Islam

Land Calls Mormonism "The Fourth Abrahamic Faith" While The SBC Calls It a "Cult"

Yesterday I wrote a post highlighting a recent column by Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he blasted the idea that Evangelical Christians would support a Mormon like Glenn Beck as he called the nation to revival. 

Moore called it a "scandal" and shortly after it appeared online Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tweeted his support for Moore's article, which got me wondering about Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, because I know that Land has been among those working closely with Beck in recent weeks:

A few weeks before organizing a massive rally on the Mall that had the feel of a religious revival, Glenn Beck sought the blessing of some of the country's most prominent conservative Christian leaders.

The Fox talk show host wanted their support as he shifted from political commentary to a more spiritual message, he told the group of about 20.

This is where God is leading me, Beck declared, according to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was there, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

Land said most in the group found Beck's faith genuine and heartfelt, although not everyone agreed to embrace him publicly.

"We walked back to the hotel after and said: 'That was extraordinary,' " Land said of his conversation with Dobson after the dinner in Manhattan. "I've never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith. He sounded like Billy Graham."

Today, Land sat down with NPR's Robert Siegel and disputed Beck's claims that President Obama's Christian faith is unrecognizable while also claiming that though Mormonism is not a Christian religion, it is an "Abrahamic faith": 

SIEGEL: Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Is that brand of Christianity as distant or more so from yours than the National Council of Churches mainline Protestantism you...

Dr. LAND: Probably more so.

SIEGEL: More so.

Dr. LAND: And look, Glenn knows this. He said, look, I'm a Mormon. Most Christians don't think that I'm a Christian. And so, you know, I'll quote the pope, when he's talking about liberation theology.

I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.

SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.

Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith.

Really? That is pretty amazing that Land would place Mormonism on par with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially considering that the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board labels Mormonism a "cult" [PDF]:

Hooray! Hercules Is Going To Save America

Do you know what America needs at this moment?  A documentary featuring Kevin Sorbo of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" exposing the "Twelve Biggest Lies" that are destroying America:

Kevin Sorbo (SOUL SURFER, WHAT IF…, AVENGING ANGEL, HERCULES, ANDROMEDA) wants to stand up for truth, and as the host of Cloud Ten Pictures’ upcoming explosive documentary THE 12 BIGGEST LIES, he’ll be facing the age-old battle between truth and lies head-on.

This will represent Sorbo’s first foray into the documentary genre ... "Communism didn't work for the USSR, but it was an accepted philosophy for over 50 years. Once the wall came down, that philosophy was exposed for the failed experiment - the lie - that it was. It still boggles the mind; some of those people had lived a lie for their entire lives to that point. We have similar accepted theories today, where any debate has been squelched by the community that yells the loudest, and that's too bad. I'm just doing my part to help create a free-thought zone and give the other side a voice. It's exciting - exhilarating, even," said Sorbo.

...

THE 12 BIGGEST LIES explores several topics that may be viewed as extremely controversial to some audiences. "Men and women are equal", "The world is overpopulated", and "Islam is a religion of peace" are some of lies exposed in the documentary. Sorbo’s personality helps to connect with the audience and keep the naysayers glued to their screens.

...

Featuring interviews from leading minds such as Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Alex Jones, Kerby Anderson, Dr. Craig Hazen, Calvin Smith, Dr. Jeff Seif, Dr. Stanley Monteith, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Michael Coren, Ray Comfort, Jack Kinsella, Nonie Darwish, and many others; 12 BIGGEST LIES marks Cloud Ten’s ninth documentary, and is the follow up to DRAGONS OR DINOSAURS?, which revealed shocking new evidence in the age old creation vs. evolution debate.

Focus on the Family: Dedicated to Defending The Rights of "People of all Faiths," Just Not Muslims

Earlier this month, just as the right-wing anti-mosque hysteria was getting whipped up, Focus on the Family posted a video in which Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht complained about how municipalities were discriminating against churches using zoning laws:

Shepard: What does this tell us about the state of religious freedom in the United States?

Hausknecht: Well, we're seeing first a hostility toward religion. You would think in this day and age of tolerance that there would be tolerance for religious views, religious people. There is not. We're seeing it in the zoning cases, we're seeing it in the schools. That is a definite wake-up call for people of all faiths to stand up and protect their rights.

At the time, Focus was one of the few Religious Right groups that had not yet taken a position on Park 51, so I wondered if the organization would defend the right of Muslims to build the Islamic Center, especially in light of the organization's plea for "people of all faiths" to wake up and protect their religious freedoms.

