Soft Jihad

Roger Kimball notes that Muslims are waging a traditional jihad, but are finding much greater success with a soft jihad:

That’s the new mantra, you know: “for fear of offending Muslims.” We don’t give away piggy banks (to say nothing of other “pig related items”) “for fear of offending Muslims.” We don’t draw cartoons of Mohammad “for fear of offending Muslims.” We mustn’t publish articles pointing out the demographic disparity between the Muslims of Canada and Europe and other parts of the population “for fear of offending Muslims.” We mustn’t even publish books saying critical things about “Saudis and terrorists” “for fear of offending Muslims.”

It’s all part of the campaign of soft jihad. Traditional jihad is waged with scimitars and their contemporary equivalents, e.g., stolen Boeing 767s, which make handy instruments of mass homicide. Soft jihad is a quieter affair: it uses and abuses the language and the principles of democratic liberalism not to secure the institutions and attitudes that make freedom possible but, on the contrary, to undermine that freedom and pave the way for self-righteous, theocratic intolerance. Soft jihad is patient. It can add and multiply as well as Mark Steyn can (and here). It, too, sees the demographic writing on the wall and is content to wait a few years to occupy the West’s real estate—it’s so much easier, when you come right down to it, than blowing the stuff up and then finding yourself with a massive clean-up and rebuilding bill. Just sit tight and watch the infidels tie themselves into knots making excuses for you while, elsewhere in their lives, they embrace barrenness as an “environmentally friendly” alternative to Genesis 1:28.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • organshoes

    Soft jihad is not only quiet and patient. It’s effective because it calls its victims into complicity in their own doom.
    Americans are losing their idealism, but think we’re adopting higher ideals in the process. We’ve been fooling ourselves, or allowing ourselves to be fooled, for several generations now.
    The higher idealism is that of requiring the state to grant its own privileges beyond our God-given rights, largely on the bases of prior discrimination and victimhood, diminishing the very meaning and force of rights.
    So we’re well prepared to continue this path we’d already chosen, paying no attention to what groups do with these privileges, and too much attention to what the groups say we’ve done to them.
    If we don’t understand history–and language–we can’t figure on the future, until it slams us upside the head.
    Soft jihad allows us to doom ourselves.

  • organshoes

    Soft jihad is not only quiet and patient. It’s effective because it calls its victims into complicity in their own doom.
    Americans are losing their idealism, but think we’re adopting higher ideals in the process. We’ve been fooling ourselves, or allowing ourselves to be fooled, for several generations now.
    The higher idealism is that of requiring the state to grant its own privileges beyond our God-given rights, largely on the bases of prior discrimination and victimhood, diminishing the very meaning and force of rights.
    So we’re well prepared to continue this path we’d already chosen, paying no attention to what groups do with these privileges, and too much attention to what the groups say we’ve done to them.
    If we don’t understand history–and language–we can’t figure on the future, until it slams us upside the head.
    Soft jihad allows us to doom ourselves.

  • Bror Erickson

    I think we should maybe take a different tack than the quiet crusade. I think we should publish whatever we want when ever we want espousing our western ideals unapologetically. We don’t necessarily go after the religion of Islam, or muslims, but we don’t shy away in fear either. Then if they want to riot as they did in Paris last year, or as they did over those stupid cartoons, we declare marshal law, switch out the rubber bullets for the full metal jackets, and start shooting.

  • Bror Erickson

    I think we should maybe take a different tack than the quiet crusade. I think we should publish whatever we want when ever we want espousing our western ideals unapologetically. We don’t necessarily go after the religion of Islam, or muslims, but we don’t shy away in fear either. Then if they want to riot as they did in Paris last year, or as they did over those stupid cartoons, we declare marshal law, switch out the rubber bullets for the full metal jackets, and start shooting.

  • kerner

    If you know a Muslim, ask him what he thinks a person needs to do to get to heaven. When he refers you the the pillars of Islam or some works based system, tell him that Christians believe that what we have to do to get to heaven is: nothing. Christ has done it all for us. Christ has even done it all for him too, but he dare not reject the gift God has given him.

    Ask the Muslim to imagine God as the Muslim understands Him. Then ask the Muslim to imagine that God, out of love, became a man for the Muslims sake, a major step downward all by itself. Then ask him to imagine that God in human form would at the end be ridiculed, spat on and tortured to death, but finally God overcomes it all and presents him, the Muslim, with the gift of eternal life, and all he has to do is not reject it.

    Then ask the Muslim, hypothetically, if God had done all that for a man, and if the man were to say to God, “Thanks, but no thanks. I didn’t really need You to do all that. I’ll just follow a few rules, go on a pilgrimage, etc., and you should let me into heaven for doing those things.”, what would the reaction of God be likely to be?

    You may not convert the Muslim, but he’ll be a lot less optimistic about his soft jihad.

