Battle of Jericho (biblical)
Depiction by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1794-1872) (from here)

Cal Thomas has a column that got me to thinking. Here is the key to that column.

Here’s the danger for President Trump. The Quran allows Muslims to lie to “nonbelievers” in pursuit of Islam’s goal of an earthly kingdom ruled by their religion.

An example occurred last week when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met at the White House with President Trump. Abbas said, “Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children and grandchildren, in a culture of peace.”

That is a flat-out lie, as even a cursory Google search or visit to the Palestinian Media Watch website proves.

Do the Palestinians instruct their children to detest non believers, even to lie to them and kill them? As Thomas said, it is easy enough to look up. Google Do Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate? The mainstream press does not like to talk about it, but even The New York Times has occasionally carried a story. Here is one from 2013, To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks. Apparently, Hamas was not satisfied with what it got from the Palestinian Authority.

Textbooks have long been a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes underpin a territorial fight. And they are central examples of what Israeli leaders call Palestinian “incitement” against Jews, held up as an obstacle to peace talks newly resumed under American pressure.

Beyond their take on Israel, the new texts are also a salvo in the war for influence between the rival Palestinian factions: Gaza-based Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank. They reflect a growing gulf between the 1.7 million Palestinians living in the densely populated Gaza Strip and the 2.5 million spread among the West Bank’s cities and villages. (from here)

How seriously should we take this sort of thing? We have an excellent point of reference, our own American Civil War. In the South, children grew up learning to approve of slavery. In the North, children grew up believing slavery wrong. Most in the North may have thought the Negro inferior, but they refrained from believing Negroes should be enslaved. Considering that the whites in the South did not want to enslave the whites in the North, the conflict that eventually ensued between the North and South grew extremely violent. One can only imagine what that war would have been like if all the people in the North had been Negroes.

So what does Christianity teach about race and culturally based hatred? This is a question that confuses many Christians.  In its May 4, 2017 broadcast, If God Is Good, How Could He Command Holy War?, Derek Thomas examined the issue for Renewing Your Mind. His subject was the Book of Joshua and the Holy War (or herem) God declared against the Canaanites. In the Book of Joshua, the Hebrews execute God’s command to move into the Holy Land and kill the Canaanites.

The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) (from here)

When we read the about the destruction of Jericho, we usually marvel at the miraculous collapse of the city’s walls, but what happened after that?

Joshua 6:15-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

What does Derek Thomas point to in the Bible to justify utterly destroying all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword?

Genesis 15:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.

God had decided iniquity of the Amorites was complete.  Because the answer is unsatisfying, Thomas grieves over this.  Yet Thomas did not finding the answer unsatisfying for the reason some might expect. When Thomas considered himself and the rest of us, sinners all, what is remarkable is that God has any mercy to spare for any of us.

There but for the grace of God, go I. — John Bradford (1510–1555) (from here)

We are not worthy of God’s grace, but we can choose to receive it. Fortunately, when Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day, He established a new covenant. Instead of destroying unrepentant sinners, we now spread His Gospel.

So what about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his lies? As best we can, we need to help the Palestinians understand the truth. The Allah that he and his fellow Muslims worship is an invented god.  What too many Muslims worship is war, not peace. Only with Jesus can have peace.

Gustave Doré, The Death of Agag. Agag was executed by Samuel as part of God’s command to put the Amalekites under herem (1 Samuel 15). (from here)


  1. Tom, there is far more evidence supporting the writing of the Quran than there is in support of the New Testament. What I mean by that is that scholars can not verify with any certainty that the NT was actually written by the people it claims to be written by, and that we cannot be sure at all that the oldest copies we have are identical to the originals – in fact, we’re pretty sure that they could not be.

    On the other hand, authorship of Islamic writings in generally undisputed, and the Hadith of the Quran and Sunna as we have them today generally match the oldest copies. This makes sense as these writings are centuries newer than Christian writings.

