Islam and Dutch Tolerance

The Netherlands is a nation long known for its emphasis on tolerance and liberal thinking. However those qualities are being put to the test at the moment with the trial of politician Geert Wilders. The outspoken MP has been at the forefront of warning against the Islamisation of Holland and Europe. For his troubles he is now on trial.

Wilders has been charged with “incitement and discrimination against Muslims” in his numerous public speeches and writings. Hate speech crimes are alive and well in Holland, and if convicted he can face up to two years in prison.

Just prior to the trial (which began on January 20) Wilders said, “I am being prosecuted for my political convictions. The freedom of speech is on the verge of collapsing. If a politician is not allowed to criticise an ideology anymore this means that we are lost, and it will lead to the end of our freedom. However, I remain combative: I am convinced that I will be acquitted.”

These so-called “hate speech” charges are a real test of Dutch tolerance, Western values, and freedom of speech. They are also in effect a test on whether those concerned about the spread of Islam have the freedom to express their opinions in public. How the trial ends will be of extreme importance for all concerned about such issues.

Indeed, so crucial is this trial, that a recent symposium has been held with a number of experts weighing in on the issue. Their comments are worth citing here. I begin with Egyptian writer, Bat Ye’or, who is an expert on dhimmitude – how Islam treat non-Muslims as second-class citizens. She begins:

“Muslims might feel insulted by Geert Wilders’ opinions on Islam. However, Geert Wilders and non-Muslims feel insulted – threatened — by the hostile and negative opinions on them enshrined in Muslim holy books, laws and customs. These are not hidden or dismissed as outdated, but continuously and proudly published, taught and publicly expounded throughout the world — without being opposed by Muslim leaders.”

She concludes, “Western governments must decide whether they judge by Western or shariah laws. Wilders has defied shariah law, and, as a consequence, his life is in constant danger. It seems to me that the threats against him are the real crimes the Netherlands should address. If Wilders is convicted, Europeans will see in such a verdict the suppression of their own freedom to defend themselves and their submission to dhimmitude….

“The Free World is watching and listening. Buying Europe’s security by appeasement, political correctness, self-censorship and the Palestinisation of society, will lead only to civil wars. Humans have short memories. But history will record that Wilder’s trial will either condemn freedom of speech, or support this most precious right of Mankind against intellectual terror and cultural totalitarianism.”

Daniel Pipes said, in part, “Who is the most important European alive today? I nominate the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. I do so because he is best placed to deal with the Islamic challenge facing the continent. He has the potential to emerge as a world-historical figure.

“The Islamic challenge consists of two components: on the one hand, an indigenous population’s withering Christian faith, inadequate birthrate, and cultural diffidence, and on the other an influx of devout, prolific, and culturally assertive Muslim immigrants. This fast-moving situation raises questions about Europe retaining its historic civilization; will it become a majority-Muslim continent living under Islamic law (the Shari‘a)?”

He finishes this way: “Although I disagree with Wilders about Islam (I respect the religion but fight Islamists with all I have), we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against this lawsuit. I reject the criminalization of political differences and the attempted thwarting of a political movement through the courts. Accordingly, the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project has worked on Wilders’ behalf, raising substantial funds for his defense and helping in other ways. Wilders today represents all those Westerners who cherish their civilization. The outcome of his trial has implications for us all.”

Canadian David Harris said this: “Wilders sees the tripartite menace of Islamism. He sounds the alarm on the threat and actuality of growing terrorist violence. He identifies Islamic radicalism as in many cases a preparatory phase for this violence and associated subversion. And he sees that a ‘soft jihad’ is also afoot, a nonviolent jihad of demands to privilege Muslims within society, demands that are contrary to every constitutional principle of equality known to Western liberal values – and the Dutch constitution. In short, Wilders recognizes the range of the threat, from the violent rampages of outright terrorists to the charm offensives of business-suited Islamists.

“There are serious worries that, underlying the Dutch prosecution, is a wish to silence someone who is embarrassing governing politicians wishing to ingratiate themselves with the increasing numbers of fundamentalist Dutch Muslims and mosques. There is also suspicion that anything less than highly-visible state-persecution of Wilders could lead to Islamist assaults on Dutch interests, at home and abroad, similar to those that cost the Danes so heavily during the Mohammed Cartoon Affair. Genuine human rights activists worldwide, are mustering to Wilders’ side, in the growing conviction that Dutch law is being put to uses contrary to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and more in line with sharia law standards and sensibilities.”

