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Monday, January 19, 2009, 10:24 PM
Â In 1947, following World War I, the United Nations partitioned Palestine into two states--one Jewish andÂ one Arab.Â In ancient times, Israel had been home for the Jews but they were exiled long before the time of their contemporary return to the land and their subsequent declaration of an independent Jewish state.Â Israelâs Arab neighbors resisted the partition plan from the beginning and some still question the stateâs right to exist.Â The dispute involves complex political, social and religious issues, with both sides using the word of God to justify their position.
On the Israeli side there is the belief that God promised the land to the Children of Israel.Â Scripture tells us that God promised Abraham that he would be a father to many nations and that his seed would possess the land everlasting.Â Godâs subsequent promise to Israel that his seed would possess the land does not supersede Godâs promise to Abraham.Â With Israel and his seed after him, God made a covenant that He would favor them above other nations and that He would establish prophethood and revelation among them.Â The covenant required of them that they would adhere to what God has revealed to them and that they would spread Godâs message to all the nations.Â Some of them adhere to the message but many of them pursued the wrong course.Â They claim the message was intended for them alone.Â And they drive other descendents of Abraham from the land that was promised to all of them.
God chose Jesus from among the Children of Israel and strengthened him with the Gospel.Â Jesus reminded the Children of Israel of their covenant with God and attempted to right their course; they rejected him and his message.Â God chose Muhammad and strengthened him with the Holy Qurâan.Â Muhammad also reminded the Children of Israel of their covenant with God; they also rejected him.Â But while Jesus was sent only to the Children of Israel, Muhammad was sent with a message to all nationsâa message that will endure until the end of time.
The religion of Muhammad was the same as that of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus: surrender to Godâs will.Â The Holy Qurâan confirmed the truth of what remained of earlier revelation but replaced some of what was old with something new.Â But, as did all prophets that preceded him, Muhammad believed in God, the angels, revelation, and prophethood.Â All of them were true in faith; each bowed his will to Godâs; none of them joined partners with God.Â Those who reject the message of the Holy Qurâan reject an obvious truth.
On the Arab side there is acceptance of Godâs promises and an understanding that God did indeed choose the Children of Israel for a covenant.Â Some of them say that the Jews have fallen short of their covenant with God and therefore fall short of Godâs promise.Â But God tells us in the Holy Qurâan that He will fulfill His covenant with the Children of Israel and expects them to fulfill the covenant as well.Â God chose the Children of Israel because their fathers were foremost in faith.Â Godâs promise to their fathers will not fall short.
A Muslim always looks to the example of Prophet Muhammad.Â God proclaimed to Muhammad that his duty was only to convey the Message and not to guard over those who might reject it.Â It is for God alone to call to account those who reject the message and rebel against Godâs law.Â God has given us a mandate to fight them if they have driven us from our homes but not to fight without due restraint.Â A believer never closes the door to peace and neither will a believer do anything that would cause others to close the door to peace.Â And God is One, Eternal and Absolute.
Monday, December 22, 2008, 9:23 PM
The Equal Protection Clause was originally written to remedy institutional discrimination against blacks.Â The historical use of the Clause has been to assure blacks the same civil rights under the law enjoyed by whites.Â Efforts to use the Equal Protection Clause to give gays the right to marry have focused on proving an analogy between being black and being gay.
There is no science for separating men into racial groups.Â However, there is clear science that tells us that each man has racial traits that he inevitable passes to his children.Â We might not see the same traits in every offspring but the traits are clearly there to be passed on to future generations.Â Clearly, racial traits are intrinsic.
Our perception of homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, and polygamy is shaped only by culture and religion.Â There is nothing intrinsic that makes any of them right or wrong. Â Setting aside the word of God, the only insight we can have about homosexuality is what we learn from those who are afflicted.Â But their insight is inherently imperfect because self-assessment requires detachment, which is impossible, and because it involves sexuality, which is one of our strongest urges.Â (During Ramadhan it is food and sex from which Muslims must abstain during daylight hours.Â Food and sex are our strongest urges.Â We learn self-restraint by learning to control our strongest urges.)Â Clearly, homosexuality is not an intrinsic trait of any man.
On August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the March on Washington.Â On that day Dr. King reminded our nation of the promises of our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.Â On that day we all understood the meaning of self-evident truth and we all knew that the intrinsic equality of all men is self-evident truth.Â Since that day the foundation for jurisprudence in this country has shifted from truth and reason to nothing more than foolish arrogance and blissful ignorance.Â The proponents of Gay Rights would have us believe that our refusal to approve of homosexuality is the one thing that keeps us from soaring above the clouds. Â If our courts decide that the Equal Protection Clause covers homosexual behavior it will have adjudicated on the basis of known unknowns.Â It will set the wrong precedent and our nation will continue on the path toward social and intellectual decline.
