No Child of God Left Behind

Tim LaHaye’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee for President took the form of a battle cry. “America and our Judeo-Christian heritage … Continued

Tim LaHaye’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee for President took the form of a battle cry.

“America and our Judeo-Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more destructive than any America has faced (since Hitler) … Defeating the radical jihadists will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.”

Is Mr. LaHaye’s notion of America’s ‘Judeo-Christian heritage’ expansive enough to include the tens of millions of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Bahai’s, secular humanists and others who live here? Does Mr. LaHaye (who co-authored the mega best-selling Left Behind series) understand that the radical jihadists are just as dangerous to me and other mainstream Muslims as they are to him?

If Mr. LaHaye is preparing a “spiritual rearmament”, I hope he is clear what he is fighting for and who the enemy is.

Like Mr. LaHaye, I believe the central challenge of the twenty-first century will be the question of the faith line. But in my view the faith line does not divide Muslims from Christians, or Jews from Hindus, or believers from nonbelievers.

I think the faith line divides pluralists from totalitarians. Pluralists are people who want to build societies where people from different backgrounds live in equal dignity and mutual loyalty. Totalitarians are people who want only their group to dominate and everyone else to suffocate.

There are Muslim pluralists, Jewish pluralists, Christian pluralists, Hindu pluralists, secular pluralists, the list goes on. And there are Muslim totalitarians, Jewish totalitarians, Christian totalitarians, Hindu totalitarians, secular totalitarians … that list goes on too.

Because the correct definition of the faith line is a matter of war and peace, we have to use language that is accurate and hopeful, welcoming and generous. As William Stafford wrote in his poem “A Ritual to Read to Each Other”:

the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

And so I recommend to Mr. LaHaye, and to all people of good faith, two historic documents: A Common Word Between Us and You, a statement signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars to the Christian community, and Loving God and Neighbor Together, the Christian response.

A Common Word opens with the following lines:

“Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.”

It goes on to state:

“The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour.”

The Christian response reads:

“What is common between us lies … in something absolutely central to both (Islam and Christianity): love of God and love of neighbor. Surprisingly for many Christians, your letter considers the dual command of love to be the foundational principle not just of the Christian faith, but of Islam as well.”

Peter Ochs, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at the University of Virginia, wrote that the publication of A Common Word was “a blessed moment in the history of God’s work on this world” and “will prove to be of profound significance, as well, for Jews and Judaism.”

Islamica Magazine, my favorite publication on Islam and Muslims, has an extensive treatment of the context and implications of A Common Word.

Signatories to Loving God and Neighbor Together include several prominent Evangelical leaders and institutions, including Fuller Theological Seminary, Rick Warren (Saddleback Church, The Purpose Driven Life) and Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Church).

They took seriously the line in A Common Word that reads: “The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.” And they understood that being agents of peace – indeed, being Christians – required them to clearly affirm their support for pluralism, even if (perhaps especially if) the invitation came from their Muslim brothers and sisters.

I hope Mr. LaHaye follows the lead of Warren, Hybels and the dozens of other Christian leaders and scholars who signed Loving God and Neighbor Together. I hope he passes on the message to Mike Huckabee and all his followers: to be a Christian, to be an American, to be a person who believes in peace in the 21st Century, you have to also be a person who fights for pluralism.

The stakes are high, Mr. LaHaye. Some seek a common word, others a world war.

Which side are you on?

Written by

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Eboo,You failed to specifically point out the Islamic totalitarian, Islamic, warmongering, terror and torture theocracy of Iran and analogous countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia. As long as these countries maintain strict koranic laws and support for global Islamic theocracies, the dangers noted by Mr. LaHaye will be a major political issue. Strange that your commentaries continue to lack these specifics!!!!!!!

  • JoeT

    Concerned: I fear LaHaye more than I fear Islam

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Judy Phillips

    ALL persons/countries/states are to be treated with dignity and respect including atheists, deists, agnostics. Our commonality is that ALL are human and deserving of equal treatment.American self-described Christians would know that Jesus loved everyone. Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists – ALL are taught to love their neighbor as they do themselves and their Creator.Pluralism is the ONLY way there will be justice and peace in our world.

