Tolerance, Offence, and Appeasing Those Who Would Behead Us

While President Obama was engaged in more appeasement and dhimmitude at the UN, those he is trying to protect and assuage were demanding that the heads of those who resist Islam be publically posted along roads as a testimony to the religion of peace.

The contrast couldn’t be greater. In true grovelling fashion, BHO spoke in vacuous terms about tolerance and the like, but never was able to identify the real problem we are now facing. Never one to actually name our enemies, and always one to bend over backwards in appeasement to Islam, his remarks were as typical as they are despicable.

And of course the most worrying line of his entire speech was the one the lamestream media refused to even mention. Since they won’t, I will: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Yep, that is what the POTUS actually said. At least I was not the only one floored by this incredible remark. Others also reacted with horror that someone who has sworn to protect the American people could say something so utterly moronic.

Ben Shapiro for example said this: “Today, President Barack Obama betrayed American ideals at the United Nations by blithely equating ongoing Islamist violence with American exercise of free speech. He said that in the future, our world would be ruled by ‘tolerance.’

“Not tolerance of other points of view, of course, since that might encourage people to speak freely – and speaking freely offends people. No, by tolerance, President Obama meant silence. Why? Since silence can’t offend anyone, and speaking out stridently on politics and religion is a form of violence. Seriously.”

Indeed. And BHO was also quite happy to quote this silliness from Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Yeah right. Shapiro continues: “Those who ‘slander the prophet of Islam’ are people exercising their right to free speech.

“And as for that quote from Gandhi, it just proves the old adage that just because a wise man said it doesn’t mean it’s wise. In fact, it’s absolute stupidity. Intolerance is not a form of violence. Violence is a form of violence. Our Founders didn’t break off from Great Britain because they were tolerant of Great Britain. They broke off because they were intolerant of its strictures. That’s why the First Amendment is the First Amendment, and not the Twentieth. Free speech is sacrosanct. Yet Obama compares it to murder, torture, and dictatorship on the world stage.”

While our out-of-touch Prez was pontificating on tolerance and appeasement, some of those who certainly don’t need to be tolerated or appeased were telling us what they really think. As Bob Unruh reports: “A jihadi writer who has praised the murderer of a Dutch filmmaker is offering a suggestion to cut down on the criticism of Islam around the globe: Behead the critics and post their heads along roads. Oh, and post a sign that says, ‘This is the punishment of those who insult our prophet.’

“The report comes from the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, a unit of the Middle East Media Research Center. The organization, which monitors Middle East media, said the comments were made by Muhib Ru’yat al-Rahman, a senior writer of a leading jihadi forum called Shumoukh al-Islam. He suggested that Muslims living in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. kill Westerners who criticize Islam and display their decapitated heads along roads.”

Yep, more gems from the religion of peace. While Barack Hussein Obama is totally clueless here, some commentators have much better vision on all this. One is Dr. Brian Lee, Pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Washington D.C. He wrote a brilliant piece entitled “Freedom of religion requires freedom to offend”. It is well worth quoting hunks of it.

He begins by noting the incredibly stupid statement put out by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo when a mob was at the gates on 9/11: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Says Lee: “There are two obvious rejoinders to the statement. First, it relegates religious freedom to the realm of utter subjectivity by condemning ‘efforts to hurt religious feelings.’ On this score, anyone could limit the exercise of opposing religions by claiming that their religious feelings were hurt (‘What is a religious feeling?’). The second problem is that this standard of not giving offense has clearly not been equally applied by secular elites (see ‘Piss Christ,’ et al.).

“By condemning ‘incitement,’ the statement’s title suggests that the author is mindful of these objections. The freedom of speech doesn’t protect yelling ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater, nor should we protect religious speech that does the same. And since Christians don’t typically riot when offended, offending them isn’t incitement. Were I a foreign service officer watching my flag burn, I might be inclined to take a similar approach to distance myself from the Christian bigot who yelled fire halfway around the world.

“But the real problem with the statement is its failure to grasp the inherently offensive nature of most religious belief. It belies the widely held belief that ‘good religion’ must be utterly private, banal, and non-offensive. We may limit the exercise of Terry Jones’s religion — even seek his persecution — because our definition of religion doesn’t include that kind of quackery. ‘Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy’ … unless those beliefs aren’t respectable, and respectable religion doesn’t make other people feel bad.

“Christianity is a religion of love, but it is also a religion of redemption, and therefore offense. The Apostles clearly proclaimed Jesus as a ‘stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’ (1 Peter 2:8), and Paul located this offense centrally in ‘Christ crucified, a stumbling block [offense] to Jews, and folly to Gentiles’ (1 Corinthians 1:23). The cross is foolish and weak; it offends both the reason and religion of us all.

“The Apostles did not hijack the message of Jesus, who often gave offense (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:3). Jesus even asked his followers, ‘Do you take offense at this [teaching]? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all’ (John 6:61 – 63). Jesus’ claim to be God, to have pre-existed in heaven, was his most offensive claim of all.”

