New Islamist regimes are OK with Obama

Not “Islamic,” but “Islamist,” meaning radical and jihadist.  Does this approach to foreign policy strike you as feckless and naive?  (And do you know what “feckless” means?)

The Obama administration is preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will bring a more religious cast to the region’s politics.

The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries,” said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal policy deliberations. “It’s the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.”

Islamist governments span a range of ideologies and ambitions, from the primitive brutality of the Taliban in Afghanistan to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, a movement with Islamist roots that heads a largely secular political system.

None of the revolutions over the past several weeks has been overtly Islamist, but there are signs that the uprisings could give way to more religious forces. An influential Yemeni cleric called this week for the U.S.-backed administration of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to be replaced with Islamist rule, and in Egypt, an Islamist theoretician has a leading role in drafting constitutional changes after President Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power last month.

via Obama administration prepares for possibility of new post-revolt Islamist regimes.

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.

  • SKPeterson

    Feckless is simply lacking in feck, as in “that’s not very fecktive, Bob.”

    I’m not sure it is really a feckless policy we are adopting, or coming to the realization that our previous Mideast policies have also been largely feckless. The non-Islamist regimes have been long been pro-Islamic and oppressive to non-Muslims or to those Muslims of a different sect; the Mubarak regime did little to curb violence against the Copts and other Christians. We are talking about the supposed differences in meaning or degree in the use of “ic” or “ist” but I am not convinced there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two. Unless, the use of one ending signifies the old “he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard” differentiation between what type of regime we support and what type we will oppose.

    Also, a win for Islamists in one country does not translate into wins in other countries, and none of them signal wins for Iran. Islamism may simply be the new pan-Arabism that swept the Middle East 50 or 60 years ago. Pan-Arabism largely failed and failed quickly. Islamism will also likely fail. They may all want to see the restoration of the Caliphate (unless you’re a Shia) but who gets to be Caliph?

    You could argue that the Middle East may now become more violent and unstable, but was it ever really peaceful and prosperous in the last 50 years? No. It has been violent and unstable and will likely remain so, whether pan-Arab, Islamist, or whatever comes down the pike.

  • SKPeterson

    Feckless is simply lacking in feck, as in “that’s not very fecktive, Bob.”

    I’m not sure it is really a feckless policy we are adopting, or coming to the realization that our previous Mideast policies have also been largely feckless. The non-Islamist regimes have been long been pro-Islamic and oppressive to non-Muslims or to those Muslims of a different sect; the Mubarak regime did little to curb violence against the Copts and other Christians. We are talking about the supposed differences in meaning or degree in the use of “ic” or “ist” but I am not convinced there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two. Unless, the use of one ending signifies the old “he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard” differentiation between what type of regime we support and what type we will oppose.

    Also, a win for Islamists in one country does not translate into wins in other countries, and none of them signal wins for Iran. Islamism may simply be the new pan-Arabism that swept the Middle East 50 or 60 years ago. Pan-Arabism largely failed and failed quickly. Islamism will also likely fail. They may all want to see the restoration of the Caliphate (unless you’re a Shia) but who gets to be Caliph?

    You could argue that the Middle East may now become more violent and unstable, but was it ever really peaceful and prosperous in the last 50 years? No. It has been violent and unstable and will likely remain so, whether pan-Arab, Islamist, or whatever comes down the pike.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The Mid-East could have been worse. Much worse.

    I’m afraid that we may see in the future just what I mean.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The Mid-East could have been worse. Much worse.

    I’m afraid that we may see in the future just what I mean.

  • Bruce Gee

    “Unthinking and irresponsible”. But wait. In this case, could he be both? One or the other, I’d think.
    In my continuing efforts to put President Obama’s actions in the best possible light, I again have come to the conclusion…that I have not the slightest iota of what it is he is trying to accomplish.

  • Bruce Gee

    “Unthinking and irresponsible”. But wait. In this case, could he be both? One or the other, I’d think.
    In my continuing efforts to put President Obama’s actions in the best possible light, I again have come to the conclusion…that I have not the slightest iota of what it is he is trying to accomplish.

  • Bruce Gee

    Did I write “iota”. Hmm. Probably meant “idea”.

  • Bruce Gee

    Did I write “iota”. Hmm. Probably meant “idea”.