  • kerner

    If you know a Muslim, ask him what he thinks a person needs to do to get to heaven. When he refers you the the pillars of Islam or some works based system, tell him that Christians believe that what we have to do to get to heaven is: nothing. Christ has done it all for us. Christ has even done it all for him too, but he dare not reject the gift God has given him.

    Ask the Muslim to imagine God as the Muslim understands Him. Then ask the Muslim to imagine that God, out of love, became a man for the Muslims sake, a major step downward all by itself. Then ask him to imagine that God in human form would at the end be ridiculed, spat on and tortured to death, but finally God overcomes it all and presents him, the Muslim, with the gift of eternal life, and all he has to do is not reject it.

    Then ask the Muslim, hypothetically, if God had done all that for a man, and if the man were to say to God, “Thanks, but no thanks. I didn’t really need You to do all that. I’ll just follow a few rules, go on a pilgrimage, etc., and you should let me into heaven for doing those things.”, what would the reaction of God be likely to be?

    You may not convert the Muslim, but he’ll be a lot less optimistic about his soft jihad.

  • S Bauer

       I thought the whole advantage of the western ideals we’re so fond of was their ability to avoid maintaining power at the point of a gun.

  • S Bauer

       I thought the whole advantage of the western ideals we’re so fond of was their ability to avoid maintaining power at the point of a gun.

  • Bror Erickson

    no Sbauer,
    I rather like the western ideals that inspire Koreans to protect their property. I like the western ideals that say there are things worth dying for, like my son’s right to grow up Christian. I like the western ideals that say, a cartoon isn’t worth rioting over, but may be worth a letter to the editor, or another cartoon making fun of the cartoonist.
    Of course the whole second amendment issue is about the people maintaining power at the point of a gun. So I’m not sure what universe you grew up in. Ultimately it comes down to guns.

  • Bror Erickson

    no Sbauer,
    I rather like the western ideals that inspire Koreans to protect their property. I like the western ideals that say there are things worth dying for, like my son’s right to grow up Christian. I like the western ideals that say, a cartoon isn’t worth rioting over, but may be worth a letter to the editor, or another cartoon making fun of the cartoonist.
    Of course the whole second amendment issue is about the people maintaining power at the point of a gun. So I’m not sure what universe you grew up in. Ultimately it comes down to guns.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I don’t disagree that it’s silly for people to bend over backwards to avoid offending Muslims. I just find it odd that Christians so frequently seem to wish that people would stop offending them as well. You almost get the impression that Christians are jealous of the efficacy of this so-called “soft jihad”.

    Christians complain a lot about how offensive this movie is, or how offensive that song is, or that TV show. On and on. If soft jihadism is a bad thing, why do Christians seem to want it for themselves?

    Bror (@2), I see nothing about love in your statement. Perhaps we should also make a film of us urinating on a pile of Korans, and then when the angry Muslims show up, we can douse them in gasoline and, before we light the match, remember to tell them that Jesus loves them? My bad — guns are the only Christian way to kill in our battle against flesh and blood. That’s why we hate the Muslims so much — they kill with scimitars and bombs!

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I don’t disagree that it’s silly for people to bend over backwards to avoid offending Muslims. I just find it odd that Christians so frequently seem to wish that people would stop offending them as well. You almost get the impression that Christians are jealous of the efficacy of this so-called “soft jihad”.

    Christians complain a lot about how offensive this movie is, or how offensive that song is, or that TV show. On and on. If soft jihadism is a bad thing, why do Christians seem to want it for themselves?

    Bror (@2), I see nothing about love in your statement. Perhaps we should also make a film of us urinating on a pile of Korans, and then when the angry Muslims show up, we can douse them in gasoline and, before we light the match, remember to tell them that Jesus loves them? My bad — guns are the only Christian way to kill in our battle against flesh and blood. That’s why we hate the Muslims so much — they kill with scimitars and bombs!

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    Your right nothing about love here. But neither am I the one sugessting a film about urinating on Korans. Nor did I see Christians rioting over or making death threat to the “artist” who made “piss Christ” or whatever that was.
    And we do have the spiritual weapons of the word, and love when it comes to a spiritual war. But when it is a war against flesh and blood, (and there is that element here) then yes guns are my first choice, there are also bombers and so on. What do you suggest we defend ourselves, our neighbors, our families with? There is a place for turning the cheek, but then there is also a place for the sword.

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    Your right nothing about love here. But neither am I the one sugessting a film about urinating on Korans. Nor did I see Christians rioting over or making death threat to the “artist” who made “piss Christ” or whatever that was.
    And we do have the spiritual weapons of the word, and love when it comes to a spiritual war. But when it is a war against flesh and blood, (and there is that element here) then yes guns are my first choice, there are also bombers and so on. What do you suggest we defend ourselves, our neighbors, our families with? There is a place for turning the cheek, but then there is also a place for the sword.