  • Anonymous

    Do not forget all the tolerance being practiced in the Muslim world. It is amazing that you have the nerve to preach to us yet people from your religion are causing terror, death, and confusion all over the world. Go preach preach peace in the Muslim world. I think LaHaye is simply looking out for his fellow Americans. We need someone strong in office who really understands what true Islam is about not the whitewashed version your and the media are selling.

  • Tonio

    How ironic that LaHaye uses a term like “radical jihadists,” which is a perfect description of himself.

  • Anonymous

    Gentry,You know not what you are talking about. Islam denies that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross and arose from them dead. They cannot be the same God since the Apostle John says, “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23).I think I will take the Apostle John’s word over the pluralistic politically correct version of God you are selling. Maybe you should study the issue for yourself. Too many people just believe whatever is spewed from our college campuses and news media. There is a lack of critical thinking here in the West these days.

  • Tell the Truth?

    Eboo,It is all peace and love. We have no need to worry. We have been experiencing how peaceful Islam is for centuries now. Muhammad was just a prophet of love. He went around forgiving his enemies with hugs and kisses and his true followers have been doing the same ever since. Yes, Eboo we here in the West are blind to the true nature of Islam and need your glorious pearls of wisdom to help us to see all the peace all the love. We have missed all the examples of peace and love in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, etc. Yes it has been all peace and love hugs and kisses.Latest Offerings from the Religion of Peace11/26/2007 (Narathiwat, Thailand) – Islamic terrorists shoot a civilian off his motorcycle, then walk over and put a bullet in his head.

  • jenna

    there is no Judeo in Tim LaHaye’s philosophy. I wish he would stick to his own religion and keep his hands off of mine.

  • halozcel

    Dear Readers,Dear Readers,Islam is totalitarianism.Please,look at *islamic countries*.Are people living like *human being* although some of them(especially white skirted ones who clean their arsehole by hand and eat by the same hand) have much money.Besides,the clash,the war is inevitable between Civilization(not christianity) and islam.Everybody will see within 10 or 15 years.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon,As per most NT exegetes, the Apostle John is not the author of the Gospel of John or the epistles of John. You might want to invest in Raymond Brown’s book, An Introduction to the New Testament before making added commentary in the future.

  • Carson

    Some seek a common word, others a world war.And Tim LaHaye seeks the headline that you, regrettably, just gave him.

  • DFC

    It’s obvious what side LaHaye is on. He wants war, and if that includes war on people he feels are inadequately American because they aren’t of his faith, then so be it.

  • Gentry

    This is good scholarship on this issue, and I am glad to see its promotion. It is confusing and heartbreaking for any observer who knows that Muslims and Christians worship a common deity. Living in peace with your fellows is a hallmark of spiritual development and maturity, and is far more important than it is to seek bloody justice over small slights. Quite obviously no god worth worship would approve of His followers killing each other over what forms of devotion they wished to express themselves in.It is also why civil societies are so very important, because these are the methods we use to keep the peace, and deal with dissent without violence.Too often these same people look on government as something that should have a religious component. That happens across cultures, and has happened in many countries, including the USA. It’s a bad idea for religion to do this, because it generates huge conflicts. It is not a fair thing to do to others, and such lack of tolerance can too often end up with evil results.The separation of civil behavior from religiosity is critical to any peaceful society, and it is not somehow a question of things being too liberal, but rather insecurity of those who are somehow afraid to act with their own convention. In this respect, Amish and other groups who live conservative religious lives inside the US offer us an example of keeping a way of life without harming someone else to do it.