  • Helen F

    I’m too incompetant to say what “feckless” means. : >)

  • Helen F

    I’m too incompetant to say what “feckless” means. : >)

  • John C

    What an odd question.
    To be feckless is to lack feckles.
    Due to sensitive skin pigmentation the Irish have more feckles than you can poke a stick at..

  • John C

    What an odd question.
    To be feckless is to lack feckles.
    Due to sensitive skin pigmentation the Irish have more feckles than you can poke a stick at..

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Do I know what “feckless” means? I’m more interested in what “Islamist” means. And I don’t think this post has settled the matter.

    On the one hand, we have Veith, saying “Not ‘Islamic,’ but ‘Islamist,’ meaning radical and jihadist.”

    On the other hand, we have the article Veith points to, saying that “Islamist governments span a range of ideologies and ambitions”, and citing as an example “Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, a movement with Islamist roots that heads a largely secular political system.” Which doesn’t sound “radical and jihadist”.

    Merriam-Webster defines “Islamism” (the noun from which adjective “Islamist” stems) as “a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam”. Which appears to accord more with the article’s definition than Veith’s.

    But, while we’re on the topic of definitions, did you know that “feckless” is etymologically equivalent to the word “ineffective”? But the latter is more Latinate, and the former more Germanic. And yes, “feck” is a legitimate word, though mainly used by the Scottish these days.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Do I know what “feckless” means? I’m more interested in what “Islamist” means. And I don’t think this post has settled the matter.

    On the one hand, we have Veith, saying “Not ‘Islamic,’ but ‘Islamist,’ meaning radical and jihadist.”

    On the other hand, we have the article Veith points to, saying that “Islamist governments span a range of ideologies and ambitions”, and citing as an example “Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, a movement with Islamist roots that heads a largely secular political system.” Which doesn’t sound “radical and jihadist”.

    Merriam-Webster defines “Islamism” (the noun from which adjective “Islamist” stems) as “a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam”. Which appears to accord more with the article’s definition than Veith’s.

    But, while we’re on the topic of definitions, did you know that “feckless” is etymologically equivalent to the word “ineffective”? But the latter is more Latinate, and the former more Germanic. And yes, “feck” is a legitimate word, though mainly used by the Scottish these days.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do secular policies like those of Ataturk or maybe Mubarak tend to kindle resentment and allow fanatics to recruit from moderates? Does religious persecution just add fuel to the fire? Evidence either way?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do secular policies like those of Ataturk or maybe Mubarak tend to kindle resentment and allow fanatics to recruit from moderates? Does religious persecution just add fuel to the fire? Evidence either way?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    But how would it be “feckless and naive” to recognize that there is, in fact, a difference between al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood? Wouldn’t it be more naive to believe that all Islamic groups are the same, radical and jihadist no matter what?

    “We shouldn’t be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries,” said a senior administration official … “It’s the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.”

    If that’s naive, then is the suggestion that we should fear Islam, and judge political parties and governments not by what they do, but by mere labels? “I’m sorry, did you say ‘Islam’? That’s it, we’re out of here. You’re on your own.”

    Also from the article:

    Some foreign-policy pragmatists and allies such as Israel … fear that governments based on religious law will inevitably undercut democratic reforms and other Western values.

    Does this apply to attempts to do just that here in America (largely by “conservatives”)? What about Germany, with the Christian Democratic Union holding all sorts of leadership positions? Is it naive to ignore that ticking timebomb of anti-democratic Christianity?

    Also, hate to break it to you, Dr. Veith, but you’re not the first person around here to use the word “feckless”. Not by a long shot.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    But how would it be “feckless and naive” to recognize that there is, in fact, a difference between al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood? Wouldn’t it be more naive to believe that all Islamic groups are the same, radical and jihadist no matter what?

    “We shouldn’t be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries,” said a senior administration official … “It’s the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.”

    If that’s naive, then is the suggestion that we should fear Islam, and judge political parties and governments not by what they do, but by mere labels? “I’m sorry, did you say ‘Islam’? That’s it, we’re out of here. You’re on your own.”

    Also from the article:

    Some foreign-policy pragmatists and allies such as Israel … fear that governments based on religious law will inevitably undercut democratic reforms and other Western values.

    Does this apply to attempts to do just that here in America (largely by “conservatives”)? What about Germany, with the Christian Democratic Union holding all sorts of leadership positions? Is it naive to ignore that ticking timebomb of anti-democratic Christianity?

