Wednesday, May 29, 2013



One of my more thoughtful cousins sent along the following commentary for my commentary.  So first the Question with the predicted right wing answers:

Can a good Muslim be a good American  or Canadian?

This question was forwarded to a friend who  worked in Saudi Arabia for 20  years. 
The following is his  reply:

Theologically - no. ... Because his allegiance is to  Allah.

Religiously - no.. . .. Because no other religion is  accepted by His Allah except Islam ... (Quran, 2:256)  (Koran)

Scripturally - no. .. .. Because his allegiance is  to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically -  no .. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer  five times a day..

Socially - no. . . Because his allegiance  to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews  ...

Politically - no... Because he must submit to the  mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and  destruction of America , the great Satan.

Domestically - no.  .. . Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat his wife when  she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )

Intellectually - no...  Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on  Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be  corrupt.

Philosophically - no. . . Because Islam, Muhammad,  and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy  and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial  or autocratic.

Spiritually - no... Because when we declare  'one nation under God,' The Christian's God is loving and kind, while  Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love  in the Quran's 99 excellent names.

Therefore, after much  study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL  MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and  good Americans/Canadians. Call it what you wish it's still the truth. You  had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be  for our countries and our future.  The religious war is bigger than  we know or understand.

Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within. SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

Please don't delete this until you send it  on.

So, first a disclaimer - I am presently quite down on most organized religions and particularly the 'radical' version of any religion - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, whatever.  Thus, I would tend to agree that of all of the big religions, Islam seems to be the most pernicious. One only has to reflect on the murder in London, jihad and the barbarism of Muslim on Muslim to determine that many Muslims do not view their religion as a religion of peace.  [Of course the same can be said for many Christians, although there seems to be several orders of magnitude difference in the amount of violence].  I would not agree with the author's claim that we need to be suspicious of all Muslims - seems a bit paranoid.

Now, let's substitute Christian for each of the talking points mentioned:

     Theologically - no...because a Christian's allegiance is to the Christian God.
     Religiously - no...because "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me."
     Scripturally - no...Christians reside in and belong to the Kingdom of God, not any earthly kingdom.  [Don't trot out the "render unto Caesar" tripe - how's that working for the Christians in Iran?].
     Geographically - no...the US is a nation of Christians, not a Christian nation.
     Domestically - no...let's review all of the scriptural demands for "put to death" - we can start with mouthing off to your mom and dad, move on to adulterers, and there are about 85 others.
     Socially - no...many Christian denominations do not even recognize other Christian denominations as true believers, let alone those who are non-believers or believers in another tradition.
     Intellectually - this one defies rational comment because of its flawed logic - just which "biblical principles" are used as the foundation of the Constitution?  The bible can be quote mined to support almost any position, for slavery/against slavery, for equality for women/against equality for women, for killing your enemies/for loving your enemies.....etc.
     Philosophically - no...the establishment clause of the American Constitution and the US separation of church and state is diametric to the call of many Christians for a theocracy.
     Spiritually - no...the author apparently sees kindness in God's commands to kill in the Old Testament, in God's decision to torture people for eternity, and Jesus' words: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple."

Of course I am being a bit harsh and overly dramatic, but the point is that almost all issues are not answered by a simple yes or no, a black or white approach, or by either-or sound bite rhetoric.   I think that indeed some Muslims can be "good" Americans just as many Christians can be "good" Americans.  I personally believe that there are times when Christians should be "bad" Americans when the country demands behavior that is counter to the Gospel.  As noted, I think that radicals of any religious stripe are dangerous, and it appears to me that there is a growing number of radical Muslims.  However, radical Christians are also scary - not so much from the violence perspective but in the my-way-or-the-highway approach of radical fundamentalists, biblical extremists and theocratic zealots.

Sorry cousin for the bit of a rant, but this is what came to mind.  Paz.

h/t cuz bs



Electrum said...

The only people who can be good Americans are Reagan Conservatives. If a Muslim can be that, then he can be a good American.

Bizzy Brain said...

Re: radical Christians being scary. There are radical fundamentalists who call themselves Christians, but are actually cultists of the David Koresh or Jim Jones variety. However, I am confused by the term “biblical extremists.” Does that include people who believe the Bible is the literal, unerring word of God, including six day creation, Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, etc? Given that they are by definition, biblical extremists, should not scare anyone due to a perceived “my-way-or-the-highway approach.” Substituting “God’s for “my” makes it sensible. Matthew 7:13-14 states, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Kinda, sorta sounds like my way or the highway approach ain’t all that bad.

Douglas E said...

BB - no, biblical literalists are not necessarily biblical extremists. The extremists would be folks like you mention, Westboro and yes, Ken Ham who basically says that his interpretation of the bible trumps reality. I have no problem with folks choosing their own 'highway' and even trying to persuade others to see the wisdom of their choice - it is when persuasion becomes harassment and coercion that chaps my hide.

Bizzy Brain said...

I getcha, Douglas E. You are turned off by a Ham-handed approach. (Pun intended.) Those Westboro folks are crazed haters whose antics are in dramatic conflict with Biblical teachings. The MSM loves it because those crazies give Christianity a black eye.
I have less problem with Biblical literalism than with those who take the figurative approach. Discernment often goes by the wayside when people on their own pick and choose what is literal and what is figurative, what matters and what doesn't. You can end up with an anything goes Christianity, which is a dangerous deception.

S3 said...

The question is difficult to answer as it is probably impossible to decide what constitutes a good American. Half the population thinks the other half are lousy Americans. Lol!

Douglas E said...

S3 - exatamente!!

S3 said...

Let's see, no consensus on what constitutes a good American, no consensus on what constitutes a good Muslim, sooo, to answer your question, a good Muslim can be a good American, a good Muslim can be a bad American, a bad Muslim can be a good American, and a bad Muslim can be a bad American. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, I asked for your rhetoric on a rhetorical question. Following your response and the discussion that ensued, I get the full benefit of collective insight into my original quandary.

Turning the tables was an interesting exercise and revealed the fundamental flaws of both hypotheses. There are no absolutes.

Where extremism/radicalism roosts, tolerance lacks. Exclusion is the enemy of tolerance by suggesting everything is black and white (my way or the highway) which again applies to both sides of the equation. Based on the dynamic of modern day demography of the American population, political correctness, and where you sit on the political scale, anyone can shoot holes in either set of questions.

I appreciate you burning a few brain cells on this. Worth the trip.

S3 said...

I do like John Wayne's take on things, “If everything isn't black and white, I say, "Why the hell not?"” - John Wayne

Bizzy Brain said...

Anonymous said, "There are no absolutes." Surely he jests, for that is an absolute statement.

S3 said...

Anonymous states, "There are no absolutes." Surely he jests, as that is an absolute statements.

S3 said...


Bizzy Brain said...

I really like John Wayne's take on issues, “If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'” -John Wayne

hoosierdaddy said...

John Wayne or one of his characters - sounds like it could have been either. :-)

Regarding absolutes - everybody has their own set of absolutes but folks cannot agree on which one are 'truly' absolute!