A friend asked my thoughts on this article by one Chuck Baldwin. Its beginning and middle are of pretty poor quality, but toward the end it starts to improve.
--Muslims aren't "a people". Islam is a religion. Its adherents could be any ethnicity.
What binds Muslims together (to the extent that they are indeed bound together, which is not a whole lot when you think about all their wars between Muslims throughout history and the present day) is Islam, which styles itself as a complete system of LIFE and RELIGION and (get this) GOVERNMENT.
Thus I'd actually argue that Islam is very plausibly an inherently anti-Constitutional force, intrinsically devoted to the destruction of the American republic.
--Why is it bigotry or hatred to say that we need to control immigration better or close it off, as Trump says? Such Baldwin asserts, but doesn't argue for. I think that sort of language is at best sloppy and at worst really biased.
--He claims people are in a frenzy. Where are the resultant shootings of Muslims in the USA? Come now. That's just hysterical language. Sounds to me like the one in a frenzy is him.
--I watched the footage of Cruz's heckling, and while I wouldn't say he "stormed off stage" (the dude is a politician. Come on), it still wouldn't surprise me if he held a poor understanding of how the USA ought to relate to Israel. But I don't see how that connects to the previous paragraphs in the article or why I should care all that much.
(Note I'm not saying I agree with all that Cruz said in the video. The heckling seems to have begun with "Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state." The hecklers were right to object to that sort of statement.)
--Baldwin seems upset about Cruz's action, contending that "These were Christians who are being persecuted by Muslims and Jews".
1) What makes Baldwin think that THESE particular Christians were persecuted by Jews? Is there some sort of mass Christian refugee exodus from Israel of which I am unaware?
2) If I were a Christian in the Middle East I'd much prefer Israel's "persecution" to the mass rapes and massacres that ISIS is perpetrating. It is disappointing that Baldwin would equate the two situations.
--Baldwin asks "Mr. Cruz, are you standing with Israel when it stoned Stephen to death in Acts 7?" What an amazing statement.
1) That wasn't Israel. It was the Sanhedrin.
2) Lots of Jews became followers of Messiah. Why aren't they the ones Baldwin calls "Israel"?
3) Stephen was part of "Israel", being himself Jewish. (In fact, since he had faith in Messiah, he was part of the true Israel as well as being Jewish by blood.)
4) There is an enormous difference between the Jewish people of the 1st century and modern Israel.
--Baldwin claims "As justification for their bigotry and hatred, Christians love to quote passages from the Koran that speak of jihad against “infidels.” But, it never ceases to amaze me that these same Christians seem to have never read the Jewish Talmud."
It is very difficult to know how the Talmud is at all pertinent.
The quotations he provides are not even analogous to the usual citations from the Qur'an, which seem to a great many people to be prima facie, unqualified incitements to violence against unbelievers. These Talmudic quotations are not anything similar.
--"I propose that the Talmud is FAR WORSE than the Koran"
It may be, yes, but there are lots of ways to be compare them, and so far his comparison has been made along the lines of incitements to violence.
--"Yet, there is not a peep from the Christian community at large about the threat posed to Christian America from Zionists."
If by "Zionists" he means Jewish people or their ideological allies who are furthering and using forces of political correctness and such to neuter Christian expression in the public arena, I'd probably agree with him that internal rot is historically and biblically speaking a bigger danger than invasion from without. If by "Zionists" he means something more like "people who think that Israel ought to be its own country and who want the USA to give them a whole bunch of money and weaponry", I'm not sanguine about his chances to prove this assertion.
--"Yet, there is nary a peep from today’s Christians regarding the attack against America’s Christian heritage from Zionists."
I disagree. I think there are lots of peeps. But none of it would matter if most church people actually loved the Bible and were following it. THAT'S a far bigger threat than Talmudism or Islam, combined. Child sacrifice a far bigger problem.
--"Neither is there any mention of Israel’s attack against the U.S.S. Liberty, which took the lives of dozens of American sailors and Marines. It’s as if it never happened."
Fair enough, but that's one attack weighed against hundreds on the part of Islamic jihadists. Of course this attack shouldn't be ignored; far less should Baldwin ignore the many, many jihadist incidents from the Religion of Peace.
--"I invite you to watch this video (caution, bad language is used) of an atheist Jew (yes, a sizeable percentage of Jews are atheists) who goes berserk with rage against a Christian man on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley."
Check out my own YouTube page. Given the ways that I've been addressed by various people, I could use the same procedure as Baldwin and contend that white middle age Caucasians are a huge threat to America.
And they kinda are, but b/c they are products and representatives of the worldview that is causing the massive internal rot in the USA. Not b/c they are white Caucasians or whatever.
--"Does this young Jewish man represent all Jews? Of course not. No more than Islamist militants represent all Muslims."
Few people claim that jihadists represent ALL Muslims. Part of the argument is that jihadists comprise a very large chunk of the Muslim population, and that's dangerous when you let a whole bunch of Muslims immigrate.
--"Would anyone dare suggest that there is no such thing as a peace-loving Lutheran because of the words of Martin Luther?"
I would never say, for my part, that "there is no such thing as a peace-loving Muslim". As such, he's not addressing what I'd see as a fairly sophisticated argument against Muslim immigration.
Also, see above at the prima facie, ongoing incitements to violence.