  • http://www.sarcasmagorical.com Brant

    I think tODD’s comment illustrates a point that I saw missing in the original article – soft jihad is nothing without the threat of hard jihad. Why is it that no one worries about offending Christians? It’s because no one will saw their head off if they do.

    So while I do think there are many Muslims engaged in soft jihad, their success is due (at least in a large part) to the looming threat of real jihad

  • http://www.sarcasmagorical.com Brant

    I think tODD’s comment illustrates a point that I saw missing in the original article – soft jihad is nothing without the threat of hard jihad. Why is it that no one worries about offending Christians? It’s because no one will saw their head off if they do.

    So while I do think there are many Muslims engaged in soft jihad, their success is due (at least in a large part) to the looming threat of real jihad

  • kerner

    Muslims think their religion can take over a culture because they perceive a spitritual vacuum. In a culture that has no religion and no morals, they try to assert their own.

    In Europe, this perception is much more accurate than it is here. Europe is weak. The majority of Europeans believe in nothing but their own comfort. They recognise no moral standards but live and let live. They are so selfish that they no longer reproduce sufficiently to replace their dead. In a culture like that, it is no wonder that Muslims see themselves taking over with a soft jihad.

    We are stronger here. But American culture could still go either way. We could become weak selfish unbelievers, like the majority of Europeans, or we can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

    If we respond appropriately to Muslims, we won’t need guns. I’m a Lutheran, and we are not well known for evangelism (that doesn’t mean we don’t try), but I think we need to be more assertive. I think a lot of Christians believe that it is rude to tell somebody that they are going to Hell but for the redemption purchased by Christ on the cross. But, if enough of us preach the law (you need a savior) and the Gospel (Christ is your savior) to Muslims, they WILL respect us, and some will be saved. And this “soft jihad” of theirs will disintigrate like the baseless works righteousness that it is.

  • kerner

    Muslims think their religion can take over a culture because they perceive a spitritual vacuum. In a culture that has no religion and no morals, they try to assert their own.

    In Europe, this perception is much more accurate than it is here. Europe is weak. The majority of Europeans believe in nothing but their own comfort. They recognise no moral standards but live and let live. They are so selfish that they no longer reproduce sufficiently to replace their dead. In a culture like that, it is no wonder that Muslims see themselves taking over with a soft jihad.

    We are stronger here. But American culture could still go either way. We could become weak selfish unbelievers, like the majority of Europeans, or we can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

    If we respond appropriately to Muslims, we won’t need guns. I’m a Lutheran, and we are not well known for evangelism (that doesn’t mean we don’t try), but I think we need to be more assertive. I think a lot of Christians believe that it is rude to tell somebody that they are going to Hell but for the redemption purchased by Christ on the cross. But, if enough of us preach the law (you need a savior) and the Gospel (Christ is your savior) to Muslims, they WILL respect us, and some will be saved. And this “soft jihad” of theirs will disintigrate like the baseless works righteousness that it is.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bror, I sincerely hope that no Muslims read these comments, in particular your suggestion (@2) that we can say whatever, no matter how rude, and that we then summarily execute anyone who riots — it would only confirm the ideas that many Muslims have about Christians. We may be free to “publish whatever we want whenever we want”, but we’d be fools as Christians to exercise that freedom in spite of our message of Christ’s love.

    Yes, there are things worth dying for, but a list of such things would have our neighbor — yes, even our Muslim neighbor — listed above our own rights, especially the right to be unloving to that neighbor. (Your son’s right to grow up Christian isn’t even under attack, hyperbole notwithstanding.)

    I had hoped that my suggestion of making an intentionally offensive film (@6) would be obviously sarcastic. I guess it wasn’t.

    And while North American Christians haven’t rioted per se over Serrano’s work, they certainly did (and do and likely ever will) complain about it. Just like they complained about Harry Potter and whined about the Golden Compass. Sure, there’s a place for legitimate criticism, but lots of what I heard in both cases was ill-informed, and just as annoying as this Muslim “soft jihad”, as if the world owed it to Christians to only publish Left Behind novels and Bibleman films.

    Your comments to me smack more of fear of Muslims than it does love towards them.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bror, I sincerely hope that no Muslims read these comments, in particular your suggestion (@2) that we can say whatever, no matter how rude, and that we then summarily execute anyone who riots — it would only confirm the ideas that many Muslims have about Christians. We may be free to “publish whatever we want whenever we want”, but we’d be fools as Christians to exercise that freedom in spite of our message of Christ’s love.

    Yes, there are things worth dying for, but a list of such things would have our neighbor — yes, even our Muslim neighbor — listed above our own rights, especially the right to be unloving to that neighbor. (Your son’s right to grow up Christian isn’t even under attack, hyperbole notwithstanding.)

