13 December 2011

Islam Part 3- The Devil Went Down to Florida

I find this story to be beyond outrageous. It is both shameful and sad, but is also an opportunity. I continually talk about the effects of Sacralism on the mind of its adherents. Many of you have no doubt heard about the Florida Family group putting pressure on Lowe’s and other companies becauseof their commercials running on a show called: All American Muslim.

The issue? The reality show portrays American Muslims as normal people, not Koran chanting extremists who want to kill. It’s subversive because we might think that Muslims are just…normal, lost people.

So our duty is to oppose this show and those who advertise on it…if we let this go on…it will destroy America and especially…yes, families in Florida.

There are extremists in every camp and I’m sorry to say Christianity is not exempt. The Muslim extremists look at nominal Muslims and call them ‘bad Muslims’…in their Sacralist mindset, they’re not quite apostates, they’re just not being faithful.

Many Christians employ these same categories when talking about the millions of professing Christians attending non-Evangelical Churches…they just need to be taught right. They’re Christians without…a Christian Worldview.

Of course I would be among those that just simply says…the vast majority of people who profess to be Christian are not. Christian is not a sociological or political term…it’s a theological or metaphysical term. While I can’t avoid sociology and history, I’m not fooled into thinking Christendom is equal to the Church or the Kingdom of Christ.

Like it not, sociologically and historically there are many white racists who are Christian. There are fascists who are Christian. This doesn’t mean we acknowledge them as “Christians” but…perhaps you see what I mean?

How would we react if Muslims got mad at the Walton’s television show because all Christians are really…Blackwater mercenaries carrying Tec-9 machine guns. Would that be fair? Portraying Christians as quiet rural families is inaccurate. Well isn’t that how someone in Iraq might see it? We would say…you don’t have a clue. Blackwater’s goons don’t represent Christianity.

What about if they thought all Christians were Crusaders? All Christians were like the guards at Abu Ghraib? What about…all Christians are like The Duggars? Would that be accurate? All American Christians are like Tim Tebow, right?

That would be absurd. But not to the Florida Family Association. It would make sense to them. After all, the billion or so Muslims, all but a handful of them are really just Bin Laden clones.

This way of thinking is so simplistic, so childish, it shouldn’t have to be refuted. But I have to say…this type of thinking seems to almost dominate American Evangelical circles. I can think of many people without trying too hard who would agree with the Florida Family Association’s puerile view of the universe. One wonders if their notions of God are on the same scale?

Apparently to the Florida Family Association…it’s our Christian duty to make fools of ourselves, flaunting our ignorance, and yes, threatening companies that don’t do what we want.

No doubt they protested the Cosby Show in the 1980’s…because all Blacks live in ghettos and do drugs right? Portraying Blacks as normal middle class people…that’s deceptive.

Any show that doesn’t portray Mexicans as migrant workers who sneak across the border at night…is dishonest right? That would be trying to distract us from the evil threats of immigration.

And Jews…any show that doesn’t portray them as rich bankers or Hasidic…must be up to something. Because we know that’s how they all are.

Am I missing something? Aren’t these absurdities on the same scale?

Actually if they bothered to watch real news, read something, talk to people, they’d find that most Muslims in the United States, in fact many Muslims around the world aren’t all that religious….not any more than the average American “Christian” who knows some Bible stories and goes to Church a couple of times a year. In fact I know many people who regularly attend Church and don’t know more than a few Bible stories.

Many Muslims have never read the Koran, many know very little about their religion. For most Muslims…they’re Muslim only in the sense that most Americans are Christians. It too is largely a Sacralism. Almost all pagan religions are…it’s a pagan impulse. Christianity is different…we understand the Kingdom we belong to is not of this world, and yet we still live here.

Most other religions seek to make and/or transform this world into the holy realm, the utopia.

Actually if anyone pays attention to these things, there was a big fuss several years ago over a programme called “Little Mosque on the Prairie”. I remember the Christian Right was having a fit, because it was subversive. I watched it out of curiosity. I listened to some interviews with the Muslim creator of the show and wanted to see what it was all about. Actually if I were a Muslim I would have found it quite insulting and rather demeaning. The Islam of the characters was…frankly a joke. And yet, those involved with the show said it was pretty accurate. That was about the level of Islam found in many communities. They were kind of poking fun at themselves and not realizing they should be embarrassed. It’s sort of like Lutherans who like Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. If that reflects Lutheranism…they should be embarrassed. In that case at least it’s clear he’s mocking them.