So I know it will come as a shock to you all to learn that Focus' concerns for the rights of "people of all faiths" does not, in fact, apply to Muslims:

During CitizenLink's weekly webcast, Tom Minnery said, "Nobody is suggesting that the brand of Islam practiced by the owners of this mosque [is] going to lead to more terrorist attacks. But for Heaven's sake, in the name of all that is decent and in the name of common sense, build it elsewhere."

He said the group had the right to build, but he questioned the prudence of doing so. "Is it dishonoring to the 3,000 people who gave their lives to have this mosque which, in some minds, represents a similar religious belief that caused the terrorists to do what they did?" said Minnery.

Stuart Shepard, host of the webcast, noted that this position is a departure from Minnery's previous positions on religious liberty.

"You have spent a lot of time talking about religious freedom. And you work for Alliance Defense Fund quite a bit helping them fight for the rights of people, for religious freedom. It is quite a turn for you to say that this is not the right location for religious freedom to be expressed," said Shepard.

"Well, it is indeed," said Minnery.

Kincaid Demands Proof of Obama's Baptism

The other day I wrote a post highlighting a piece by Accuracy In Media's Cliff Kincaid in which he seemingly demanded proof that President Obama had ever been baptized and joked that maybe this would become the next Bither-like campaign.

But while I may have been joking, Kincaid most certainly was not, as he's now written another piece laying out a Birtheresque conspiracy about Obama's suspect claims regarding his baptism:

AIM also wants accountability. What AIM has done is quote directly from Obama’s books about his spiritual and political journey. We have pointed out that Obama’s claim about his own baptism, as reported in his second memoir, The Audacity of Hope, is subject to interpretation because of the lack of detail about how and when he was baptized and by whom. It appears, based on information provided by Obama’s own church, that Obama was describing how he became a member of that church.

Obama’s claim of being baptized is presented in the context of discussing the fact that he was not born and baptized a Christian. He describes his Muslim father and grandfather and attendance in a Muslim school as he was growing up. Obama acknowledges that, before he joined Wright’s church, some people regarded him as a Muslim. Wright himself dabbled in Islam before establishing his church, Obama concedes.

The proof of the baptism claim is precisely what is lacking in his book. There is no need or demand for a baptismal certificate, but there is no detail about the ceremony, other than talking about a walk down an aisle and a profession of faith, and no information about who performed the baptism and who attended. Traditionally, water is used in such a ceremony. There is no reference to water in Obama’s book.

...

[W]hat is being questioned in not his faith but the veracity of his claim in his book, published as he was preparing his presidential run, that he underwent a baptism. Was this claim inserted into the book to make Obama more politically palatable to the American electorate who would be naturally suspicious about what the media called his “unorthodox” religious background?

Some Christians claim that baptism is not required to become a Christian. Obama could have claimed that he became a Christian in Wright’s church through a simple profession of faith and that a formal baptism was not required. Instead, however, he claimed to have undergone the procedure ... [Obama's] claims about a baptism cannot be taken at face value.

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah continues his feud with Ann Coulter.
  • Peter LaBarbera is now very upset with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
  • Stephen Prothero wonders why Mormons like Mitt Romney haven't been speaking out on behalf of Muslims regarding Park 51.
  • Newt Gingrich will apparently not be participating in the 9/11 rally against Park 51.
  • Alan Keyes really doesn't like Glenn Beck.
  • I just might have to pick up the book "Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today's Culture Wars" because it sounds pretty interesting.

FRCs Latest Prayer Targets: Values Voter Summit, Prop 8, and All Things Islam

At regular intervals, the Family Research Council sends out updates to its "Prayer Team" listing a variety of political issues that team members should make the target of their prayers.

A recent update called upon FRC's prayer activists to focus on the upcoming election because for too long America has elected politicians who lead "flagrantly godless personal lives" and "pass ungodly laws":

The American electoral process has the potential to produce qualified candidates, yet year after year we elect men and women who enter public office and pass ungodly laws. Some lead unwholesome, even flagrantly godless personal lives. Yet far too many of our pastors and Christian leaders have remained uninvolved, failing even to teach and preach about responsible Christian citizenship ... It is our duty to select leaders who respect the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and family, and religious liberty and who oppose pernicious efforts to advance abortion, sexual immorality, socialism, profligate government spending, and now, Muslim Sharia law. Praying, fasting, speaking out and taking extraordinary action during the next 81 days, Christians must follow biblical principles (e.g., Exodus 18:21) in voting their values.

