Thursday, August 19, 2010

"You're either with us or against us."

I couldn't remember the exact quote, so I Googled the quote in the title.  It is not exactly what George Bush said shortly after the 9/11 attacks, but it is close.  It is a phrase, in some form or another, that has been used many times in the past.  However, this is not about bashing GW.  On the contrary, he actually comes off well in the following discussion.

More about the Manhattan Islamic Center/Mosque.  President Obama came out in support of the center indicating that the owners have every right and have cleared every legal hurdle to build the Center.  There are more and more moderate and even some conservative Republicans that have indicated there is no legal basis for not allowing the construction to go through.  Heck, even Glenn Beck admitted as much on the Bill O'reilly show a few days ago.

So, how does GW coming out smelling like a rose?  Well, he always made a distinction between the extremist Muslim terrorists and the general populace of Muslim's.  In fact, there are a large number of Muslim's that were disgusted at the barbarianism of 9/11.  Many of them, at the risk of their own lives, have helped the United States in our fight against Al Qaida and other extremist groups.  They have served in our military as U.S. soldiers.  They have served in our intelligence community in translating intercepts.  They have served in our State Department in providing cultural and protocol information.  They are serving with our military on the ground helping translate in small towns and villages throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, the the right wing Republican demagogues, such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, are painting all of Islam with the extremist brush.  They are, in fact, helping to fuel additional recruitment to these groups because it is seen more and more that the U.S. blames all of Islam for the terrorist attacks.  Well, Sarah and Newt, are you with us or against us?


  1. So why do you lump all of Christianity into the same pot as the component of Christians you rail against who profess to be Christian but act in ways that are very non-Christian-you don't seem to offer Christianity the same consideration.


  2. I'm not sure that I have done that. Generally, I try and categorize them as "right wing" or "religious right," etc. I understand that not every church goer has the same beliefs as these more extreme Christians. Most just hope the sermon is short enough to get home in time to catch the kickoff.

    You say they are non-Christian, yet they can quote you a Bible verse to justify each and every one of their beliefs. The Bible is inerrant, correct? They very much believe they are Christians and probably far better Christians than you think you are.

    Despite my feelings for organized religion, I still respect the Constitution and the Freedom of (or from) Religion that it espouses. Something that these politicians cannot understand.

  3. If you have made this distinction in the past, my apologies—you do consistently use the terms right, conservative, etc in association with the term Christian, but so consistently that there would seem to be no other type than a right wing, conservative Christian, and so, all the same. Most people would characterize me as very conservative and right wing, as are a lot of those in my church community, but none of was would condone violence, hatred or other types of injury against a human being that you often attribute to the religious right, and especially in the name of or to advance the cause of Christianity. Ad hominem arguments are often fallacious and do little to advance a cause—they usually just piss people off.

    Fortunately I don’t have to worry about how “good” of a Christian I am. God makes it very clear to us in His Word that none of us can live up to His law and that if we try to justify ourselves by how good we are or that we are a better Christian than someone else or we can quote more verses than someone else, we’re screwed. Not a single good work gets us any closer to heaven. The Bible condemns the idea that any Christian is any better than any other Christian—we are all equally “bad” in God’s eyes. Those that profess Christ as their Savior but continue to act with hatred and violence, even as a means to a desirable goal, miss the point—the fact that they might think they are a better Christian than someone else is a demonstration of this. People often pick and choose things in the Bible to justify their actions but do so out of the context of the whole Bible. If the bottom line is love God before anything and you do this by loving your neighbor as yourself, acts of hatred can never be justified. The idea of one Christian being a better Christian than another has no real meaning in God’s eyes and shouldn’t in a believer’s eyes. Knowing that, only then can the Christian see the need for a Savior—not one who just sort of helps out when it’s convenient, but one that has done the complete work of salvation. Good works have their place but only as a response to God’s love-not to obtain it-and never, as a means of exalting the individual, but only to glorify God. But even knowing that, all Christians, and especially me, even mess this up constantly and need to ask God to forgive us—and he promises us that He will.

    I didn’t say those people were non-Christian-they are acting in a non-Christian manner, at least according to the whole Word of God. Are these people “real” Christians? Am I? Only God really knows what’s in our hearts and He looks at things from a completely different sense of justice than we do—I’m just glad he looks at me through the cross when he’s looking at me.

    Many Christians share your feelings for organized religion—the early church was a truly commendable thing (read about it in Acts). But all of us put our own selfish spin on it so that what comes out is usually different than the intent—but that doesn’t invalidate the source. However, the Bible does ask us to join together as a Christian community to strengthen and serve one another and some form of organization is useful, and if what man puts on it doesn’t corrupt it too much, some truly amazing things happen. You would have to admit that there are a tremendous number of Christian organizations that do a lot to serve humanity. I too respect the Constitution and its Freedoms. Unfortunately, politicians, like all of us, have their o

  4. (Continued from previous) Unfortunately, politicians, like all of us, have their own agendas.

  5. I put Jay in the lead on this one, if only due to the style points I have awarded for using the term "screwed" in a Christian context. I like that.

    Crime Dog


  7. LOL! Point taken!