Due the large number, the images are split between 4 posts.
#001 – #250 and the intro are here.
#251 – #500 are here.
#501 – #750 are here.
#751 – #900+ are below.
See also collected other memes:
Super Strict Success Asian Mom and Dad Meme Lols
RPG Motivational Posters
Demotivators – Depressing Anti-Motivational Posters
Or heck, just straight to My Obsessive-Compulsive List of My Obsessive-Compulsive Lists.
Due the large number, the images are split between 4 posts.
#001 – #250 are below.
#251 – #500 are here.
#501 – #750 are here.
#751 – #900+ are here.
Be warned, 200+ images below the break! (All are jpg expect the 2nd and 4th ones.)
See also collected other memes: Super Strict Success Asian Mom and Dad Meme Lols
STEP 1: Here’s the original cartoon that’s been making the rounds on the web:
STEP 2: Compare what actual atheists are regularly noted for (hint: it’s not positively extolling the virtues of nonbelief, that’s for sure):
- Flinging ‘unholy water’ on a highway to negate a blessing
- Put up signs mocking religion – on space for Nativity scenes… Which gets all displays banned (tipped by wits0).
- Booking up as many display lots as possible – intentionally at Christmas and Hannukah time
- ‘De-baptizing’ people of holy water with a hair dryer
- Offering porn in exchange for Bibles to declare that the Bible is worse
- Threatening a lawsuit to force the removal of a landmark chapel from a city logo – because it has a cross
- Put up a confrontational billboard, at Christmas of all times
- More confrontational and mocking billboards, at Christmas and targeting Christmas themes
- Trying to get a historic cross landmark removed
- Succeeding in getting crosses that stood for decades on a municipal building removed by threatening lawsuits
- Getting free Bibles removed from hotel rooms
- Getting free Bibles removed from guest rooms
- Getting a coach ordered to stop leading team prayers
- Trying to get a cross removed from police property… Even though the only guy who can actually see it doesn’t feel offended by it!
- Seemingly the majority of remarks left on a blog, comments section, message board or Twitter feed by atheists. Examples: ohTHATJesus Twitter feed, By The Book Comics.
- BONUS anti-Judaism… Demanding that the Star of David be barred from a Holocaust memorial!
- Among the most rabid hobbies of basically every single Communist regime which all just happen to be de-facto atheist. Examples: Leninist Russia, Stalinist USSR, Communist China, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba, Calles’ Mexico, and overall list here.
STEP 3: Thus I submit my edit of the cartoon, to better reflect reality:
As Ace says:
But one of the central planks of the Church of Atheism is that religion is inherently evil and causes you to behave like an a$$hole.
Well, that’s not true. Most religious people are as far away from a$$holery as is possible.
Sure, there are the always-present Some. Some are a$$holes. Sure.
But if it’s religion that’s causing all this illogic and anger and emotionalism and pettiness and spitefulness and general a$$holery, why is it so present among those who have no religion?
Ace, btw, is not a religious person – self described as atheist/agnostic – and is by no means a Christian.
And via AoSHQ, Dinesh D’Souza:
But if you think about it, this is an inadequate explanation, because if you truly believe that there is no proof for God, then you’re not going to bother with the matter. You’re just going to live your life as if God isn’t there.
What I’m getting at is that you have these people out there who don’t believe that God exists, but who are actively attempting to eliminate religion from society, setting up atheist video shows, and having atheist conferences. There has to be more going on here than mere unbelief.
And from Kurt Schlichter:
Tis The Season For Militant Atheists To Whine
The key is not to be a jerk – that goes for both the person sharing his views and the person hearing them.
But jerkiness is the difference between the decent guy who’s just not feeling the connection with the Lord and the smug militant atheist who thinks that putting a fish sticker with legs that says “Darwin” on his Prius is biting social commentary.
These atheist evangelicals aren’t satisfied not to believe. They think we need to not believe too. They seem to live under the bizarre misapprehension that if they are just rude enough to us believers, we’ll somehow unsee the light, put the scales back on our eyes and cast off our faith to embrace a life of spiritual emptiness.
The most annoying ones file lawsuits. Somebody wants to say a prayer before a Friday night high school football game in East Tumbleweed, Texas, and you can be sure some litigious twerp will allege that he is being subjected to the worst religious oppression since the Christians played the lions in the Colosseum.
And what Christmas and Hanukkah season would be complete without some friendless killjoy suing because a town decided to stick a cross and a menorah out in front of city hall? The sight of so many happy, content people seems painful to them. But then, have you even met a happy, content militant atheist? If so, what was the name of his unicorn?
See also twin posts, Christianity Inspires Good in A Way Unbelief Cannot Emulate (serious) and Things That Are Highly Unlikely (Atheism vs Christianity) – Me on Twitter (snarky).
Anders Breivik, using explosives and firearms, perpetrated a massacre in Oslo, Norway on 22 July 2011.
In his huge 1500+ page manifesto 2083 A European Declaration of Independence, among other things he calls himself a Christian and cites passages from the Bible – preemptively justifying his actions it would seem.
I have sarcastically pointed out why Anders Breivik isn’t a Christian in any meaningful sense. (To wit: Paris Hilton is a non-practising nun living in an un-utilized vow of poverty and chastity.) Even his understanding of what constitutes a ‘Christian’ is way out there – ‘Christian-atheist’ anyone?
And here, I now attempt to debunk Anders Breivik’s citing of Scripture. Thanks go to commentor Ron for spurring this post. Browsing around I didn’t find any examination of Breivik’s citing Scripture, so took it upon myself to carry out this task.
My reference is the full manifesto in PDF format as posted at public intelligence. Breivik cites Scripture in an attempt to justify his violent philosophy from page 1328 to 1334 of the PDF.