And FRC listed a specific set of issues on which the prayer team was to concentrate in order to reverse this trend - namely the Values Voter Summit, the Prop 8 ruling, Rifqa Bary, and Park 51:

- Pray that God will pour out his Spirit upon this year's [Values Voter Summit]; that it will be the best yet -- life-changing and nation-shaking.

- May God give our lawyers wisdom and may He superintend a complete reversal to vouchsafe Biblical marriage in U.S. federal judicial precedent.

- May God protect Rifqa's health. May U.S. officials help her along the road to citizenship. May God guide her education and her promising and needed ministry!

- May America reject this Mosque and the wider Islamist political agenda! May the Church stand against all false religion, while reaching out to Muslims with love.

Fischer: US Failed to Make Iraq a Christian Nation, So Our Soldiers Died For Nothing

Just how anti-Muslim is the AFA's Bryan Fischer? 

So anti-Muslim that he is now claiming that the entire Iraq war was an epic failure and complete waste of American time, money, and lives because we did not seek to convert the entire country to Christianity.

Fischer says that the only thing that kept Iraq functioning under Saddam Hussein was that "Christians to help him run the country [because] Christians were the only decent, trustworthy, honest people he could find."  When Hussein was toppled, it left Iraq in the hands of Muslims and "Islam simply doesn’t produce men with the kind of character and integrity needed to run a country."

Fischer says America has offended God by creating a new Islamic Republic in Iraq which, "without the stabilizing values and presence of the Prince of Peace," will ultimately collapse.

Therefore, all of our soldiers have died for nothing:

It grieves me to the bottom of my soul to think of the soldiers who bravely gave their last full measure of devotion in such a misbegotten cause. They served bravely and well; it was their leadership that let them down.

All this is due to President Bush’s naive short-sightedness about the true nature of Islam and what it does to the human spirit. I believe him to be an honest and decent man, but deceived and foolish when it came to Islam.

He genuinely seemed to believe that Islam is a religion of peace which had been hijacked by evil men. The truth is the other way round. Islam is a barbaric religion of violence and war. The only hijacking that’s been done is by those trying to fool people into thinking it’s something benign

...

[T]he Spirit of the Lord is absent in Islamic lands, and the dark spirit that animates Islam has extinguished the spirit of liberty in those lands and in the hearts of their people. Their spiritual DNA has been altered in such a horrible way that what they hunger for is domination, destruction, and the death of the infidels. It is impossible for such a people to harbor a thirst for freedom apart from a massive spiritual awakening represented by an embrace of Christianity.

No, it is impossible to build a free nation on a platform of Islam. It was foolish and expensive even to try.

Guess What? Bryan Fischer Doesn't Trust Muslims!

Another day; another post from Bryan Fischer demonstrating that he a) hates Muslims and b) has no idea what he is talking about:

Islam is a totalitarian political ideology, not a benign religion. It is as racist as the KKK, committed by principle and conviction to the extermination of Israel just because Jews live there. (Hitler, anyone?) Allowing a mosque to be built in town is fundamentally no different than granting a building permit to a KKK cultural center built in honor of some King Kleagle or Exalted Cyclops.

According to the FBI, a minimum of 10% of America’s 3000 mosques are actively, right now as you are reading these words, preaching jihad against the United States. And that is, according to the FBI agent who made the comment, a “conservative” estimate. So let’s say the figure is roughly 20%, give or take.

That means, according to our own government, that we have approximately 600 - 600!! - jihadist recruitment and training centers actively operating on sovereign U.S. soil, headed by leaders whose agenda is the extermination of Western civilization and the shedding of infidel blood.

That means, on average, each state has 12 mosques preaching jihad against the United States this very day. And the other 2400 mosques could be radicalized virtually overnight. We have no way of knowing when a mosque will suddenly begin to take its prophet and its god seriously and start planning to blow us up or cut off our heads, or both.

This wouldn’t be so bad if we knew which 600 mosques we needed to worry about, but we don’t. I don’t think the FBI keeps a master list available to the public so we can check on the mosque in our neighborhood.

And the so-called “moderate” Muslims so far have been no help - they won’t rat out the jihadists and jihadist mosques in our midst, so we have no way of knowing which mosques are being turned into cells for terrorist ideology and activity right here in River City.

That means we must be cautious with them all. All 3000 existing mosques must be infiltrated and monitored, just as we would monitor resurgent KKK clan groups and neo-Nazi cells and just as the FBI did infiltrate and monitor the Christian Hutaree militia. No community should be forced to have one of these improvised explosive devices take root in their city unless they happen to like the idea of moon-worshipers blowing them up.

