The Truth is the Truth No Matter Who Speaks It…

Which is why this letter to the editor strikes me as so plainly and obviously true that I repost it here.

I just cannot let the letters in Sunday’s paper [the Cleveland Plain Dealer] go by, especially the statement by Joane Johnson that she has “more to fear of what right-wing Christians could or would do to me than any Muslim.” If people wish to wallow in the misery of the past, that is their prerogative. However, if one wishes to open her eyes and ears to what is taking place in the present, she will find a very different story. More than 99 percent of what is done in the name of Christianity today is for the good. I recall that after 9/11, it wasn’t just a few extremists celebrating, but whole nations of Muslim populations worldwide were dancing in the streets. I know of no Christian clergy person who encourages his parishioners to strap on explosives and board planes or go into busy marketplaces and blow themselves up along with hundreds of innocent people. On the other hand, there are Muslim imams who do just that.

Richard M. Wittig Berea

I don’t know Richard but I do know that he is 100% correct. It may not be ‘politically correct’ to point out such obvious truths, but pointed out they must be.

We’re frequently told that it’s Radical Islam that perpetrates these violent acts.  But we surely aren’t expected to believe that it is only Radicals who rejoice in violence else streets across the Muslim world wouldn’t be filled with celebratory dancing every time innocent Americans or Brits or Westerners are killed.

Islam needs to ask itself a fundamentally difficult question-   ‘what is it about our faith that offers support to the celebration of violence’?  As Richard notes- I can’t think of a single Christian cleric who would applaud the deaths of innocents.  I don’t think anyone else can either.

Now, mind you, this does not mean that Christians should permit themselves to return ‘evil for evil’.  Absolutely not.  Never.  And Christian clerics and theologians are duty bound to say so.  Violence in response to violence is not the Christian way.  It never has been, and it never can be.

Calvin: On Proper Confidence

On Psalm 13 Calvin comments

We can, therefore, with confidence pray for ourselves, in the manner in which David here does for himself, only when we fight under the standard of God, and are obedient to his orders, so that our enemies cannot obtain the victory over us without wickedly triumphing over God himself.

His meaning is fairly clear: we can claim the protection of God only if we are obedient to God. Being ‘in Christ’ is everything for Calvin.

Violence Against Christians: The Case of Malaysia

Amazingly

A fourth church in Malaysia was hit by firebombs Saturday, stoking concern among Christians as a dispute rages over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. The latest incident occurred after three other churches were firebombed Friday, just days after a Kuala Lumpur court ruled non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in their literature.

Islam means ‘peace’… or so we’re told.

“Why resort to violence? These attacks are a cowardly act and a crime against the Christian population,” Loke told the Associated Press. The Dec. 31 court decision incensed many Muslims, who see it as a threat to their religion. Hateful comments and threats against Christians have been posted widely on the Internet, but this is the first time the controversy has turned destructive.

Madness.

Violence Against Opponents: The Case of Hak-Shing William Tam

Gay activists have perpetrated acts of vandalism against Mr Tam to such an extent that the proponent of Prop 8 out in California has withdrawn from a federal suit on the issue, in fear for the safety of his family and himself.

An outspoken gay marriage opponent serving as an official litigant defending the state’s ban on same-sex weddings on Friday asked a judge to remove him from the lawsuit because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.

Why?

“I dedicated the majority of my working hours between January 2008 and November 2008 toward qualifying Proposition 8 for the ballot and campaigning for its enactment,” the San Francisco resident told the judge in May in urging to be named an official party to the lawsuit. On Friday, Tam told the court that he was harassed and his property vandalized during the campaign, and feared similar retribution if he continued to represent gay marriage foes’ interest in the lawsuit and trial, which is scheduled to start Monday in San Francisco.

Isn’t it a curiosity of modern society that violence is still seen as a legitimate means by which to crush or squelch ideological opponents? Civilized people don’t vandalize the property of or threaten others.

If the only means by which to achieve one’s agenda is to injure or kill another, then your agenda is unjust in and of itself- as it has somehow or other allowed you the false notion that ‘the ends justify the means’.  The ends don’t ever justify the means.

American Politicians Aren’t The Only Depraved Ones

And it’s not just men who do depraved things.  An Irish member of Parliament has broken the stereotype of the predator male politician by acts of infidelity against here husband, with a 19 year old kid (she’s 58, and, irony of ironies, her name is Mrs. Robinson…)

A political scandal riveting Northern Ireland has a certain cinematic feel: an affair by 58-year-old woman named Mrs. Robinson with a 19-year-old male lover. … But there is a serious side to the story of Iris Robinson, who also happens to be a member of Parliament and the wife of Peter Robinson — Northern Ireland’s government leader. The BBC reported that Iris Robinson allegedly solicited 50,000 pounds ($80,000) from businessmen so her young lover could open a restaurant — without disclosing the fact to lawmakers.

I can’t imagine the Irish taking too kindly to this sort of shenanigan. Though naturally these days being a ‘cougar’ is well-liked among loads of postmoderners.

Emil Egli, Remembered

He was a brilliant historian though his name is nearly forgotten in all but the dustiest corners of academia. Born on the 9th of December, 1848, he

was a Swiss church historian. He studied theology, was ordained in 1870, and served in several villages of the canton of Zürich. In his student days he was deeply interested in historical studies. In 1873 appeared his important work, Die Schlacht bei Cappell 1531; in 1879, Die Züricher Wiedertäufer zur Reformationszeit, a brief product of his Aktensammlung zur Geschichte der Züricher Reformation in den Jahren 1519-1532, which he published (1879) with the support of Zürich and offers an uncommonly rich source on the early history of the Anabaptist movement. In 1887 followed a smaller volume, Die St. Galler Täufer.

And

Egli occupied himself principally with the Reformation in Switzerland. In 1879 he began his work at the university of Zürich as lecturer in church history, and in 1892 he was made a full professor. In addition to a series of shorter works he published Heinrich Bullingers Diarium des Jahres 1504-1574 in the second volume of the Quellen zur schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte, which he founded. After 1897 he published a semiannual periodical, Zwingliana, and after 1899 two volumes of Analecta Reformatorica (documents and treatises on the history of Zwingli and his times; also biographies of Bibliander, Ceporin, Johannes Bullinger). In 1902 he provided for a new edition of the Kessler’s Sabbata (a publication of the historical association of St. Gall). With G. Finsler (Basel) he began the publication of the new edition of Zwingli’s works (Zwingli’s Werke, Leipzig, 1905 ff., in Corpus Reformatorum).

He was astonishing.  He is remembered.