Thursday, July 28, 2011

Norway's Terror

Published in the Umatuna 7/31/2011

Last week, a Norwegian man blew up a building and mowed down a youth camp leaving nearly 80 dead. Within hours the TV "talking-heads" labeled him a "Christian conservative", and the atrocity, an act of "right wing terrorism". In 2009, a Muslim army officer killed 13 people at Fort Hood, wounded another 39, and would have kept on killing if he hadn't been shot himself. Within hours the same "talking-heads" were advising us not to rush to conclusions and that the massacre didn't fit the profile of terrorism. Two years later, the killer's motives are still being analyzed.

Regardless of the motives of the either killer, the motives of those who are quick to hang Christianity in the public square of media opinion is worth some analysis of its own. Actually, the analysis doesn't require much analysis. Christianity opposes the darling institutions of the sexual revolution: abortion, same-sex unions, and cohabitation, and in the case of Catholic Christianity, contraception as well. In other words, "the Church", like an imposing parent, stands between "them" and a good time, and they are not happy.

In the wake of 9/11, and the subsequent efforts of the "politically-correct" NOT to tie the attacks to Islam - which we were told was a religion of peace, a parade of "Christian sins" was marshalled before the public. The Inquisition, the Crusades, the Conquistadors, and even the voyages of Columbus were trotted out as "Christian atrocities" and equivalents of 9/11.

Fascinatingly (but predictably), even the ladies of "The View" suddenly became biblical exegetes, digging up scriptures and proffering skewed commentaries on passages wherein God exhorts the Israelites to make war and even to kill non-believers (Dt. 17) as evidence that there was little difference between radical Christianity and radical Islam.

But what about that? What about the apparently God-sanctioned carnage we find in the Bible? Is Deuteronomy 17 ("thou shalt stone them...till they die") any different than Qur'an 47:4 wherein true followers of Allah are instructed to "smite the necks...of the unbelievers" (behead)? Was Rosie O'Donnel correct when she equated "radical Christianity with radical Islam"?

The ignorant lengths some seem prepared to go to in their lust to crucify Christianity is telling of the very taught nerves authentic Christian moral teaching perpetually steps on. When one lives a lie, particularly as regards sexual mores, it's quite easy to pop and spew the most incredulous and strident inanities.

But that aside, what about O'Donnel's accusation about "radical Christianity"? It is an accusation that is not hers alone, and in light of the Norway massacre, will once again make the rounds of the TV "talking-heads".

There are several key things to keep in mind. Here's the short list:

1. All the biblical accounts of commands to kill are in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), not the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). And while Christians accept both testaments as one inspired whole, Christians view the Scriptures "backwards", that is, through the person and teaching of Jesus Christ, who is the fullness of revelation.

2. The instructions in the Hebrew Scriptures to kill are descriptive, not prescriptive, as they are in Qu'ran. In other words, the Old Testament accounts are just that, "accounts", an account of what happened, not an instruction to keep on doing it.

3. While atrocities have been committed under the banner of Christianity, there is nothing in the recorded teachings of Christ prescribing violence (indeed, we have the opposite), where, in the Qu'ran, there are numerous passages prescribing violence.

4. While one might argue that the passages in the Qu'ran exhorting violent jihad are not to be taken literally, history records that the founder of Islam DID take those passages (commands) literally.

5. And of course, there is the contrast between the examples of Christ and Mohammed themselves: to save the lost, Christ willingly allowed Himself to "be led like a lamb to the slaughter", whereas Mohammed, to punish the lost (infidels), slaughtered, perhaps righteously, but slaughter nonetheless.

In short "radical Christianity" is Christ on the cross, and Christianity's "extremists" are the martyrs who died that others might live, and NOT died that others might die too, as Mohammed would have his martyrs do. Any attempt to connect radical Christianity or Christian extremism with the indiscriminate slaying of others, as Norway has just witnessed, is simply intellectually vacuous and demonstrative of a diseased conscience, something quite easily found on a channel near you.
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