Diana West put it this way: “I cannot overestimate the epochal importance of the court proceeding taking place next Wednesday the 20th in the Netherlands where Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial for an array of charges that arises from his courageous and increasingly successful efforts to lead his countrymen against the Islamization of their country and the wider West. A man of political action, Wilders has been targeted not just for his political speech, but for his effectiveness as an advocate of liberty and pluralism, neither of which can survive in societies that are governed by, or in thrall to sharia (Islamic law).

“It is not just the repressions and depredations of Islam that Wilders is outspoken about — a subject well-ploughed by certain academics and journalists alike. He is equally if almost singularly outspoken about the political remedies necessary to halt the extension of Islam’s law. Such remedies include stopping Islamic immigration and deporting agents of jihad. These are simple measures any democratic state that wished to repeal Islamization would take. These are simple measures that the Netherlands would take if Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom, which now rivals the country’s ruling party, ever came to power.

“It is a political trial, then, in the worst sense, that we are about to witness. And it is about more than the future of freedom of speech. The trial of Geert Wilders is about the future of freedom.”

Mark Steyn had this to say about the trial: “Behind this disgraceful prosecution lies a simple truth that the Dutch establishment cannot tell its people – that, unless something changes, their nation will become more and more Muslim and, very soon, slip past the point of no return. They understand the tensions between their ever more assertive Muslim population and an aging ‘native’ working class, but they believe that the problem can be managed by placing “the European conversation” – the non-subterranean conversation – within ever narrower constraints, and criminalizing any opinions outside those bounds. Some of them are blinkered and stupid enough to think that they need to do this in order to save the tolerant multicultural society from ‘right wingers’ like Wilders. In fact, all they are doing is hastening the rate at which their society will be delivered into the hands of the avowedly intolerant and unicultural. In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.”

There are plenty of other valuable comments found in this helpful symposium, and readers are invited to peruse it all. The outcome of this trial will be extremely significant indeed. Will Islam and its demands for submission prevail, or will common sense, freedom of speech, and Western democratic values prevail? We shall soon find out.

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29 Replies to “Islam and Dutch Tolerance”

  1. As to be expected, the more Dhimmitudinous a country becomes, they harsher they treat any critics of Islam. It’s just the old Churchill definition of appeasement: feeding your friends one by one to a crocodile, in the hope that it eats you last. The same happened in Canada, as Mark Steyn reports:

    This sounds very familiar. During my long battles with Canada’s disgusting and corrupt “human rights” thought-police, I was frequently told (by lawyers, experts, “human rights” activists, Islamists et al) that “truth is no defense.” The factual accuracy of what I’d written was never in dispute; it was whether or not it was legal to say it, however accurate it may be. And so it goes at Geert Wilders’s show trial:

    “It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”.

    An “Openbaar Ministerie” sounds like my kind of government department, where the booze flows as freely as the trillion-dollar line-items. But it is, in fact, the prosecution service of the Dutch Ministry of Justice — although, given the state of Dutch “justice,” the Ministry for Openly Barring Persons may be a more accurate translation.

    What I find striking about the arrangements for this “trial” is that the Dutch state has declined to provide Mr. Wilders with the same degree of security they lavished on Theo van Gogh’s killer. You’d almost get the impression it would suit them if he failed to survive till the verdict.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  2. I have read one of Bat Ye’or’s books and would be happy to read the rest of her output. Very strongly recommended. She is an honest and efficient scholar.

    Appeasement is motivated by fear. No doubt the perception that others are afraid of them would please some Moslems. With regard to Mr Wilders, what we need is an international effort to lend him moral support. And we can refuse to shut up.

    John Snowden

  3. The Left that rule in so many European countries are so intoxicated with the notion of “equality” that they have lost any ability to recognise real evil and the threat it could pose to their country. So they wish instead to fawn and grovel to “excluded” Islamic minorities and ignore the stealth jihad going on under their noses.

    Dennis Prager makes the point well in his column “The Left Hates Inequality, Not Evil” about the Left’s inability to recognise true evil

    “Today, this inability to either recognize or to hate evil is manifested in the liberal opposition to the war in Iraq. As I pointed out in a previous column, opponents of the war should be asked to at least acknowledge that America is fighting evil people and an evil doctrine in Iraq. But even that is difficult, if not impossible, for most people on the Left.