And now we begin proper. Anders Breivik’s manifesto excerpts are in blockquotes, and my responses follow each.
3.149 The Bible and self-defence
Many Christians claim that acts of self-defence are unbiblical, unscriptural and ungodly. However, they are un-doubtfully wrong.
The Bible couldn’t be clearer on the right, even the duty; we have as Christians to self-defence.
Let’s start in the Old Testament.
Exodus 22:2″If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him,”
we are told in Exodus 22:2. The next verse says,
“If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be bloodshed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
In other words, it was perfectly OK to kill a thief breaking into your house. That’s the ultimate expression of self-defence. It doesn’t matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property, the Bible says.
Well I’d have to agree on that. In fact that’s the whole idea of Right of self-defense in US law.
So running with Breivik’s apparent notion that certain people are ‘robbers’ invading his home – does this extend to actively hunting down robbers – or even more indirect, people who may or may not rob in the future – and pre-emptively executing them? Not in my book.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION OF PASSAGE
The Israelites were expected to have their own personal weapons. Every man would be summoned to arms when the nation confronted an enemy. The people defended themselves.
Samuel 25:13: ”David said to his men, “Each of you gird on his sword.” So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed with the baggage.”
Every man had a sword and every man picked it up when it was required.
Judges 5:8: “They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?”
Reminds us of what happens to a foolish nation that chooses to disarm. The answer to the rhetorical question is clear: No. The people had rebelled against God and put away their weapons of self-defence.
1st Samuel 25 in context, David was running from King Saul who wanted his head (Breivik apparently left out which book of Samuel it is by the way). If you know the overall story of David and Saul, you’ll remember that David on multiple occassions spared Saul’s life – in fact, the very next passage showcases one instance of David’s restraint – and even had a looter executed who (falsely) boasted of killing Saul.
Did Breivik show any similar reverence for human life?
As for Judges 5, this took place during a time of open war and pillaging – Israel was surrounded by hostile nations. For soldiers to lay down arms in the face of implacable enemies is gross dereliction of duty, including their responsibility to protect their own civilian populace. A comparable scenario is if Britain and the United States declared unilateral pacifism and disarmament in the face of Nazi and Japanese invasion.
So does any of this justify ‘taking up arms’ and mowing down unarmed civilians, including children?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION OF PASSAGE; TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
Psalms 144:1: “Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight,”
Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve. It’s God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time.
And what were those weapons? Swords.
They didn’t have firearms, but they had side-arms.
Psalm 144 is again in the context of David during a time of persecution/war.
Breivik is partly correct that God is not a pacifist (in the sociopolitical sense), but he misses/ignores his own caveat – that God commanded the Israelites to fight and aided them in battle specifically within the Old Testament’s context of open war.
To ignore the multitude of verses where God desires and commands peace – and basically the entire New Testament’s examples and implorings of peace – is gross selectiveness.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION; TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT; SELECTIVE CITATION
In fact, in the New Testament, Jesus commanded His disciples to buy them and equip them.
Luke 22:36: “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
Matthew 26:52-54: “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
If you read those verses in context they support the position of self-defence. Jesus told Peter he would be committing suicide to choose a fight in this situation, as well as undermining God’s plan to allow Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.
Jesus told Peter to put his sword in its place – at his side. He didn’t say throw it away. After all, He had just ordered the disciples to arm themselves. The reason for the arms was obviously to protect the lives of the disciples, not the life of the Son of God. What Jesus was saying was: “Peter, this is not the right time for a fight.”
In the context of cultural conservative Europeans current war against the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites and the ongoing Islamic invasion through Islamic demographic warfare against Europe, every military action against our enemies is considered self defence. There will be much suffering and destruction but eventually we will succeed and may be able to start rebuilding.
First, let’s look at the immediately following verses in Luke 22:
It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied. – Luke 22:37-38
There are several things to note. First, Jesus needed to fulfill a Messianic prophecy – and by being armed and resisting arrest (and even committing injury), His disciples were counted as lawbreakers, transgressors.
Second, what use is two swords against a coming heavily armed mob? As was usual, the disciples misunderstood Jesus’ intent – applying it literally instead of dwelling on the philosophical meaning of being prepared to be by themselves. (Compare Matthew 16 where they take Jesus’ ‘yeast’ metaphor literally.) Furthermore, Jesus could easily have smited the guards, so what would He need His disciples to be armed for – with a measly two swords?
In fact Breivik defeats his own argument by citing Matthew 26, where Jesus warns that those who live in violence (by the sword) will die the same way – a warning against aggression.
Finally, Breivik is committing disproportionate response – he claims that certain groups are waging (metaphorical) war through culture and demographics, so he responds with literal war of the violent military action type.
What ever happened to turning the other cheek? Now, I don’t take this principle to mean ‘let the other guy break your spine and kill your family while you smile’ – I subscribe to reasonable self defence as well as championing righteousness for the innocent and oppressed – but Breivik’s victims didn’t even get up in his face before he escalated it to fatal levels!
(I do like to joke that Chuck Norris turns the other cheek… To deliver a spinning back kick. But that’s just a joke.)
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISINTERPRETATION OF PASSAGE
We should recall Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 4:17-18: “Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon”. ”As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built,…”
Again, in the historical context, Nehemiah and the Jews rebuilding Jerusalem were under real and immediate threat of organized violence, despite their work being sanctioned by King Cyrus.
However, just the stationing or armed guards caused the plotters to give up their planned assault – not a punch was thrown. They did not preemptively strike to kill the plotters beforehand.
Were there bands of armed men ready to jump Anders Breivik? Outside of his fervored imagination? At the camp where he committed his slaughter? Even the policeman there was not armed! (See much below, close to end for more on that.)
