I have defended the Constitution of the United States. I’ve thought they’ve represented freedom.

          I think it’s wise though to reexamine one’s beliefs, as these are built on the ideas of the enlightenment and classical liberalism. If the liberal progressives and the conservatives in this country disagree on almost everything and the liberals dislike Putin… shouldn’t conservatives consider why?

          I’ve spent some time working at a university only to see the liberals openly mock Christians while promoting the liberal ideas of pluralism and shoving down the throats of every student the ideology of diversity. How is it that individualism defends these people? I’ve been mocked by peers for defending Christianity…

          The secular liberals interpret the constitution how ever they want in the “spirit” of the 14th amendment and Christians simply say it’s good to be individuals. When is it wisdom to understand that unity is companionship and also freedom? How long do we want until we’re rounded up and religious practices made illegal? How long can we Christians support this negative idea of freedom until the state forces us to sin?

          Like

        21. @Philip
          Interesting. I am sorry to hear that your peers mock you, but I guess some universities don’t support the right to academic inquiry or religious freedom for Christians. Sad.

          If the liberal progressives and the conservatives in this country disagree on almost everything and the liberals dislike Putin… shouldn’t conservatives consider why?

          Hitler and Stalin got along. Then Hitler double-crossed Stalin, and Stalin temporarily became an ally. Should America have allowed the ethics of either man to serve as guide for our own ethical system? No? Perhaps we should keep our eyes on Jesus.

          I’ve spent some time working at a university only to see the liberals openly mock Christians while promoting the liberal ideas of pluralism and shoving down the throats of every student the ideology of diversity. How is it that individualism defends these people?

          What exactly individualism might be is debatable. I can only guess what various people might mean by it. So I have not got much use for the term. Our constitutional protections — designed to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — protect everyone’s rights. Does that bother you? If so, why?

          The secular liberals interpret the constitution how ever they want in the “spirit” of the 14th amendment and Christians simply say it’s good to be individuals. When is it wisdom to understand that unity is companionship and also freedom? How long do we want until we’re rounded up and religious practices made illegal? How long can we Christians support this negative idea of freedom until the state forces us to sin?

          We are in the midst of a cultural war. For generations now we have allowed our government to educate us. We never should have allowed that to happen. The Bible requires parents to make certain their children receive proper instruction, not the government.

          What it means to be a Christian is defined by the Bible. Most people, even those who call themselves Christians, allow their values to be defined by the popular culture. Because most people, including those who call themselves Christians, don’t know what is in the Bible, the popular culture has become more and more degenerate.

          The Bible tells us to learn all we can about it. The Bible encourages to exhort others to do the same. In order to exhort others to study the Bible — in order to help other people study the Bible — we must fight for religious freedom. Our goal must be save people’s souls, and that is what unifies proper Christians.

          Religious freedom is an individual right, and it is the basis for all our other rights. Any government that can deprive you of religious freedom can also deprive you of your rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Such a government can destroy Bibles and force parents to send their children to government-run schools.

          Like

        22. You do make a good point, I’ve always felt that religious liberty should be a protected right. After all Christ asks us to choose. One thing I noticed from my Orthodox colleague vehemently was against was religious freedom. Any time I spoke of Augustine of Hippo he always took his writings out of context, I always presumed because he was biased against his message.

          He, teaching a class, I heard vehemently criticized the Catholic Church for taking a stand in recent years for Religious Freedoms, claiming that they’ve turned their back on their history and the truth.

          Although I think his criticisms have merit, I think his overall message is dangerous.

          Basically, everything I told you before he teaches young minds the same message. However, I thought it wise to present it in his manner.

          I live in a country where I think the government supports the other side of the culture war and Christians will ultimately be the victims. However, I think it won’t be obvious that we’re martyrs.

          I pray more now. I wear my crucifix openly. I go to restaurants and pray with my family openly in front of others. I hope that these actions and others will produce more fruits.

          I don’t know.

