Tag Archives: religion

The war with Islam explained

Link here. The author, very obviously well educated in both the Islamic religion as well as recent Islamic history, describes the real religious meaning of phrases like “Allahu Akbar” and “la ilaha illa Allah” and in the process outlines quite clearly the power-hungry goals of Islam, based on the religion itself.

This is also why “Allahu Akbar” and “la ilaha illa Allah” – both statements of faith that embody the religious concept of the supremacy of Islam and of Allah – are mistranslated. First it was the struggle to establish the supremacy of the monotheistic Islam over the pagan idols of seventh-century Mecca. Then it was a struggle for supremacy over other religions, including monotheistic ones, in the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in the expulsion of non-Muslims, as related in the compilation of hadiths on behalf of the Prophet Muhammad: “I shall take out the Jews and the Christians from the Peninsula”[5] – a ban that is in force to this day against non-Muslim religious institutions. Later it was a struggle against other religious empires, such as the Persian and the Byzantine. However, the rendering of “Allahu Akbar” in the U.S. media as “God is great” omits the aspect of superiority in the word Akbar (which but means “greater” or “greatest,” not merely “great”) and blurs the specific reference to Allah rather than to another deity. In the same vein, “la illaha illa Allah” is often translated in the U.S. media as “There is no god but God” (rather than “There is no god but Allah”). Omitting the supremacy of Allah over all other deities is a mistranslation, and moreover leads to a logical fallacy – reminiscent of Carrollian nonsense verses.

One of the reasons for such mistranslations is the fact that in the modern Western world the struggle for supremacy among religions has almost completely ceased, and to the extent that it still exists, it is nonviolent. Therefore, statements of religious faith that embody a continuing historical struggle for divine religious supremacy lack a modern religious/cultural conceptual basis through which to be understood in the West, and consequently lack a linguistic equivalent. The American media, facing the risk of not being understood in translating these Islamic concepts, prefer to provide an approximate translation, even though these are inherently misleading.

This is not to say that “Allahu Akbar” is uttered only by jihadis continuing the age-old struggle for the supremacy of Islam and of Allah. Over the centuries it has come to be uttered by non-religious Muslims as well, and even by Christian Arabs. In many cases, it carries a variety of meanings – ranging from admiration for what is perceived as a wonderful act of Allah to an expression of shock and horror in the face of calamity.

A translation should always reflect the context, the speaker, and his intent. But what often happens in the U.S. media is that when “Allahu Akbar” is said by a jihadi, it is translated as if said by a non-religious Muslim or a Christian Arab. This is utterly wrong. And when such mistranslations occur time and again, whether intentional or out of ignorance, it results in a profoundly apologetic misrepresentation of the concept, and its cultural and religious meaning.

Note the history as described. Even if there are millions of Muslims who do not wish to conquer, oppress, and eliminate other religions, the fundamentals of Islam end up causing it to do these exact things, eventually. And these fundamentals are once again today driving the religion’s power elites. Woe to us here in the west if we do not heed this reality.

I strongly suggest my readers read the entire essay at the link. He documents his points in great detail, and quite thoughtfully.

“Listen, you better not have a church down there.”

Another quote from the same article:

As for Pastor Olive – his church will no longer meet in its church-owned coffee house. Instead, it is taking its congregation “underground” until the issue is resolved.

Remember, this is happening in Florida, in the United States.

Increasing hostility to religion in America

A yearly survey of incidents of religious discrimination in the U.S. has found a steady rise in the past three years.

For the last three years the Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council has published Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America. The legal group says they’re seeing cases of discrimination against those of faith rising rapidly. “The first time we did it, we collected about 600 cases,” Jeff Mateer, general counsel of the Texas-based Liberty Institute, told CBN News. “We went from 600 to 1,200. And this year we’re up to about 1,600. So, the threats are continuing to increase at a dramatic pace.”

The article outlines some specific stories that are quite horrifying. The worst was the case of a man fired from his job because of the sermons he gave during his free time. Sadly, that is only a sample.

Tennessee cheerleaders defy a ban on pregame public prayers

Despite a ban on any pregame prayers at a Tennessee high school, forced on the school to avoid court suits, the school’s cheerleaders led the crowd in prayer anyway.