I especially appreciate his closing words: “Christianity isn’t just offensive to Muslims; it’s offensive to everybody. The Gospel calls us all to account for our sin. It tells us there is no such thing as ‘self-help,’ we have no power, no solution for sin in ourselves. It promises us death and eternal destruction unless we confess, repent, and place all our confidence in a crucified Jew, now raised from the dead — who claimed, by the way, to be the very Son of God.

“Of course, God is love, but what is said in love may yet give offense. The law of God requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Paul teaches that we should not seek offense (1 Corinthians 10:32), and he can proudly say that ‘Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense’ (Acts 25:8). And yet, throughout his public ministry we see scenes reminiscent of Cairo and Benghazi. Ephesus and Jerusalem erupt in righteous anger at his proclamation of the risen Christ as Lord (Acts 19, 21). God offends Jew and Gentile alike.

“Ironically, this offensiveness of Christianity is why the freedom of religion is the only public policy position for which we can claim the direct support of the New Testament. As Paul is driven from synagogue and marketplace across the Mediterranean, he appeals to Roman authorities on the basis of the rights he possesses as a Roman citizen for the freedom to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Acts of the Apostles may be read as an apology for Christianity as a religion of peace and love, while its opponents claim falsely that it ‘upsets the world,’ even as they do. While the church has often fallen short of this ideal, the teaching of the New Testament is the basis for true religious tolerance.

“Christianity not only may give offense, it must give offense. The embassy statement was wrong. ‘Respect for religious beliefs’ is not a cornerstone of our democracy. Respect for our fellow man, and his right to dissent, is. There is a world of difference. A freedom merely to exercise an inoffensive religion is no freedom at all.”

Quite so. A Washington pastor understands all this while a Washington president doesn’t have a clue. No wonder we are in such strife.

[1483 words]

11 Replies to “Tolerance, Offence, and Appeasing Those Who Would Behead Us”

  1. Recently Gillard argued at the UN against denigration of people’s beliefs. This was in response to Islamic violence. None of the various words and actions which offended Christians over the years led her to express such a sentiment. In effect she is saying that the violence of Islam will achieve what the peaceful protests of Christians will not. This is not a proper way to govern. It is not based on principle but on giving in to the lawless.

    Fr Luke Joseph

  2. Obama is kidding himself if he thinks he can successfully appease militant Islamists who only respect military and political power. He is setting himself up to be used and abused along with the western world he leads.

    Alan Williams, UK

  3. Unfortunately, while our politicians condemn the violence, they are actually taking sides with appeasing those who express violence. Message – if you are violent, you’ll be publicly verbally condemned but you’ll get your way. If you’re vocal you’ll be publicly condemned, prosecuted or jailed. Hmm. Something’s amiss here.
    John Smith

  4. Today I noticed a van parked in a driveway with the words “Moses-Jesus-Mohammed. Three Prophets-One message”, emblazoned on the side.
    The address given was Dawah Central, which I think is centred at Auburn, Sydney.
    To us this is blatant heresy and offensive, but if we tried such propaganda, we would be in deep trouble.
    Des Connors

  5. Dear Bill,

    Leaders in the 1930’s tried to appease Hitler and look what it led to in the endI

    One would think something would be learned from history but it never is.

    Patricia Halligan

  6. I am sure Esther would have shaken in her boots and it took her 3 days of prayer and fasting before she received the courage to stand before her husband the king, knowing that this may cost her life. But she knew the words of her uncle were right, if we don’t rise up now in the strength of the Lord, He will send deliverance to the oppressed, but we ourselves, if we do not do that for which we were called may well perish. As Patricia said, history has borne this out time and time again, are we going to learn?
    when are our Christian leaders going to call a day or a week, a season, however long it takes of repentance?
    Many blessings

    Ursula Bennett

  7. All this is about restricting the dissemination of ideas that prevent the state from dictating how we should live. It is all about power! Power is the only thing that is left once transcendent moral authority is set aside and true goodness is removed from a society. Agnostic law professor Arthur Leff’s 1979 Duke University speech ‘Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law’ outlines the materialist dilemma: without transcendent authority, the law of the jungle rules. But good and evil exist – therefore there must be a transcendent law-giver. (Unfortunately, Leff never embraced the obvious results of his logic!) Likewise those who disregard God today! Church, we must make disciples AND expose the power-pursuers.
    Geoffrey Bullock

  8. Thanks for another great and revealing post Bill!

    It is fascinating to compare the difference between Muslim reaction to insults to their faith and the response of Christians. Check out this “Jesus Soap” for instance –

    One of our members of Media Standards Australia (Christian based media comment group) saw this soap on sale in “Things” shops in WA. I wonder if this supposed “tongue-in cheek” product (their description) would be tolerated if it was in some way putting the image and teachings of Mohammed to a similar profane and mocking use?

    Gail Gifford

  9. Some enquiry leads me to the information that wahabist muslims are those who advocate and use violence. I understand their place of origin is Saudi Arabia. I have two questions on that.
    Firstly, why don’t moderate, peaceful Muslims speak out more clearly against the peddlers of hate; are they also afraid of retaliation? Secondly, am I wrong in perceiving America as a bedfellow of Saudi Arabia? – That’s three questions which only helps to illustrate how confused I am!
    Anna Cook

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