          Liked by 1 person

        23. @Philip

          Each person is different. Each person who accepts Jesus accepts Him in their own way.

          Which Christians live most appropriately as Jesus would have us live? For the most part, I think that is something each of us has to work out with Jesus. However, there are times when we must criticize each other, and there are times when we should praise each other.

          When you pretended to have opinions you do not hold, that was deceitful. Do you recall any such deceit in Christ? When you stand for Christ, that requires courage, and that is praiseworthy.

          Remember it is about Jesus. We are His. Only when we put on His armor can we stand (Ephesians 6:10-20).

          Like

        24. Fair enough, here’s my assessment.

          Deceitful?…is your opinion, I don’t think so. I mentioned early on I was expressing thoughts from another source, I was considering whether the source’s opinion to be valid. I wasn’t anymore deceitful than Obi Wan.

          Luke 22:70
          They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.”

          Like

        25. Okay, maybe Teddy Roosevelt was too harsh…regardless he openly rejects the Nicene Creed, “”Truly I tell you, all sins and blasphemes will be forgiven for the sons of men. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

          The error of having, “My own mind is my own church.”

          Overall, either Paine or Augustine is right–I’ll take my chances with Augustine.

          Like

        26. Thomas Paine made no secret of the fact he detested Christianity. Was his advocacy against Christianity commendable? No. However, when you call Paine names, your behavior is not Christ-like. Jesus has the authority to judge and condemn, but we can only speak of what we observe of each other’s behavior. It is a simple fact that neither you nor I know how God will judge Thomas Paine.

          Pity the dead. Admire the dead if you can. While we live, we still have hope. The lives of each of the dead has run its course (Ecclesiastes 9:2-6).

          The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
          Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
          Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
          Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. ― Omar Khayyám

          Like

        27. LOL I called him names? Absurd. I merely quoted Teddy Roosevelt by saying “some call the filthy little atheist.” Some meaning Teddy and others afterwards.

          The statement merely means that I don’t respect Paine’s assessment on the topic.

          Retract this accusation or you’ll contradict yourself into judgment.

          Like

        28. @Citizen Tom, how did you attract yet another religious statist pushing collectivist tyranny? I’d have thought mastersamwise would have been sufficient for any appetite you might have had for such silliness.

          Individualism is tyranny? Individualism is anti-Christian? Classical Liberalism is tyranny? Thomas Paine was an atheist? As long as Phillip Augustine can make up his own definitions, I suppose he can play such games in his head.

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

          Liked by 1 person

        29. Yep! The world in our head can be a very different from what we find when we must leave it.

          How did I attract another religious statist? I don’t know. Perhaps Philip and mastersamwise are blogging buddies. Both seem to have a similar problem. Neither seems able to clearly explain what they propose or how their proposal would work. They just rage against the notion that individuals have rights.That sort of foolishness just give Christianity a bad name.

          Like

  7. Citizen,

    A while ago you asked me to cite my source for Aristotle’s critique of Plato. Sorry for the delay.

    Aristotle gives a rather detailed and scathing rebuttal to the political philosophies of both Socrates and Plato at the beginning of his work, “Politics,” which is a companion to his work, “Ethics.”

    My goodness! I was listening to Aristotle on Audiobooks this morning and his treatment of Socrates and Plato was like Sargent Carter doing a job on Private Gomer Pyle.

    Like

  8. The reason Islam is not confronted in the USA in my opinion is two fold. First is the fear of political correctness hampers a frank discussion that Islam teaches violence as a remedy to instill fear by Muslims to change. The second is Islam forbids any later revisions of the original teaches to allow change to compromise withe the realities of change th a modern world.

    I give an example in my earlier posts below. In my opinion, you should be given accolades for
    for not being afraid to write this post.

    What we fail to realize in the USA, is to confront Islam beliefs that do not assimilate with USA laws. By confront I say bluntly, if you want to be a US citizen, the US Imams must change what they are teaching Muslim youth who are the most impressionable, idealistic, and willing to become martyrs for a political cause that works in concert with Islamic political leaders to promote their political power.