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
More information about Christianity and self-defence
There are many passages that talk about war and violence that God approves of, such as David slaying Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Not to mention the fact that God commanded the Israelites to completely destroy everyone and everything in the Promised Land!
Yes yes yes, very good – now show us where God told you, in public and with multiple witnesses – that you are to go forth and kill specific persons.
I suppose I don’t even need to mention 1st Samuel 17 being in context of open war, with two armies almost a literal stone’s throw from one another.
As for destroying the Canaanites (for example, in Deuteronomy 7), this is again a very specific example – none of us is an Israelite marching to the Promised Land under the command of a still-living Moses or Joshua to wipe of ancient tribes that no longer exist.
Furthermore, to the accusations that such ‘genocide’ is inhumane and immoral, God is creator and owner of all life. Imagine if instead of commanding the Israelites to kill the Canaanites, God had dropped a meteor on the land. The end result vis-a-vis human life is no different, but it just seems more acceptable to modern sensibilities. I mean, how often do you hear people opine that the Great Flood or Sodom & Gomorrah being obliterated were immoral?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION; TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
As with many questions in our lives, self-defence has to do with wisdom, understanding, and tact. For instance, in the Luke 22 passage stated above, Jesus does tell his disciples to get a sword. Jesus knew that now was the time when Jesus would be threatened (and later killed) and his followers would be threatened as well. Jesus was giving approval of the fact that one has the right to self-defence. Now just a few verses later we see Jesus being arrested and Peter takes a sword and cuts off someone’s ear. Jesus rebukes him for that act. Why? Peter was trying to stop something that Jesus had been telling His disciples was in fact going to happen. In other words, Peter was acting unwisely in the situation. He was trying to stop something that was not supposed to be stopped. We must be wise as to when to fight and when not to.
Exodus 22 does show quite a bit about God’s attitude towards self-defence. “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;
but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft” (Exodus 22:2-3). Obviously here we see that when a thief breaks into someone’s house at night and that person defends his home and slays the thief, God does not hold that death over the defender’s head. However, God does not wish for anyone to take law into his or her own hands. This is why it is said that if a thief is struck down during the daylight the defender is guilty of bloodshed. Now this is speaking of thievery, not an attack. So if the thief were to attack the defender even during the day, self-defence would be justified.
See how he is quick to justify himself? Killing a thief in daylight is murder, but that’s just for thievery – not attacking. So his daytime killing spree was just fine and dandy.
Never mind that NO ONE WAS ACTIVELY ATTACKING HIM at the campsite or before. But I’ve already mentioned his grossly disproportionate response above.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISINTERPRETATION/MISAPPLICATION
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
James 4 is referring to temptation and especially pride, not physical Hollywood-style demons – or humans he thinks of a devils.
Yet I suspect he knows this, but included it anyway.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISINTERPRETATION/MISAPPLICATION
“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them … you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land. You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.” (Leviticus 26:3)
God will anoint you with his power to go into battle
Leviticus 26 is in the context of entering the Promised Land – and the battles that would entail.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION; TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
If you are operating under a full surrender with God the Father, and walking in all of God’s ways and staying out of any serious sins and transgressions against Him – then the next thing you will need to fully realise is that God will now anoint you with His power if you are forced to go into battle with your enemy.
Who forced him to pick up firearms? Was there a gun to his head, or even vague death threats to his person?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION
The Bible tells us that we are now all good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Whether we want to face up to it or not, we are all living in a war zone as a result of the curse of Adam and Eve that is still in full operation on this earth. Anyone of us at anytime can come under human or demonic attack. The daily news will prove that to you without any shadow of a doubt.
He doesn’t cite a verse, but I suspect it is the following:
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. – 2nd Timothy 2:3-7
Take the whole passage – its mentions of various occupations is meant to illustrate singelminded focus. The soldier example is mentioned only in passing – and then ‘in suffering’ the way Paul was meekly suffering in prison! This is the exact opposite of Breivik’s arrogantly causing suffering.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION/MISINTERPRETATION
Each Christian must now make their own personal decision on all of this. You can either choose to learn how to rise up in the power of your Lord and Saviour and learn how to become a true warrior in the Lord, or you can continue to keep your head in the sand and oppressor after oppressor keep beating you down. The choice is yours.
The following verses will show you that God can anoint you with His power to defeat any enemy that may come your way – but you first have to be willing to step into that anointing, and then be willing to take your enemy head on before God will release His anointing through you to be able to defeat that enemy.
Again, study these verses very carefully – as they will show you the incredible supernatural power that God can channel through you if you would be willing to step into and walk with His anointing.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
This passage as a whole talks of the far future, when God brings true and universal peace to the world.
Furthermore, if ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’, then what does Breivik have to fear from his alleged enemies that drives him to strike them first?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION; TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
“… but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)
In context, this is a prophecy/vision of what takes place during a war between a king of the north and a king of the south (historical, in the ends times, or both), and those who know their God will resist the one who tries to get them to abandon God.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)
In context, Paul is challenging certain arrogant people to show that there is substance behind their boasts.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
“Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” (2 Corinthians 12:12)
Good gracious, is trying to preemptively justify that ‘mighty deeds’ includes mass murder?
Anyway, the context is Paul explaining how he – and only he, not Anders Breivik – had worked hard to prove his apostleship to the Corinthian church, including with ‘mighty deeds’. Which I am quite sure did not include mass murder.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle – my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.” (Psalm 144:1)
Once again, the context is David in conflict with people out for his head. And the rest of the passage calls on God to intervene with miraculous natural phenomena, not gunpowder and lead.
I’m surprised he didn’t go on to quote verses 10-11: From the deadly sword deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze … I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, so that they were not able to rise; they have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” (Psalm 18:32,37)
Read the full passage. See previous section’s explanation.