    I had hoped that my suggestion of making an intentionally offensive film (@6) would be obviously sarcastic. I guess it wasn’t.

    And while North American Christians haven’t rioted per se over Serrano’s work, they certainly did (and do and likely ever will) complain about it. Just like they complained about Harry Potter and whined about the Golden Compass. Sure, there’s a place for legitimate criticism, but lots of what I heard in both cases was ill-informed, and just as annoying as this Muslim “soft jihad”, as if the world owed it to Christians to only publish Left Behind novels and Bibleman films.

    Your comments to me smack more of fear of Muslims than it does love towards them.

  • organshoes

    Yes, Brant! It is the threat of what Muslims might do, based upon what they have done, that allows soft jihad its wide sway.
    And, yes, Bror and kerner: the thing to do is to remain hard Christians. (I hope we understand what I mean.
    Contending as a Christian requires so much more than just being nice, or having enough cheeks.)

  • organshoes

    Yes, Brant! It is the threat of what Muslims might do, based upon what they have done, that allows soft jihad its wide sway.
    And, yes, Bror and kerner: the thing to do is to remain hard Christians. (I hope we understand what I mean.
    Contending as a Christian requires so much more than just being nice, or having enough cheeks.)

  • Another Kerner

    Patient gradualism has long been the methodology used by those who desire to change an existing culture or form of government. Such gradualism paves the way for the final advance of the more militant members of a movement.

    Parliaments and governing bodies of nations often play a revolutionary part in these gradual transistions which may tend to lull those who might resist into a posture of acceptance in the name of “multiculturalism” or some other “ism” thinly disguised.

    Whole nations have collapsed because a people did not acknowledge this tactic of “patient gradualism” (sometimes also called the “salami tactic”, taking just one thin slice at a time, or “boiling the frog in the cook pot very slowly”).

    Entire countries have succumbed because of the failure to respond to danger early on.

    Often not a shot is fired.

    Once again, Organshoes and I are on the same page.

    Scripture tells us to resist evil: It reminds us to feed and warn the flock.

    The challenge is that others may not heed the warnings and/or they may fail to recognize a danger until it is too late.

    Ah, one would do well to remember that the wolf sometimes wears the sheep’s clothing.

    Or, in Little Red Riding Hood’s case, her poor dead Grandmother’s Night Gown and Night Cap.

    “The better to eat you up, my dear.”

  • Another Kerner

    Patient gradualism has long been the methodology used by those who desire to change an existing culture or form of government. Such gradualism paves the way for the final advance of the more militant members of a movement.

    Parliaments and governing bodies of nations often play a revolutionary part in these gradual transistions which may tend to lull those who might resist into a posture of acceptance in the name of “multiculturalism” or some other “ism” thinly disguised.

    Whole nations have collapsed because a people did not acknowledge this tactic of “patient gradualism” (sometimes also called the “salami tactic”, taking just one thin slice at a time, or “boiling the frog in the cook pot very slowly”).

    Entire countries have succumbed because of the failure to respond to danger early on.

    Often not a shot is fired.

    Once again, Organshoes and I are on the same page.

    Scripture tells us to resist evil: It reminds us to feed and warn the flock.

    The challenge is that others may not heed the warnings and/or they may fail to recognize a danger until it is too late.

    Ah, one would do well to remember that the wolf sometimes wears the sheep’s clothing.

    Or, in Little Red Riding Hood’s case, her poor dead Grandmother’s Night Gown and Night Cap.

    “The better to eat you up, my dear.”

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    You see I do believe that muslims have the right to complain when someone does something offensive to their faith. And I don’t believe Christians should go around intentionally offending muslim’s with such crude acts as “pissing on the Koran.” Though a Christian wearing a cross in many Muslim countries is enough to warrant offense to the Muslim. Enough of an offense to justify rioting. So a Christian evangelizing a Muslim will cause offense. A Christian writing a newspaper article saying that mohammed was not a prophet will cause offense. I have a college buddy who has received death threats for challenging the Islamic faith on the radio. I believe this Christian friend of mine has every right to carry a gun for self defense, and need not turn any cheek in defending himself and his family.
    You see tODD there is a growing history here and across Europe of Muslims dealing with things they deem offensive in an improper manner, which endangers the lives and property of others. (Currently there is about 1600 years to this history starting with the city of Medina) Like Brant said (though I do not know how he got it from your post) there is the threat of the hard Jihad behind the soft Jihad, there is a threat of violence. And my answer to it is, if you want to write a letter to the editor go ahead, that is a proper way to deal with this. A peaceful protest, go ahead. But when they riot put them down, it is unacceptable. When they threaten life and limb of another human being, lock them up. Let them know that their violence will be met with violence.