Just where did Fischer get that stat that 10% of mosques in America preach jihad against the US? 

From an anonymous FBI counterterrorism official quoted in a book written by a Newsmax correspondent.

So you know it must be accurate and true. 

And since Fischer is pulling out all of the stops as he wages his anti-Islam crusade, the guest on his radio program today is Jamal Jivanjee who will discuss Islam and Rifqa Bary.

I think my head is going to explode.

Bryan Fischer Hits The Big Time

Via Pam we see that Bryan Fischer has now hit the big time, taking his "No More Mosques, Period" argument onto CNN where he trotted out all the same arguments he has been making all along while also claiming that he is pro-Muslim, just anti-Islam:

You can get the transcript of his appearance here.

Even The "Religious Freedom Coalition" Opposes Park 51?

The Religious Freedom Coalition is a right-wing group that proclaims itself "dedicated to the equality of all mankind and the freedom of religious expression. The Religious Freedom Coalition maintains that Religious Freedom is the 'first liberty' and wherever Religious Freedom is suppressed there is no true freedom of assembly, press or speech."

The Religious Freedom Coalition also runs a website called No 9-11 Mosque and issues press releases blasting President Obama for supporting the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque":

Religious Freedom Coalition chairman William J. Murray released a statement Saturday concerning the endorsement by President Obama of the mega mosque construction near Ground Zero:

"President Barack Obama's interference in support of the mega mosque near Ground Zero is perplexing. As chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition I visit the burned down and bombed churches in the Middle East. I interview the families who have had their children kidnapped and murdered in the name of Islamic supremacy.

"I am a personal witness to the double standard of forced Islamic domination in a large part of the world coupled with a demand for special rights fir Muslims that goes beyond tolerance in the United States. President Obama's statement in favor of a mosque at Ground Zero is in deep contrast to ignoring the plight of St. Nicholas, the only church destroyed on 9-11. It has still not been rebuilt because of government red tape. The President's jumping enthusiastically on the band wagon of the Ground zero mega-mosque was misplaced and equally ill-timed."

I can think of no better example of the absurd hypocrisy at the heart of the right-wing crusade against Park 51 than the fact that a group calling itself a Religious Freedom Coalition which claims to be "dedicated to the equality of all mankind and the freedom of religious expression" is engaged in a campaign to prevent deny that very freedom to Muslims:

Islam is NOT a “religion of peace,” regardless of what Muslims claim. To advance their cause of conquest, an ages-old tradition called “taqiyya” allows them to outwardly pretend loyalty and empathy to “infidel” nations to keep their plans of conquest secret. When Muslims go to a mosque in America, they are entering what Islam calls a “House of War,” where taqiyya allows whatever subterfuge and lies are needed to prevail in warfare, be that war cultural, spiritual, legal or political.

We infidels, therefore, don’t know when to take Muslims at their word, because they have permission to look us in the eye and lie. So don’t be fooled by this “Trojan horse” peace offering that cloaks Islam’s true intent behind the Cordoba mosque. Please listen to the vast majority of Americans, and the four in every five New York City voters, who oppose the mosque.

Until Islamic leaders present you with a fatwa apologizing for 9-11’s acts of terrorism against non-Muslims and guaranteeing no future attacks you must stop this construction! But, don’t hold your breath, because this Fatwa will never be issued. You must block this deceptive scheme that will give Islam an even greater triumph than its 9-11 horrific attack upon your city.

The Religious Right's Exclusive Claim to Religious Freedom

It seems as day after day the Religious Right is intent on making clear their belief that the First Amendment's freedom of religion applies only to Christians. 

Take, for instance, this piece by FRC's Tony Perkins on CNN's Belief Blog in which he lays out the ways in which President Obama is destroying freedom of religion in America though his language, laws, and appointments:

America's First Freedom–freedom of religion–is in danger of being hounded out of public life, expelled from the public square. The word to millions of believers–Evangelicals, Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox Jews–is this: Be Amish or be quiet. Keep your quaint religious practices, mumble your odd prayers, but do so in private.

...

For people of faith, these matters of faith and family go deeper. They are "bridge issues" that unite races and ethnicities, men and women, education and income groups.

The radical changes President Obama and his allies advocate threaten the America we love and the way we express our most deeply held moral and religious convictions. We will be neither silent nor inactive in the face of these challenges. With courtesy and civility but with unflinching determination, we will oppose them.