  • Jimbo

    When I first read The Guardian article (above)about

  • Athena

    Tim LaHaye and his ilk are just a beard and a prayer rug away from being Osama Bin Laden. The enemy is not Islam or Christianity. It is religious fundamentalism of all stripes. I have no doubt that LaHaye and his followers would happily do to non-Christians what Islamic Fundamentalists do to infidels if given free rein.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon, The “Doomsdayer”,Apparently Mo’s hallucinations did not stop with seeing “pretty wingie talking flying fictional thingies”.If you want to deprogram your Islamic cultish beliefs, follow the following Five Steps to Reality:”1. Belief in Allah””aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc.” should be added to your cleansing neurons.”2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.” Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.”3. To believe in the existence of angels.”A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented. “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels/”pwtfft”s to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans. Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today, we call them fortune tellers.Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.”5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad alone.”Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers. Accept these five “cleansers” and we guarantee a complete recovery from your orthodox Islamic brainwash!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Athena-“I have no doubt that LaHaye and his followers would happily do to non-Christians what Islamic Fundamentalists do to infidels if given free rein.” What are you saying? Who gave Islamic Fundamentalists “free rein”? What restrains Christians from taking “free rein”? I don’t undertand you.

  • artmann11

    [[[[“I think LaHaye is simply looking out for his fellow Americans. We need someone strong in office who really understands what true Islam is about not the whitewashed version your and the media are selling.]]]]”He’s not looking out for me, that’s for sure. Of course I’m no brainwashed Republican. LaHaye is a hate-filled war mongering zealot. What we need is someone in office who really understands maggots like LaHaye and what they really want to do to our country and the world. The whitewashed version of Christianity in the US is compromised by filthy rich Republican political operatives who use and manipulate them regularly. What you and yours are selling as evangelical Christianity is a sham, a scam and a political weapon to be used to destroy anyone in your quest for absolute power.

  • crewsin

    Dr. Lahaye comes out of the Southern Baptist tradition. A central teaching of that tradition is speaking the truth in love. While Baptist seek to coerce no one they seek to persuade by Scriptural reasoning the imperative of individual salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ. They cannot join in ecumenical worship services with Moslems because the Islamic god (Allah) is not the Christian God. They are not enemies of the Moslem people because God loves all people equally. However, Baptist seek a free church in a free state to practice their faith without coercion applied to them. They would like to see Islamic nations allow them the same freedom to evangelize that Baptist insist on in the USA. aavan

  • JOZEV Z On: Correction of SINS:

    APOCALYPTARIAN CIVILIZATION have “MODERN MORALITY” to Uphold & Make Honorable. AndPre-Apocalyptaic Humate , have “BIBLICAL MORALITY” to uphold!Hark: Modern Moralist Society is SUPERIOR to INFERIOR Biblical Moralists Society!It is a legend, that the “JOKTAN” RACE is come to Take back the Planet from the “PELEG RACE” & finally bring abour VICTORY OF THOUGHT here on Space-Ship Momma Poppa Earth as Promise US KIDS!Yea!

  • Arminius

    If we do not have the Common Word among Christians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others, we are heading to continual bloodshed and hatred.LaHaye apparently thinks that in Huckabee he has found the puppet that will lead the way for the boots of theocracy to stomp freedom in America.LaHaye and his compatriots have apparently never read the Gospels, so resplendent with Jesus’ message of love.

  • Hewitt

    Tim LaHaye wants war between Christianity and Islam. Radical Islam wants the same thing. The only difference between them the result. You have to wonder at how those like LaHaye and Concerned the Christian could be so stupid as to give Radical Islam exactly what it wants. Is the apocalypse so appealing?

  • H. Maulden

    Well done, Mr. Patel. LaHaye is part of the fundamentalist-Christian, political-far right. He is about scaring people who don’t know their Bibles well. We all know the story by now — fear begats power for the fear-mongers. In the case of the faux-Christian Prez Bush, it meant election/re-election. In the case of Mr. LaHaye, it means book sales, videogame deals and movie deals. I believe he and his ilk fit the dictionary definition of FASCIST. Shame on them all. Shame on Christians for letting themselves be used. It actually has had very little to do with Christianity and all to do with power. Kinda like Islamic fundamentalists. Moderates of all faiths need to do our part. The alternative is to wait until we have a theocracy.

  • Nelson R.