    I say this not because I believe in Islam – I do not – but because if Muslims are worshiping ‘an invented god’, then Christians surely must be doing the same.


    1. @Don Henson

      It is apparent you want to debate something other than what the post.

      As far as writings from antiquity go, there is probably no document that has been more researched than the Bible. Sometimes what results from the all the high-falutin scholarship is kind of funny. When they knew, the people who passed the various books of the Bible onto us told us the names of the authors, but the “experts’ know better.

      The Bible was written by about 40 different people and copied and copied and copied and copied…. When scholars go back to the oldest copies of the various books of the Bible they can find, it seems the people who copied those books did a marvelously good job.

      Of course, there are phony books of the Bible. There are even books (like the Koran and the Book of Mormon) that make the claim that God inspired their authors to write an addition to the Bible. But it is fairly obvious these works make claims that are incompatible with both the Old and the New Testaments.

      What substantiates the Bible? What it says. As observed in the Book of James, the Bible is a mirror. It reflects an image of our soul back to our eyes. It shows us who we are and who God wants us to be. Without the inspiration of God, it would not exist. Men would not have written such a book. Our egos would not permit it.

      The Koran (that is what they called it when I was growing up) was written by one guy. After its author died, the third caliph, Uthman, had all but one collection of the prophets sayings destroyed. What remained became the official copy. (Here is an example of that story from the Internet. => http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/koran_burning_and_islams_right.html)

      Are they other variants of the Koran? Are there multiple Muslim sects? I would expect so, but I have no desire to be a Muslim scholar.

      What condemns the Koran? What it says. It is quite plain that a man wrote that book to serve his own designs.


      1. Tom as far as the main point of your post is concerned – that Muslims are instructing their children to hate others – I think that’s absolutely horrible if it’s true. Unfortunately, because you provide no links, it’s hard to substantiate the claim. One of your readers says that he’s seen ‘many’ documentaries and interviews that support your point. But when I search google or youtube, I see no documentaries or interviews as such, only unlinked references to documentaries that are supposed to exist. A search of youtube produces 2-3 minute long snippets of video – not by any means a documentary – but it’s not really clear what I’m looking at, and there are an equal number of snippets claiming that Israelis teach their children to hate Palestinians. I am not conversant in Levantine Arabic – I’m guessing that if my search were done in languages other than English, the spread might be greater than 50-50, as Palestinians do not have the access to English language instruction that Israelis have. I’d certainly be happy if you or your readers could provide links to the ‘many’ interviews and documentaries that might substantiate this claim.
        Let me be clear by stating that teaching hatred to children is criminal. Let me also be clear in saying that I think Islam is the most dangerous religion in the world today. As a secularist, I of course believe that religion in general is not something that should be taught to people who can’t yet make rational decisions, but certainly teaching the most violent parts of one’s religion is something that everyone can agree is not right.
        I wouldn’t consider myself to be a scholar, but I have read dozens of books on the subject, and lived in the Middle East at one time.
        You are grossly misinformed on the accuracy and formation of the New Testament. Other than professors at non-accredited schools, no Bible scholar would agree that the people making copies of the letters of Paul and the Gospels did a ‘marvelously good job’. If you’ve got a concordance such as Strong’s or Young’s you’ll find that even these commentaries favored by Fundamentalists cannot speak with that level of certainty. Have a look at some of the things Bart Ehrman has written over the past ten years – or hell, even Martin Luther. For 600 years, good, Christian men have been finding that the Bible is not infallible.
        The inspiration of the Bible is evident to you, but there are an equal number of people in the world who feel the same way about the Quran. You say the Bible is vindicated by what it says – I’m guessing the priests of Ra, holding sway in Egypt for 3500 years may have said the same thing about their scriptures.
        But this is indeed the problem with mixing religious belief with politics – religion requires that you believe something by faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Basically, religious people are accustomed to believing things that have scant evidence, used to shouting people down who disagree with them. For centuries, they were in the majority, so they were able to do this.
        The road to agnosticism and atheism is littered with Bibles that have actually been read. Before you proclaim what the Bible ‘says’, take a bit of time to actually study it – buy a few commentaries, look at the scholarship that’s been taking place for centuries. You can learn enough Greek to read the Septuagint in about six months – if I were claiming to understand what the Bible says, I’d at least make sure I had a better argument than ‘men wouldn’t have written such a book’. I mean, that’s the Mormon argument, yeah?
        And I certainly wouldn’t accuse other religious folk of worshiping a fake or invented god.