Isn't it ironic that at a time when the Right is engaged in a campaign to restrict the religious freedom of Muslims in America, Perkins lists only Christians and Jews as those who are in danger of seeing their freedom of religion "hounded out of public life." 

On a related note, the AFA's Bryan Fischer continues his crusade against all things Islam, saying that "only a willfully stupid nation" would allow Muslims to practice their religion here ... but he's willing to compromise:

But I’m an open-minded guy, and open to reasonable compromise. I will happily join with Mr. Gingrich in the one-of-ours-for-one-of-yours approach. It’s a solution that expresses classic American values such as equal opportunity, fairness, and reciprocity.

As soon as we get a church in Mecca, they get a mosque in New York.

If Saudi Arabia won’t take us up on it, fine. It’s their call. One of ours for one of theirs. Can’t get any more fair, even-handed, and American than that.

What does he mean by "ours"?  The entire point of the Frist Amendment is that there is no "ours" because "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." 

But for Fischer and the rest of the Religious Right, First Amendment free exercise rights are exclusively "ours," meaning Christians and Jews, and don't apply to Muslims at all. 

Right Wing Leftovers

 

  • Pat Mahoney declares victory in his protest against the DC city government and Planned Parenthood.
  • I think it is hilarious that Rick Santorum is seriously contemplating running for president.
  • Carly Fiorina says she opposes efforts to alter the 14th Amendment to remove birthright citizenship.
  • FRC and CWA don't like the new birth control pill.  What else is new?
  • A bunch of right-wing bloggers have chosen "the 25 worst figures in American history." Number 1 is Jimmy Carter, who is apparently worse than Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy combined, since they didn't even make the list.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "[S]ecular fundamentalists are easy on Islam for the simple reason that they share with Islamic fundamentalists a deep and abiding hatred for America and its traditions and values."

Fischer: Christians Are Not Bound By Old Testament Law, Except When They Are

To say that Bryan Fischer is one of the most radical voices in the Religious Right today would be a massive understatement.  On everything from gays to immigration to Islam, Fischer stakes out extreme positions which he inevitably claims are rooted in the Bible. 

But it seems that when someone actually tries to have a discussion about the Bible with Fischer, he's not particularly interested in participating. 

Case in point: yesterday Alan Colmes invited Fischer on to Fox News' "Strategy Room" webcast to discuss Fischer's recent statements that there ought to be a ban on the construction of any more mosques in America:

Most of Fischer's defense of that position rested on making blanket assertions about how the Koran calls for the death of all non-Muslims and therefore any Muslims who doesn't repudiate those verses is a threat to the United States.  

Colmes responded by asking Fischer about Bible passages like Deuteronomy 13, which calls for the deaths of anyone who entices you to worship another God, and Deuteronomy 17, which calls for the death of anyone who worships another God, asking if that means Christianity is an inherently violent religion and that Christians should have to renounce those passages.

Fishcer's response was a total cop-out, insisting that Colmes would have to bring on an Old Testament Jewish scholar to explain those passages and the reasoning for those sorts of laws, while simultaneously claiming that those laws are no longer binding on Christians. 

When Colmes asked how he could say that Christians are not bound by Old Testament laws, especially considering Matthew 5:17 where Jesus says "do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them," Fischer's response was to claim that Jesus never said anything about killing those who worship a different God and that Jesus' message was to love your neighbor and pray for those who persecute you.

Of course, that was part of Jesus' message, as was "do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."  But maybe Fisher doesn't think that passage is applicable to Christians either. 

Fischer claims Jesus never said anything about killing infidels, so those Old Testament passages don't apply today ... but Jesus never said anything about homosexuality either, but that hasn't stopped Fischer from citing Old Testament passages to support of his anti-gay views:

I have suggested on more than one occasion that a practicing homosexual should not serve in public office. This is for the simple reason that character is important qualification for public office, and sexual conduct is an essential component of character.

Homosexual behavior is aberrant sexual behavior. It is clearly contrary to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” to which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently referred in the Declaration of Independence.

Biblical passages such as Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 make it abundantly clear what “Nature’s God” thinks of homosexual behavior.

As a matter of fact, Fischer constantly cites Old Testament passages in defense of his views:

- He cites Exodus in calling for the death of a whale at Sea World;

- He cites Leviticus in calling for bears to be put to death;

- He cites Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy in laying out the proper standards for judges;

- He cites Genesis in claiming that the US must stop spilling its Christian blood for Muslims;

- He cites Numbers in decrying sexual immorality;

- He cites Numbers and Ecclesiastes in supporting the death penalty;

- He cites Numbers and Nehemiah in defending his views on immigration.