The passage even says right at the top that David penned the words when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Which overbearing ruler had his armies hot on Anders Breivik’s trail?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
God can anoint you with His supernatural power to defeat any enemy that may come your way – but only if you are willing to step into it and not be afraid to directly engage with whatever storm cloud is getting ready to come your way.
Notice the first verse tells you that you can have God’s power and authority to trample over “all” the power of the enemy – not just against some or part of his power. This means you can have God’s anointing and power operating in you to come out completely victorious against any enemy that may attempt to come against you.
God will give you his strength, boldness and courage to walk with his anointing
All of the above Scripture verses are definitely telling you that God can anoint you with His power whenever that power is going to be needed to take on any kind of enemy or challenge. However, there is one more thing that you are going to need before God will release His power through you. And that one more thing is the mental strength, courage and boldness to step out with His power to use it to directly engage with your enemy.
If you are not willing to step out and flow and operate with God’s anointing for whatever you are going to need it for – then absolutely nothing is going to happen. If you are not willing to speak out to any enemy that may be trying to attack you – then God’s power will not come into the situation to blow them out of there, and they will thus stay right where they are at continuing to attack you.
As you will see when reading some of our own personal testimonies – nothing was happening in all of these adverse situations until that person was ready and willing to step out of his boat with some mental confidence, courage and boldness to face and take their enemies head on.
He says one more thing is needed, but he neglects the most important thing: That God approves of your actions. This also applies to his much earlier talk about being willing to step into God’s anointing – what if there isn’t any such anointing to step into?
As an example, see what happened when Israel initiated combat without God’s instruction (in fact, in direct opposition to His instruction):
Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!” But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah. – Numbers 14:40-45
So the Israelites went in fighting, and arrogantly presumed that by doing so God would surely be with them. This probably resulted in plenty of enemies slain, but in the end it was a total defeat.
Note the parallels with Breivik’s atrocity – if anything, he has only weakened his ideological allies (both the moderate and extremist ones) and strengthened his self-declared enemies in the area of the public’s perception.
This is even more glaring when in the second set of excerpts above near the start, he scolds the Israelites as foolish for rebelling against God!
BREIVIK’S ERROR: NEGLECTING WHAT GOD ACTUALLY WANTS
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)
The verse is telling you that if you faint in the day of any kind of adversity, that your strength will be considered small in the eyes of God.
In other words, God is telling you that He does not want you to be a wimp – and He is expecting each and every one of us to learn how to war against any enemy or challenge that could come our way operating under His authority, power and anointing to be able to do so. This is why we are all called to be soldiers of Jesus Christ, not just a select few.
Actually, no. The entire book of Proverbs can be interpreted to be God’s ‘advice’ on what He wants and does not want to see in us. But it can also be understood to be simply explaining plain fact – in this case, that those who can’t face up to difficulty are (no duh) weak.
In any case, look at the context yet again. The cherry-picked verse is part of a set of verses that warns against turning a blind eye to evil to the point that even murder does not stir us.
Verse 11 says, Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Anders Breivik not only did not adhere to the spirit of this verse, he himself became the antagonist who brings death and slaugter unto the weak.
And as for soldiers, as I mentioned above if you want to take Paul’s words so literally then we are also all called to be athletes and farmers.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISINTERPRETATION
God will go before you to fight your battles
Sometimes God wil l simply run a protective shield around you where nothing can get through to attack you. Other times something will start to slip through to come directly against you – and then God will move ahead of you to take it out. This is where God will literally take your enemy head on and do battle with it.
Sometimes God will fight the actual battle through you – other times He will simply tell you to hold your ground and position and do absolutely nothing – and then He will move Himself to completely take out the attack coming against you. This is where God shows you how powerful and how awesome He really is when He moves into battle to personally protect you.
There are plenty of passages advising us that we are always supposed to rely on God to act in general circumstances. For instance:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” – Romans 12:14, 17, 19-20
And what was Breivik’s treatment of his ‘enemies’?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MISAPPLICATION
Again, these next set of verses are extremely powerful as all of the other ones listed above. Notice the very intense language God is using when these verses describe Him moving into actual battle for you.
These first two verses are specifically telling us that God can be a Man of War if He needs to be and that He can actually be stirred up to go into battle for you if He has to.
“The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name … Your Right Hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of Your excellence you have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath which consumed them like stubble.” (Exodus 15:3,6)
So God is mighty to war, why take war into your own hands – especially without God’s specific instruction?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT
The usual errors, especially ignoring the specific historical context, applies to the following verses he quotes as well. I shall address each individually in time.
“The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.” (Isaiah 42:13)
“For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12)
“Therefore understand today the Lord your God is He who goes before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.” (Deuteronomy 9:3)
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy!’ ” (Deuteronomy 33:27)
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you …” (Genesis 12:3)
“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” (Psalm 35:1)
“When my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at your presence. For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.” (Psalm 9:3)
“God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If He does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.” (Psalm 7:11)
“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed. (1 Samuel 2:9)
“… For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You … Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel … thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s … You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!” Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12-17)
“Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them – those who contend with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ ” (Isaiah 41:11)
“You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked.” (Habakkuk 3:12)
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)
“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11)
“And let the angel of the Lord chase him … And let the angel of the Lord pursue them … Let the destruction come upon him unexpectedly.” (Psalm 35:5-8)
“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.” (Exodus 23:20)
“Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath … but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 21:27, 29)
“And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when the people
arose early in the morning, there were the corpses – all dead.” (2 Kings 19:35)
“Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:23)
The last verse shows that sometimes angels can literally appear to you as a normal human being, usually for the purpose of helping you out with something. There are countless testimonies from people who have been helped out by angels in a moment of crisis – and then all of sudden they are gone as quick as they came.
