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The Silliness of Tolerance Talks in America
Darrell Pack (136 E. McClure St., Kewanee, IL 61443)
Smart people can be awfully silly. Case in point: on March 14, 2012, the Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan had a collection of smart people in a discussion entitled “Combating Islamophobia.” The key panelists: Rabbi Marc Schneier, and Imam Shamsi Ali spoke about making America more tolerant of Muslims. The smart moderator was Chelsea Clinton. Around 225 smart people attended. The event was almost half as relevant as bagpipe lessons.
Rabbi Schneier said, "I believe that as a Jew and a rabbi I have a responsibility to speak out against anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination, just as I expect my Muslim brothers and sisters to speak out against anti-Semitism." This is very kind and very American. Part of me is kind of proud that we have such discussions in our nation. But still, let me ask you this: how much actual anti-Muslim bigotry have you seen or heard of in America. There is that crazy Baptist guy and his church of 30 people who want to burn the Qur’an. The nation laughed him out of his 15 minutes of Warholian fame. Anything else? … Nothing? Yeah, me either.
There is a silliness to the American tolerance talk: namely, it is obviously and woefully misplaced. It addresses a problem about as significant as a “Save the lawn dandelion” campaign. America already strives to be tolerant. The problem is elsewhere.
While this love fest of interfaith tolerance was being acted out just a very few miles from the location of the 9/11 tragedy, another message was being communicated from the heart of Islamdom. From Islam’s holiest locale a message was spoken by the highest-ranking religious official in that ostensibly holy region. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah is the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the President of the Supreme Council of Ulema [Islamic scholars] and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas. His message was a bit less tolerant. In a consultation with Kuwaiti political and religious leaders, this most important Islamic figure called for the total destruction of any and all Christian churches in his region of the world.
Where is the moral outrage in our media about this Christio-phobia being expressed by one of Islam’s leading teachers? There is none. Had a Bishop, Rabbi, or Pastor said this regarding mosques the screams in the media would rightly have been deafening. This is one more in a very long list of examples of the silliness of our tolerance talks in America among political and social liberals. America has a tradition of tolerance that is deep within our national psyche. We have failed to live out this ideal perfectly, but we do hold to it. Obviously, 90% of our tolerance talk efforts must be focused upon convincing Muslim leaders to accept the ideal of tolerance and to integrate it into their social, political and religious value system.
Our Government Attacks the Bill of Rights
Written by: Pastor Darrell Pack Feb 6, 2012
We need to face the fact that our government has launched a direct attack against the American way of life and U.S. Constitution. We also need to face the fact that most Americans do not care.
The first part of the First Amendment to our Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” This is clear and unambiguous. It has wide-ranging implications for limiting the power of the federal government. First, our government is not constitutionally allowed to establish a state religion. No religion can be our “national” faith; that would transgress the establishment clause.
The second clause limits the government from interfering in the free exercise of religious faith. It is this second clause that is being directly attacked by our government. This is not a stealth assault or incremental infringement, but a straightforward attack. Brazenly and boldly President Barack Obama has contradicted the constitutional logic by ordering religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for employees that must include contraceptives, including those that may induce an abortion.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services announced January 20,: “Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA-approved forms of contraception.”
In its simplest terms this means Roman Catholic and other religious institutions who are employers with religious objections to contraception and/or abortion will be forced by our government to pay for services and procedures they believe are morally wrong. President Thomas Jefferson stated “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” President Obama’s government is doing exactly that: intermeddling. This is a direct and flagrant disregard for the First Amendment. Our government is now commanding organizations with views that differ with those held by the sitting administration to violate conscience and bend the knee to the government, or face consequences.
I am not Roman Catholic. I do not agree entirely with their views even on the matter of contraception. However, if the government can force Roman Catholic institutions to set aside their religious convictions today, it can try to force me to set my convictions tomorrow, then, it can attack your convictions tomorrow. Do you care?
Islamist Terror: Heroes, Villains and Dupes
Written by: Pastor Darrell Pack January 6, 2012
The conflict between our nation and Islamist terror continues. Roughly 101,000 troops are on the ground in Afghanistan now. Though some ignore it, we are still in a culture-defining clash with Islamist ideologues who say that they wish for world-wide Islamic domination.
This conflict has heroes, such as our troops who sacrifice to protect our nation, and civilians,including Muslims,who oppose the ideology of the Islamists.Then there are villains:terrorists who use religion as a weapon. Most Americans agree with the above two designations, but there is a third category involved in this conflict that plays a deleterious role: the Dupe. Many ignore that this category exists and represents a real danger to Western civilization.
During the Cold War, Soviets would use a type of person termed “polyezniy idiot” or “useful idiot” to uncritically speak in support of the evil Communist regime. Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A history of the Soviet Camps, noted the uncritical attitude that some western intellectuals, politicians and writers often held towards the USSR. This useful idiot or dupe classification precisely applies to our present conflict with ideological Islam.
Who are the Dupes now? Simply put, they are non-Muslims who blithely assert that real Islam is a religion of peace. How is “real Islam” defined? By whom? Islamists who use violence to advance their Islamic ideology base their jihadic actions on quotes from their holy book the Qur’an (such Sura 9:29), the military example of their prophet Muhammad, the model of the first four politio-religious successors of Muhammad, the theological reasoning of Muslim theologians, and Islamic religious rhetoric. The non-Muslim has no right to arbitrate regarding genuine versus spurious versions of Islam. No Muslim in the world will allow to him this role. The Dupe is an unwitting spokesperson for an evil ideology and his words are cover under which guise ideological Islam stealthily advances.
There is a violent version of Islam that has a Koranic and traditional basis to claim that it is genuine and authoritative. There is also a non-ideological version of Islam that is not prone to violence that can claim to be true Islam. Non-Muslims do not have the role of defining “real Islam.” However, for the sake of our society non-Muslim Americans must support non-ideological Islam as being a legitimate part of our society while always refusing any place to ideological Islam. We can do this, not by speaking ex cathedra about Islam, but by reemphasizing the distinctive demands the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution place upon all who wish to be part of the great experiment that is the United States of America. The Mosque versus Church or Bible versus Koran debate must be left in the realm of religious dialogue. The ideological conflict is between the Sharia’ law of Islam and the U.S. Constitution. Don’t be duped, anyone calling to allow law not based on the Constitution in the USA is this era’s useful idiot.
EDITORIAL written July 16, 2011