Why is it that we need an expert Jewish scholar to explain some Old Testament passages, but Fischer is free to cite other Old Testament passages at will when they justify his extremist views?  

Can Fischer tell us which Old Testament laws are still binding and which are not and why?  Because I would really like to hear a coherent rationalization for this sort of absurdly self-serving defense.  

First Amendment Rights Are For Christians Only!

Earlier this week we noted that Flip Benham and members of Operation Save America had been targeting mosques for protests, screaming that "Jesus hates Muslims" and declaring "this is a war in America and we are taking it to the mosques around the country."

Even though the group is based in Texas, it has chosen to target mosques in Connecticut and Muslim leaders in the state are holding a press conference today to discuss the attacks: 

The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and other organizations are hosting a press conference and rally at 3 p.m. today (Friday) on the north side (Bushnell Park side) of the State Capitol.

The gathered hope to address recent outbreaks of Islamophobia in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. During Islam's holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have asked for police protection so that they can go to their mosques to pray in this state.

And so, of course, Operation Save America is responding by accusing Muslims of violating their First Amendment rights

In an unprecedented move, Muslim leaders in Connecticut are staging a press conference in Hartford this afternoon, to plead with legislators to censor the Gospel of Christ from the public forum around mosques.

That's right! They are using their own potential for violence to silence the Gospel of Christ. Gentle Christian saints will be conducting a press conference on the public sidewalk in front of the Bridgeport Islamic Center, aka Mafjid An-Noor Mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

Islam is not a religion, nor a cult, but a total and complete 100 % system of life. It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. In all of the 27 countries ruled by Islam, the church is the state! No other religion will be tolerated.

"Islam presents a monstrous worldview, birthed in the pit of hell, which brings untold misery and murder upon precious people created in the image of God. Religion is its cover (its beard) by which it gains entrance into nations where the 'freedom of religion' is sacrosanct. It then takes this freedom afforded to it, and begins its insidious takeover." Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America.

In essence, Benham is upset that Muslim leaders are exercising their First Amendment free speech rights in defense of their First Amendment religious freedoms because doing so represents a threat to his First Amendment right to scream that Jesus hates them.

Fischer: "We Ought to be Done with the Building of Mosques in the United States of America"

Yesterday we noted that the AFA's Bryan Fischer was demanding the end to the construction of all mosques on the grounds that "each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government."

He made the same case on his radio program, at first talking about the "Ground Zero Mosque," but then issuing a call for a blanket ban on the construction of any new mosques anywhere in the country:

I have said this thing should not be built. I have appealed to every construction firm in the city of New York not to take a dime of tainted money to build this thing. It's going to be a memorial to the Muslim martyrs. It's going to be a memorial to the conquest of Allah and Islam on 9/11. That's what this whole thing is about. And even worse, I believe, it's going to be a terrorist training center. It's going to be a center for the inculcation of jihadist ideas.

Permits, in my judgment, should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America. Not one! We ought to be done with the building of mosques in the United States of America. I'm not saying go out and tear down the ones that are there. I'm saying we should not issue building permits for a single additional mosque in the United States of America.

I particularly like how Fischer makes clear that he's not calling for the destruction of existing mosques, because that would be going too far.  So you can see how reasonable he is.

Fischer: "No More Mosques, Period"

The AFA 's Bryan Fischer was hating Muslims long before it was the cool conservative thing to do and has been calling for their mass deportation from the US for some time now.

So it was no surprise when he weighed in against the "Ground Zero Mosque" by calling for the blacklisting of any company that dares to work on its construction.

But of course that is not enough to Fischer, so he is now demanding an end to the construction of any mosque anywhere in America:

Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.

Each one is a potential jihadist recruitment and training center, and determined to implement the “Grand Jihad” ...

Because of this subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. They are currently using First Amendment freedoms to make plans to destroy the First Amendment altogether. There is no such thing as freedom of religion in Islam, and it is sheer and utter folly for Americans to delude themselves into thinking otherwise.

...

American Muslims are being radicalized every single day in American mosques. We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction by allowing these improvised explosive devices to be established in community after community.

If a mosque was willing to publicly renounce the Koran and its 109 verses that call for the death of infidels, renounce Allah and his messenger Mohammed, publicly condemn Osama bin Laden, Hamas, and Abdelbaset al Megrahi (the Lockerbie bomber), maybe then they could be allowed to build their buildings. But then they wouldn’t be Muslims at that point, now would they?