BREIVIK’S ERROR: MULTIPLE
We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)
Whenever a human command goes against God’s command, we are to obey God.
The context is Peter and the other apostles specifically asked by the Sanhendrin not to spread Jesus’ teachings, which is in contradiction to Jesus’ command to do just that.
Is he saying that every one of the remaining loyal 11 apostles, minus John but plus Paul, were fools when they meekly died as martyrs? That when Jesus said take up their cross and follow me (Matthew 16:14) He had in mind for us to use the crosses as giant battle axes, like Priest Vallon in the opening brawl of Gangs of New York?
BREIVIK’S ERROR: TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT; also MISAPPLICATION/MISINTERPRETATION (not of the verse in Acts, but all those passages he reasons to be justification for murder)
And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)
This passage allows for the use of fighting in self-defence.
All who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52)
To use the sword (or any other weapon) carries the greatest responsibility, and it can indeed be used in self-defence. That is the way I see to balance Luke 22:36 and Matthew 26:52.
I’ve already addressed ‘buying a sword’ at the beginning.
And if he had carried out his attacks in America, especially in a gun rights state, he might have met his fitting end within minutes. See Gun Wielding Maniac Attack: Conservative vs Liberal Result, Mumbai Terrorist Attacks – An Argument for Citizen Concealed-Carry of Personal Firearms?, and happening right now the riots in Britain.
The last one has made me reconsider my views on the right to bear arms – if such lawless, murderous riots can occur anywhere, then having everyone unarmed does not mean safety anymore.
Ironically, if Norway were big on personal self defence, Anders Breivik wouldn’t have gotten away with nearly as much carnage as he did. Instead, even the police are unarmed!
Whether Officer Berntsen tried to stop the gunman is still being debated. But facing a man carrying multiple guns and ample ammunition, there was little he could do. Like most other police officers here, he had no weapon. – New York Times
But as I mentioned before, self defence does not extend to attacking first with no immediately impending threat!
Well, that settles Anders Breivik’s citing of Biblical passages. Here I put down some of my other thoughts.
First off, as I mentioned at the start, saying Anders Breivik is a Christian is nonsensical, even if he claims to be one. He obviously has no understanding of what it means to live as Christ did, and as I demonstrated above, his grasp of Scripture is tenuous and misguided at best, and intentionally distorted at worst.
In any case, as Anders Breivik’s appalling actions have been used as a brickbat to bash Christians and Conservatives, allow me to present the following for comparison:
1) Self-declared leftists and liberals – Examines past and present incidences of violent behaviour, including murder. Up to 266 examples by time of writing.
2) Self-declared Communists and atheists – The highest death toll in all of human history belongs to Communists, killing more in 100 years than the other 6000+ years combined… And as I ponder, Why Were the Communists Usually Also Atheists?
3) Self-declared Muslims – Anders Breivik killed 77 and injured 96. On the same day as his attacks, 22 July 2011, persons declaring themselves acting in the name of Islam killed 14 and injured 20 across the world – most of the victims themselves being Muslim. From the Sunday to the Saturday of that week, 90 were killed and 72 injured. Breivik’s attacks have ended with no one yet picking up where he left off; attacks by self-declared Muslims (again, overwhelmingly against other Muslims) continues every single day.
Now you may throw my own objection back at me – none of the above are representative of REAL so-and-so. And how dare you generalize from a few isolated incidences!!!
Well, they aren’t really isolated, but more to the point – there are far more of the above cases I cite than cases of Christians and Conservatives running amok. So why the huge double standard where the media and talking heads trumpet the ‘Christian, right wing’ Anders Breivik while being willfully blind in other cases?
As Ann Coulter contrasted:
The New York Times wasted no time in jumping to conclusions about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who staged two deadly attacks in Oslo last weekend, claiming in the first two paragraphs of one story that he was a “gun-loving,” “right-wing,” “fundamentalist Christian,” opposed to “multiculturalism.”
This was a big departure from the Times’ conclusion-resisting coverage of the Fort Hood shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Despite reports that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he gunned down his fellow soldiers at a military medical facility in 2009, only one of seven Times articles on Hasan so much as mentioned that he was a Muslim. Of course, that story ran one year after Hasan’s arrest, so by then, I suppose, the cat was out of the bag. – NEW YORK TIMES READER KILLS DOZENS IN NORWAY
And as I contrasted:
Right after the Fort Hood shooting, the New York Times had this to say:
In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East. President Obama was right when he told Americans, “we don’t know all the answers yet” and cautioned everyone against “jumping to conclusions.” …until investigations are complete, no one can begin to imagine what could possibly have motivated this latest appalling rampage.
From the New York Times again, right after the Tucson shooting:
[I]t is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. – SARAH PALIN Caused the Fort Hood Shootings
And not to justify one of Anders Breivik’s excuses for his attack, but 461 years of unprovoked invasion and pillage preceded the First Crusade.
Waiting for what? ISA this guy already!
Oh wait, I forgot… UMNOpocrites constantly threaten repeats of May 13, spread unfounded rumours that incite social tensions, and utter racist threats, but the ones who gets ISAed are those who report on their bilious spew.
As the Malaysian Insider report correctly puts it (‘recover the Holy Lands’), the Crusades were merely a retaliation against 461 years of unprovoked Muslim invasions and attacks.
Think of that context – of who started the provocation – as you read Ibrahim Ali’s threat to give Christians a crusade if they want.
And that other word he uses, translated ‘holy war’ – the term he used is ‘perang jihad’, which is the same concept extremist Islamic terrorists use to justify their murderous attacks on innocents. The ‘perang’ (war) stuck to his remark excludes any possibility of ‘peaceful jihad’ (e.g. against poverty).
Really, Ibrahim Ali? Dare Christians to launch a crusade and threaten jihad in retaliation?
