John R. Houk
© April 7, 2011
Below is a Facebook discussion based on the Quran burning issue of Pastor Terry Jones at SlantRight.com (But was actually linked to the SlantRight 2.0 site). Actually the discussion began between me and my son Steven which you will see if you click the Facebook link. Steven and I discussed evil in Islam in which Steven proceeded to equate all organized religions are evil; however knowing that I am a Christian I steered the discussion between Islam and Christianity. I then went to say atheism is evil and that atheism was a system of beliefs which in essence I believe is just as much a religion as any other religion.
Then a like-minded soul similar to Steven has rather successfully drawn me into a discussion related theism and atheism. I actually tried to avoid this discussion because my experience is that people who blame religion, especially Christianity for all the evils perpetrated by the Western World among Westerners and outside the Christian West, to objectify the blame of individuals (ruling elites) on the whole of Christianity. No matter how much I defend Christianity according to Biblical thought, this kind of religious attacker will point to this event, that person or that leader on the whole of Christianity.
So goes the conversation that will probably continue on Facebook but again will attempt to discontinue as the discussion moves the way I suspect it will which always ends in someone insulting my intelligence and me trying not to respond in kind but sometimes allowing my temperament to get the best of me.
Nicholas when you ask me what I believe you are asking, Why not debate? The one with the longest wiz – err – I mean the best Socratic syllogism is correct. Frankly there is intellectual syllogism that will define the essence of atheism and/or monotheism. The effort is not worth my time.
Actually Steven did not say “that which is evil should be apparent”. Steven was quoting me then impugning my intelligence as my son is only capable of doing. As to the Pope, what specific evil has done other than being the head of a Church confession in which the clergy has partaken in pedophilia in the 20th and 21st century? Bad management is not evil; the purposeful sinful acts are sinful and thus evil. Has the Pope stood up and made it a public doctrine of pedophilia should be accepted? No. Has Pope approved of pedophile? No. The worst he has done is not confronting ecclesiastical bureaucracy in the Roman Catholic Church.
Really? You wish to consider the throwing away of a cracker and the disappointment of the few committed Catholics over the act? You are equating the imbecilic death threats from Catholics who do not know their own Scriptures about not returning evil for evil in the same way that a Muslim that follows Quranic suras (scriptures) that demand death to anyone who insults Allah, Mohammed or Islam.
“I mean the best Socratic syllogism is correct.”
I think you are using this as a passive-aggressive cop out to avoid having to ever actually discuss your beliefs because you don’t want to have them questioned. You say the effort is not worth your time, but what is worth your time is rabble rousing against your fellow Abrahamic faiths. An interesting position to occupy.
“Actually Steven did not say ‘that which is evil should be apparent’.”
Correct. I stated “I agree with Steven about “that which is evil should be apparent” not being apparent to everyone.” We both think your statement is invalid.
“As to the Pope, what specific evil has done other than being the head of a Church confession in which the clergy has partaken in pedophilia in the 20th and 21st century?“
Such as being the one who directly signed the orders to hide and shuffle them so they don’t get prosecuted by local authorities under the guise of it being “in the best interests of the church”? Or lying and saying “condoms increase the spread of aids”? Or maligning secularism as being the cause of all societal ills, despite said ills existing even in wholly religious societies? Stuff like that.
“The worst he has done is not confronting ecclesiastical bureaucracy in the Roman Catholic Church.”
Saying this is inane, though I have to wonder if you are simply unknowing of the issue. He was the head bishop who passed down the orders to hide the priests and send them to new hunting grounds rather than turning them over to the authorities. He directly and knowingly aided and abetted rapists and criminals.
Thus Nicholas I do think that it was criminal of the Pope to hide pedophiles. I believe pedophiles should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law; however did the Pope hide the pedophiles according to Biblical Scripture? No. The Pope acted according to a man-made ecclesiastical bureaucracy. In other words the Pope acted contrary to his boss.