--"During the first five years of Calvin's rule in the small town of Geneva, 13 people were hanged, 10 were decapitated, and 35 were burned to death."
I don't know anyone who is sticking up for these actions, but if Baldwin is trying to compare body count between Calvin's Geneva and Islamic jihad, he needs to come up with a lot more European bodies, quick.
--"Donald Trump is absolutely correct when he points out the problem of an unsecured U.S. border. But why doesn’t he go on a mission to root out the Mexican drug gangs from America?"
He should. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't ALSO address the problem of jihadist immigration. But anyone who addresses the one and not the other should be criticised, yes.
--"And speaking of greed, NOTHING COMPARES to the international bankers in New York City and the politicians in Washington, D.C. NOTHING!"
Finally something with which I can agree!
--"It was America’s wars of intervention that brought the Muslim conflict home to the United States."
I don't disagree. That and too-open immigration.
But I figure that if Islamic forces had been able to create a strong enough world power at some point, the USA might become a target of conquest. That's a significant historical pattern.
--"what’s the difference between a religious Muslim who hates America and a religious Christian who hates Iran and Syria?"
The Muslim would be arguably consistent with his profession, and the Christian would be most definitely inconsistent with his own.
--"If the story of Jonah teaches anything, it teaches God’s great love for ALL people and the responsibility of God’s men to rid hatred from their hearts and to be willing to take the message of God’s love to even those we consider our enemies."
--"I urge folks to watch this video of an elderly Muslim lady courageously scolding a truckload of ISIS fighters face-to-face. She told them in the name of Allah to STOP the violence they were perpetrating."
That would be a helpful consideration, for sure. Those who profess Islam are as varied as those who profess Christianity. There are people of all different levels of commitment to what they understand their religion to demand. People who love their comfort more than sacrificing for the religion, and vice versa. And then there's the question of the different flavors of understandings of the sacred text.
What Baldwin needs to make sure he is taking seriously is the fact that lots and lots of Muslims think the Qur'an and the patterns of the life of Mohammed unequivocally teach the obligation to violent conquest of Islam and the success of Dar Al-Islam over Dar Al-Harb. Sure, it's not ALL Muslims who think that, but it is quite a few, and then there are quite a few others who are followers, open to or already taken by the influence of those violent jihadists. And who can tell them they are wrong?
Baldwin could benefit from these helpful videos:
--"I submit that many Christians have themselves become lovers of violence. Who are the ones that are singing John McCain’s chorus of “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”? Christians."
Baldwin is not wrong to point that out. Christians should probably stop listening to national politicians, period. And it does seem most American church people are very much in favor the US military going all over the world to beat people up. Baldwin is right to decry such things, but then he seems to oppose Trump's stance against immigration, calling it hatred and bigotry. I figure the military would best be utilised for guarding the American borders. But would Baldwin claim that's hatred and bigotry against non-Americans?
--"If even a fraction of his claim is accurate, that is a lot of blood on the hands of U.S. taxpayers"
1) US taxpayers have very little to do with the decisions taken by the national oligarchy.
2) This statement is FAR truer of the Holocaust currently underway within the borders of the USA, without any help from Zionists or jihadists or drug cartels.
--"Donald Trump says he wants to close mosques, and Christians cheer. Really?"
I can think of worse actions to take. What did French security forces find when they recently searched mosques? Lots and lots of weapons, that's what. Should American authorities take action against groups whose stated purpose is to overthrow the government and put in place some other system? It's not a perfect analogy, but it begins the discussion in the right place.
And closure of mosques has little bearing on the practice of Islam. Did Trump say he wanted it to be illegal to adhere to Islam?
--"the answer to America’s Muslim problem lies with the CHURCH"
Well, that's certainly true.
--"Do Christians really want to open the door for our federal government to start selectively outlawing religion? Talk about handing the hangman the rope; that’s it."
It's already happening, and really, it's impossible to say "no discrimination at all, ever, of any kind". Do we allow religious practice that demands virgin sacrifices to volcanoes?
No. As Doug Wilson likes to say: Not whether, but which? Not whether we legislate morality, but which morality do we legislate?
--"Instead of singling out people of one religion, Trump should have focused on his original idea of securing our borders from all illegal immigration and, as President, on faithfully enforcing the immigration laws already on the books--or even asking Congress to further restrict ALL immigration until as such time as we can get a secure handle on our immigration problem"
I agree. I don't think that the bulk of his article led us to this point very well, though.
--"And please don’t write me with the hackneyed hyperbole that Islam is not a religion, but only a political entity. Tell me modern American Christianity is NOT political! Get real! 501c3 churches operate DIRECTLY under the political government of the United States. By their very charters, they are government organizations."
1) I don't think that churches ought to seek or operate under 501c3 status. It is possible to be wrong about 501c3 churches and right about Islam.
2) As noted above, Islam is a religion that is very easily construed to teach that its adherents ought to work and fight to create one single political entity that rules the entire world, and to wage wars of conquest to that end.
--"If Christians truly believe they are justified in hating and discriminating against Muslims, why don’t they stop beating around the bush and start actually doing something about it? Why don’t they follow the dictates of the hatred of their hearts and round up every Muslim in the United States, imprison them, and then execute them?"
1) The grace of God.
2) The inconsistency of most. Does Baldwin really want people to become MORE consistent in these mistaken beliefs, such that they DO begin acting on those concepts?