    In the pantheon of “Christian fundamentalism,” the Rev. Tim LaHaye is amongst the most radical and obtuse members. For many years, he has spoken out against any form of pluralism, tolerance or even being neighborly to one’s fellow man. To him, all must accept Jesus Christ as personal saviour, not even Catholics will be going to heaven because they “worship” idols.

  • Gaby

    Mr. Patel,Let me take a personal angle for a moment. Aside from the people you mentioned in your essay, I would call America a mostly pluralistic nation. I find average Americans accepting people from other cultures and although sometimes judgmental, overall I have never seen any major problems. We have the freedom to do or not to do many things that Islamic nations would never approve of. For some reason, as a female, I can not see myself going into a bar in Teheran, dressed in casual western style, order a beer, smoke a cigarette and have a nice conversation with the people around me. I would probably be lucky not to get stoned to death. That goes for other Middle Eastern countries as well.The issue is much more cultural than religious. What I am trying to say is “talk is cheap”. Unless the average Middle Eastern citizens can be more accepting of western style living and take a “live and let live” attitude, these differences will be with us for many years to come.I am not trying to say they have to change their lifestyle at home to accommodate us, but rather they have to become much more accepting of the west. As far as moving to America and clinging to homegrown traditions under all circumstances….. How does that saying go? When in Rome…….!!!

  • K

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without religion, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion” – Steven Weinberg.Maybe one day, humanity will be free of this madness. I suppose it takes a great deal of “faith” for me to say that.

  • jwest

    Tim Lahaye stated on the Glen(all is lost)Beck program that atheist were insane and needed to locked up, put away. I think he is insane and needs a padded room and a pacifier now. How we have come to listen to a man as far out there as he is and think he is valid is a surprise to me and indicator of the work this nation has to do to over come this religious bigotry before it is too late. Our politicians do nothing but validate this man’s insanity.

  • Tom B

    Really, Mr. LaHaye’s statement indicates how far the extreme Christian right has come. It wasn’t that long ago that Jews were also consigned to the fiery furnaces of Hell in the mind of American evangelicals. Maybe 30 or 40 years from now people like LaHaye will respect Hindus and Muslims too.

  • Roy

    “Speaking the truth in love”? LaHaye speaks his dogma in hate. He is just as scary and as much of a threat to America as the jihadist. Intolerant religious extremism is not limited only to the religions of our choosing. The religious extremists who call for hate and war are embedded in all religions as the Devil dances in delight.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Of course the Muslim and Christian Gods are not the same.The Muslim God (Allah) is the One Monotheistic God.The Christian God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is the Triune Polytheistic God.

  • steve Jacobson

    LaHaye is another in the cloak of Jimmy Swagart and Jerry Fallwell. A christian hypocrite who hates other than their believers and followers. Just keep raking in the money and pander to the hate groups. His organization damns gays while his gay son is the trasurer of his organization. He is against choice calling medical facilities abortuaries. His wife makes Tammy Faye look like Ava Gardner. Those who preach what God is wanting are usually left wanting except for the money they take from unknowing followers.

  • Pablo

    Norrie Hoyt,Christianity is not polytheistic believing in many gods. It is monotheistic believing in three distinct persons who are one God. Kind of like my wife and I are two persons but “one flesh.”Islam is different in that the Qur’an teaches that god is an absolute one with no partners.

  • Pablo

    Concerned the non Christian,Stop spreading heresy no good exegete would deny that the Apostle John is the author of the book of 1 John. You simply are a non-believer and need to repent of your unbelief.

  • Katja

    Both Islam and Christianity have had times and places of brutal totalitarianism, and both have had times of tolerance and acceptance of others.The first breeds al-Qaeda, Inquisitions, and other forms of infamous cruelty. The second brings the rich cultural exchanges of al-Andalus at its height or of America at its best today. Which do we want? Muslims, Christians, Jews, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus – whatever faith you are, the choice is yours. Which do we want?