Many immigrants come to this country and are shocked by our culture. It’s powerful, it’s often pretty offensive, disgusting and glamourous all at once. Many are left floundering and retreat (for a time) to the comfort and security of their ethnic identity…which due to Sacralism is almost inevitably tied to some form of religious identity.

It hardly means that they’re actively thinking though, propagating, and applying the imperatives of their religious system. They are no more theological than the average American pseudo-Christian. Their thoughts and struggles are cultural. They usually lose the battle in one generation…two at the most.

You see this all the time. Frustrated grandparents sitting with grandchildren. We saw it one day at an Indian restaurant…the very Indian looking grandchild didn’t want to eat the food…to the astonishment of the obviously 1st generation immigrant grandfather.

The white American mother (who had married the Indian son) rebuked the grandfather telling him Timmy didn’t have to eat it if he doesn’t like it. I could see the look on the grandfather’s face and I wondered if at moments like that he thought…what have I done? I came here to gain…but look what we’ve lost? I wanted to make a better life for my family. We have money but I have grandson who looks and acts like a girl and prefers McDonalds to Tikka Masala.

I would encourage people to read books by immigrants, even if they’re fictionalized. Read Khaled Hosseini…it’s simple but quite interesting. You learn about Afghan culture and how the average person thinks. With a little bit of caution I can say…read Jhumpa Lahiri and learn about the struggles of first and second generation immigrants. Those are just a couple of recent and quite popular examples that come to mind. Are you afraid you might find that in the end people in other parts of the world…are just lost people, just like the hosts of people we pass and deal with every day? Is a lost American somehow better than a lost Pakistani? I’m sighing…I know the Sacralist answer…a resounding yes.

The Florida Family Association would also learn that millions of Muslims in Palestine and Iran sit around and watch American movies, the kids have Justin Beiber and Hannah Montana posters on their walls…they’re not extremists in the least. They may recoil a bit when confronted with the sluttish debased realities of American teen culture…but they’re not inclined to Salafi thought. They’re hardly looking to the Koran for their world and life view.

Just because nominal Muslims are not flag waving Americans does not mean they’re extremist either. Americans are generally speaking clueless about their government’s activities and how they’re perceived around the rest of the world. We’re not the good guys, the heroes, the altruistic rescue squad. We’re largely perceived as hypocritical bullies, fat, loud, unbelievably arrogant, and often quite stupid. Oh and we’re also perceived as Christian…what a sterling testimony we are for Christ! Of course we can thank Sacralism for this identification as well.

One wonders if the racists (for that’s what they are) at the Florida Family Association have ever talked to a Muslim?

Isn’t this sad that because of people like this I (as a Christian) feel like I have to write an apologia for Muslims? Not Islam, don’t confuse the two…but Muslims…as people… as human beings.

One day I was at the dentist with my kids and I noticed the new dentist had an Iranian last name. I asked him where he was from in Iran. We had a great discussion about Iran, its geography and history and he shared some interesting stories about his family. I brought up Samuel Huntington’s book on the Clash of Civilizations and he knew it well…and was quite upset by it.

That’s the mindset of these folks at the Florida Family Association. It’s Clash of the Sacralisms…the other is the enemy. If not now, then tomorrow.

Now let’s see…I made a friend that day, as I did with Shiites from Basra who have a Middle Eastern market in a nearby city, as I did with the Sikh truck driver I met in Kmart…as I do with almost every immigrant I run in to. This is equally true when it comes to the Lesbians who live down the road from me.

Treating them decently provides opportunities to speak…hopefully about Christ. And knowing something about the world outside my little narrow Appalachia backwater…opens doors. Didn’t I read something about being all things to all people?

I guess I would be further ahead if I antagonized them and told them they were a bunch of murderous terrorists that beat women, attack innocents, and confuse killing with serving God.