Prayer organized by school officials is inappropriate and unconstitutional. Prayer organized by students, however, is completely appropriate and constitutional. I would hope more students do this kind of defiant behavior, because the anti-religious organizations that threatened lawsuits are increasingly challenging the rights of the students, and that effort must be resisted.

“Tolerance, freedom, and the hypocrisy in an age of confusion”

The reflections of one man concerning the present social conflict between religion and gay rights.

An employee of a church or school is – must be! – a role model to all parishioners and students, even to the community. The church or school cannot allow its message, already under so much assault by the pop culture, the press, and the government, to be undermined even by its own employees.

Such actions [gay marriage] therefore force the hand of the Church; it must defend its policies by terminating employees who will no longer be the role models the Church needs.

Again, tolerating a failing is one thing; endorsing it is another. When you keep a failing private, you can hope for tolerance (your employer can continue to hope it’s a weakness that you’ll conquer or outgrow). But when one chooses to make that failing public – again, whether we agree that it’s a failing or not is immaterial; the Church thinks so, and the employee knew it – then one has to take the consequences of tearing that rift.

A very wise and thoughtful essay. Please read it all.

A Michigan union contract requires a school district to discriminate against Christians and whites.

Liberal fairness: A Michigan union contract requires a school district to discriminate against Christians and whites.

In a truly fair society, ethnicity, religion, or race would not be considered at all in deciding who to hire. Obviously, that is not what this union wants.

Two Baptist chaplains are suing the Veterans Administration for demanding they stop naming “Jesus” in their prayers.

Freedom in Modern America: Two Baptist chaplains are suing the Veterans Administration for demanding they stop naming “Jesus” in their prayers.

Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus. When the men objected to those demands they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.

The Obama administration has ordered 1100 square miles of open ocean off limits to private fisherman and tourists because of the government shutdown.

Shutdown fascism: The Obama administration has ordered 1100 square miles of open ocean off limits to private fisherman and tourists because of the government shutdown.

The article above also has a link to a story where voluntary unpaid Catholic priests have been told by the Obama administration that they will face arrest if they try to serve mass at military chapels or minister to military personnel during the shutdown.

More than a thousand pastors have resolved to defy the IRS and preach politics from the pulpit before the election.

Good for them: More than a thousand pastors have resolved to defy the IRS and preach politics from the pulpit before the election.

“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor — and not the IRS — decides what is said from the pulpit,” Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told FoxNews.com. “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.” Stanley said pastors attending the Oct. 7 “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” will “preach sermons that will talk about the candidates running for office” and then “make a specific recommendation.” The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS.

“We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened,” he said. “We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this down as unconstitutional.”

First of all, the IRS has always enforced this oppressive regulation very selectively. Black churches for example have been allowed to preach Democratic Party politics for decades, without any threats from the IRS.

Second, the regulation really does make no sense. What right does the IRS have deny these religious leaders the freedom to participate in the political debate? Free speech is free speech. To threaten their tax status just because they express their opinions for or against a candidate seems quite oppressive, the kind of thing petty dictators do when they want to shut their opponents up.

In fact, when you think about it, the regulation’s basic consequence was to shut these religious leaders up. Much like the “equal time” regulation that was used for decades to shut up conservative thought on the radio and television airwaves, this IRS regulation has effectively banned religion from the political process. Our Constitution might forbid Congress from setting up an official religion, but it does not forbid people of religion from using their moral teachings to try to influence elections. As I say, free speech is free speech. They are citizens like everyone else, and have the right to express their ideas and to try to persuade people. And in a free society, no one is obliged to listen to them or be convinced by them,

A Florida family now faces fines for hosting weekly Bible study sessions in their home.

A Florida family now faces fines for hosting weekly Bible study sessions in their home.

Shane and Marlen Roessiger, of Venice, Fla. are facing a $250 per day fine for hosting Friday night prayer and Bible study gatherings that are attended by as many as 10 people. “It is difficult to understand how it is illegal to have a prayer meeting on Friday night with a half dozen people but it is alright if I invited the same group on Monday evening to watch Monday night Football,” Roessiger said. The Roessigers are also facing a fine for putting a small sign in their front yard.

Gee, maybe they should riot and kill people instead. That way the government would call them members of the religion of peace and let them practice their religion freely.

The atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation has threatened to sue 151 Mississippi schools if they allow students to pray using public address systems during athletic events.

Freedom for me but not for thee: The atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation has threatened to sue 151 Mississippi schools if they allow students to pray using public address systems during athletic events.

In other words, according to this atheist organization, all expression of religion must be banned from the public marketplace of ideas. Only then will we have true freedom!

What is encouraging from this article is the increasing willingness of school officials, religious leaders, and students to resist this oppression.

Criminal charges have been filed against a German rabbi for performing circumcisions.

Criminal charges have been filed against a German rabbi for performing circumcisions.

A doctor from Hesse filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg, who serves in the community of Hof, in Upper Franconia (northern Bavaria), according to the Juedische Allgemeine weekly newspaper. The chief prosecutor of Hof confirmed that charges had been filed against the rabbi. The charges are based on the controversial decision of a Cologne district court, which ruled in June that circumcisions for religious reasons constitute illegal bodily harm to newborn babies.

The article does not tell us anything about the doctor who filed the complaint. I wonder what that doctor’s motives are.

Because of a single complaint a retirement home has forbidden its residents from praying.in common areas.

Land of the free? Because of a single complaint a retirement home has forbidden its residents from praying in common areas.

The complaining resident, Wanda Hughes told DePetro that she wrote a letter to the property management group because she finds the Rosary to be “an in your face ritual.” In the letter she threatens to bring the issue to the ACLU if it is not addressed.

What I find disgusting is that this person, Wanda Hughes, somehow thinks that just because she doesn’t like prayer she has the right to shut it down. The rights of others mean nothing to her.

What is also disgusting is the cowardice of Brook Village Retirement Home in North Providence, which immediately bowed to her wishes while grinding its fist into the faces of everyone else.

A Phoenix man has been jailed for hold Bible study sessions in his own home.

This is freedom? A Phoenix man has been jailed for holding private Bible study sessions in his own home.

Salman is the owner of Mighty Mike’s Burgers — and he is also an ordained pastor. He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people.

Wow! As many as fifteen people! The mind boggles. Just imagine the traffic problems these mobs must have caused, especially as they gathered on a plot of land as small as 4.6 acres!

How the Higgs boson explains the universe.

How the Higgs boson explains the universe.

And what it can’t explain:

The discovery [by the existence of the Higgs boson] that nature is beautifully symmetric means we have very little choice in how the elementary particles do their dance – the rules simply “come for free”. Why the universe should be built in such an elegant fashion is not understood yet, but it leaves us with a sense of awe and wonder that we should be privileged to live in such a place.

Science discovers how the universe operates. Philosophy and religion try to explain why. Thus, it is perfectly reasonable in a rational world to consider the existence of God, and why musings about the possibility of intelligent design do not contradict pure science.

And I speak not as a religious person, but as a secular humanist.

The French trial of a CERN physicist for associating with terrorists began today.

The French trial of a CERN physicist for associating with terrorists began today.

As much as I fear and oppose the intolerant Islamic world, I worry when we in the West beginning putting people on trial merely for talking to the wrong people. I wish the accusations against this man weren’t so vague.

The testimony of the fired JPL employee who is claiming religious discrimination continued on Monday.

The testimony continued on Monday of the fired JPL employee who is claiming the science center fired him because of his religious beliefs.

[David Coppedge] trial’s started last week, and on Monday [he] testified that his supervisor Gregory Chin had wrongly accused him, threatened his freedom of religion and created a potentially hostile working environment. “You are pushing your religion in this office and harassing people with this religion,” Chin said, according to Coppedge, who added: “He was angry and he got angrier.”

Coppedge said he asked Chin why he considered intelligent design anything but science. “Dave, intelligent design is religion,” Chin replied, according to Coppedge. Chin warned him against discussing religion or politics with colleagues, he said.

“I felt threatened .. I said: ‘Greg, this gets into issues of free speech and freedom of religion … this could be construed as creating a hostile work environment’,” he added.

Real scientists should never feel threatened by anything Coppedge was saying, and should in fact enjoy debating the issue. Unfortunately, I have learned that such open-mindedness is found with increasing rarity in modern intellectual society, especially when it comes to Judeo-Christian beliefs. This is why I tend to believe Coppedge’s story.

