We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, October 7. 2007
Mary Jackson at the New English Review. She links to Islamic Law and its Challenge to Western Civilization. A quote from the latter very comprehensive site:
Most people in the West believe that Islam is a religion in the traditional sense of the word. However, this is a fateful misconception. Islam is not just a religion. It is much more than a religion. Muslims themselves describe their faith by saying, Islam is a Complete Way of Life. This is certainly a more apt description, because Islam is a religious, social, economic, educational, health, political, and philosophic way of life. In fact, Islam is an all-embracing socio-politico-religious utopian ideology that encompasses every field of human endeavor.
The Western view of religion is that a religion is a narrow aspect of life. It does not encompass all human affairs. Religion stands beside culture, economic, politics, and other human institutions. Westerners may differ on matters of religious faith, but they can work together in social, state, and economic affairs. The reason for this is that their respective religions don't claim divine authority over the institutions of governance and economics. Their faiths may differ regarding the salvation of the soul, life after death, and religious rituals, but they don't claim to have divine insight into the institutions of human government and its particular laws. As good citizens, they strive to have a just and equitable society.
Islam is different from other religions in that it is not limited to the spiritual aspects of life. It engulfs all aspects of life from the cradle to the grave. Islam claims to have a divine mandate over everyone, and this includes non-Muslims too. While non-Muslims may not be required to observe the religious rituals of Islam, they must recognize the supremacy of Islamic rule over them. As an ideology, Islam promises an economic, political, social, and religious utopia when the world finally submits to Allah and the rule of Shari'a law. The Islamic objective is to have all aspects of a nation's culture and institutions undergo gradual Islamization to yield an Islamic state patterned after Shari'a Law.
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Mark Steyn on the same topic this morning--
I dare say people who don't know me will call me a fundy for this, but I believe that you have just compartmentalized your religion into a box that Jesus would want you to burst out of! True religion should not be so confined. The gospel addresses all aspects of our life, not simply church and spirituality. Both Islam and Christianity are all encompassing faiths. The difference, I hope, lies in Western Civilization's slow and painful movement towards tolerance towards those who call us infidels. Justifiably sickened by religious wars, western civilization mostly threw the baby out with the bathwater. And largely abandonned its own historical synthesis of culture and
religion. American evangelicals have kept the American churches full and vibrant, chiefly thru preaching a gospel that is relevant to every aspect of our lives. To put it back in a box marked Sunday church spirituality is to pronounce a death sentence on true religion. America works when we do not shed blood over our religious differences but God save us from trivialized religion deemed irrelevant everywhere except church and home. When not at war w terrorists, one can behave in a civilized manner towards those with different beliefs, without abandonning the attempt to bring Christian values into all that one does. Thus, my otherwise piratical
Christian entrepreneurial capitalist Dad was happy to build branches of his company in Islamic countries that asked him to, but would leave if officials demanded bribes. Honesty a higher value for him than profit." It's against my religion! I couldn,t face my school chaplain at the gates of Heaven if I did," my dad would joke.
But R., didn't your dad, as well as honoring his faith, exercise free will in his choices. His actions known only to his God and himself. To be judged only when he arrived at the Gate.
My understanding of Islam/Shari'a leads me to believe that there is no concept of free will, and that one's actions are judged at all times, in the here and now. And those who attempt exercise of free will or deviation from Shari'a, are dealt with in the here and now, not at the gate.
The point is, is that one is a faith that allows working inside or outside of the box. The other is a faith that only exists in a box. A box from which no one is allowed to exit, alive.
It is impossible to equate the two. I feel. And I believe that is what Ms. Smith is addressing.