Oh…like American ‘servicemen’ returning from Iraq! Of course I would extend more charity to them, but in many cases they’re already Christians…they say, ‘we see’ and so, there’s really nowhere to go is there? Many of them are already Super-Christians. I didn’t do any tours in Iraq or Afghanistan so what I do I know right?

And Lowe’s and any other company that doesn’t do what I want…yeah, we should threaten them. I’m sure they’ll be real eager to hire people who are Christians. Sure they won’t think…hmmm, trouble here, or ‘walking lawsuit’ will they? They’ll be real eager to have Christians floating around their store looking for people to antagonize and take to court.

Pardon my sardonic jabs, but the Florida Family Association is yet another facet of American Christianity bringing shame to Christ’s Kingdom.

These people are making it so that I cringe to identify myself as a Christian. I feel like having to apologize when I say that I am. What a shame they are to our Lord!

It may seem counterproductive, but I’m getting to the point where I want to use these types of people…as a witnessing tool.

If you say you’re a Bible believing Christian today…most likely you’re immediately labeled as a fanatic, Right-wing fascist, or really ignorant about a lot of real basic social, political, and economic realities.

In other words you’ve already been pigeonholed. I’ve always been leery of telling others I reject 99.5% of what’s out there going by the name Christian. Because then you’re immediately labeled as a cultist-type. I usually assuage this by saying that more or less I’m pretty much in line with the Mayflower Pilgrims.

They are so iconic, so revered and respected…it generally gives me a few more moments to try and make a point or two. It distracts them from immediately thinking I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon or something.

But at this point, if the person I’m talking to already thinks I’m some sort of nutter crazy person… then I might as well say…yes, I know I’m in a tiny minority, but all these other folks are wrong. The Bible itself warns about them. It warns us about people like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and George Bush. We’re warned about groups like the Florida Family Association.

I can tell you from personal experience…saying you’re a Bible believer, being known as a fairly conservative-type person, and then making a statement like that, gets attention. You’ll have a very interested audience. I know some of these people think my family is a homeschooling Right-wing, Patrick Henry College style, George Bush loving, Muslim hating, Sarah Palin adoring, whip ‘em and kick ‘em, bearded men and skirt-wearing women, politically active, litigation minded, gun toting, flag waving bunch of fascists that think Pat Robertson is a brilliant social commentator.

Let me assure you…when they find out they had us completely wrong…you almost have a captive audience. They’re practically begging you to explain what you’re about.

So while I detest the Florida Family Association for their racist idolatry and their twisted and distorted concept of Christian calling, of Salt and Light…on the other hand, I’m thankful for them. This episode and many like it give me opportunity to speak. I’ve been ashamed in the past. I’m still ashamed in one sense, but in another…I’m emboldened by people like this.

They are the true enemy…I hope you can see that. All the forces of Islam and Secularism can’t really do anything to harm the Church. Can these things harm society? Maybe.

The Church?…no way. They have no power over the Church.

UNLESS…the Church has confused Society with the Kingdom…then suddenly all these enemy ‘-isms’ are empowered and can do much harm.

But the Florida Family Association…there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing right before our eyes, perverting the Kingdom, Christian calling and vocation, the definition of Salt and Light, and blatantly teaching other Christians to violate a host of Biblical injunctions regarding how we are to live…as much as possible at peace, with humility and love.

Sacralism breeds war, hate and pride, brings death and serves hell.


Anonymous said...

Black is white and white is black.

Good is evil and evil is good.

Islam is good and Christianity is evil.


Proto said...

Wow, great observation. You obviously didn't read the article did you?

All anonymous posts have to be signed. You don't have to use your real name. Daffy Duck will do.

Anonymous said...

That was well written!
And just what I've been going thru lately.
For awhile now I find myself trying to explain to people what Christianity is...and what it is not.
In a way - people who call themselves Christians but don't act like it - the wolves in sheep's clothing - help us to define ourselves.
It's horrible, the way they turn people from Christ...but we must take the opportunities when they come to use them as examples of how not to be.

