Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kill The Infidels?

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.