One private religious company explains why it can’t go along with the Obama administration’s mandate on contraceptives.

One private religious company explains why it will refuse to go along with the Obama administration’s mandate on contraceptives.

The administration’s supporters say that by opposing the rule, religious employers like EWTN are guilty of trying to coerce our employees and impose our values on them. But we are simply choosing not to participate in the use of these drugs. Our 350 employees, many of whom are not Catholic, freely choose to work here and can purchase and use contraception if they want to. They are aware of the values we practice, and I hear regularly from Catholic and non-Catholic employees alike how much they love working for an organization that is defined by its Catholic beliefs — beliefs that we think result in a better workplace and more expansive benefits over all.

Instead, it is the government — which does not accept EWTN’s religious choice and can punish that choice by imposing fines — that is coercing us. But under the Constitution and federal religious liberties law, we cannot be forced to give up our beliefs as the price of participation in the public square. That is why the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed a lawsuit on our behalf seeking to overturn this illegal mandate.

Once again, whether or not you agree with the Obama administration’s policy, the mandate is unconstitutional. The federal government is expressly forbidden from imposing its will in this manner by the 1st Amendment.

Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration.

Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration. Key reaction from one Congressman:

“Well, just so everybody understands what is going to happen: These guys are either going to go to jail because they won’t violate their religious beliefs, or the hospitals and the schools are going to close, which means governemnt is going to get bigger, because they’re going to have to fill the void that is left when you guys quit doing it. And maybe that’s what [the Obama administration] wanted all along.”

When did we become a nation where government officials can order anyone to do anything, even if that order contradicts a person’s personal religious beliefs? And if you are a Democrat and don’t mind Obama’s orders because you agree with them, just remember that the Democrats are not going to be in power forever. Do you want a conservative Republican to have that same power?

In a free society, no politician should ever have such power. It is essential that everyone stand up against this attack on freedom. And it is even more important that these thugs be removed from office as soon as possible.

Obama administration has decided that volunteering will work to forgive a student loan, as long as that volunteer work is not for a religious organization

Obama administration has decided that volunteering will work to forgive a student loan — as per the law that Congress passed — as long as that volunteer work is not for a religious organization.

Congress created the loan forgiveness program in 2007 to encourage graduates to enter the public service field. In exchange for that service, the remaining balance of student loans would be considered repaid after 120 full payments.

To qualify for the loan forgiveness, one must now work for a federal, state or local government agency or organization, including public water, bridge or housing districts, or nonprofit organizations designated as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service.

More and more, it is obvious that this administration and those who support it are hostile to religion (except for Islam), hostile to freedom, and focused on gathering all power and control to the federal government.

Obamacare vs. the Catholics

Religious liberty is such an inconvenient thing: Obamacare vs. the Catholics.

And then there’s this: An affront Catholics agree on.

And this: The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America has announced its unanimous support of the Catholic Church and opposition to the Obama Administration over the new Obamacare regulations.

My question is this: if Obama should back down before the election and cancel these odious regulations, will the liberal church leaders forget the whole thing and support him again, or will they finally wake up and see him for what he is: an arrogant power-hungry politician eager to force his will on everyone, regardless of their beliefs?

More than 40 non-Catholic religious organizations, including both Jews and Protestants, have declared their “solidarity” with the Catholics against the Obama administrations new health regulations.

More than 40 non-Catholic religious organizations, including both Jews and Protestants, have declared their “solidarity” with the Catholics against the Obama administration’s new health regulations under Obamacare.

In a visit to Pope Benedict last month, Britain’s chief rabbi spoke out against the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, and defended the free market values of Judeo-Christian culture.

In a visit to Pope Benedict last month, Britain’s chief rabbi spoke out against the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, and defended the free market values of Judeo-Christian culture.

What I found most disturbing in this article is highlighted below:

Separately, in a speech to the British House of Lords, Sacks denounced increasing persecution of Christians by radical Islam, warning that the “fate of Christians in the Middle East today is the litmus test of the Arab Spring.” In Rome and in London, he was more outspoken than are many of Europe’s often muted church officials, who typically fear to defend their faith, their culture, or their persecuted brethren. [emphasis mine]

How tragic that European church officials no longer have the courage to condemn persecution by Islamic radicals.

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