    As noted above, everyone hates someone, and that includes people on the Left. The problem is that because they don’t hate evil, they hate those who oppose evil. That is how liberals went from anti-communist to anti-anti-communist. To paraphrase one of the greatest moral insights of the Talmud, those who show mercy to the cruel will be cruel to the merciful. So, George W. Bush, not the Islamic terror world, is the Left’s villain; life-embracing Israel is the Left’s villain, not their death-loving enemies; and religious Christians who note moral weaknesses within the Islamic world are the real danger, not the moral weaknesses within the Islamic world.”

    Damien Spillane

  4. Daniel Pipes also has a good site at

    Yes the socialist Left have nowhere to go since the fall of the Berlin Wall. They are also devastated when the second toughest Commo regime fell in Albania; now they are only consoled by North Korea.
    Hence the socialist Left, who hate religion, are temproarily supporting a religion just so as to boost thier own ineffectiveness. So the socialist Left run the Greens as we all know as one way to attack our mixed market economies. With their pretend love affair with Islam, they should realise that Muslims understand that their love is insincere.
    The way forward is through truth telling about religion and a self examination on how to improve the mixed economies of our own nation and generally around the world. Sure the socialist Left is wrong but that doesn’t mean that Christians, if they be real Christians,should be adopting libertarian and liberal consumer only based economic policies. For that is also a denial of justice.
    Michael Webb

  5. Thanks Michael

    But with all due respect, you can be a bit of a broken record here. It seems no matter what the issue I write on, you keep dragging up your economics agenda. It does get somewhat tedious after a while, especially when it is not fully germane to the topic at hand. In this article the main subject was not economics but Islam and Holland. Perhaps you can be advised to set up your own website so that you can write on your pet topic to your heart’s content. As I state in my commenting rules, those who want to keep pushing their own agenda are free to do so – but not here. OK?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Whilst we may look in wonder and amazement at this frontal attack by Islam on freedoms of the west, that have take centuries to win and the blood of countless men, women and children, we seem to be oblivious to the fact that simultaneously secularist forces within the citadel are destroying the defences.

    Today, Monday 25th 2010 in the House of Lords, London, a potentially catastrophic amendment to the Equality Bill will be debated and voted on. In effect this will paralyse Christians, in particular, but those of all faiths and none, to act and live according to their beliefs – a liberty that has been fought for and enshrined, though not always perfectly – in Britain since the Reformation.

    This really is the big one: the onslaught by Islam from without and secularism from within are being played simultaneously even as I type. Meanwhile people go about their business; worry about the economy; climate change; the war in Afghanistan; who will be voted off the next TV programme and the weather – completely and utterly oblivious to the immanent disaster that is about overtake them.

    When Abraham was pleading to God for the survival of Sodom, God said that if he could find ten god fearing people in that city, then he would not destroy it. I have put up a petition to the government asking that the amendment to the Equality Bill will be removed – today in the House of lords. In just under a month, or three weeks (I have lost count), the petition has collected how many votes? How many believing Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and those who value freedom of speech and conscience do you think exist in Britain out of a population of 61,399,118? Will God find six million? one million? half a million? a hundred thousand even? No, just over 31,000. How the enemies must laugh.

    Looking through the list of names of the signatories one can see a mix of races and ethnicity, but there is one name above all that is missing: “Mohammed.” Though invited to sign up to the petition Muslims have remained singularly shy. Is this due to fear of being seen to identify with other faiths or is it that they see that it is to their advantage that Christians in particular, in Britain, are driven underground? It is probably a mixture of both.

    TS Eliot (1888–1965) wrote: “If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.”

    If there is anyone with a UK passport, no matter where you might be globally, I would urge you to declare yourselves by signing the petition:

    David Skinner, UK

  7. Churchill, when trying to alert Parliament to the threat of Nazism, in 1938, said: “I foresee and foretell that the policy of submission will carry with it restrictions upon the freedom of speech and debate in Parliament, on public platforms, and discussions in the Press, for it will be said – indeed, I hear it said sometimes now – that we cannot allow the nazi system of dictatorship to be criticised by ordinary common English politicians. And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”

    Well Mr Churchill that bitter cup is with us like never before and I fear that Britain, Holland and most of the western world has indeed lost the moral health and martial vigour to rise again and take its stand for freedom as in the olden times.