    Also, hate to break it to you, Dr. Veith, but you’re not the first person around here to use the word “feckless”. Not by a long shot.

  • SKPeterson

    From Todd’s comment he quoted above:
    Some foreign-policy pragmatists and allies such as Israel … fear that governments based on religious law will inevitably undercut democratic reforms and other Western values.

    What democratic reforms and Western values are being undercut? What examples do we have of extensive Westernization or democratic institutions being overwhelmed by Islamicists (to combine the two words)? Don’t they have to actually exist in order to be undercut?

    As for me, I’d much rather have an open antagonist than one that exists in the shadows. Putting al-Qaeda in power makes them accountable internationally, but more importantly, nationally and locally. The Iranian people largely have no respect for their government after 30 years, why would this not be the case in the rest of the Middle East?

  • SKPeterson

    From Todd’s comment he quoted above:
    Some foreign-policy pragmatists and allies such as Israel … fear that governments based on religious law will inevitably undercut democratic reforms and other Western values.

    What democratic reforms and Western values are being undercut? What examples do we have of extensive Westernization or democratic institutions being overwhelmed by Islamicists (to combine the two words)? Don’t they have to actually exist in order to be undercut?

    As for me, I’d much rather have an open antagonist than one that exists in the shadows. Putting al-Qaeda in power makes them accountable internationally, but more importantly, nationally and locally. The Iranian people largely have no respect for their government after 30 years, why would this not be the case in the rest of the Middle East?

  • ELB

    The naivite, in my opinion, comes from the common lack of understanding of religion as a motivation in the middle east. It is not surprising that they say “It’s the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.”
    Have a good long conversation with some of the “policy wonks,” the state department types, and it appears that they have no understanding of the religious aspects of life. Politics and government are something they can understand, but the role of the underlying worldview, the faith, of the people is beyond their ken. It is classic ego-centrism: “If religion doesn’t play a major part in my life why would it in someone else’s?” These are the folks that serve whatever administration is in power, and their view of the world is amplified or tempered by the politicians in power. Amplified in this case, I think.
    Sure I am exaggerating for the sake of illustration, but so many things go back to one’s basic worldview.

  • ELB

    The naivite, in my opinion, comes from the common lack of understanding of religion as a motivation in the middle east. It is not surprising that they say “It’s the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.”
    Have a good long conversation with some of the “policy wonks,” the state department types, and it appears that they have no understanding of the religious aspects of life. Politics and government are something they can understand, but the role of the underlying worldview, the faith, of the people is beyond their ken. It is classic ego-centrism: “If religion doesn’t play a major part in my life why would it in someone else’s?” These are the folks that serve whatever administration is in power, and their view of the world is amplified or tempered by the politicians in power. Amplified in this case, I think.
    Sure I am exaggerating for the sake of illustration, but so many things go back to one’s basic worldview.

  • Cincinnatus

    SKPeterson(@1, in particular): Of course, the riots and coups occurring across the Middle East at the moment are not Pan-Arabian, nor do they evoke a desire for a restored Caliphate. Instead, they are vigorously nationalistic. For instance, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt–which, of course, has been quite influential in the revolt against Mubarak–has explicitly dissociated itself from the internationalist/imperial overtures of its parent organization. It claims to be agitating for a specifically Egyptian revolution, for the self-determination of the Egyptian people, not Arabs or Muslims generally.

    This distinction, I think, is quite significant. We could argue about whether it is a good or bad thing, and whether it will contribute at all to stability in the region.

    I will add one note: too many of my over-zealous political science colleagues who worship at the altar of democracy are slathering all over themselves proclaiming that this is the Mideast’s salvation, that this is the “fourth wave” of democracy, that this can mean nothing but good things for Egyptians and Tunisians, and related nonsense. I think it’s more helpful to view these revolts of a sort of new wave of postcolonialism: Egypt and neighboring states are rising up–again, for better or worse–against their status as client states in what is effectively an American empire. This explanation may not work for all current cases, but I think it especially applies to Egypt. Our “feckless” policy is only feckless because many Americans–most commenters on this blog included, apparently–believe that the United States government still has a compelling justification for intervening heavenly in the domestic affairs of the Middle East to ensure that stability is maintained, even at the cost of a) despotism and b) state secularlism, which is unpopular with a highly religious population.

