Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Modern Crusade, Part 1

We're getting filled with the Holy Spirit up here in the mountains. First, we had Chan Chandler in Waynesville, NC, who told his flock last fall they should repent or resign if they planned to vote for John Kerry. Fortunately, the saner Baptists prevailed, and God called Chandler to other pursuits. And now, we've made the news again with a mountain church who thought Newsweek, factually correct or not, had the right idea about allowing Koran-Commode marriage.

(Josh Humphries/Daily Courier)

Here's Keith Olbermann with some details:
"About 65 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Forest City, greetings of—greeting parishioner on the Danieltown—of the Danieltown Baptist Church, plus any motorists who happen to be driving past it on U.S. 221 south, this greeting from Reverend Creighton Lovelace, the pastor of the church, “The Koran needs to be flushed!” Despite protests from some Muslims in the area, and disavowals from the head of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Reverend Lovelace isn‘t apologizing. "

Olbermann interviews Lovelace:

OLBERMANN: Is it possible that that book, the Koran, can be as holy or sacred to Muslims as the Bible is to you? Is that not a precept of your religion, that those—both of those things might be true?

LOVELACE: Well, actually, God, into his revelation to man, in the Book of Revelation, Genesis to Revelation, and he said, If any man adds to the word of this book, I will add unto him the plagues that are listed inside of this book. And if any man takes away from the words of this book, I will take away his part out of the Book of Life. (I guess Mormons are going to Hell for adding to the New Testament, along with the Jews who don't accept the sequel to the Tanakh -- jd) And but the Muslim faith, they do hold the Koran to be holy. But yet we must remember, in this world in which we live, there are absolute, there is an absolute. There is a right way to heaven, and there is a wrong way, which would lead people to hell.

OLBERMANN: But—but...

LOVELACE: (INAUDIBLE) -- I‘m sorry, go ahead, sir.

OLBERMANN: Yes, sir. I‘m just wondering, is that not what they say about your religion too? Is that not what the Muslims believe? Is that not part of the problem of their religion sort of spiraling off into this area of violence and terrorism?

LOVELACE: Well, that‘s—they claim that they trace their lineage back to the Holy Scripture. But yet if one would merely look at the Koran and look and see the stories that are taken from God‘s word, for example, they state that Esau, or Jesus, was born by the Virgin Mary under a palm tree. Now, Luke chapter two, verse seven, says Jesus, our Lord and our Savior, was born inside of a stable. And so as far as I can see, the Koran is merely another tool used by Satan to deceive people around the world. We don‘t hate Muslims. We don‘t hate Islamic people. I merely am commanded by God‘s word, the Holy Bible, to tell my people what is truth and what is not, and to hopefully, by our statements and standing firm on God‘s word, that people will hopefully look and see, Well, what is—is the Koran right? Is the Bible right? Hopefully they will—people will begin to look at this issue for themselves.

OLBERMANN: What if they look at it in the same way that the “Newsweek” story was looked at? I mean, we all know about this supposed connection between the story about the Korans in the toilet, and the rioting in the Middle East, and the way news travels around the world today on the Internet and other ways. If people in the Middle East see or read about your sign, and there‘s a riot, and some of those people are killed, how will you feel?

LOVELACE: Well, I, of course, I would be very sad that these people have lost their life. But yet again, the Bible teaches that we have free will. And if someone riots and takes up a weapon to attempt to murder someone because of just, of this story, they are the ones that have chosen to do this. And the Koran teaches the Islamic people, jihad, or a holy war. And the Bible stresses that we are—Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord."

I frequently read and I am strongly admonished, that the war on terror emphatically DOES NOT have a significant religious component on the American side. I am told and I read that the homicidal impulses which are rooted in religious bigotry are exclusively found on the Muslim side. I don't buy this argument. I'm not arguing that Rev. Lovelace is a homicidal maniac who spends his Saturdays looking for the three remaining Muslims in Rutherford County to dispatch. But I am saying that he supports a war on Islam with religious fervor, with his pulpit, and his vote. He and his ilk are, in a very real sense, authorizing the war.

Is Rev. Lovelace and his ilk authorizing war on Muslim civilians? No. He says he would be "very sad" that people had or might have lost their lives. And then spinning on a dime, he makes the intonation about "vengeance" in a manner that suggests whatever it is that Islam has done, justifies whatever it is we are doing. For Lovelace and his ilk, there are right ways and wrong ways, one true path to Heaven, many paths to Hell. And certainly Islam falls into this category, if for no other reason, than its holy book was authored by Satan himself. Are we truly saddened if the followers of Satan fall, be they insurgents or "collateral damage" - 20,000 and counting in the latter category?

Isn't it the case, that crucial support for this war comes from the camp who believes the war is prosecuted in the name of Christian righteousness, in the quest of vengeance, to defeat the people who are led by a book authored by Satan?