Friday, March 24, 2006

Can you stand... more post about religion?

“Anything except politics and religion,” I was always told, were acceptable topics of conversation. But after all the reactions I got to yesterday’s mini-rant about Politically Correct words regarding various aspects of different faiths, I want to weigh in once more in a different direction.


(Feel free to disagree.)

Have you read about the trial of the man in Afghanistan? The one who converted from Islam to Christianity?

There was a quote in my local paper this morning, attributed to a radical Islamic (is that a redundancy?) cleric. He allegedly said, “The man must die. We cannot allow God to be humiliated.” (“Humiliated?” God? Hmmm.)

Reminds me of a Bible story.

In the Old Testament book of Judges, chapter 6, we find the tale of Gideon, who tore down the altar of a local “god” Baal. The residents of the town got bent out of shape (that’s my paraphrase — the Bible says it a little differently) and demanded of Gideon’s father that Gideon be put to death for his act of irreverence.

Gideon’s dad refused to bring his son out to them and said, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar." (NIV)

Ooooooo!! Do you think so?! Well, can’t Allah defend himself? Does he need men to defend his honor? Does God feel humiliation?

A related point: What makes Christianity unique among faiths? Oh, okay, probably a lot of things. But think about this one: Christianity is one of the very few faiths that doesn’t require you to earn God’s favor. Without going into the whole argument of faith vs. works, and penance, and all that... The basic requirement of Christianity is that you believe.

People LIKE to “earn” something by their own strength, intelligence or diligence. And guilt is a strong motivator. If you are taught that righteousness is only obtained by DOING something, you’ll want to do it and you’ll feel guilty if you don’t do it. Thus you can be manipulated into doing almost anything in the name of that religion.

Including blowing yourself to bits as a suicide bomber, and other acts of terrorism.

Personally, I’d rather just believe.

End of sermon. (Feel free to take your best shot.)

Tomorrow I’ll be posting on a different topic, I promise. And it WON’T be politics!


ThePessimist said...

God is easily humiliated

I didn't realize the Bible actually talked about asking god to defend himself. I thought asking why god needed us to defend him was heresy.

Anonymous said...

As an athiest i can't argue any points involving quotes from the Bible as i've never actually read it but i DO get sucked into the general world-wide debate on religion. It's unavoidable these days. I too was prompted to post an article on the Abdul Rahman issue. Religious fanatasism never ceases to amaze and anger me. In my view the world would be a far better place for the total absence of religion.

Nankin said...

This message can't be preached often enough.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I agree with you except for one statement: "radical Islamic (is that a redundancy?)". That is a stereotype - not all Muslims are radical, violent menaces to society.

Hale McKay said...

I find it interesting that the Muslim scriptures strictly forbid suicide and the taking of innocent lives ... and yet ...
...Also, it is interesting that the Middle East is not only the "Cradle of Civilization," but also the BIrthplace of Religion."

Robin said...

Nemesis - I have to disagree with you. The communist nations thought the same thing and what resulted was not Nirvana but hell.

John - If this story has grabbed your attention, go to for some insight into just how much this kind of thing goes on all over the world, usually not in the public eye. I subscribe to their publication, Voice of the Martyrs, which was founded by Romanian Christian imprisoned and tortured for 16 years simply for being a Christian.

Anonymous said...

It never fails to shock - and sadden - me when a group that has been persecuted and marginalized chooses to treat other groups in the same manner. I don't know of too many religions that aren't guilty of this.