        1. I did provide a link to “The New York Times”, and a link to a google search, but I will make some searches especially for you. Try this google: https://www.google.com/#q=madrassa+teach+children+to+hate+
          Here is another

          Different browsers produce different results.

          Here is bing with the focus on news.


          You want documentaries? There are some, but very few, if any, produced by the mainstream media. The owners of capital want inexpensive labor. So they tend to support immigration. There is lots of inexpensive labor in Muslim nations. Still, one would think wealthy people would know better than to be so short sighted.

          Here are a few web sites worth visiting.

          You think I am misinformed about the Bible? Shrug. I have read some of Bart Ehrman’s books.
          => https://citizentom.com/2014/02/16/answering-jesus-skeptics-part-1/ and https://citizentom.com/2014/04/15/answering-jesus-skeptics-part-3/

          Have I given considerable thought to what I believe? I think so, but I concede there are people out there who know much more than I. I don’t think Muslims are especially stupid, nor do I think you are especially smart.

          One does not have to be stupid to be a Muslim. It is a warrior’s faith and attractive to young men who want to be strong. That, of course, makes it attractive to young women who desire strong young men.

          One does not have to be smart to make emphatic statements of “fact” and pose endless challenges to those he disagree with. It is also easy to sit back with smug satisfaction when those we disagree with cannot meet ridiculous standards.

          Anyway, just as you are the one who has to decide what you believe, I am the one that has to decide what I believe and why. No choice in the matter. So I have. Would I like to read the Bible in Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and Latin and whatever. Well, I am retired. I suppose these days I could learn to read 2000 year old Greek, but it is not a requirement. There are enough reasons to believe without having to learn how to read an ancient language. With what is available on the Internet, I can also dissect the meaning of any passage from the Bible to my heart’s content, and sometimes I do.

          Do you mix religion into your politics? Yes. You call it Secularism. You have put your faith in Secularism. To satisfy your ego, you are even an ardent apostle of Secularism. It seems to me that Secularism is what you have come to idolize. Of course, all idols are empty promises.

          When the people who founded this nation decided upon a secular government, why did they do it? Because they believed in Secularism? No. The reason is this. Our government is not God’s invention; it is our own. The Bible has much to say about government, but the New Testament does not say how we should govern ourselves. What it does say is that we should live in peace with each other. Therefore, to avoid pointless strife over religion, the founders decided against establishing a state religion. Still, when they succeeded in unifying under the Constitution, they thanked the providence of God.

          What have many modern Americans done? The have made a fetish out of their secularism, and they use it to ward off Christianity. It is really quite silly. As a Christian, all I can do is tell people about Jesus. I cannot make you believe the Bible. All I can do is behave as if I believe it. All I can do is respect your rights because God gave them to you, not some weak and frail government established by men. Yet such as I apparently threaten you. Is the problem in me or you?


          1. Tom you obviously have more free time on your hands than I have – some of us are not retired and do this in the limited amount of spare time we have. Trying to refute all the logical errors and red herrings in your many comments would certainly take a team of full-time writers. When you say things like the secularism is a religion – well, it’s just hard to talk with people who change the meaning of words to their own liking.

            Anyone can of course choose to worship any god they like, or none whatsoever. The problem comes when one tries to derive policy or law from those beliefs. Take Mormons, for example, who believe in magic underwear. It’s difficult for me to vote for a guy for president when he believes in magic underwear. It’s his prerogative to believe, but that doesn’t mean I want him making or enforcing the laws of the country.

