Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Can a Good Christian be a Good American?

A few days ago, I received an e-mail forward titled “Can a Good Muslim be a Good American? No!” It reminded me of another ludicrous forward I recently received claiming Barack Obama was a Trojan Muslim who endorsed “the radical teaching (of) Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world” and insisted that “the Muslims have a plan on destroying the US from the inside out; what better way to start than at the highest level!”

Incredulous, I was in the middle of typing a snarky response when my brother, who had also received the same forward, sent me a reply that was almost word for word what I was in the middle of typing. You'd almost think we were related. I decided to blend our two answers and post them here. What follows is the original e-mail and my brother’s and my answer.


This is something I've wondered about for some time now: How & why do the Muslims hate us & everyone else so much? Doesn't their God teach them to love? Of course this applies to Canada and for that matter the whole of Western Europe as well.

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

I sent that question to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.

The following is his reply:

Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia 

Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)

Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

Geographically - no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day. 

Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan. 

Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34). 

Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually - no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 other names.

So, after much study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Muslims and good Americans.

Call it what you wish....it's still the truth. And if that equates to "profiling" which is tantamount to murder by the liberals, then so be it. If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. Pass it on, Fellow Americans. This war is larger than we know or understand. It will take much longer than any one of us anticipates, and the timetables for exiting Iraq are senseless given the mind set of all fanatic Muslims. With the exception of 9-11, London and Madrid, the fight has been there. Should we not continue to keep them occupied and away from our shores?


This is something I've wondered about for some time now: How & why do Christians hate everyone else so much? Doesn't their God teach them to love?

Can a good Christian be a good American?

Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel and never to any mere man.

Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by Jehovah except Christianity.

Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the Holy Bible and the Ten Commandments.

Geographically – no. Because his God does not recognize borders on maps drawn by men and his followers look for his return in Jerusalem.

Socially - no. Because he interprets his allegiance to Christianity as forbidding him to make friends with homosexuals, women who have abortions, Muslims and all unrepentant sinners bound to burn in a lake of eternal fire.

Politically - No, because they submit themselves only to their God who has been known, on occasion, to call for the total decimation of any country—men, women, children, livestock, etc—who dare to stand against the chosen people.

Domestically - no. Because the Bible commands a wife (or wives) to utterly obey her husband in all things, decrees that children must be put to death for disobeying their parents, that slavery is permissible and that the village is to execute any member who dares to eat shrimp, wear mixed fiber clothing, or sit too close to a menstrating woman.

Intellectually - No, because he cannot accept that the U.S. Constitution is an infallible document (only the Bible, with its thousands of translations and transliterations is completely error free).

Philosophically - No, because the Christian adheres to a Theocracy, not a Democracy, willingly laying aside his State-granted freedoms and rights for the will and commands of God.

Spiritually - No, because the Christian's “loving and kind” God apparently teaches them that there is no better way to spread that love to the unrepentant than with a carrier strike group armed with laser and GPS guided cruise missiles, 2,000 pound bunker busters, and nuclear warheads.

So, after much study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL CHRISTIANS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Christians and “good” Americans.

Call it what you wish....it's still the truth. And if that equates to "profiling" which is so beloved by this Administration, then so be it. If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends, so the Justice Department, which tracks you and your friends’ virtual movements, can keep tabs on you. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. Pass it on, Fellow Americans. This war is more idiotic and based on lies than we know or understand. With the exception of a handful of bombed out abortion clinics, the fight has mostly been over there, in Europe—the Crusades, the Inquisition and such. We must eradicate the Christian parasites before they infiltrate our country and even the highest office of our land!


Anonymous Eric said...

I don't know Brandon. Let's ask the founding fathers if a good Christian can be a good American. I choose to accept their version over, well, to put it politely....yours.

George Washington:
"To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian" [May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge]

“ It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”

“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

James Madison
“ We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.”

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

John Adams and John Hancock:
We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]

John Adams:
“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798

John Quincy Adams:
• “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?
--1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Benjamin Franklin:
“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]

Alexander Hamilton:
"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

Patrick Henry:
“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

Thomas Jefferson:
“ The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

Noah Webster:
“ The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.”