Am I “unknowing” of the issue? I have to admit it is not a focus of study in my journey as seeker of God in this life. The Pope is not in my Church. His acts of immoral rectitude only affect me because of the high profile as a significant leader of a huge amount of Christians of the Roman Catholic Confession. I have only cursory knowledge of the meme of the Pope, the Catholic Clergy and pedophilia. I still the actual committers of the atrocity need to be dealt with and the evil is in the individual that needs Justice in this life but still has the opportunity for forgiveness in the next life. That is Christianity: Love, Forgiveness and Restoration.
In my original thoughts that Islam is evil, Quranic suras maintain the exoneration of acts of evil executed upon non-Muslims. This is their Scripture. Thus if pedophilia, rape or even death occurs because it happens to a kafir it is moral. That is instituted evil.
Contrast that with evil that has been done in the name of Christianity or Christ. That evil occurred outside the institution of Scriptures. They were done either out of a misguided agenda of protecting the faith or were just downright evil of a person or a group of like-minded people.
When I say atheism is real it is not necessarily the person is evil. It is in the denial of God the Creator’s existence. That is not an evil that deserves prison or prosecution as it was in Christian history by those who did not follow the Scriptures of Christ that leads to Love of sinner and saint, the Forgiveness of sin that leads to Right Standing with God and Restoration which is the practice of learning not to be a sinner (which is not necessarily an overnight transformation in this world even the inner-person has been created anew by the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus Christ).
“You wish to consider the throwing away of a cracker and the disappointment of the few committed Catholics over the act?”
“You are equating the imbecilic death threats from Catholics who do not know their own Scriptures about not returning… evil for evil in the same way that a Muslim that follows Quranic suras (scriptures) that demand death to anyone who insults Allah, Mohammed or Islam.”
I am not equating, they are the same. The suras, just like the bible, have contradicting statements. You say the Catholics are ignorant of scripture, but you don’t accord the Muslims the same courtesy. The truth is that both are, on average, equally accurate about their own relative scriptures.
“I am not equating, they are the same.”
You are absolutely incorrect! Not even a Muslim considers the Quran as the same as the Bible. To a Muslim the Old and New Testament are the adulterated inaccurate written words accomplished by deceived Jews and Christians. And yet the last writing by date (whether by modern scholarship or by devotional scholarship) was written 600 years before a collection of Mohammed’s companions who had memorized the old prophet’s word were put into print. And then it was another decade or so before one of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs destroyed all other Quran versions written to proclaim his affirmed version is the absolute words of Mohammed that was received from Allah. And yet the Quran is a complete bastardized version of the Old and New Testament in which Patriarchs and Prophets beginning with Adam were always Muslims and any other contradiction is a Jewish and Christian lie.
Although modern scholarship finds contradictions in the Bible by looking at singularities rather than the whole scarlet thread of the plan of God or slight variations of the same theme in various New Testament writings as a contradiction, that is not the case of a Believing Biblical scholar who seeks to find harmony rather than distinctive differences.
On the other hand the Quran is dualistic in its theological approach. Two different suras that overtly contradict each other are dualistically both true. The truth is measured by the situation and/or the time frame in which Mohammed is said to have pronounced an Allah-word. This is the process of Abrogation in Islam. Thus in earlier suras attributed to Mohammed that says “there is no compulsion of religion in Islam” or that Jews and Christians “should be respected as People of the Book” (i.e. the Bible denied by Islam as truth) as abrogated by the later words of Mohammed (specifically after Mohammed’s Hegira from Mecca to Medina). The suras written later are typified by “kill them wherever you find them” or “Jew where are you? Look behind the rock and slay them” or “kill the apostate of Islam” (Hadith) or “kill any person that insults Islam” or “women taken in war even if married are lawful for sex if they are not Muslims (i.e. rape)” and so on and so on.
In full disclosure I ran a spell check on this post in which most of the corrections were my own rather than Nicholas.