Thanks, LM for your wise corrective to my rant! You are right. I think I was cranky all day after being the lone family member going to church, kids preferring video games, agnostic spouse being snobbish about warm and biblical congregation I found [church shopping near our country place]. Kids saying you don't have to go to church to worship God [just like my best friend who is usually hunting, fishing or riding a tractor on the Sabbath]. I was trying to explain to kids why I felt upset by this. It went something like this: we live in a very worldly community in which it rapidly becomes easy to rationalize being selfish, greedy, wrathful,and to feel extremely self righteous about one's privileged existence. Those of us who live so comfortably need frequent reminders of God's call to us, so that we use our opportunities to serve others rather than loaf or indulge ourselves. I know I need somebody else's interpretation of the word of God regularly, to keep me listening for God, and not merely using verses to buttress my own tired arguments. I know plenty of believers are more faithful and better people than I am, even without being part of regular worship and community, but it's not usually a good sign when a person starts slipping away from regular participation in worship. People often need things they think they can do fine without.
Take Europe, for example: much of its present malaise would be helped by Christian revival.
Ho hum, maybe hubby is right, and I am just too dependent on religious community!
I have just spent the last seven years sitting very, very close to the front lines of the take over of this country, my church, and academia by socialist/commuists. If you are interested in seeing what the socialist/communists have done to my church you can go here:
I must report to you we no longer have a religion--we have neighborhood union houses with steeples on them. If you would like to see how "religious Leaders" planned, and executed the destruction of the Episcopal Church just keep up with what has gone on at that blog site.
Last night I watched some jerk tv reported trying to ride the wave of interest in atheism. The democrats real attack is just now showing though--they need to do this in order to win 2008, and justify what they have done to our church.
Anyway, last night this guy interviewed about six kids ranging in ages of approximately 10-13. They all claimed to be atheist. When the interviewer asked,"if you don't have the laws of religion, how will you know what to do?" The answer was terrifying:"I am a good peson, I'll know what I won't do anything bad". Meaning-- I will do what my local block chairman/puppet master/feminist leader tells me is the right thing to do at that moment in time. OH BOY ! A whole generation, who believes in relative ethics--that should guarantee that the unions/mafia/democrats stay in power for years to come!
This general topic is difficult to focus and to hold together, and I won't even try. I would just offer this thought: We live and have lived in a Christian culture and a Christian civilization. All of our assumptions, laws, etc are Christian based, for believer and non-believer alike. Mst of our laws are ourversions of Sharia laws in the Moslem world. I do not mean to get multicultral here - just to make the point that the differing views of reality are both global - and are incompatible, I suspect.
If they're incompatible, then the mass communications revolution will guarantee strife from here to eternity.
Agree,BD,it's like trying to catch a greased pig to think clearly about this topic.I flounder.
Just took the non pc ones in the family to see "The Kingdom" Jamie Fox as cool FBI agent leading team to Saudia Arabia to investigate bombing attack on Americans. It being a highly patriotic, rural area it was preceeded by a well received recruiting ad for the Marines. Kids and adults thought movie pretty good tho the girl was mad at female member of team's portrayal. Without being a spoiler [worth much family discussion in light of real events in the region], apart from the Usual Hollywood overfocus on emotional relationships within the team and conspiracy theorist plots, the most troubling aspect was the apparent chief motive for the Americans being revenge. This seems a bad message, definitely a sign that the values being promoted in our culture are no longer Christian. Since revenge is what perpetuates the bloodshed in the Old world [think Ireland, Africa, the Middle east] it is troubling seeing depictions of Americans [however cool and likeable] being presented as being primarily revenge driven. If you see the movie you will get new insight into that old saw about how we have to beware becoming just like our enemy.
The local pastor spoke quite persuasively today about Ezekiel's streams of living water and Jesus' description of himself as living water, and how what blocks such life in the world are walls of hostility and unforgiveness. A message which made everyone squirm uncomfortably aware of our own failings. But which also made one notice the ways in which this same original human revenge motif perpetuates bloodshed.
This despite is all being fierce patriots and pro-military!
This is why Islam is, to the best of my knowledge, the only extant totalitarian religion, and why so many of its proponents will always be at odds with the rest of the world.
r, your ability to observe & express always impress this reader --