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    You see I do believe that muslims have the right to complain when someone does something offensive to their faith. And I don’t believe Christians should go around intentionally offending muslim’s with such crude acts as “pissing on the Koran.” Though a Christian wearing a cross in many Muslim countries is enough to warrant offense to the Muslim. Enough of an offense to justify rioting. So a Christian evangelizing a Muslim will cause offense. A Christian writing a newspaper article saying that mohammed was not a prophet will cause offense. I have a college buddy who has received death threats for challenging the Islamic faith on the radio. I believe this Christian friend of mine has every right to carry a gun for self defense, and need not turn any cheek in defending himself and his family.
    You see tODD there is a growing history here and across Europe of Muslims dealing with things they deem offensive in an improper manner, which endangers the lives and property of others. (Currently there is about 1600 years to this history starting with the city of Medina) Like Brant said (though I do not know how he got it from your post) there is the threat of the hard Jihad behind the soft Jihad, there is a threat of violence. And my answer to it is, if you want to write a letter to the editor go ahead, that is a proper way to deal with this. A peaceful protest, go ahead. But when they riot put them down, it is unacceptable. When they threaten life and limb of another human being, lock them up. Let them know that their violence will be met with violence.

  • S Bauer

    Nor did I see Christians rioting over or making death threat to the “artist” who made “piss Christ” or whatever that was.

    Which makes my point exactly.

  • S Bauer

    Nor did I see Christians rioting over or making death threat to the “artist” who made “piss Christ” or whatever that was.

    Which makes my point exactly.

  • Bror Erickson

    S Bauer,
    Then I am absoluetly sure you misunderstood me, or I misunderstood you. But I was not talking about “christian ideals.” But Western Ideals. I don’t think christian ideals have ever been about maintaining power at all, much less at the point of a gun. Some christians out there might think it is about power. I don’t. But I do like a bit of law and order in the civil realm, enough to ensure I can write what I want when I want and not have to fear that a death threat will go unpunished, or that crowds of rioting people will be tolerated.

  • Bror Erickson

    S Bauer,
    Then I am absoluetly sure you misunderstood me, or I misunderstood you. But I was not talking about “christian ideals.” But Western Ideals. I don’t think christian ideals have ever been about maintaining power at all, much less at the point of a gun. Some christians out there might think it is about power. I don’t. But I do like a bit of law and order in the civil realm, enough to ensure I can write what I want when I want and not have to fear that a death threat will go unpunished, or that crowds of rioting people will be tolerated.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bror (@13), I would hope it was clear that I’m not suggesting that Christians stop acting like Christians in order to placate Muslims. On the contrary, I’m suggesting that Christians act like Christians — including being loving to our Muslim neighbors.

    I am glad to read that you “don’t believe Christians should go around intentionally offending Muslims” — frankly, I had a different impression when you wrote (@2) that “we should publish whatever we want whenever we want espousing our western ideals unapologetically.” Obviously, the gospel will ultimately be offensive to many Muslims. But that’s not up for debate. A better question is one of the Mohammed cartoons. Sure, they are offensive to Muslims, and rather pedestrian to you and me. But why, as Christians, would we publish them? In what way would doing so show love to our Muslim neighbor? Or would it be an unloving exercise of freedom — “intentionally offending Muslims” — to publish such cartoons just to publish them?

    And if we (that is, you) are going to consider 1600 years of Muslim (over)reaction to “things they deem offensive”, then, to be fair, shouldn’t you also consider how Christians have reacted in the same period? Were there ever Christians rioting over blasphemous art? Of course! Did Christians kill people for offending the Christians’ sensibilities? Yes. But all that gets swept under the rug as somehow not counting, not applying to Christianity.

    I also would have hoped you’d realize that “switch[ing] out the rubber bullets for the full metal jackets, and start[ing] shooting” is a ridiculously improper, though highly macho, overreaction to a riot, and any police officer that did so would rightly be tried for his crimes. I suppose you’d also gun down the Catholic man who defaced the painting in Brooklyn of Mary made with elephant dung?

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bror (@13), I would hope it was clear that I’m not suggesting that Christians stop acting like Christians in order to placate Muslims. On the contrary, I’m suggesting that Christians act like Christians — including being loving to our Muslim neighbors.

    I am glad to read that you “don’t believe Christians should go around intentionally offending Muslims” — frankly, I had a different impression when you wrote (@2) that “we should publish whatever we want whenever we want espousing our western ideals unapologetically.” Obviously, the gospel will ultimately be offensive to many Muslims. But that’s not up for debate. A better question is one of the Mohammed cartoons. Sure, they are offensive to Muslims, and rather pedestrian to you and me. But why, as Christians, would we publish them? In what way would doing so show love to our Muslim neighbor? Or would it be an unloving exercise of freedom — “intentionally offending Muslims” — to publish such cartoons just to publish them?