  • Cincinnatus

    SKPeterson(@1, in particular): Of course, the riots and coups occurring across the Middle East at the moment are not Pan-Arabian, nor do they evoke a desire for a restored Caliphate. Instead, they are vigorously nationalistic. For instance, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt–which, of course, has been quite influential in the revolt against Mubarak–has explicitly dissociated itself from the internationalist/imperial overtures of its parent organization. It claims to be agitating for a specifically Egyptian revolution, for the self-determination of the Egyptian people, not Arabs or Muslims generally.

    This distinction, I think, is quite significant. We could argue about whether it is a good or bad thing, and whether it will contribute at all to stability in the region.

    I will add one note: too many of my over-zealous political science colleagues who worship at the altar of democracy are slathering all over themselves proclaiming that this is the Mideast’s salvation, that this is the “fourth wave” of democracy, that this can mean nothing but good things for Egyptians and Tunisians, and related nonsense. I think it’s more helpful to view these revolts of a sort of new wave of postcolonialism: Egypt and neighboring states are rising up–again, for better or worse–against their status as client states in what is effectively an American empire. This explanation may not work for all current cases, but I think it especially applies to Egypt. Our “feckless” policy is only feckless because many Americans–most commenters on this blog included, apparently–believe that the United States government still has a compelling justification for intervening heavenly in the domestic affairs of the Middle East to ensure that stability is maintained, even at the cost of a) despotism and b) state secularlism, which is unpopular with a highly religious population.

  • Pete

    I prefer the more continental, “sans feck”.

  • Pete

    I prefer the more continental, “sans feck”.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus @12 – I agree with your sentiment and is akin to what I’ve (hopefully) been trying to point out. I don’t think this is a vestige of pan-Arabism and I’m not convinced of an Islamist incumbency, but rather noting that our policies in the Middle East have largely been driven by fears of one or the other, yet pan-Arabism did not emerge as a threat and the actual threat of Islamist Iran does not appear to be so steady.

    Whether they turn into the nationalist movements you describe, I’m not sure, but that is as good a prediction as any. I doubt this will lead to a great wave of democracy, and maybe new tyrannies, but c’est la change, nonetheless.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus @12 – I agree with your sentiment and is akin to what I’ve (hopefully) been trying to point out. I don’t think this is a vestige of pan-Arabism and I’m not convinced of an Islamist incumbency, but rather noting that our policies in the Middle East have largely been driven by fears of one or the other, yet pan-Arabism did not emerge as a threat and the actual threat of Islamist Iran does not appear to be so steady.

    Whether they turn into the nationalist movements you describe, I’m not sure, but that is as good a prediction as any. I doubt this will lead to a great wave of democracy, and maybe new tyrannies, but c’est la change, nonetheless.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    How do most Egyptians or Libyans etc. see themselves? By nationality, tribally, as Arabs, as Muslims, as Sunnis or Shia?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    How do most Egyptians or Libyans etc. see themselves? By nationality, tribally, as Arabs, as Muslims, as Sunnis or Shia?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @15

    now that is a great question.

    I think obama is just continuing the quest of previous administrations in trying to strike the right balance in a religiously plural world. what we decide in the middle east has to do with what we do here domestically and vica versa. but not exactly.

    I think that there are some tough questions here. I try not to judge our administrations therefore here. I personally fear Islam in any form. It is evil.

    I am sure at the same time that I would not want my government to act out what I believe.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @15

    now that is a great question.

    I think obama is just continuing the quest of previous administrations in trying to strike the right balance in a religiously plural world. what we decide in the middle east has to do with what we do here domestically and vica versa. but not exactly.

    I think that there are some tough questions here. I try not to judge our administrations therefore here. I personally fear Islam in any form. It is evil.

    I am sure at the same time that I would not want my government to act out what I believe.

  • John C

    Likewise sg, I wonder how Americans see themselves. Religion is such a line of demarcation in your society. There are no Christian
    Democrats as in Europe but you do have a mainstream party of Christian Republicans — not that they are quite ready to call thenselves that yet. And you do have colleges designed to provide Christian leadership in government — “Christianist” rather than Christian.
    So sg, are you Christian first and then an American or should the values of the secular state over-ride the doctrine of your particular religion. It’s a dilemma the Americans have not satisfactorily resolved in 200 years — I hope it does not take that long in the Middle east.
    You know you will have made progress when an athiest is elected President.
    Islam is evil.
    Well fws, now you know how some people in the Middle-east and around the world feel about Americans and Christians.