  • crandall

    As far as the threat to Ameria, many think you saw it this morning. The Jewish lobby’s little erand boy, NY senator Schumer let the Jewish bank Citi group That Schumer and AIPAC so throughly control American policy is the real danger. Watch that.

  • crandall

    As far as the threat to Ameria, many think you saw it this morning. The Jewish lobby’s little erand boy, NY senator Schumer let the Jewish bank Citi group That Schumer and AIPAC so throughly control American policy is the real danger. Watch that.

  • Bob Jones

    12/10 will decideThe statehood of Kosovo, it recoginition by the European community and at the same time or very soon after, the seccision of a portion of Bosnia that is dominated by Serbs that Russia will find to its liking, yes very likely these acts will determine the fate of the world for quite awhile.. That’s right, the Balkans, as at the turn of the last century may well decide whether the Middle East and other areas of contention between Judeo-Christians and Muslims are solved with peace or war. Certainly the neglect of the Bush administration, Well why bother Bush has neglected almost all the world’s hotspots to start his own insanity in Iraq. Wakeup ladies and gentlemen The world stands at the brink and for the most part those in “leadership” positions, are well, shall we say, they have a lifelong deficient curiosity beyond there own little universe to see what portends for the future. Too bleak you say, well just sit back and watch because that is what are leaders have done.

  • Bob Jones

    12/10 will decideThe statehood of Kosovo, it recoginition by the European community and at the same time or very soon after, the seccision of a portion of Bosnia that is dominated by Serbs that Russia will find to its liking, yes very likely these acts will determine the fate of the world for quite awhile.. That’s right, the Balkans, as at the turn of the last century may well decide whether the Middle East and other areas of contention between Judeo-Christians and Muslims are solved with peace or war. Certainly the neglect of the Bush administration, Well why bother Bush has neglected almost all the world’s hotspots to start his own insanity in Iraq. Wakeup ladies and gentlemen The world stands at the brink and for the most part those in “leadership” positions, are well, shall we say, they have a lifelong deficient curiosity beyond there own little universe to see what portends for the future. Too bleak you say, well just sit back and watch because that is what are leaders have done.

  • Anurag

    Mr. Patel,Now I do not know of any Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, trying and massacring civilians, including Americans. So the hatred by Americans against non-Americans is mostly directed at Muslims and justifiably so.

  • Brad

    Sam Harris (of all people) was right when he said you cannot reasonably equate Christian fundamentalism with Islamic fundamentalism. While neither are positive in some aspects, they 2 simply don’t pose, logically, rationally, the same level of threat to humanity. To put the difference in a succinct summary, Christian fundamentalists push for prayer in schools, Islamic fundamentalists blow them up. Brad

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Pablo,Your breeding, birth and brainwashing in orthodox, “Bible only” Christianity continues to exudes from your bible thumping neurons.With respect to John’s Gospel and John’ epistles, from Professor/Father Raymond Brown in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (The book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Catholic Church),John’s Gospel, Date- 80-110 CE, Traditional Attribution, (2nd Century), St. John, one of the Twelve, Author Detectable from the Contents, One who regards himself in the tradition of the disciple. First Epistle of John, Authenticity- Certainly by a writer in the Johannine tradition, probably NOT by the one responsible for most of the Gospel. From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus, From “Since “the higher criticism” of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] “[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,”[5] and date it to 90-100.””The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle.”See also

  • gezelda

    Fundamentalists think there is only one way — theirs. Liberals think there are many ways, some better than others. Fundamentalists cannot change because their sense of safety depends entirely upon being “right” and not “wrong.” Liberals can change because their sense of safety depends upon making the best choice among many. That’s why liberals always try to make peace and despise war while fundamentalists go to war easily and persist even in the face of huge losses. There are fundamentalists and liberals on all questions, not just on politics or religion. Since fundamentalists find it so difficult to accept change, it is up to liberals to figure out and suggest compromises, bit by bit. Gradually fundamentalists can learn, and become “unstuck” from previous beliefs, but not unless liberals are wise, kind and abaove all, persistent.

  • Jan

    Excellent thoughts.If you come from a faith that teaches Love, NEVER listen to anyone who preaches Fear.