    And if we (that is, you) are going to consider 1600 years of Muslim (over)reaction to “things they deem offensive”, then, to be fair, shouldn’t you also consider how Christians have reacted in the same period? Were there ever Christians rioting over blasphemous art? Of course! Did Christians kill people for offending the Christians’ sensibilities? Yes. But all that gets swept under the rug as somehow not counting, not applying to Christianity.

    I also would have hoped you’d realize that “switch[ing] out the rubber bullets for the full metal jackets, and start[ing] shooting” is a ridiculously improper, though highly macho, overreaction to a riot, and any police officer that did so would rightly be tried for his crimes. I suppose you’d also gun down the Catholic man who defaced the painting in Brooklyn of Mary made with elephant dung?

  • S Bauer

    Bror,

    First of all, if you want to engage in ad hominem attacks, then, please, just ignore what I say, since it obviously isn’t worthy of serious attention.

    Second, if it ultimately does all come down to guns (which, I’ll admit, is the ultimate reality of this fallen world from a biblical perspective), then it doesn’t really matter what system of government we Christians live under or culture we live in. Then the American Revolution was just another victory of one “tribe” over another “tribe” and all the justifications and aspirations to “a shining city on a hill” by the Founders was just rhetoric. Your son can be a Christian whatever the surrounding circumstances, as the history of the church more than adequately demonstrates. Now if you mean, “be a Christian without being persecuted”, that is a different matter. But I do not think that’s the kind of discipleship Jesus calls us to. It is one thing to take up arms to defend our neighbor’s life, family, and property. But such worldly things are not threatened under Muslim rule. It is quite another thing to say that one must take up arms to defend the faith, which is the one thing that Islam truly threatens. Is it really worth it to hold on to the earthly benefits we enjoy, no matter how much we prefer it, at all costs, at the expense of hardening people to the Gospel. Does, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” mean anything?

  • S Bauer

    Bror,

    First of all, if you want to engage in ad hominem attacks, then, please, just ignore what I say, since it obviously isn’t worthy of serious attention.

    Second, if it ultimately does all come down to guns (which, I’ll admit, is the ultimate reality of this fallen world from a biblical perspective), then it doesn’t really matter what system of government we Christians live under or culture we live in. Then the American Revolution was just another victory of one “tribe” over another “tribe” and all the justifications and aspirations to “a shining city on a hill” by the Founders was just rhetoric. Your son can be a Christian whatever the surrounding circumstances, as the history of the church more than adequately demonstrates. Now if you mean, “be a Christian without being persecuted”, that is a different matter. But I do not think that’s the kind of discipleship Jesus calls us to. It is one thing to take up arms to defend our neighbor’s life, family, and property. But such worldly things are not threatened under Muslim rule. It is quite another thing to say that one must take up arms to defend the faith, which is the one thing that Islam truly threatens. Is it really worth it to hold on to the earthly benefits we enjoy, no matter how much we prefer it, at all costs, at the expense of hardening people to the Gospel. Does, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” mean anything?

  • Bror Erickson

    S Bauer,
    If it came to martyrship I may be willing I don’t know. But I am not about to volunteer my neighbor for it either. Which is what your pacifest ethich would do. Ever think it would harden people to the Gospel to let people torch their cars, rape their children, and wives, and murder at will all the while standing by and saying we need to turn the other cheek. There is a time and a place for martyrship. There is also a time and a place for law and order. And by my western “not Christian” Ideals I do believe my son should be able to grow up Christian without persecution. I also believe in the right of a person to be muslim, and not be persecuted. By persecution here I don’t mean that they won’t be verbally tried for their faith, but they shouldn’t be thrown in jail for it, or murdered for it. They should both enjoy the protection of the state as far as that goes for any other individual.
    You write “But such worldly things are not threatened under Muslim rule. ” and such worldly things you mean your neighbors family, etc. I ask you, have you ever heard of the Jannisaries? These things and the freedoms we love are most definately threatened by Islamic rule to say otherwise shows an ignorance of history.
    tODD,
    I would not have found the said reaction to be improper in Paris last year. Nor did I find it improper in 1992. That said, I realize the police have their hands tied in some cases. As for the man who defaced the so-called art. No. He didn’t endanger anyone’s life that I know of, so I wouldn’t gun him down. But I agree he should go to jail, and pay for damage done.
    Now I am sure there has been some rioting at times, Augustine himself records and defends a few, done by Christians. However, I believe the conversion of Rome, and most of Europe was fairly peaceful compared to the Muslim conquest of the Middle East, and North Africa.
    I doubt very much that the man who published the cartoons was Christian in any meaningful sense (he ws Danish, and most Danes think they are Christian by fact of being Danish but…) nor do I think Christians should publish such childish tripe, but neither do I think the Dane deserved death threats for it.