I had been influenced by the fear-mongering "Christians" for awhile on Christian radio - finding a bogeyman under every bush.
But the less I listened to them and the more I listened to Jesus and His word...the more I became like Him and the less I became like them.
I began to love everyone more.
And not in some ecumenical - if we just find our sames we can forget our differences - sort of way.
I just love them. It wasn't that long ago I was lost and I remember how I was and what it was like.
I needed love by those who say they know Christ.
What I mostly got was a "look down their nose" judgement. That led me away from Him - not toward Him.

A fellow homeschool mom sent me an email to forward to the group.
(I am the "email forwarder" - for lack of a better term - for our area Christian homeschool group.)
It was this time of year a couple of years ago. It was a letter suggesting we all send Christmas cards to the ACLU.
You see, if we barraged them with cards, they would have to open them all and it would slow down their operations and somehow we would win some sort of a battle against them.
It was a tactic. And we were to be sure to wish them a Merry CHRISTmas!!!
I wrote back and said that I would not forward that because it was mean-spirited.
I said that sometimes we forget from where we came - that we were lost - like others are lost now.
I was once an environmentalist. I hated people - the population needed to be reduced by the billions if we were to ever save the planet. I wasn't necessarily wanting to be one of the billions - as I was a worthy lover of mother earth. And I was into the occult - magic - white magic, not the "evil" magic, but it's all evil.
And Jesus loved me enough to pull me out of the mire I was blindly floundering around in and wash me clean with his blood.
And now that I was standing on the grassy bank, forgiven, clean, and able to see...how could I ever point fingers at those still stuck and blind and laugh and hurt them?
It was up to me to simply point to Jesus as the Way out.


Cal said...

There's another side missing, there is part of the world that loves America and wants to emulate us. I remember hearing a story when I was at military school about a graduate going to some part of the world (I think it was somewhere in the southern Africa region) and how he was the shining example of American generosity and benevolence. I believed it at the time and I wanted so badly to be the shining example of American mores.

There are still communities like Normandy that still think Americans are great. But the majority that love Americans are because of the gold in their eyes. America is a dominating empire, a military juggernaut, a corporate behemoth and went from simple conglomeration of ex-colonies to a world straddling colossus.

A lot of them either want to emulate (such as China) the factors that lead to success. This is seen in some bizarre thoughts and practices. There are some who look at sacralized-protestant-Americo-christianity as some spur for success and some think the Jew is somehow blessed or magical in the realm of finance and gain. I've heard a practice of hiring Jews in China is seen almost as a way of garnering good luck for future endeavors.

It also comes in the fact there is a perception of Americans being rich or valuable. Just like a Roman citizen being harassed would be a terrible decision, so too do Americans hold the same status. Who cares for the hundreds of native-people 'disappearing' on Aruba, but lose a Natalee Holloway and the media is ablaze.

Yet little has to do with 'benevolence' or 'charity', are we the only ones to believe our own propaganda?

Cal said...


That's a real encouraging story!

Back in my days of being totally bereft of Light and totally lost, I would've hated someone like you. I would dismiss you as a dumb, brain-washed hippy liberal and march off with the USMC killing other men for the sake of 'liberty' and 'justice'. And to you I most likely would've been a backwards, barbaric war-mongering imperialist who was willing to hack apart Earth for benefit.

Isn't so bizarre and yet wonderful that people almost disposed to hate one another could now embrace each other as brother and sister? Strange and other-worldly.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, on the other side, Cal...
I can give you a sisterly hug.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Proto! It worked!

Jim said...

Wow- I couldn't believe this was real at first. Good thing we have all of these "christian" groups to protect us from the muslims. What a shameful and absurd display by the florida family association.

This is in some ways like the dark ages - these conservative "christian" groups hate muslims and support murdering them under the banner of the american flag (ie "God bless our troops"). If only they had one protestant pope to be united under we could really repeat some satanic history. These groups have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or His kingdom. Jesus lays down His life for His enemies. The word babylon comes to mind.

Thanks for reporting on this proto. God bless -Jim (dont be a stranger)

Jim said...

