f The Wittenberg Door: Tolerance and Islam

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tolerance and Islam

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“Tolerance,” classically defined, refers to how you treat someone with whom you disagree. You show tolerance when you treat your opponent with dignity, fairly represent his views, and graciously engage him—or, to put it simply, you don’t kill him for having divergent views. Tolerance is a decidedly Christian virtue.

The classical definition of tolerance has fallen on hard times, though. Post-modernity has refashioned the term into something warm and fuzzy—a verbal counterpart to the ubiquitous smiley face.

No longer is tolerance characterized by charitable disagreement. The modern notion is that to be tolerant is not to disagree at all, but rather that all views ought to be embraced equally—well, sort of.

Not only has the term been redefined, but it has also been narrowed: only those views deemed socially acceptable are accorded toleration. All other views are marginalized—all other views, that is, except Islam. It gets a pass. Reason being, by redefining tolerance, the West has been rendered impotent when meeting the challenge of Islam.

The Cry for Tolerance

I recommend a post over at the Wheat and Chaff blog titled Insolent Remarks (Friday, September 15). Rev. Powell does a fine job of driving home this redefined tolerance practiced by Islam. Here’s an excerpt:

This cry for tolerance that we hear every time we turn around is a pretence. The Muslims don't believe in it- they'll put us all to the sword if they get the chance unless we convert, and until then will use the pretence to sap our strength and will to fight. And the champions of tolerance and multiculturalism in the west will advocate it only so long as they're in power and can keep the intolerant from cutting their throats. 9/11 was viewed as an isolated event, and so it didn't change a lot of people's belief that we could all get along. And the only thing keeping "tolerance" alive is the ineptness of the terrorists and the skill of the men and women defending the west, largely unappreciated and behind the scenes. If a few more 9/11s happened, a lot more people would see things for what they are, a bloody struggle to the death between two ideologies that cannot coexist on the same planet, and we'd see a lot fewer fake outrages like this one.

On a related topic, Pastor Lee Johnson poses the question: The Pope - Politician or Preacher. Here’s how the starts off . . .

This is a sad story to see. The Pope quoted an old emperor who thought that everything that Mohommed taught that was new, was evil. The Pope did not endorse this idea, but he also did not condemn it. The response from the Arab world was swift. They condemned the Pope for his anti-Islam speech even though these same countries fail to condemn suicide bombings, terrorism, and other atrocities committed in the name of Islam. Oh and do not forget that all of these countries make a sport of condemning Israel.

But what is really sad about this story is not the predictable response from a religion that does indeed teach evil. What is sad is the Pope’s response.



Blogger D.B. said...

It's good to see you are still around. It had been a while since anything was posted over at Soli Deo.

I just posted on this the other day-The Pope-Islam fiasco. TenNapel made a good point that most of the time you have seen the Pope's comments in the media it leaves out the fact that his talk had little to do with bad mouthing the peace-loving Muslims.

They just prove the misquote true. And to think Rosie O'Donnell compared Christian fanatics with Muslim fanatics.

Like that guy over at Bright's Ideas cited in his site recently "we don't go burning down their mosques and shooting their imams and incinerating their children and slicing their throats and repeatedly smacking the world over the head with a "Christianity Is Peace" placard dripping in blood."

I don't know that the Pope's response was sad. It is sad that he would even have to do that to lesson the possibility that he is murdered. Just my ramblings. I wish you would have said you were moving sooner.



9:38 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Thanks for coming by, Derrick. It's good to hear from you. Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Wes Messamore said...

I agree that the Pope's lack of a spine in this matter has greatly disheartened me. As a high profile Western and Christian leader, I was emboldened when the story first broke, that he would make such a quotation, but after saying that the views quoted did not in any way reflect his own, I can't help but wonder what his views of Mohammad actually are.

11:45 AM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

I think that the pope actually agrees that Islam spreads by the sword—for that is the case. He bowed to pressure from the West and Islam. The irony is that the pope during Hitler’s time is lambasted (and rightfully so) for saying nothing about the German atrocities, but those same critics lambaste this pope for speaking out against the Nazis of our time.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Wes Messamore said...

Very good point! I hadn't thought of that, but that's an excellent point.

8:56 AM  

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