    The questions that should be addressed is how to dissuade a Muslim once they have been seduced by a religious mantra that is in direct conflict with the Constitution and Laws of the USA.

    https://rudymartinka.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/king-solomon-guard-your-heart/#more-3293

    https://rudymartinka.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/king-solomon-tashfeen-malik-and-syed-farook/

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    s

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah CT, what the powers that be today fail to recognize, is that this long running millennia plus war, will never be settled over a cup of tea and crumpets.

    There is a devil in disguise, and he masquerades as an angel of light……….and only the truth of God, that is, the true and only living God of grace, can combat such nonsense. Is-lam political or religious, is the great imposter.

    Tkx for the boldness in bringing it to all of us. There can never be too much truth.

    Merry Christmas btw, that’s right, CHRISTmas…… 😉 to the chagrin of many.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It certainly has been my experience over the last decade or so that there is a tremendous amount of discussion in this country about Islam and its relation to terrorism. A good bit of it is fairly uninformed, but I certainly detect no inhibition, hesitation or trepidation about having the discussion in the public square. Compared to what I experienced as an undergraduate taking courses on Middle Eastern history and politics in the 1960s, there has been an enormous expansion of awareness and exchanges of views in the West on Islamic issues. You may have noticed that the current presidential race has had a fair amount of verbiage expended on the subject. Fear seems to be the last thing inhibiting this discourse. So I guess I would have to line up as not understanding the stated premise of Tom’s post.

    As for Colorstorm’s immediately preceding comment, I don’t understand the capitalization protocol you’re using in “CHRISTmas”. Shouting our Lord and Savior’s name in anger (which is what I associate all caps with in this medium) doesn’t seem to really capture the spirit of the season. Most Christians I know say “Christmas” or “Xmas” (the latter for the more classically trained and inclined among us – let’s keep the “Chi” in Christmas).

    Scout

    Like

  11. Tom – as I was exiting my previous comment, I noticed something else in the post: You say that “those who don’t accept Jesus Christ find it easier to accept multiculturalism on faith”. It’s not clear to me whether the “on faith” is intended to define the type of multiculturalism you’re addressing or whether you’re using the term “on faith” to mean “as an act of faith”.

    In any event, I think it’s worth noting that Christianity is extremely “multicultural” in its appeal. It really knows no cultural boundaries. That has been it’s strength in growing from an outlier sect in an outlier province of the Roman Empire into a global religion. It transcends individual geographies and cultural settings because of its universality of spiritual message. It is the ultimate multicultural phenomenon. Islam has shown some signs of rivaling that ability to sweep in converts from other cultures, but it seems to have at its irreducible core Arab nomadic cultural archetypes, in contrast to Christianity’s relatively agile and quick outgrowth from its Jewish agrarian roots.

    Scout

    Like

    1. @novascout

      It seems to me you are feigning ignorance again. That includes playing fast and loose with words, specifically “faith” and “multiculturalism.”

      Every culture encompasses a different set of beliefs. In fact religious beliefs are central to almost every culture, and I doubt you could find one where that is not true.

      Check out the post below. It is relevant.
      https://citizentom.com/2009/03/11/dismount-your-donkey-at-the-summit/

      Like

  12. Tom – I think you are feigning that you read my comment. My point was intended to take modest exception to your comment that those who don’t accept Christ find it easier to accept multiculturalism. My counter-point is that Christianity is inherently multi-cultural, and that has been one of the reasons it became, from narrow origins among a very small group of Jewish adherents, a global religion. Perhaps the disconnect between us is that you define religion and culture as being the same thing (as your 2343 comment suggests – get some sleep, man). If that is your working assumption, then, sure, all of Christianity is one culture. However, in my experience, debates in America about accommodation of different cultures go beyond religion to other aspects of cultural life.

    Scout

    Like

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