Controversial billboards in Ohio reading “Jesus is Muslim” are driving some Christians crazy, and drawing protests from local Christians who say Muslims are “hijacking” the name of Jesus.
Right Wing Watch reports a group of passionate Christians turned out in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to rail against “the evil spirit of Islam” by declaring that America “is the Lord’s house,” and calling the billboards “slander” and “blasphemy.”
“Although we support the Islamic community’s right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hijacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion,” Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries said in a statement last week.
Protestors claim that no other religion has the right “to come here and try to undermine this nation’s Christian foundation.” (Note: “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Treaty of Tripoli, 1796).
The billboards are sponsored by a group called “Ask a Muslim,” based in Columbus, Ohio. The group says that it is dedicated to educating people about Islam.
“We believe that clearing up the many misconceptions about Islam will make this world a better place. A place with less violence and hatred, filled with mutual respect and understanding,” the group says.
The group argues on its website that Muslims are actually Christians, if “Christian” is taken to mean someone following the teachings of Christ.
The billboards feature tag lines like: “Jesus is Muslim,” “Mohammed is in the bible” and “Muslims love Jesus too.”
The truth is, Jesus was neither a Muslim nor a Christian. If he existed at all, and he probably did, he was a great teacher, like Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu; but he was in the end only a man, like any other man. And it would not be fair to the memory of Jesus to hold him accountable for the actions of Christians or Muslims, or any other misguided individuals laboring under the burdens of religious delusion.