Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Islam and Christianity Irreconcilable ?

(Picture of white dove:  www.whitedovesofnashville.com    )

    Recently, a study completed in Canada indicated that 42% of Canadian Muslims admit that Islam and Christianity are "Irreconcilable".

             This is really quite fascinating if it weren't so concerning.   Many people don't realize that in the time of Thomas Jefferson, that there was communication and dealings between he and Muslims.  He eventually concluded that he simply couldn't communicate with them, and that isolation was simply the best strategy given his particular block of time.  What the study in Canada indicates, is that others may be thinking the same thing in the present day.

               In the West, most of us know Christianity to be a remarkably forgiving and loving faith.   None of us really deserve the lives we have been given, or many of the talents, the training, the economic opportunities, the love,  or great gifts we have known.  In Christianity, we are given this life and potentially a life hereafter by grace, by having faith in Jesus Christ.   Many people have forgotten that the US did not come into being as a secular state. It began as a place where people could practice their religion as they saw fit.  However, it was not created in a vacuum.  Many Christians risked their lives, their families and their fortunes, because they believed that the birth of this new nation with such high ideals was a task sent to them by God.  The United States was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, even though there was no obligatory edict which forced the individual practice of a particular faith.

              Even to this day, Judeo-Christian principles still guide many of our laws and the way in which they are implemented.   A multiple murderer might not deserve open heart surgery as he sits in prison completing a sentence of seventy years. However, in my own state, and many others, he will receive it, if he needs it.  It won't be substandard care either.  I took care of several prisoners following open heart surgery in an ICU step down unit, at the expense of the taxpayer.   The man will receive the care, not because he deserves it, but because our nation, built on Judeo-Christian principles provides us with more than we deserve.  Our society seeks to provide grace to others just as we understand God to be doing, in the world beyond this one. Remember that Christians are to fashion this world as we believe Heaven to be.   This provision of grace and meeting needs we might not deserve simply by living propels our nation and our society to be ever- reaching, and excelling.   This template provided by scripture and by God, is why our nation grew to be a great nation. Many suspect that when we began to depart from these Biblical standards in our culture, that this is when our place in the world, and our nation internally began to deteriorate.

                Although I do know some very good people who consider themselves to be Muslims, I am also aware of American Muslims who came to this nation from Muslim nations, and who wish to tinker with the internal workings of the United States.  Strangely, they came here for the infrastructure, the education, the safety,  the opportunities for themselves and for their children, and for the best health care the world has to offer. (Which actually existed a few short years ago.)   All of these benefits evolved in the bosom of a Christian nation with considerable continued influence from Jews.  None of these desirable attributes would have been possible without the striving of Christians and Jews to leave something better in this world and in this nation, than was here before.  (Before you jump a cog, yes, atheists have done good things in the world too, but this is not the subject of this particular post.)     Yet, some of these Muslims enter the US with a desire to tinker and change the inner workings of the US.   In reality, none of us deserve to enjoy all the opportunities that were here when we were born, but nonetheless we do.  If Muslims are allowed to implement Sharia Law for their families or to be given a pass on the enforcement of laws which exist in the US, then they will be eroding the very infrastructure they came here to enjoy.

              Danny Thomas didn't have to start St. Jude's Hospital.  He and his family sacrificed and worked hard to bring free cutting edge medical care to potentially terminally ill  children of the United States, and sometimes of the world.  It was not opened just for Jewish children, or just for Christian children.  It was opened to provide care to the family of man.

              Before extremist Muslims make too many changes to the US, they need to consider whether they really wish us to depart from the teachings of Christianity.   Does Dzhokhar Tsarnaev really want what he deserves by his actions or does he want a more Christian, more forgiving sentencing which considers the bizarre control his elder brother Tamerlan had over him.  Does he wish the jury to consider the bitterness of his mother toward Christian Americans that he heard as he was being raised ?

                Perhaps, the best course of action is tolerance.  I don't assume that Muslim Americans are terrorists, and Muslims should not assume that Christians are infidels who require beheading.  I agree not to drag new American Muslims to my favorite Christian church for conversion, and you agree not to attempt to change laws to remake the United States into a nation where Muslims receive clear preference over any faith.  The real trouble begins if you, or I choose not to respect one another.