  • Jan

    And for those of you naive enough to believe that Christian fundamentalism isn’t as violent as any other fundamentalism…

  • Aminah Yaquin Carroll

    Beautiful Post, Bro. Patel.

  • Pablo

    Concerned the Non Christian now Enslaved to Sin,I have finally come up with a pseudonym name that more rightly fits your condition. I understand how you feel because I once was enslaved to sin also. I am not saying that I do not sin anymore I do but sin is no longer my master. Jesus broke the chains by dying on the cross and raising from the dead.

  • Pablo

    Concerned the non-Christian,Of course his authorship is being disputed. All the God inspired writers of the Bible are always being disputed. This is because Satan hates the word of God and people do not like anything that says they are accountable to God. Father Raymond Brown is spreading heresy. By the way I am not Catholic and do not hold to traditions in the Catholic Church that contradict God’s infallible, inerrant, living, God breathed word of God. Again you need to repent and stop listening to liberal non believing critics.

  • GeorgiaSon

    I swear that I believe in tolerance and the virtues of a pluralistic society. I’m baffled as to how comparing LaHaye’s nonsense with orthodox Islam helps advance enlightened debate. Tim LaHaye is recognized as one of the quintessential examples of Christian extremists. An overwhelming number of his fellow Americans consider him to be ridiculous, even comical. His following represents some minute portion of the population of the United States. His wing nut sect of Christianity is in the process of imploding. It has less influence today than it did five years ago.The period of their heyday was exactly the period during which the Muslim population of the United States exploded. Muslims are able to move to America and freely practice their religion, and the theological claptrap of a Tim Lahaye doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in determining their ability to do so. A Muslim’s freedom of religion is guaranteed by the US Constitution, no more and no less than it guarantees a Chrisian’s freedom of religion.Compare that with the situation in any orthodox Muslim country. Not a Muslim country controlled by Osama bin Ladin or any of the Muslim extremists. Just an ordinary, average Muslim country. Try to be a Christian and freely practice your religion in that orthodox, mainstream Muslim country. In some, it is against the law to even bring a Bible into the country. You can be arrested for even carrying a Bible in public. Try to establish a store-front Christian church, much less build a new church where Christians can freely worship.Try to preach any message that the rulers disagree with. For example, state that you believe that your Christian beliefs demands that you advocate full legal equality for women. Try that particularly in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and the site of its most holy shrines. Try, as a Christian, to join hundreds of thousands of your fellow Christians and immigrate to an orthodox Muslim country, establish a thriving Christian community in the heart of a city in that orthodox Islamic country, and live 99.9% of the time without any harassment or even attention from any government authority–like the Islamic community in Detroit or Los Angeles. Try doing that in an orthodox Islamic country.I could go on and on, but I presume you get the point. There is a great, yawning gap between Western Christianity and orthodox Islam. It is an exercise in demagoguery to try to paper it over with pablum about how we are all really brothers, or all equally committed to equality, or all equally guilty of religious bigotry and discrimination. That simply is not true. It is a lie. Christians have been practicing religious tolerance for hundreds of years. Muslims are locked in a mind frame comparable to the Christian mind frame in the 14th century. That’s why the Muslim population of the United States and the West is exploding, at the same time that the much older Christian population in Muslim countries is declining. That’s why they are here, and I’m not there.

  • I was so intrigued

    I shared this with a couple very christian friends – challenging them to explain their view of it. I look forward to their responses.your statement is indeed critical – I am a pluralist and always have been. Thank you for sharing this concept so clearly.Tom

  • G. F.

    Beautiful simply beautiful.I am of the hunch that Mr. LaHaye like the Repuglican fascists who just finished debating, linked “Islam with terrorism,” believe it is a war.I can’t forget the self-rigteous, aggrandizing Duncan Hunter telling the people, “Who gave them (by which I presume Muslims) water, food, shelter after hurricane. We don’t apologize for America.”By which I mean trying to win hearts and minds after you bombing the hell of out them is not my way of saying you’re generous. You truly want to be generous Mr. Hunter then start with loving your Muslim neighbors both at home and abroad (remember what would Jesus do?) and stop invading their lands, occuyping them, installing gov’t that can provide contracts to your energy companies…and building a permanent bases there, as Mr. Paul eloquently stated. Maybe then you’d have some semblance to lecture them about being their “hero.”Anyway Eboo, I’m with you…I wish I could sign that letter aswell.