And the best part???????
Just like all true hypocrites, Ibrahim Ali cannot see his own massive flaws, yet projects them onto his targets!
Look at how he accuses nonMuslims of becoming unafraid to stir up trouble because Muslims take their provocations peacefully and some groups support their antics.
Whereas outside of his BIZARRO WORLD, the reality is that certain Muslims like him are fearless to blatantly stir up trouble despite Christians trying to quietly practise their basic rights with a low profile, because the UMNO/BN government refuses to bring extremists like him to heel!
Go ahead, UMNO/BN. Let this fellow go without even a hint of invoking the ISA. You’ll show more clearly than ever how dedicated you really are to this ’1 Malaysia’ concept you so bandy about.
Speaking of May 13… I have no doubt that this is all part of a continuing ploy to get the non-UMNOputras to react – no matter in how small a way – and use that as a pretext to crack down with wide-sweeping arrests. That is when the ISA will finally be invoked.
Tell us, Ibrahim Ali, just tell us… What exactly are Christians doing that makes you think we want a religious war? The specifics, not the vague generalizations and allusions to non-existant figments of your perverted imagination.
From Malaysia Insider:
As police probe, Ibrahim Ali threatens crusade against Christians
By Clara Chooi May 15, 2011
GOMBAK, May 15 — Despite police still investigating unsubstantiated reports of a move to a Christian Malaysia, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali threatened Christians nationwide last night that he would wage a crusade or holy war should they proceed with their agenda to usurp Islam.
The pint-sized Malay rights leader thundered to a ceramah audience of some 200 at Kampung Changkat here that he was willing to take the fall for his statement for the sake of defending the dignity of Islam.
Although he complained of fatigue from his nine ceramah stops from Kelantan to here since Friday night, the Pasir Mas MP also said his blood was boiling with rage and “hairs standing on end” following recent reports of a Christian conspiracy between religious leaders and opposition party politicians.
“In Kelantan earlier, I declared before the police, I told the security forces present that if they want to send my messages to Bukit Aman (police), please go ahead.
“Please record my words — if there is any party in Penang, especially the Christian priests who are being backed by the Penang DAP, should continue with their agenda which we already know, I would like to offer that if they want to hold a crusade, we can.
“This is in the spirit of Sultan Saladin Ayubi… if they want to fight a crusade, we can,” he charged.
Saladin was a Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and led the Muslim forces during the Crusades — a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns taken by the Christians to recover the Holy Land from Muslims.
UPDATE 13 May 2011: Now we know the REAL reason this ‘Christian PM’ controversy was manufactured!
From Malaysian Insider:
Drop demands over ‘Allah’, Alkitab to show sincerity, Perkasa tells Christians
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Datuk Ibrahim Ali challenged today the sincerity of church leaders who pledged yesterday to respect Islam, asking why they still insisted on using the word “Allah” and having Malay bibles.
The Perkasa chief said his organisation was relieved the “Christian priests have given their pledge… to respect Islam as the official religion of the federation” after Umno’s Utusan Malaysia published a presumed plot to install a Christian instead of a Muslim as prime minister and usurp Islam’s position in the Federal Constitution.
“In that case, if they really respect why are they so insistent to have the bible in Malay and why is God not translated as Tuhan but Allah until it has to go to court?” the Pasir Mas MP said to The Malaysian Insider in a text message.
But Ibrahim said the story should serve as a “reminder” and told the home ministry it should act against the Chinese media and bloggers.
“What Utusan has done has benefit as a reminder. Apart from cautioning or calling the chief editor of Utusan, KDN must also be stern with the Chinese media, bloggers who write and insult Islam,” he said.
Hey, it’s Spew-tusan we’re talking about. Of course they’re gonna be spreading dissent and hysteria without an ounce of proof, ethics and regard for national harmony (or shame for that matter).
Christian leaders want PM to act against Utusan
GEORGE TOWN, May 9 — The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) said today it is “aggrieved” that Utusan Malaysia has been allowed to publish and spread what it called “dangerous lies” that have stirred religious unrest, and wants the prime minister to take immediate action against the Umno-owned paper.
In a joint statement with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the Christian umbrella body, representing over 90 per cent of churches in the country, said they were concerned that the Malay-language daily has been “spreading dangerous lies that make Christians the object of hate and incite hatred against Christians that may lead to undesirable consequences”.
“We sincerely and strongly urge the prime minister and the home minister to take action against Utusan Malaysia for printing and spreading such dangerous lies that have disturbed the multi-religious harmony of society, created fear and uneasiness amongst Malaysians, especially Christians,” it said.
The CFM, which counts the Roman Catholic Church, the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia (NECF) in its membership, said Christian pastors and churches have always prayed for the nation’s peace, unity and harmony among all races as well as a leadership that is honest and just.
Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, also denied that he and his party had asked the clerics to pray for divine intervention or to form a Christian state and have a Christian become prime minister.
Lim said as chief minister he will continue to meet with Christian leaders, bishops or pastors just as he has been meeting with Muslim clerics, Buddhist or Hindu monks.
Utusan carried a front-page article on Saturday claiming the DAP was conspiring with Christian leaders to take over Putrajaya and abolish Islam as the country’s official religion.
The report, based on blog postings by several pro-Umno bloggers, had charged the DAP with sedition for allegedly trying to change the country’s laws to allow a Christian prime minister, pointing to a grainy photograph showing what they described as a secret pact between the opposition party and pastors at a hotel in Penang on Wednesday.
The NECF, together with partners Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship, said the claims against their community were lies, and has refuted the bloggers’ allegations.
Similarly, DAP leaders have denied the report and have accused Utusan of lying and have lodged police reports over the matter.