  • John C

    Likewise sg, I wonder how Americans see themselves. Religion is such a line of demarcation in your society. There are no Christian
    Democrats as in Europe but you do have a mainstream party of Christian Republicans — not that they are quite ready to call thenselves that yet. And you do have colleges designed to provide Christian leadership in government — “Christianist” rather than Christian.
    So sg, are you Christian first and then an American or should the values of the secular state over-ride the doctrine of your particular religion. It’s a dilemma the Americans have not satisfactorily resolved in 200 years — I hope it does not take that long in the Middle east.
    You know you will have made progress when an athiest is elected President.
    Islam is evil.
    Well fws, now you know how some people in the Middle-east and around the world feel about Americans and Christians.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @17

    touche.

    Christianity formally insists that it is important to forgive one’s enemies and love them and to turn the other cheek and not resort to violence.

    While it is true that there is a huge history littered with christians not following the proper principles of their own religiion.

    On the other hand, I think it would be wrong to think that all religions teach that it is obligatory to love one’s enemies and to turn the other cheek. I would appreciate you showing me in the Koran for example where these principles are required of a Muslim as a core part of their ethics, or even aa passage that could be understood that way. I don’t think you will find it. So muslims who honestly return to the roots of their faith as found in the Koran will not find there a requirement to love one’s enemy and turn one’ s cheek and the avoidance of violence as religious tenants. A christian, turning to the new testament would find those requirements unavoidable.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @17

    touche.

    Christianity formally insists that it is important to forgive one’s enemies and love them and to turn the other cheek and not resort to violence.

    While it is true that there is a huge history littered with christians not following the proper principles of their own religiion.

    On the other hand, I think it would be wrong to think that all religions teach that it is obligatory to love one’s enemies and to turn the other cheek. I would appreciate you showing me in the Koran for example where these principles are required of a Muslim as a core part of their ethics, or even aa passage that could be understood that way. I don’t think you will find it. So muslims who honestly return to the roots of their faith as found in the Koran will not find there a requirement to love one’s enemy and turn one’ s cheek and the avoidance of violence as religious tenants. A christian, turning to the new testament would find those requirements unavoidable.

  • John C

    To turn the other cheek is a wonderful image of absolution and love.
    And yet for a nation that is more religous than any other in the developed world, there is little evidence that Americans take the Christian exhortation to love one’s neighbour seriously.
    Look at the statistics on infant mortality, prison incarceration, capital punishment and other social indicators and the US is at the bottom of first world rankings.
    It looks as though americans do not love one another let alone their enemy.

  • John C

    To turn the other cheek is a wonderful image of absolution and love.
    And yet for a nation that is more religous than any other in the developed world, there is little evidence that Americans take the Christian exhortation to love one’s neighbour seriously.
    Look at the statistics on infant mortality, prison incarceration, capital punishment and other social indicators and the US is at the bottom of first world rankings.
    It looks as though americans do not love one another let alone their enemy.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @19

    Ok John. I agree with you completely and you agree with what I said in my previous post about american christians not practicing or even preaching what their own holy book tells them.

    but you did not engage or even acknowledge my main point did you?

    Not all holy books are created equal. Not all holy books are about love-for-enemy. Actually only one teaches that. That would be uniquely the bible.

    Not all holy books are about forgiving and avoiding violence. I have read the Koran cover to cover , carefully, several times. There I found one passage that said it would be ok to forgive in a certain situation. One. Maybe I missed something John C. Let me know if so! I could be wrong of course. Show me I am. I would LOVE to see that and be forced to change my mind! Really.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @19

    Ok John. I agree with you completely and you agree with what I said in my previous post about american christians not practicing or even preaching what their own holy book tells them.

    but you did not engage or even acknowledge my main point did you?

    Not all holy books are created equal. Not all holy books are about love-for-enemy. Actually only one teaches that. That would be uniquely the bible.

    Not all holy books are about forgiving and avoiding violence. I have read the Koran cover to cover , carefully, several times. There I found one passage that said it would be ok to forgive in a certain situation. One. Maybe I missed something John C. Let me know if so! I could be wrong of course. Show me I am. I would LOVE to see that and be forced to change my mind! Really.

  • John C

    I do not have the competence to comment on your interpretation of the Koran, fws. One of the shortcomings of this blog is the lack of commentators from other faith traditions. Your assertions will remain unchallenged.
    To continue the thrust of my comments @19, how did the convergence of Christianity and politics in the US become so pitiless?