    David Skinner, UK

  8. In reply to Mike Webb – the old adage is at play here “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, the Socialist describing the relationship between themselves, islam and Christianity. Socialism is simply Christianity without God. I have been openly praying for Geert Wilders and the Dutch people to stand up to muslim oppression and the pathetic appeasing government they have got at the moment because once the muslims get a foothold – make no mistake about it – they will not respect the Dutch way of life and will trample it underfoot. I think this trial has the potential to bring down the current government so they had better tread very very carefully indeed. I also often wonder what sort of treatment at the hands of muslims the left wing appeasing politicians who sell their countries and their countrymen down the drain expect to get once their countires are under muslim control – will the new muslim liberators reward them? Not bloody likely! It would be interesting to interview one of them and ask them this very question. Any suggestions Bill?

    Steve Davis

  9. David, thank you for your input. I love England, especially the English : ), but it is showing the signs of a nation that has long forgotten God, apart from a faithful remenant. I wish I could be there in one sense to stand up with you guys, however I have just signed the petition through your link. We serve an awesome God who we can not forget is totally in control.

    I am currently reading the Quran which was recently given to me by a custormer, I want to know more about what Islam is based on so that I can be a bit more informed as to where they are coming from and to identify the main difference between our faiths. I am only 44 pages into it and have a long way to go but the funny thing is as I was reading it the other night I drew closer and worshipped God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son and thanked him for His written word the Bible and for revealing Himself to me, “what a mercy” as Mr. Jeremy Fisher would way. My hope and prayer is that I would be able to share my faith or what I believe with this customer knowing that is is only God who can change hearts through the Holy Spirit. God Bless Brother and keep keeping on.

    Jenny Johnson, Vic

  10. Thanks Steve

    Given that most Dutch MPs would speak English, it would probably not be too hard to get in touch with them and ask them those very questions, although they probably already have been asked such things. As to your throw-away line, “Socialism is simply Christianity without God”: well, no it isn’t any such thing. But we will leave that debate for another time.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Michael Webb refers to the unholy alliance of the Left and radical Islam: this is very strong in Britain, and I fancy at least one far-left party have a formal agreement with an Islamicist group. I note that Webb, when listing extant Communist countries, doesn’t mention China – but Communism-watchers shouldn’t take their eyes off China for one moment – and China seems to be in line to be be the next Number 1 superpower … As Noel Coward’s song goes, “There are bad times just around the corner …” (Oh, and did I mention the imminent Iranian atom bomb …?)
    John Thomas, UK

  12. What is taking place in Holland is soon coming to a state near you. It has already happened in Victoria. The trial judge prohibited Daniel Scott from saying anything critical about Islam anywhere in Australia. The sentence was overturned on appeal but it had the effect the government of Victoria wanted. Everyone in that state was put on notice, say something critical of Islam and you will find yourself in court. They are cheering in the mosques and Victorians applaud the loss of their freedom by voting for their beloved government.
    Des Morris

  13. God bless you Jenny Johnson and yes, when we go into the Bible, we are lifted up and see history through God’s eyes. God is in control and working out His purposes. Success in these battles is not our responsibility. The war is God’s. What is our responsibility is to be obedient and to keep declaring the Truth of Jesus Christ. Thank you for signing the petition which is the only one on the No 10 E- Petitions website that appears to be moving steadily through the field. A few weeks ago we started at fiftieth and now we are imminently about to be fourth. And keep urging people to sign it, right up until our elections that will take place at the end of April. No matter what happens today in the House of Lords, if we get a good enough number of signatures, over a 100,000, this will send a strong message to those seeking election.

    David Skinner, UK

  14. Des Morris, you are so right. Though the two Dannies might have won their case, the damage as been done. The lesson has been learnt. In the UK we have examples of teachers, magistrates, registrars and nurses being demoted and sacked because their views about homexuality and though they might get re instated they now keep their heads down, thankful that they still have a job and are able to continue feeding their families.

    We must stick together, not look the other way and not fight these battles alone. Get mobilised.