I just re-read this post and all I can say is amen proto. I recently was planning a business trip to India and my coworkers there (hindus) told me there was a temple there 1500 years old. I thought oh no - the idolatry. Then I saw on google maps a 20,000+ member AOG member mega church building was right by it. I was immediately convicted of having the poor heathen mentality without realizing the white church going people I sit by in our Detroit office our just as much heathen as my hindu coworkers (probably more so since they sin against more light). The Lord taught me through that.

Here is a public confession I need to make too.

When Bush jr was running the second time a local business was giving away flyers on why to vote democrat and what was wrong with the Iraq war. I thought it my duty as a good Christian to steal the stack of paper and throw it away so poor ignorant folks wouldn’t be fooled by the liberal propaganda. There is a special delusion on this age that is reserved only for its christendom. May God open the eyes of His true saints and lead them out of Babylon.

In Christ - Jim

Anonymous said...

Amen, Jim.

I had a Sunday School class of 6th graders a few years ago. Under the influence of Conservative Christian Talk Radio I told them that the worst evil we had to fight against was the ACLU. I saw their confused looks. They'd thought the worst evil was the devil.
What was I thinking?

Like I mentioned before - the more we listen to the wrong people the more we may end up thinking like them. But the more we read God's word - the more we end up thinking like Him!


Proto said...

I used to have a picture of Ronald Reagan hanging on my wall. He was a hero. Nixon was a hero. Kissinger was great. Carter was an evil wimp. Clinton was the devil incarnate and Rush was the prophet.

My sympathies and general disposition were in harmony with this song and the chap who sung it....

Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn't need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.


Even as recent as Nov. 2000 I was mildly pleased to see Bush win. I didn't vote for him...or Gore, but I thought he might be pretty good. Cheney...I used to think that creature was a great guy.

Actually reading Bush's inaugural address startled me. I was already heading down the present road and had been for awhile. The jumble of ideas really started to come together in 2000-2003.

1995-2000....conversion, wrestling, re-reading and re-thinking everything I knew.

2000-2003...putting it all together and started to move beyond the models and ways of thinking that I had grown up with and had been dominating my whole life.

2003-2010 concretizing the ideas, getting both frustrated and alarmed

2010...boiling over and feeling like I had enough grey hair that I finally had a right to try and say something.

Anonymous said...

We were following the flesh.
Thank God for His merciful grace.

Jim said...

The circus continues - this is why I am not part of the right wing evangelicals or left wing idolaters in churchianity.


Proto said...

It is a circus.

CrossTalk responded to this incident by urging listeners to call Lowe's and offer support.

They argued...shouldn't the free market be allowed to work? Shouldn't a business be free to run ads or not if it so desires?

True. But...the Christian group protesting or let's face it, threatening them doesn't quite allow the market to function either does it? Supposedly one group voicing displeasure is just the market functioning, right? But I'm sure Lowe's knows better. The Christian Right is a massive political force and I'm sure they just wanted to quietly back out of all this, to find...it has blown up in their face.

One NPR listener drew parallels to signs saying, Blacks not welcome, or Jews, we don't want your business.

It could become that, and I think it would if the Christian Right had their way. But at the same time, I don't want the government involved either...telling businesses you have to market to a particular type of customer.

In this case, the US government and pretty much all Western goverments are trying to win over the moderate Muslims. The Right-wing is botching it because they keep insisting there's no such thing.

This event is like many others... I find myself disagreeing with all sides, all parties. But it's the Christians that I take particular note of and in this case am the most displeased with. The Florida Family Association started this, and Jim is right...the Left wing Constantinians are just as bad.

Lowe's in the end is in it for what?...money. They're going to do whatever facilitates profit. Any other motives are at best secondary.

I think it's a shame they pulled the ads. They should have told the FFA to stuff it...but, I'm certainly not going to protest Lowe's. I didn't like them anyway. I can't stand them or Home Depot. They're awful companies. They destroy communities and they can stick those little American flag patches on the backs of employee vests...but they, Home Depot, and flag flying Wal-Mart are all self serving and anti-American. You would think the Christian Right would see that these companies destroy local economies and literally dismantle small towns and their businesses. I live in a rural area. We don't have towns anymore. We have bedroom communities. I blame these companies and those like them for this. But that's for another time....

Anonymous said...