  • John C

    I do not have the competence to comment on your interpretation of the Koran, fws. One of the shortcomings of this blog is the lack of commentators from other faith traditions. Your assertions will remain unchallenged.
    To continue the thrust of my comments @19, how did the convergence of Christianity and politics in the US become so pitiless?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @ 21

    I would encourage you to read the Koran John C. I think an outsider can know a few things without living within that faith. For example, Muslims discourage reading the Koran in anything but Arabic. Christians don’t really have a problem with translations and actively in fact encourage them. Pondering why there is that difference probably is useful just as one example.

    How did the convergence of christianity and politics become so pitiless?

    I would suggest that christians are treating their morality exactly as Muslims treat Sharia Law. They dont care so much that people are converted as that they obey the same law, even if this conformity is acheived by force (which is what majority rule really is). So then christianity and christ are about conforming to God’s Divine Law. period. I hope you see here on this blog, that many if not most Lutherans here are utterly opposed to this idea.

    Rather than excuse Islamism by pointing out the real and obvious failures of Christianism, why not condemn BOTH John C? That is really my own personal position.

    I think it is a false tolerance and a false liberality to excuse the treatment of women as second class citizens and the idea that majority might makes right by saying we don’t have a right to judge cultural norms to others. We should carefully instead consider how this all plays out in our own society, and decry injustice here in the usa and in other countries by the same standards.

    Please understand that I am not advocating that the usa should morally police other countries. that is not our business to do that.

    john C, as a gay man, I am no stranger to being singled out for religious reasons. eg gay marriage. I criticize those things here. Why on earth would I not also care about those same things being done, and violently so, in the middle east in the name if Islam? being gay or even being christian can mean a death sentence in those countries.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john c @ 21

    I would encourage you to read the Koran John C. I think an outsider can know a few things without living within that faith. For example, Muslims discourage reading the Koran in anything but Arabic. Christians don’t really have a problem with translations and actively in fact encourage them. Pondering why there is that difference probably is useful just as one example.

    How did the convergence of christianity and politics become so pitiless?

    I would suggest that christians are treating their morality exactly as Muslims treat Sharia Law. They dont care so much that people are converted as that they obey the same law, even if this conformity is acheived by force (which is what majority rule really is). So then christianity and christ are about conforming to God’s Divine Law. period. I hope you see here on this blog, that many if not most Lutherans here are utterly opposed to this idea.

    Rather than excuse Islamism by pointing out the real and obvious failures of Christianism, why not condemn BOTH John C? That is really my own personal position.

    I think it is a false tolerance and a false liberality to excuse the treatment of women as second class citizens and the idea that majority might makes right by saying we don’t have a right to judge cultural norms to others. We should carefully instead consider how this all plays out in our own society, and decry injustice here in the usa and in other countries by the same standards.

    Please understand that I am not advocating that the usa should morally police other countries. that is not our business to do that.

    john C, as a gay man, I am no stranger to being singled out for religious reasons. eg gay marriage. I criticize those things here. Why on earth would I not also care about those same things being done, and violently so, in the middle east in the name if Islam? being gay or even being christian can mean a death sentence in those countries.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John C (@21), I would second FWS’s points (@22), especially noting the difference in how Lutheranism approaches such things (even if not all Lutherans actually adhere to that).

    “One of the shortcomings of this blog is the lack of commentators from other faith traditions.” Yes, well, there is no reason there couldn’t be at least one more person on here who is knowledgeable about the Koran — namely, you.
    You seem interested in defending against FWS’s claim that the Koran is “evil”, but you do not seem interested enough to defend this from an informed knowledge of the Koran. That, too, is a shortcoming.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John C (@21), I would second FWS’s points (@22), especially noting the difference in how Lutheranism approaches such things (even if not all Lutherans actually adhere to that).

    “One of the shortcomings of this blog is the lack of commentators from other faith traditions.” Yes, well, there is no reason there couldn’t be at least one more person on here who is knowledgeable about the Koran — namely, you.
    You seem interested in defending against FWS’s claim that the Koran is “evil”, but you do not seem interested enough to defend this from an informed knowledge of the Koran. That, too, is a shortcoming.

  • Pingback: Obama Administration Is Helping To Advance The Islamists’ Agenda « Does It All Matter 2

  • Pingback: Obama Administration Is Helping To Advance The Islamists’ Agenda « Does It All Matter 2


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