  • Bror Erickson

    S Bauer,
    If it came to martyrship I may be willing I don’t know. But I am not about to volunteer my neighbor for it either. Which is what your pacifest ethich would do. Ever think it would harden people to the Gospel to let people torch their cars, rape their children, and wives, and murder at will all the while standing by and saying we need to turn the other cheek. There is a time and a place for martyrship. There is also a time and a place for law and order. And by my western “not Christian” Ideals I do believe my son should be able to grow up Christian without persecution. I also believe in the right of a person to be muslim, and not be persecuted. By persecution here I don’t mean that they won’t be verbally tried for their faith, but they shouldn’t be thrown in jail for it, or murdered for it. They should both enjoy the protection of the state as far as that goes for any other individual.
    You write “But such worldly things are not threatened under Muslim rule. ” and such worldly things you mean your neighbors family, etc. I ask you, have you ever heard of the Jannisaries? These things and the freedoms we love are most definately threatened by Islamic rule to say otherwise shows an ignorance of history.
    tODD,
    I would not have found the said reaction to be improper in Paris last year. Nor did I find it improper in 1992. That said, I realize the police have their hands tied in some cases. As for the man who defaced the so-called art. No. He didn’t endanger anyone’s life that I know of, so I wouldn’t gun him down. But I agree he should go to jail, and pay for damage done.
    Now I am sure there has been some rioting at times, Augustine himself records and defends a few, done by Christians. However, I believe the conversion of Rome, and most of Europe was fairly peaceful compared to the Muslim conquest of the Middle East, and North Africa.
    I doubt very much that the man who published the cartoons was Christian in any meaningful sense (he ws Danish, and most Danes think they are Christian by fact of being Danish but…) nor do I think Christians should publish such childish tripe, but neither do I think the Dane deserved death threats for it.

  • Greg

    S. Baur so your suggesting that Luther would have encouraged the princes not to fight and resist the turk. I think he did the opposite. Islam not only threatens our religon but our culture and civilization. Yes on the kingdom of the right preach them the love of Christ. But as citizens of this republic we have a kingdom of the left duty to shoot them dead if they try to bring sharia law to our nation. tODD, Bror is not being unloving when he says we should unashamedly and unapologetically communicate our western ideals. You are slandering him there. You are being unloving if you are suggesting that we should deny the mulims the truth embodied in those cultural ideals.

  • Greg

    S. Baur so your suggesting that Luther would have encouraged the princes not to fight and resist the turk. I think he did the opposite. Islam not only threatens our religon but our culture and civilization. Yes on the kingdom of the right preach them the love of Christ. But as citizens of this republic we have a kingdom of the left duty to shoot them dead if they try to bring sharia law to our nation. tODD, Bror is not being unloving when he says we should unashamedly and unapologetically communicate our western ideals. You are slandering him there. You are being unloving if you are suggesting that we should deny the mulims the truth embodied in those cultural ideals.

  • S Bauer

        Aside from whether Luther was right or wrong on war against the Turk (which I think he was, in the main), I do not have to agree with Luther on every thing he said to be a Lutheran. Let’s get away from arguments from authority (save Scripture’s authority, of course).
        Anyone who thinks I am a pacifist ,or am arguing a pacifist position, is not reading carefully enough.
        The point of the initial post was that Islam threatens our country through “soft Jihad.” To me this sounds similar to those who say Mexico (or a significant portion of Mexicans) is/are attempting to retake this country through illegal immigration and out-reproducing “us.” This same charge was leveled against many of our ancestors over a century ago.
        Some have suggested that “soft Jihad” won’t work unless there is the threat of “hard Jihad” behind it. The danger is that we will become so afraid of “hard Jihad” that we will cave in to the demands of “soft Jihad.” I agree that we should not engage in such appeasement and that we should make it clear that we will defend ourselves against “hard Jihad” to the death.
        Others have argued that “soft Jihad” will be successful on its own without any violent threat. It could happen through 1) human reproduction and/or 2) our own failure to cherish, maintain, and set forth our own cultural heritage. I perceived that some were arguing that there comes a time when we should resort to guns rather than to let such a “soft Jihad” succeed. If that is not the case, then I apologize for not reading carefully enough. What I am saying is that if we as a society in the kingdom of the left hand are not able to (or are not willing to) defeat this “takeover” with ideas and reason and words, then no number of guns is going to do it. And if the “soft Jihad” succeeds, we Christians do not have the option of trying to avoid persecution by “going out with both guns blazin’.”