    David Skinner, UK

  15. All these years of listening to the fanatics trying to take over the world and persecuting & killing humans of other faiths , and spreading their version of sharia, i must now make known the true meaning of the word sharia which comes from “shar” which is explained by our Saint Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi as the “universal ongoing process of spiritual ‘inspiration’ and unveiling that is the existential core of every human being’s uniquely individuated spiritual life….”. It is NOT what they have been trying to do. They cannot take over the world, they cannot save a Soul or destroy any, it is in the hands of God. They will be answerable. My job is too state this clearly to those I have encountered but it is not my job to save or force anyone. Neither is it their’s. We have been commanded in the Koran “….and dispute ye not with the People of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation),…..”surah29,verse (ayat) 46. We are commanded to discourse not force or threaten or not allow anyone to speak up. I have also read The Prophets promise to the Christians & it is commanded by him that the Christians are to be protected by the Moslems. I know your point of view & opinion of the last few years of the Prophet and your interpretation of the Qur’an, it is your right. I am not affected by them, I am sad though at times of what is said but i have an important job to do and that is I also know I must speak up too against the falsities created by those “moslems” that have an agenda to rule, take over, kill etc etc.they will however, fail, for there is only One Will & that is the Creators. I will not stop in spreading this truth but i am not naive, i also know that they are the majority who will use all sorts of means to stop any peace . But my faith will help me. Whilst there are fanaticals who are destroying the relationship between the two faiths there are many more who dont want this too happen. As I read that you are to fight against those who try to harm you, I have been fighting, not about who is right or wrong for I dont know the secrets of God, for I can only strive but about understanding that we have no right of life or death over another. It is His domain.
    Siti Khatijah

  16. Thanks Bill for alerting us to this. I hadn’t heard of this ‘development’ until now, but somehow I’m not surprised. It strikes me that Geert Wilders has been raised up by God to be the Europe’s Churchill of the hour. May we pray and believe that the voices of international concern such as Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes and the likes, will continue to grow in number and volume to stand with this courageous man and see true justice prevail over the PC version.

    The parable Jesus told of the persistent widow in Luke 18 comes to mind. Though these Dutch ‘Justices’ may not care for the justice of Wilder’s cause, but because of the growing groundswell of those who lift their voice in support of his, they may come to their senses and pass down a ‘just’ sentence.

    Bill do you have any practical suggestions as to what we can do to enlist/encourage the support from other experts with ‘internationl voices’. I feel a bit like a bird on a phone wire – it’s all there but how to best tap into it?

    Michelle Shave, WA

  17. Joe Witchurch infers another strategy that we in Australia could consider.
    Australia could mount a legal challenge in the Anti-Discrimination courts that the Qur’an teaches discrimination, subjugation and death to certain easily identified peoples, and therefore should be excised out of our society.

    Am I missing something, besides a few million dollars for legal counsel, or am I lacking an understanding of who has equal rights under this Act, or are we Christians lacking intestinal fortitude?

    Ray Robinson

  18. Aiding the Jihadists (“hard” or “soft”) in their crusade against honesty hurts Islam at least as much as Christianity or any other group of people.

    Isaac alone carried the Covenant, however Ishmael & the six sons of Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2) also inherited the other huge blessings given through the descendants of Abram, & have definitely served God’s purpose (such as Moses’ long sabbatical in Midian, or the Children of the East building a political crescent which contained Constantine’s quasi-religious political movement within Europe) since.

    With this in mind, more care needs to be exercised about condemning Islam for the activities of their Jihadists than they use in condemning Christianity for their Inquisitions or each group uses in condemning the other for the Crusades.

    We don’t want to find ourselves working against the purposes of God through over-excitement, through following our ideas in place of His (Proverbs 3:5-7,11-12).

    Leon Brooks

  19. Hi Ray,

    I’m not a lawyer, but I suspect that even with the best of arguments no judge would be willing to hand down such a controversial judgement. Even if there was, the government would simply make the ruling a dead letter by amending the Act to specifically exempt the Koran.

    Mansel Rogerson

  20. Thanks Leon

    I have written elsewhere about a phony moral equivalence between Islam and Christianity (“Yes, Islam may have a few bad eggs, but so too does Christianity…”). I reject that view completely. There is no moral and theological similarity between the two at all. See for example,

    And you are on quite slippery ground to suggest that we cannot be concerned about something and/or oppose it, because it might somehow be working in God’s overall purposes. In a sense Hitler was being used as part of God’s purposes, just as Pharaoh was. Even Satan and his demons can in a sense be seen as working in the greater purposes of God. By your faulty reasoning Moses was wrong to resist Pharaoh, the Allies were wrong to resist Hitler, and Christians are wrong to resist the demonic. Somehow I don’t think all these people were guilty of “over-excitement” as you put it as they battled evil and sought to work for good. So you need to clear up some of your quite fuzzy thinking here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  21. It is a well-known fact that the Prophet of Islam was a supremely successful man in human history. But he was not just a hero, as Thomas Carlyle has called him. According to the Qur’an, he was a good example for all mankind. He has shown us the way of achieving supreme success in this world.