But the newspaper has continued pushing its unsubstantiated racial and religious rhetoric despite the explanations.
“Now there are attempts by some quarters to anger the majority of this country… the suggestion for Christianity to be made an official religion of the country as well as a Christian prime minister from that religious group cannot be accepted,” Utusan said in an editorial today.
The editorial insisted that Islam is the official religion of the country under Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, and that other races had no choice but to accept this as a fact.
“For over 50 years since our country achieved its independence, what is in our minds is that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia… this cannot be changed without amendments on the parliamentary level and sanctioned by the Conference of Rulers. We believe this is unlikely to happen,” the editorial said.
But Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution only states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”
Likewise, Article 43(2)(a) of the constitution states “the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of that House”.
If it were anyone else… Immediate ISA and stripped of its print license!
In 2006, China Press was made to sack its two top editors after it wrongly identified the woman in the “nude squat” incident as a Chinese national.
In 2006, the Sarawak Tribune was suspended for publishing a disrespectful image of the Prophet Muhammad.
In 2006, Guang Ming evening edition too was suspended for two weeks for publishing the same image
In 2007, Makkal Osai was suspended for 1 month for publishing a disrespectful image of Jesus Christ.
In 2008, Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was detained under the Internal Security Act, not for any wrongdoing but for reporting the truth that Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail’s had described the Chinese as mere squatters in Malaysia.
In 2008, I too was a victim of Utusan Malaysia’s irresponsible journalism when it falsely reported that I had forbidden the call of the azan by a mosque in my Kinrara constituency, leading to my detention under the Internal Security Act.
In 2010, China Press chief editor Teoh Yang Koon was suspended for two weeks for misreporting Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan’s resignation.
Thus, Hishammuddin should not practice double standards in his handling of Utusan Malaysia whose repeated malicious reporting has gone far beyond the point of mere cautioning.
But as we already know, Spewtusan enjoys a blatant double standard when it comes to sedition.
As Free Malaysia Today says:
The mainstream media, for as long as they pander to the government, enjoy immunity from public prosecution. But Utusan Malaysia has earned a special place within this untouchable clique simply by the virtue of being owned by Umno.
This privilege has spawned relentless attacks on the opposition and increasingly frequent inflammatory reports on race and religion.
All too true… All Spew-tusan gets is a warning letter!
On a tip from hutchrun, from Malaysia Today:
Who let that Big Dog Out? He is barking maliciously most characteristically in his concrete jungle of lies.
The blogger known as Big Dog who happily did his ridiculous spin about DAP and Christians and has to date got away scot free, seems to be barking to the tune of his political masters.
He and Marahku (allegedly Shamsul Yunos) lit a seditious spark of venomous hatred with their articles that were carried by Utusan Malaysia.
Recent statements by the Home Minister (who really belongs at home) and the MISInformation Communication and Culture Ministry show how they need not hold the leash to Big Dog’s fat neck because they let this Big Bully Dawg run around rabid style.
Remember – the Home Minister in Dec 16, 2009 took umbrage against bloggers and declared: “There is no credibility in some of their postings while articles are fabricated and sensationalised in an attempt to gain popularity. Local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what differentiated the journalists from these bloggers.”
Now that this Bully Dawg is singing his tune, his comment is: “This type of movement can be deemed as incitement and can put the whole country in jeopardy.”
No wonder Big Dog is running wild and free in the streets!
That aside, let’s look at Big Dog’s tendency to spew malicious and evil lies.
Emmanuel Joseph has a letter in Malaysia Today that should clue you in on what this latest Spewtusan-championed smear is really all about.
UPDATE: 13 May 2011: Teresa Kok wants Spew-tusan’s license to spew revoked! She of all people know what kind of unethical, lowlife spew they are capable of!
Narnia fans’ fury after Liam Neeson claims Aslan – the symbol of Christ – could also be Mohammed
C. S. Lewis was clear that the character of Aslan in his Chronicles of Narnia is based on Christ.
But actor Liam Neeson, who voices the lion in the latest Narnia film, has prompted a row after claiming his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.
C S Lewis had a firm view about the role of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia.
The author once wrote of the character: ‘He is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?”’
This represents the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in shattering the power of the White Witch, the resurrection’s conquest of original sin.
Ahead of the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next Thursday, Neeson said: ‘Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.
‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.’
Fans will immediately realize who the monstrous entity Tash, whom the Arab-like Calormenes worship, is supposed to represent.
Thus I must conjecture that Liam never got that in depth into the series, or else is simply pandering to multiculturalism while being wholly insincere about his views.
But as Unenlightened Commentary points out, that would mean that Aslan is a visual depiction of Mohammad and a fatwa should be issued against the entire Narnia series.
Great going, Liam.
This is an interesting dude.
You might argue with him on the finer points of the examples and precedents cited in the article, and on just how free people were to worship in Jerusalem before 1948, but he seems like he’d at least argue his points reasonably.
Hope he doesn’t get fatwaed as an apostate or anything like that for his views, srsly! I believe many Muslims disagree with his views.
Excerpts from The Star 11 Oct 2010:
The importance of dialogue
BY SHAHANAAZ HABIB
Syria’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Dr Ahmad Badr Al Din Hassoun is no stranger to churches and temples. He has visited more than 300, giving speeches there and calling for tolerance and mutual respect among different religions.
He argues that Muslims who oppose inter-faith debates and dialogues are those who lack genuine and deep knowledge of Islam.
“They don’t truly comprehend what Islam really is so they have closed in on themselves and confined Islam to their own identity.”
He points out that the Holy Quran is in fact a book of dialogues and debates.
“What did Abraham say to his people when he was arguing against idol worship and what did they say to him in reply? Moses was arguing with the Pharaoh and Muhammad with his opponents who are the non-believers. All this is in the Quran.