            Secularism is not a religion. It’s not something I have faith in. It is a rational approach to creating a society in which people of many different beliefs can live.

            Faith is not based on ration or reason. It brings people some modicum of comfort in life – and certainly there are a lot of irrational things that do – but it is not a method whereby one can construct laws that make sense and work for everyone.

            The problem is that once you accept magic underwear, a virgin birth, resurrection of the dead, or a host of other things that cannot and will not ever be proven, you start down a slippery slope of accepting things you’ve just heard repeated many times. It’s ok for one’s personal life, but in the realm of policy, we need tangible proof to back up the laws we put into place.

            Trying to refute all of the many half-truths you state as fact is exhausting. Replying to your assumptions about my ‘ego’ and ‘thin skin’ – are just wasting valuable time I could be spending on my own blog. So I’ll reply to the other comments you’ve posted – then I’m done. Good luck with your blog sir.


          2. Too much time on my hands? At this point I am just responding to your comments, and I cannot keep up. So your complaint is about a problem of your own making.

            I am also a bit “hurt” (Really, I am amused.). You think health care is a right. Well, if you think health care is a right, then why not retirement? In fact, perhaps you ought to move back to the USA and make certain you are paying your full contribution towards my social security check.

            I don’t subscribe to Mormonism, but Mormons generally strike me as levelheaded and decent. Here is what they have to say about their underwear (=> http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/mormon/underwear/). Your libel seems more nonsensical than their underwear.

            It strikes me you have a common misunderstanding of the word “faith”. We generally use the word in two ways.

            Here is the primary meaning. If we say we have faith in a person, place, thing, or ability; then we are saying we put our trust in it. If you are willing to walk out onto a bridge that spans a gorge that is 800 feet deep, like Royal Gorge in Colorado (see https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Royal_Gorge_Bridge_%28looking_west%29.jpg), then you obviously have faith in or trust in the bridge’s capacity to hold you up.

            A secondary usage is to speak of a religious faith. If someone is a Christian, then that person puts their faith in God. When everything and everyone else has failed us, we Christians rest assured that we can depend upon our Creator. We have put our faith — our trust — in Him.

            So is Secularism a religion? If that is where you put your faith, then it is for you a religion. Essentially, what the Secularist does is depend upon human reason, but that has never worked well. Without the humility to defer to the wisdom of God, human pride overcomes human reason. That why, when Jesus has given us ample reason to believe, I am very much relieved that I finally put my faith in the God of the Bible.


          3. Hahaha – surely you’re joking about these ‘links’ Tom. Yes, I followed your nytimes link, but the story only describes how Palestinians are writing their history books from their own point of view – which is something every country in the world does. It doesn’t support your assertion that Palestinian kids are being taught to hate.

            Google search links? Really? As I said I had already searched google, and youtube – yes there are lots of ‘hits’ but that proves nothing. Try this one: https://www.google.com/search?q=santa+clause+is+god. 11 million hits – by your logic it must mean that Santa Clause is truly God.

            I went to the websites you mention – and there are no documentaries or interviews there supporting the headline of your post.

            If you or your readers can direct me to such a documentary, I’d be happy to watch it. Please no more mumble mumble mainstream media mumble mumble. If you’re going to make fantastic claims, you need to provide fantastic evidence.


          4. Shrug. Don, I don’t expect to convince you. Not my job. You have to do your own research, and you have to pray God will take the blinders off and let you convince yourself. It would also help to use a bit of common sense.

            If you have read the Koran, and you believe Muslims when they hold it up the word from Allah, then why would you not expect them to do what the book says?

            Look at the peace process in the Middle East. The Israelis have tried to make peace. The United States has pressured the Israelis to make peace. Meanwhile, the Palestinians make war. Besides Islamic terrorists, what other group makes a regular practice of suicidal attacks? Don’t polls show that most Muslims think suicide bombing justifiable?
            => http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/07/01/concerns-about-islamic-extremism-on-the-rise-in-middle-east/pg-2014-07-01-islamic-extremism-10/
            Most Muslims don’t think much of ISIS, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily disapprove of ISIS’ tactics.