So how long before Fischer takes this to its logical conclusion and starts calling for all Muslims who won't leave the country or convert to Christianity to be rounded up and put into internment camps? 

Also, have I mentioned that Fischer is listed as a "confirmed speaker" at the next Family Research Council Values Voter Summit, along with Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee?

Just want to keep pointing that out.

ACLJ Battles Itself Over Its Understanding of The First Amendment

Last week I wondered how Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice was managing to rationalize its role in leading the opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque" while still claiming to be a leading defender of religious freedom in America. 

As it turned it, the ACLJ did it by simply claiming that the debate wasn't about religious freedom at all.

But that excuse was laughably pathetic, and so Jay Sekulow and Brett Joshpe are back with an op-ed in the Washington Times, taking another stab at justifying themselves, claiming now that their "opposition to the ground-zero mosque reflects America's sacrosanct First Amendment ideals."

That's right - the ACLJ is simply exercising its own First Amendment right to freedom of speech:

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to do and say many things that are offensive - indeed, that is the bedrock of our constitutional system - but well-intentioned people, nonetheless, often choose not to do or say such things out of a moral concern for others. As the Anti-Defamation League eloquently wrote in its statement opposing the project, "ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right."

We are witnessing a tidal wave of opposition from all across the nation. Americans are exercising their private First Amendment rights and expressing opposition to the ground-zero mosque. Their voices are what create that famed marketplace of ideas, and attempts to silence them through cries of bigotry and racism in the name of the First Amendment are especially ironic.

This debate, in fact, reflects the ideals of freedom, and despite the intensity and controversy of the issue, the relative civility of the discussion is a testament to American values and tolerance. No serious person has suggested banning Islam or mosques or even the freedom to practice Islam near ground zero. Instead, citizens are expressing their personal views that the location of the mosque is unnecessarily inflammatory and hurtful, given the circumstances, and that if the project's developers seek to promote mutual respect and harmony, as they claim, they should reconsider.

Our client is one of those private citizens who believes this project is an insult to the Sept. 11 victims' memory and their families. His right to express that view - to fight this development politically and by ensuring that administrative agencies follow their own precedents and the rule of law, and to speak with the chorus of others who find the Cordoba House mosque at ground zero inappropriate - represents the essence of a free democracy. That right is not in tension with the First Amendment; it is the First Amendment.

Wasn't it just a few months ago when the ACLJ was fuming that Franklin Graham has been disinvited to a Pentagon National Day of Prayer event because of some past anti-Islam statements, a move which Sekulow and the ACLJ decried an act of outrageous anti-Christian bigotry?

The ACLJ claims that they are simply exercising their First Amendment right to free speech in opposing others' First Amendment right of religious freedom ... while also complaining that those who accuses them of hypocrisy or anti-Muslim bigotry are trying to prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights ... so really, they are the real victims here.

Given a convoluted justification like this, good luck trying to figure out exactly where the ACLJ stands on the question of religious freedom vs free speech.

Operation Save America Takes Anti-Islam Ideology To Its Logical Conclusion

The New York Times reports that protests against mosques are popping up all over the country, spurred on at least in part by the right-wing opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque."

So I guess this sort of thing should not come as a surprise:

About a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling "Islam is a lie," angrily confronted worshippers outside a Fairfield Avenue mosque Friday.

"Jesus hates Muslims," they screamed at worshippers arriving at the Masjid An-Noor mosque to prepare for the holy week of Ramadan. One protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque. "Murderers," he shouted.

Police arrived on the scene to separate the groups, but said no arrests were made.

Flip Benham, of Dallas, Texas, organizer of the protest, was yelling at the worshipers with a bullhorn.

"This is a war in America and we are taking it to the mosques around the country," he said.

Muslim leaders in Connecticut are concerned that such protests will only escalate as Ramadan approaches and are now seeking police protection.

As it turns out Benham and his Operation Save America have been protesting Islam and all other religions for years now.  And until recently, OSA was a fringe group advocating an extremist right wing view.

Today, they are advocating that exact same view ... only it has now become the mainstream conservative view. 

Colson: "Go Build the Mosque Somewhere Else"

For weeks now, Chuck Colson has been warning about threat that President Obama poses to the religious freedoms of Christians, begging people to "understand the severity of the threats to our first freedom" which are coming from all sides and to "realize the kind of fight we're in and be prepared for what we may face in the coming months."