“God is reciting to us all these debates as part of the Quran. Even the angels protested and argued with God when He was about to create man – and that too is recorded in the Quran,” he says.
His point is that “God is teaching us the discourse of dialogue and exchange”.
Using that argument, he asks, how can a child know about life if he does not have a dialogue with his mother or how can students in primary schools learn without some form of dialogue with teachers?
“How can we build a state or country without exchange of some kind?
“I love Islam and choose it because it doesn’t deny the other religions. Every day I affirm to myself that my Lord is the Lord of the universe, so how can I reject and turn my back on dialogue when my God and theirs is the same?”
And Dr Ahmad Badr puts what he preaches to practice. To date he has visited over 300 churches and temples and spoken in them.
He has even prayed in churches!
“The Holy Prophet was in Mecca for 13 years and he used to go and pray in the Kaabah area. At that time, there were 360 stone idols circling the Kaabah and he would stand in the midst of them and pray to God.
“He wasn’t concerned about the presence of the stone idols there. He never once touched (destroyed) any with his hand. He let those who believed pray to them, while he prayed to God itself. He was patient with them for 21 years but asked how they can worship idols that they made with their hands.”
For Dr Ahmad Badr, it is crucial to engage and relate with the rest of the world.
“We shouldn’t simply fight and oppose non-Muslims. Neither should we turn our back or refuse to go out and reach out to them,” he says.
He notes that the Holy Prophet always reached out to Jews, pagans and non-believers. Prophet Muhammad used to visit the council house of the pagans when they made decisions and even went to their homes where there were idols. He also visited the homes of the Jews in Medina.
“He never had any problems going to those places. He went there to display the true behaviour and virtue of the Muslim. So why are Muslims afraid to go to these places?
“I go to the house of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. I visit them and bring them presents. This is what Islam taught me to do – to respect the human being.
“I think this is what Muslims need today,” he urges.
Furthermore, Dr Ahmad Badr does not believe in a so-called Islamic state or a state defined by religion because he deems it to be divisive and even dangerous.
He points out that religion and state are relatively recent terms, and that during the time of the Prophet there were Jews, Christians and pagans living together and the Prophet interacted with them. They were allowed to keep their religion and they were part of the state.
Hence, he says, the notion of a “religious state” rejects such an arrangement.
“In such a state, there should be only one religion, which implies a rejection of the religion of others. This is not what is preached by Islam,” he says, adding that there should be no compulsion in religion.
“Religion is my relationship with God and not my relationship to the state,” he stresses, adding that faith is rooted in the heart – and the heart is the house of God.
“Everyone has a heart which is a place of worship of God and this place is lit up by light and faith,” he explains, adding that if the seven billion people on earth had their hearts enlightened by faith, then they would realise that any individual who is slain reflects on God himself.
“I don’t believe in religious wars nor in holy wars. The killing of another human is not a holy deed. I never saw religion bid me to kill anyone. My religion has commanded me to try to reach out to people to bring them to a state of peace,” he declares, adding that it is important to teach people, especially the young, to have respect for all sacred teachings.
Having studied the different faiths in the world, Dr Ahmad Badr says, religions do not conflict as they all invite to one essential value, which is the sacredness of the divine and the inherent dignity of the individual.
But the problem, he says, is that followers do not really comprehend the religion they adhere to and that some political leaders exploit religious sentiment and “light the fire to promote discord and enmity” between the followers of different faiths to advance their own special interest.
“This is what is happening today in the world,” he says.
Educate and enlighten
Touching on the Palestinian and Israeli problem, he says that in the past (before the state of Israel was formed in 1948) Muslims, Christians and Jews used to live in peace and harmony and there were no problems with people of any faith going to worship at the holy sites and shrines, be it in Jerusalem or Bethlehem.
But now, because of the international partitioning, millions of Palestinians have been evicted from their homes and made refugees (so that Israelis can move in) and there are also thousands of armed Israeli troops around the holy sites so “how can I go and pray to God when armed men are around me”.
He also highlights the irony that Europe, with 33 countries, a number of languages and religions, has lifted the borders between them, while in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, it is the opposite.
Some want Iraq split into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states, he says, while in Sudan there is a threat of the north and south being divided based on religion.
Dr Ahmad Badr also laments that Muslims are abused more by their own leadership than by the non-Muslim world.
“Don’t ask me about the Arab lands. I am so saddened by what they are doing in those places. I don’t complain about the enemies,” he says.
And what does he think about the Danish cartoons ridiculing the Prophet and the American pastor who threatened to burn the Quran?
He says he had actually invited the cartoonist (Kurt Westergaard) and Florida pastor (Terry Jones) to Syria for a dialogue (but they did not agree) so that they would learn what Islam is really like and what the Quran represents.
“I don’t curse them and I don’t oppose them in fighting. I try to educate and enlighten. If the cartoonist really knew who Muhammad was, he would never ever have distorted the image in such a cartoon fashion.” (The cartoons which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and sparked Muslim outrage internationally have been recently republished in a book titled The Tyranny of Silence.)
As for pastor Jones, Dr Ahmad Badr says he did not read the Quran so he does not know there is a most beautiful and profound portrayal in it of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
“The Quran teaches me as a Muslim to respect and value the views of the Jews and Christians. The pastor wants to burn a document that ensures we have mutual respect, which he claims is lacking in us. So he is the one who loses, not me.”
In any case, he says, the real copy of the Quran for Muslims is not on paper but in their breast.
“We keep it preserved pure in our heart. These men should not be opposed or condemned in a violent manner. If they really understood and realised the reality of Islam, then they would learn to love and respect it.”
See here for more on Geert Wilders – he was just repeating the viewpoint of self-proclaimed Muslims, but as mentioned above, one that Dr Ahmad opposes.