    But I want to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Mohammed (peace be upon him). They say, ‘I’m ready to accept Mohammed (peace be upon him) as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be the supreme prophet of God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Mohammed said (peace be upon him) would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the supreme teacher, Prophet of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call him, Mohammed (peace be upon), the most blessed of the whole creation, the greatest and the most accomplished commander, and the most celebrated ruler among them, the most exalted in speech and the most brilliant in intellect, (even atheists like Bernard Shaw would worship him) and who has enlightened fourteen centuries with his virtues and with his Qur’an. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – With apologies to C.S Lewis.

    David Skinner, UK

    By the way we won the vote in the house of lords. The battle is won but the war continues.

  22. ” In a sense Hitler was being used as part of God’s purposes”

    What sense would that be? Hitler freely chose to inflict terrible evil on others. I do not recall him saying he was God’s instrument. And even if he did, that would not make it true. Did the popes who had to deal with him see him as part of God’s purpose?

    John Snowden

  23. Thanks John

    Yes Hitler was certainly responsible for his actions, and will pay the penalty accordingly.

    But the answer also depends on one’s theological viewpoint. The more one advocates the sovereignty of God, the more one may argue that nothing is outside of God’s control. The more one advocates human free will, the more one will see such things as totally out of God’s control. Scripture certainly seems to affirm both truths (divine sovereignty, human responsibility). The biblical balance is there somewhere, but it is of course a huge and complex issue, one not easily answered in a short comment.

    However, the Bible makes it clear that God can and does use even tyrants for his purposes. That is clear about Pharaoh and the Egyptians, for example, or the barbaric Assyrians (see Isaiah 10), and any number of other ruthless pagan rulers and nations. But at the same time these individuals and nations are held fully accountable for their evil actions. Again, it is a complex and nuanced discussion, which I could barely broach in a large article, but maybe I will write this up soon.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  24. Thanks Mansel. However I would submit that the judge has to implement the law and that appears to be rather definite.
    However the judge could also argue a precedent which then would have to be tested on an appeal to the High Court.

    Surely it is worth a try? Bill?

    Ray Robinson

  25. Thanks Ray

    My main concern is that given how bad these various anti-discrimination and vilification laws are, and how hard so many of us fought against them, I am rather loathe to turn around and then use them – even for a good end. I think I would rather keep working to overturn these lousy laws, and lousy bodies like the EOC, etc.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  26. ” In a sense Hitler was being used as part of God’s purposes” – Bill

    “What sense would that be”? – John Snowdon

    Surely Hitler was being used as part of God’s purposes in the sense as expressed in Rm 8:28 “All things God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to his purposes.”

    Isn’t it now pretty much accepted wisdom that because of the atrocities perpetuated upon the Jewish people during Hiltler’s holocaust, the nation of Israel came into being via a UN ruling in order to give the Jews their own land to prevent any such future crimes and so to fulfill God’s promise of their restoration to the Promised land? (see Is 66:8). He brought good out of evil, He overcame evil with good. So in this sense God used Hitler, as He does other such dictators and tyrants, for His purposes.

    Michelle Shave, WA

  27. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear enough in what I said.

    There is some moral equivalence between Ishmael & the sons of Keturah (forex, Midianite/Ishmaelite are used interchangeably in Genesis 37:28) however, Isaac’s character & commission were/are evidently quite distinct.

    Yes, us being concerned about something, even opposing it, may also be a part of God’s plans. Knowing more about the background & circumstances of the thing is likely to better prepare us to change the way in which we react to better fit those plans.

    I’m sure that God would find the results pleasing if we were more open to gently, patiently leading a spiritual Ishmaelite to accept fuller truth than (s)he now has, so reducing the conflict without compromising that truth.

    This in turn would enable them to take a more effective place in God’s plans, & also prepare us, in carefully considering our own positions, to escape our own prejudices (our “over-excitement”) in preference for doing things more completely in God’s way.

    That may sound like high moral ground; it is intended more as a reflection on the principles & patterns involved. The reality would necessarily be a lot more gritty.

    Leon Brooks

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