  • S Bauer

        Aside from whether Luther was right or wrong on war against the Turk (which I think he was, in the main), I do not have to agree with Luther on every thing he said to be a Lutheran. Let’s get away from arguments from authority (save Scripture’s authority, of course).
        Anyone who thinks I am a pacifist ,or am arguing a pacifist position, is not reading carefully enough.
        The point of the initial post was that Islam threatens our country through “soft Jihad.” To me this sounds similar to those who say Mexico (or a significant portion of Mexicans) is/are attempting to retake this country through illegal immigration and out-reproducing “us.” This same charge was leveled against many of our ancestors over a century ago.
        Some have suggested that “soft Jihad” won’t work unless there is the threat of “hard Jihad” behind it. The danger is that we will become so afraid of “hard Jihad” that we will cave in to the demands of “soft Jihad.” I agree that we should not engage in such appeasement and that we should make it clear that we will defend ourselves against “hard Jihad” to the death.
        Others have argued that “soft Jihad” will be successful on its own without any violent threat. It could happen through 1) human reproduction and/or 2) our own failure to cherish, maintain, and set forth our own cultural heritage. I perceived that some were arguing that there comes a time when we should resort to guns rather than to let such a “soft Jihad” succeed. If that is not the case, then I apologize for not reading carefully enough. What I am saying is that if we as a society in the kingdom of the left hand are not able to (or are not willing to) defeat this “takeover” with ideas and reason and words, then no number of guns is going to do it. And if the “soft Jihad” succeeds, we Christians do not have the option of trying to avoid persecution by “going out with both guns blazin’.”

  • Bror Erickson

    I think S Bauer you need to both read and write more clearly. For instance do you think Luther was mostly right in the main, or mostly wrong in the main.
    You attacked me for wanting to go to guns when people showed up to riot. You see I don’t mind them complaining, but I have every right to ignore their “soft Jihad.” We all have a right to do that. But history has shown that that leads to “harder” jihad tactics, rioting and so forth. I do believe people have a right to law and order, that riots can and should be put down by force. So take your advice read more carefully, write more carefully, then no one will think you are coming off as a pacifist when you think a riot can be maintained without force.

  • Bror Erickson

    I think S Bauer you need to both read and write more clearly. For instance do you think Luther was mostly right in the main, or mostly wrong in the main.
    You attacked me for wanting to go to guns when people showed up to riot. You see I don’t mind them complaining, but I have every right to ignore their “soft Jihad.” We all have a right to do that. But history has shown that that leads to “harder” jihad tactics, rioting and so forth. I do believe people have a right to law and order, that riots can and should be put down by force. So take your advice read more carefully, write more carefully, then no one will think you are coming off as a pacifist when you think a riot can be maintained without force.

  • Bror Erickson

    And For the record S Bauer. I agree with your analogies toward the Mexican immigration and what happened to our grandparents so many years ago.
    But the I haven’t seen any threats from Mexicans against freedom of speech, or expression. I do see that coming from Islam. Read the article Veith posted on Steyn today. Of course that is Canada. I’ve read a good deal of history on the Middle East, maybe I read too much of that into what I see happening today. But then again I was raised to believe history repeats itself. It doesn’t always, but sometimes you can predict a football teams next play based on what they did in the last game. This is true also of Islamic expansionism.

  • Bror Erickson

    And For the record S Bauer. I agree with your analogies toward the Mexican immigration and what happened to our grandparents so many years ago.
    But the I haven’t seen any threats from Mexicans against freedom of speech, or expression. I do see that coming from Islam. Read the article Veith posted on Steyn today. Of course that is Canada. I’ve read a good deal of history on the Middle East, maybe I read too much of that into what I see happening today. But then again I was raised to believe history repeats itself. It doesn’t always, but sometimes you can predict a football teams next play based on what they did in the last game. This is true also of Islamic expansionism.

  • S Bauer

    Bror,

        My first response in this thread was to disagree with the idea that the appropriate response to rioters is gunning them down. Maybe you were using hyperbole for a forceful way of saying what you say in #22, “riots can and should be put down by force.” In is easy enough to explain this in further discussion. In my mind, to disagree with the idea that gunning rioters down is OK is not the same thing as saying force can or must not ever be used against rioters. There are different levels of force. How simply questioning what you wrote can be construed as an “attack” is beyond me but everyone can judge that for themselves.
        Since this discussion seems to have turned personal, I’ll just drop it. I assure you I wasn’t trying to attack you or deliberately misconstrue what you were saying. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to write well enough to make that clear.

  • S Bauer

    Bror,

        My first response in this thread was to disagree with the idea that the appropriate response to rioters is gunning them down. Maybe you were using hyperbole for a forceful way of saying what you say in #22, “riots can and should be put down by force.” In is easy enough to explain this in further discussion. In my mind, to disagree with the idea that gunning rioters down is OK is not the same thing as saying force can or must not ever be used against rioters. There are different levels of force. How simply questioning what you wrote can be construed as an “attack” is beyond me but everyone can judge that for themselves.
        Since this discussion seems to have turned personal, I’ll just drop it. I assure you I wasn’t trying to attack you or deliberately misconstrue what you were saying. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to write well enough to make that clear.

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