  • Anonymous

    GeorgiaSon,You are just a PC robot that thinks if you tact the word “extremist” to what you are saying that you have made a point. I am sure you believe something with conviction should I then call you an extremist as a way of devaluing what you are saying?

  • Rob

    To “Concerned”, ref your comment to Pablo…Why don’t you try reading some of William Lane Craig (if you can) or R.C. Sproul and stop mouthing the silly liberal claptrap garbage from the notoriously leftist and secular academia elitists.

  • Charles Hammond, Jr., PhD

    Outstanding commentary. Clear, succinct and articulate.And on the side of peace, no matter what religion one embraces (or even if one embraces no religion at all).We must live together. It’s that simple.

  • michael lonergan

    Thanks Eboo you hit the nail on the head there with the distinction between pluralists and totalitairans.

  • E favorite

    Rob, you refer to “silly liberal claptrap garbage from the notoriously leftist and secular academia elitists”Could you mention some specific references and demonstrate logically how they are garbage? If you can do it, it would be much more effective than just calling names – that’s kid stuff.Thanks – looking forward to your reply.

  • stephen

    Hey can you get this essay right over to those goons who want to whip a woman and shred her back to pieces because a child in her class chose to name her teddy bear mohamad? Then send it over to the rulers in Saudi Arabia who want to give a woman 200 lashes and rip her back to shreds because she was raped…..The sooner we relegate ALL religions to the ash heap of history the sooner we can all get along just fine. At the moment the Western religions are doing a much better job of go along to get along there is no doubt about that. The islamic crowd especially those nut jobs in Saudi Arabia are the real problem, Our home grown nut jobbers will fade out and become irrelevent after the hucksters get their retirement funds in place (see Oral roberts university). The islamic problen is more profound in that it is the basis of governments and laws such that each generation is “forced”to participate and continue the fraud that religion is in the first place thus giving a constant breeding ground for Osamas et al to flourish. Osama would not be the hater that he is today if it were not for the whabiast philosophy that filled his mind with the garbage of hate. THe garbage of hate is here in America as well except at least for now it is not a government policy……..thank goodness and clear thinking……..NOT GOD.

  • lapidaryblue

    I think he’s talking about George W. Bush:”America and our Judeo-Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more destructive than any America has faced (since Hitler) … “

  • RJ St. Thomas

    I think that the opinions expressed here are pretty good. It seems that throughout my life time, which isn’t that long, I have seen hat brokered between these two sects on a mere lack of understanding. The quote about Christians being surprised that peace and loving your neighbor are foundations of the Islam world show the ignorance of the religious world as a whole. Here it seems that each religion is fighting for converts and to maintain power on the world stage… this undermines the foundations that are actually taught and foster hatred where there should be none. If the foundation of these two prominent religions is love and peace, then why so much fear and hatred. It seems that the letters between the Muslim world and the Christian world have succeeded in bringing this schism to light and the necessity to do something about it. Perhaps something that would work would be to teach about religions and their foundations/rituals/beliefs in school when children are young, so that an understanding can be reached. I understand that a whole bunch of people will stand up against this saying “NO CHURCH IN SCHOOLS!!! NO CHURCH AND STATE”. But this has become a plainly misguided view. I my self am at least agnostic, if not atheistically inclined, but in order to teach tolerance and empathy, we must educate about those that are different. If children where taught that we are all pretty much the same, the common question of “why does everyone fight and hate each other” would come up. The simple explanation would be, because they don’t understand. If a generation were able to be raise on a basis of education, tolerance would be a much easier thing to achieve. We hate because we do not know, but just maybe the opposite of that could be true as well.

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