They key to protecting these liberties, Colson has been assuring everyone, is for them to sign the Manhattan Declaration which affirms the sanctity of "religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image":

In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline in respect for religious values in the media, the academy and political leadership, resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of religion. We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat to the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her faith, but because the trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system of republican government is founded. Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people of one's own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of. Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.

So imagine my surprise when I now see Colson telling Muslims to go build their mosques somewhere else:

Earlier this week, the proposed New York City mosque at ground zero cleared its final hurdle. Nothing seems to stand in the way of its construction.

I am appalled that peace-loving Muslims would want to do this on what is, for most Americans, hallowed ground. I am even more appalled that the mayor of New York is in favor of the idea ... the construction of the mosque at ground zero is not about tolerance. And it isn’t about religious liberty ... [I]t would not be an act of intolerance to deny the construction of a mosque at a certain location-particularly one, ground zero, where the mosque will serve as a daily reminder to New Yorkers of the terrorists, who, motivated by their Islamo-fascist beliefs, killed 3,000 innocent people in the name of Islam.

Go build the mosque somewhere else.

Colson has been frantically warning recently that their "first freedoms" are slowly slipping away and that they need to be willing and prepared engage in civil disobedience to defend them while simultaneously telling Muslims to "go build the mosque somewhere else."

And that is the Religious Right's understanding of "religious freedom" in a nutshell. 

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Islam Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 05/14/2012, 3:40pm
Itamar Gelbman is a Republican congressional candidate who has attracted attention for his mailing where he pledged to “Stop Islamization of America,” which won him wild praise from anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller and scorn from one local Republican precinct chair Jamal Qaddura, who said, “I would like to ask him, how do you plan to stop the ‘Islamization of America’ and show me where the ‘Islamization of America’ is?” Gelbman hasn’t provided a clarification, but he did post a video of his long form birth certificate, and he told Janet... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/01/2012, 2:30pm
At last week’s Awakening 2012 conference, phony “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem not only detailed a treacherous scheme by President Obama to use immigration reform to legalize terrorism, but also uncovered a liberal plot to use the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade to “bring Sharia law liberally in our face.” Responding to co-panelist Frank Gaffney’s specious allegation that there have been anywhere between fifty to seventy instances where American judges used Sharia law to decide cases, Saleem blamed the Religious Right’s most hated... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/01/2012, 2:00pm
Last week’s Awakening 2012 conference included a panel on Islam featuring Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council and Kamal Saleem, the phony “ex-terrorist” who has been making the rounds on Religious Right events and television programs telling his bogus, discredited backstory. While some panelists at the Awakening criticized the GOP’s anti-immigrant stance, Saleem maintained that immigration reform is actually a plot to have “all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here” and consequently,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 04/27/2012, 2:35pm
Before the upcoming election, the GOP is looking to restore its traditional polling advantage on national security with virulent criticisms of President Obama’s handling of foreign affairs. But as MSNBC’s Chuck Todd pointed out last September, “No president since George H.W. Bush has had more foreign-policy successes happen under his watch than President Obama,” and Americans have given Obama high marks for his counter-terrorism strategy. So when some Republican officials and conservative activists need to lash out at President Obama’s foreign policy credentials... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/27/2012, 12:06pm
Last month, we wrote a post featuring a video clip from a presentation that David Barton delivered just before Memorial Day back in 2007 in which he made the case that God was pro-war and even claimed that the United States was one more bombing run away from winning the war in Vietnam when our troops were withdrawn. Today, we stumbled upon a similar presentation Barton delivered at Calvary Chapel in California in 2009 on the anniversary of 9/11.  In it, Barton was making his standard claim that War on Terror actually goes back to the 1800s when the US was engaged in conflict with... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/23/2012, 11:00am
While campaigning in Louisiana yesterday Newt Gingrich spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, who was upset that the Washington Post wrote “two pages” on Rick Santorum’s ties to Opus Dei and predicted that the media will attack Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith if he is the nominee. Gingrich, who has previously said that America has an “elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism” and railed against the “anti-Christian, anti-Jewish” left, bemoaned that the “elite media” refuses to write about... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/12/2012, 5:15pm
It has been almost-comical to see how the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Erick Stakelbeck went from working as a sports reporter to a “terrorism analyst” heralded by Religious Right and anti-Muslim groups, which never seem to question his complete lack of credentials and expertise. But Stakelbeck knows how to please a crowd with his vehement diatribes against Muslims and progressives, warning that they are both have a “shared hatred for this country.” Stakelbeck’s “expert analysis” even includes biblical prophecy, as he recently told Marcus... MORE