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
[Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language]

Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49]

“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]

“The Bible was America’s basic textbook
in all fields.” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]

9:03 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

sarcasm |ˈsärˌkazəm| |ˌsɑrˈkøzəm| |ˌsɑːkaz(ə)m
the use of irony to mock or convey contempt : his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment. See note at wit .

ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French sarcasme, or via late Latin from late Greek sarkasmos, from Greek sarkazein ‘tear flesh,’ in late Greek ‘gnash the teeth, speak bitterly’ (from sarx, sark- ‘flesh’ ).

Hyper-orgasmic Founding Father love aside Eric, you really must read that definition of sarcasm. Of course a Christian can be a good American. As can a good Muslim. That, after all, is the point.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous nate said...



8:37 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

One of the worst things about these types of emails and media blah is that naive, take-it-at-face-value type folks like myself tend to nod our heads and say to ourselves, "I knew there was something about them Muslims... now I 'know'." Then the suspicion and eventually hate ensues.

My naive, take-what-they're-told-and-indeed-see-at-face value Muslim counterparts likewise hear and see these things and no doubt think to themselves, "I knew there was something about them Americans who I'm told are all Christians." And then the suspicion, bitterness, and eventually hate...



10:08 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Point well taken, Brandon. That piece engenders hate and the "logical" inferences are rather pathetic. As you have shown, the same logic could be used to engender animosity towards Christians. Anyone who is willing to allow freedom of worship for others is able to be a citizen of our country, religion aside.

I also liked the quotes that Eric stated. I don't see them as hyper-orgasmic (personally, I've never linked orgasmic and founding fathers in my mind). They are grand statements that give us valuable insight into great statesmen and the influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition on their thinking. It IS part of our heritage and we should cherish it.

Also, it is true that radical Muslims do seek to move into an area and use intimidation to make that area conform to their particular views. This just recently happened in a very violent way in Lebanon. And that societal coercion has also been used in Michigan. I know, Christians have used violence and coercion as well. Still, just compare our government with ANY Muslim led government. Who would you want to govern you? Islam did not birth democracy, reformation and renaissance ideas birthed democracy.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Agreed! I'd much rather live in a democracy (though ours is starting to show some dangerous lesions). But, as you recognize, this isn't about the validity of government, but of a people to be governed.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not so great at history but I'm pretty sure that Islam did found some of the first academically and economically advanced early societies pioneering in trade with other countries and certain intellectual disciplines (math) and universities.

There is no way to measure the effect of wars and colonization on some of the muslim countries we speak of that were so rich in resources they attracted the attention of other countries that forcibly stripped their goods. And there are many things that contributed to the formation of democracy and the particular "success" of democratic capitalism in the U.S which range from idealism to geography.

Many of our founding fathers were deists - yet the Judeo-Christian and protestant work ethic is obviously deeply ingrained in our national mythology and even materially in our currency. But it is overly simplistic to say Islam itself is antithetical to democracy without giving serious consideration to other internal factors of these countries - geography, resources, etc...

1:17 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Ah, written like a good, intellectually curious MA student. You go girl!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Brandon, I am also concerned about the liberties that we seem so willing to let flitter away. I am also concerned that we adress the threat terrorism poses to us. I think that our country is in need of a serious debate that wrestles with these issues in a far-sighted way to come up with a solution that is of the quality that the founding fathers did with the issues that they wrestled with.

Robyn, A well stated argument. Are you implying that the lack of freedoms and liberties in Muslim countries are primarily the result of colonization, geography, and resources...? What I see in these countries is a tyrannical elite that rigs the system in order to keep their own poor down for their own gain. And they are vicious when it comes to allowing freedom of worship or speech. They represent what our founding fathers were desperately trying to avoid. I find it hard to believe that this is not heavily influenced by their religious beliefs. The era you speak of that they shined was centuries ago, and I'm not so sure that tolerance was very important to them then either. But it may have been, if so, their ancient ideas seem to have been lost to the Muslim world of today.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Daria said...