            Does this mean we should hate and fear all Muslims? No, but what people believe makes a difference, and it is irrational not to accept that.

            That includes what you and I believe. What we believe establishes our point-of-view. If we are unwilling to put ourselves in another’s shoes, we have no hope of understanding what motivates them.


  2. excellent Tom—I can remember seeing a story not long ago on the madrassas and of the “indoctrination” lessons delivered daily to the pupils about the West—not a pretty picture.
    As a former long standing high school teacher—I totally concur with what IB said in her comment concerning what American kids are being drilled with regarding Christianity and Western Civilization—case in point, that of the West’s quest for colonization throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries—and really earlier actually—of how bad we of European decent have been over the course of history to indigenous people—which is greatly true—but I am amazed at how we now spin history into a constant lesson of reprimand and blatant scolding—that “shame on you white European oppressor for all of the evils of your forefathers….”
    History is full of glory and heinous tragedy.
    Poor choices, wrong choices, selfish choices.
    Conquest for conquest sake…but to now shame current citizens for their history, teaching children that what their forefathers did was terribly bad and that they should now make amends is, well I suppose, it’s a similar mindset to our still wanting to punish modern day Germans for both world wars…..as if descendants of slave owners, as we have seen actual court cases, should now pay reparations to the descendants of those slaves.
    History, for good or bad is just that—there are tremendous lessons to be learned–what not to allow to repeat —but to use it as a tool to shame…that is not teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Julie (aka Cookie)

      Another excellent comment. You provided a fine addition to what IB had to say.

      History, for good or bad is just that—there are tremendous lessons to be learned–what not to allow to repeat —but to use it as a tool to shame…that is not teaching.

      Shame is something I felt both the public school system and the mass media trying to foist upon us when I was a child. I can only guess how bad it has gotten today.

      One of the virtues of Christianity is that it teaches us how we can repent OF OUR OWN SINS and be forgiven by Jesus. A second virtue is that Christianity teaches us to PITY AND TRY TO SAVE, NOT TO HATE our persecutors. Since those who would tyrannize us for their own benefit use guilt and feelings of victimization to manipulate people, it is no wonder these would be tyrants detest Christianity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post,Tom. I’ve seen many documentaries and interviews with people that clearly show how Palestinian kids are being taught to hate. It is truly awful.

    On a much smaller scale or perhaps on one that has simply not progressed as far, kids in America are also being taught to hate, to hate Israel, to hate Christians,to hate America. Then there are the fringe groups,the white supramcists teaching their own brand of hate. Hatred is learned behavior foisted on kids who have little or no defenses. We see the end result in acts of terrorism.

    We see a softer version of hate in those who cannot even locate Israel on a map and yet they are quite convinced Israel is a great oppressor. Or those who believe Christianity is a horrible thing. Propaganda works.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @insanitybytes22

      Thank you.

      Thank you also for bringing up what many in this country are allowing to happen to their own children.

      The vast majority of parents want their children to learn something their children will find useful. Will some parents think the hatred of some other group of people useful? Yes, but relatively few parents will put that at the top of their list.

      We are more tempted to use people we do not love as a means to an end. Will so and so want his child to grow up to be a suicide bomber? Not likely, but someone else’s child? Then the odds get much better. We don’t want our own children to be indoctrinated, but other people’s kids? That tends to be less of a concern. We care the most about family. The more distant the relationship, the more apathetic we get.

      This apathy is why I advocate school choice. More than anyone else is likely to, parents love their children. Therefore, I think parents ought to do decide where their children go to school and who teaches their children. If parents decide, I think children are far more likely to grow up to be responsible, competent adults who love their neighbors. If government officials decide…. Well, every year our public school system gets worst. At this point, we are not even running it for the sake of the children. We are running it for the sake of special interests.

      Liked by 1 person

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