Despite the fact that I have spent more than ten years monitoring and analyzing the Religious Right, I have to admit that, quite often, I have no idea what will set them off or what compels their response to things.
Take, for instance, the fact that Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission decided it was important to go through President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast and try to refute it almost line by line in order to demonstrate that Christianity is the greatest religion of them all (Cass’s commentary is in italics) :
[F]ar too often, we have seen faith wielded as a tool to divide us from one another – as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance. Wars have been waged. Innocents have been slaughtered. For centuries, entire religions have been persecuted, all in the name of perceived righteousness.
On its face, this paragraph is true, but what President Obama is inferring is that all religious conflict is wrong. But is that always the case? For example, was it wrong for Christians to defend other Christians from the attacks of Muslims in the Holy Land? The Muslims are “eternally offended” by the Crusades, but they attacked Europe relentlessly with no apology.
Obama said all the mayhem was done in a sense of “perceived righteousness.” That begs the question where we get our standards for righteousness? For the Christian we would be able to decide if a matter is just or unjust by biblical standards. A Muslim would not think it unrighteous to wage Jihad on non-Muslims based on the Koran, just the opposite, it is his duty to kill the infidels.
There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same.
Obama is a skeptic and eschews any religious certainty, but this makes him irrational. He is a champion of religious doubt even as he asserts his superior religious vision of how things ought to be, borrowing what he wants from Christianity and disregarding the rest, thus making himself out to be god.
We read from different texts. We follow different edicts.
So how do we know which is true? Is the Bible, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon the Word of God? Besides the self-authenticating nature of the Bible, its truthfulness is revealed in its exalted spiritual ethics and its truth claims that correspond with reality. The Bible can be historically verified and contains hundreds of fulfilled predictive prophecies. There is no other “revelation” with the same marks of divine authorship.
We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all.
True, but the Bible does definitively answer all these questions.
But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.
Apparently the Mohammad didn’t get the memo. Jihadists take the Koran seriously and it does tell Muslims to kill the infidels.
We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah commands, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
The hadith is a holy book in Islam. So do you do as the hadith says or what it records Mohammad doing, i.e. killing people? Mohammad’s life is supposed to be the standard for Muslims. Does this text only refer to treating fellow Muslims brothers with love or does it require them to treat everyone with love? History proves that Muslims kill other Muslims more than any other religion.
And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule – the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.
This is a nice attempt to make all religions sound like they are all saying the same thing, but in India Hindus oppress each other based on the caste system. Radical Hindus are killing Christians. Radical Muslims are killing Christians, Jews and Hindus where ever they can get away with it. Christians do not kill with the approval of their religion except in self-defense.
But you know what makes this even more biazrre? The fact that Cass went after President Obama’s speech from 2009, rather than the remarks he delivered at the prayer breakfast earlier this week.
Apparently, Cass thought that now was a good time to provide an “analysis of [President Obama’s] remarks from a biblical perspective” … even though those remarks were made over a year ago.