Brandon, I cannot BELIEVE you would say that the Bible says women must utterly obey their husbands!! that is NOWHERE in Scripture. how could you?--I am all in a rage about this. >angry face<

kidding = ) (I mean, not really in a rage, but yes, that concept is nowhere in the Bible)

anyway, point well taken (no surprise); nice duo with Jonathan! : )

I don't understand why Christians would recite the pledge of allegiance, actually, since we're on the topic of "good Americans"...throughout history, regimes have noted the "danger" of Christians, because we do swear allegiance to the God of heaven, alone. Right now, in the USA, we're the ones being duped and used by our leaders. : ( no threat, there (opiate of the masses a la neo-cons/Rove)...

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Daria said...

Robyn and Andy~ Robyn, you are correct in stating that early Moslem societies and empires have played a very important role in the intellectual life of the world. The universities and libraries set up by the Moorish empire, for example, were precisely what enabled the great Thomas Aquinas of Christendom to read the work of Aristotle (which arguably radically altered the trajectory of European and N American life, and from there, the rest of the world, at this pt), since the European "barbarian" tribes had wiped out such intellectual holdings on most of the continent (true, the Irish holdings and Irish monks sent to the continent helped "save" European intellectual life, as well).

Andy, I have come to see that the effects of poverty, robbery, oppression, inequality, scarcity/lack of essentials of life, and discrimination and persecution on human thinking and behavior is not so readily available and is not widely discussed in our society. I am a developmental scientist, and I happen to study the effects of acute and chronic stress and trauma on human development, so this kind of info is part of my "world." : ) As such, I have come to see how dramatically this kind of info can change our view of ourselves and our neighbors. I think we should talk a whooooole lot more about this kind of thing in our society.

Systematic investigation of WHO it is who ends up in fundamentalist Moslem schools, and WHY these children are sent to these schools reveals the following: overwhelmingly, it is the children of poor families who are sent to radical Moslem schools. They are sent there by their parents because their children will get a free meal at these schools--a meal these families cannot afford to provide for their children, and that the other schools don't offer.

I hope this strikes your heart. I hope this opens your eyes to something new: the idea that we could PREVENT children from becoming brainwashed instruments of terrorism by FEEDING them--by meeting their material needs! Feeding and clothing the poor, helping them be able to meet their daily needs (eg, access to clean water and arable land with sustainable crops)--something St. James says is part of a "pure," true religion--would do wonders in reducing terrorism around the world.

When we hear of uprisings occurring, when we hear of "guerrillas," "leftists," "resistance fighters," "rebels," etc., causing problems in some country (think of "leftists" in Latin America, think of Nigerian oil workers being kidnapped by surrounding villagers...), we must ask ourselves "Why?" and "What?"--what is their grievance and their petition? what are they seeking? and *why* are they going to the extreme of violent uprising? *why* does some twisted, disgusting, religiously-clad idea even take root in someone and allow them to do violence?--why are they attracted to such ideas, in the first place?

*It is simply UNTRUE that some people "just are" violent, end of story--violence does NOT arise in a vacuum. If we wish to prevent violence, we must understand WHY and HOW it is arising in that person or group. And it's UNacceptable to leave our reasoning at the level of "those people just are violent".* hogwash. I spit at such lazy-minded, degrading notions.

The underlying answers, inevitably, across history and cultures, are very much the same--and religion is rarely, if ever, the foundational reason. It's just a great way to get people speaking the same language and feeling OK about whatever they're doing, solidifying their group identity, and so on. The real reasons have to do with those things which we take as basic human rights and needs--access to food, water, a place to call home without having to scrabble and scrape and hang on the edge of death while your neighbor grows fat in their unjustly-gained wealth.

I hope we can see past simplistic non-explanations and grasp the real in these matters.

oh--and, indeed, the Moslem empire of the Moors in Europe, in any case, was all about tolerance, which is why cultural and scientific life flourished under their regime, with Christians, Jews, and Moslems living side by side in peace.
There's nothing like the rallying cry of "we've been wronged, our land and resources stolen, our women raped, and our children left without a future" to engender the greatest, ugliest distortions and abuses of religion...

(We're not taught about early modern Middle Eastern history. We're paying for it now--and how)

6:23 PM  

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