We settled into a rural area 16 years ago and cherished our small towns with family businesses, people who knew one another, a sense of belonging and of a past. No family businesses anymore, thank you WalMart, Home Depot, and Sheetz. Except for Amish shops which I frequent more and more.
This blog says what I've wanted to say many times. How can I tell people I am a Christian when it has become to mean people with views and actions like FFA? I'm not a protestant denominational, not a Roman Catholic, not the current AOG type charismatic, not a mega-churcher, not a word/faither, not New Apostolic reformation, not a Worldviewer dominionist, not reformed creedalist, not jewish rooter, not Bible-churcher who jumps on every celebrity-preacher's new book or program, I loathe "christian" tee-shirts which trivialize and blaspheme the mysteries of Glory, am repelled by christian radio, both talk and music, and am offended by christian bookstores.
We used to say we are born again, or New Testament type christians. People used to meet for prayer and actually pray! We used to look into the Scriptures and not into other men's books. We used to think that politics had no place in the church of the ecclesia, as we had priestly duties and a Great Commission which was to all people. We used to eschew the church calendar and most holiday cultural junk as being pagan and Romish. We used to hold one another accountable for how we lived and walked before the Lord, the church, and the world, not in a controlling fear-manipulating way, but in truth and love for the sake of our witness to the lost.

The right-wing Christo-american sacralists operate in exactly the same spirit as the jihadists, only the names of their prophets and idols are different. Bullying and intimidating and threatening and appealing to greed and covetesness; strengthening bigotries and distorting truth; sowing fear and division--nothing of the Spirit of Christ. They are fighting about things of this world, using means of this world, to obtain the things of this world. Love not the world, nor the things of the world, because this world and all of its desires, are passing away...And the liberal-political christians are just as sacralist and often abandoning the essentials of the faith for humanistic efforts carried out in the flesh.

Against this dark backdrop, will the Lord's light shine all the brighter?

OS said...

This article is related to this topic. I found it from your listing of links.


Cal said...

Amen Victoria

"I'm not a protestant denominational, not a Roman Catholic, not the current AOG type charismatic, not a mega-churcher, not a word/faither, not New Apostolic reformation, not a Worldviewer dominionist, not reformed creedalist, not jewish rooter, not Bible-churcher who jumps on every celebrity-preacher's new book or program, I loathe "christian" tee-shirts which trivialize and blaspheme the mysteries of Glory, am repelled by christian radio, both talk and music, and am offended by christian bookstores."

I've been in situations where I just want to be able to say I'm a Christian and yet, I get a plethora of looks. I'm either a cultist, a fundamentalist (in the best of the legalistic, anti-intellectual, pietistic. semi-cultish kind of way) or I just don't care or take it seriously. I think I'm giving the word up unless someone who has a better idea asks.

eliyahu said...

This is truly sad. They're actually angry that Muslims are being portrayed who don't fit their stereotypes, and might make dialogue and understanding possible between communities and make it a little more difficult to simply blindly hate and condemn people. "All Muslims must be portrayed as little, aspiring BinLadens we must hate, suspect and prosecute the same way as him because they are all just like him." And showing any difference from that means they aren't real muslims and this evil, liberal plot is confusing God fearing American patriots with a bunch of personal information and actual facts about a diverse community and culture, which tends to make "those people" human, and maybe harder to hate! What an evil liberal plot!
This kind of patriotic bigotry has resided in Christiandom firmly for more than 18 centuries, and haas been shamed into hiding for the past 15 or 20 years in America; but rest assured it still lives and breathes, and waits to come to the surface again and regain political, economic, military and social power and dominance so it can do what it did in the "good old days"-make men kill one another.


Protoprotestant said...

It is sad. Just today I was arguing over at another site about the Al Jazeera English channel. They're terrorists people keep asserting. They're pro- Al Qaeda.

No way. What a misrepresentation. These folks can't fathom there are people who aren't terrorists but at the same time don't kow-tow to American foreign policy. I don't even find them to be terribly anti-American! They have a few programmes where they will have guests who say some pretty anti-American things but they always represent the other side. I have to say that for them. They always allow the other side to have a voice.

For the most part Christians in America aren't even remotely interested in truth. They want to win.