Sunday, November 30, 2008, 12:32 AM
On November 4, 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8 making same-sex marriage illegal in the state.Â The vote has sparked protests, rallies, and lawsuits hoping to invalidate the proposition.Â Supporters of same-sex marriage want to know why Proposition 8 matters to the rest of us.
Some have likened the Gay Rights Movement to the Civil Rights Movement.Â The Civil Rights Movement was a beacon of light for America, asking only that America fulfill its great promises of justice and equality.Â In the Civil Rights Movement, we fought for the right to vote and for the right to use public facilities; we fought for relief from discrimination in housing, employment, and education.Â If you were white--gay or not--you already had those rights.Â If you were non-white--gay or not--the Civil Rights Movement sought to give you those rights.Â The Gay Rights Movement is self-indulgent, seeking to gain acceptance by dressing itself in the noble garment of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights Movement was grounded in self-evident truth--that all men are created equal and should enjoy equal treatment under the law.Â Contrarily, the Gay Rights Movement asks that gays be acknowledged as different from the rest and, therefore, requiring special treatment.Â While the rest of us expect to be called to account for our inclinations, gays demand that their inclinations be treated as inherent and not subject to question.Â They sidestep all philosophical or spiritual disagreement by labeling allÂ who disagreeÂ as haters.Â In place of truth they use demagoguery, absurd analogies and specious reasoning.
Civil-rights activists took their cause to the church, where they joined together to convince Americans that equal rights is a moral issue.Â Gay-rights activists would destroy the church by demanding that the church abandon thousands of years of tradition just so that gays can feel good about whom they sleep with.Â Think about it.Â When we throw out this one law--that no man should lie with another man--there will be nothing left of Godâs law; we will have set a precedent for abandoning every God-given law.Â Then what tenable criterion will we have to guide our children to emotional and spiritual maturity?
If God is not the criterion for deciding right and wrong, there is no criterion.Â All that we have is the democratic process and the right that each of us has to vote according to what we believe.Â In that case, shame on you for attempting to deny me the right to do that.
Monday, November 17, 2008, 3:37 PM
I can remember when gays said they just wanted government out of their bedrooms.Â Then came the strategy of acquiring full acceptability by demanding the right to marry, thereby dragging us back to their bedrooms (where most of us really don't want to be).Â After all, what could be more validating than having a document, signed and sealed by a government agency?Â Now robinsgarret tells me that it is not about whom they have sex with, it's about Civil Rights.Â If it is not about sex, what is it that distinguishes a gay man from a straight man?Â And what keeps gay men from enjoying the same civil rights straight men enjoy?Â Why did the original Civil Rights movement fall short of giving them the rights they demand?
With heterosexuals tending away from state-sanctioned marriage, I find it interesting that gays are so insistent that they be able to marry.Â Government doesn't seem to be the best one to protect the rights we obtain when we marry.Â Government only protects the rights of children if those children would otherwise be eligible for government assistance.Â Too often children of divorce live a life far below the standard they enjoyed prior to divorce.Â And government doesn't care about property unless there is a lot of it, in which case lawyers are called in andÂ the lawyers benefit as much as--or more than--any body.
My mother had a stroke last year and was in intensive care unit for several days.Â The onlyÂ visitation rules the hospitalÂ gave us was that only two people could visit at the same time.Â No one was ever asked to show a birth certificate or marriage license to prove they had a right to visit.Â Even when I discussed my mother's living will with doctors and nurses, no one asked for proof that I had a right to be there.Â Perhaps policies vary from one hospital to another.Â And perhaps it is only a problem if someone else disputes the rights of another.Â In that case, even a marriage license will not prevent legal challenges.
Actually, I am not a Christian, I am a Muslim.Â Although I occasionally use the Bible as a reference, the book I turn to for guidance is the Holy Qur'an.Â I referred to men lying with other men only for the sake of prudence.Â In the Qur'an, it is very clear that God created women for men and that it is against the way of nature for men to approach other men with their lust.Â Please, let us not pretend that this is actually about being "ritualistically unclean."Â After a man and his wife have had a sexual encounter, they are both "ritualistically unclean" and must perform an act of ceremonial purification before returning to acts of worship.
Robinsgarret's lobster-on-the-menu analogy didn't work for me at all.Â When I consider the impact that sexuality has on the lives of young people--sexually transmitted diseases, a high rate of pregnancy resulting in abortion or raising children in poverty, and sexual identity confusion--the lobster thing is just plain absurd.Â At any rate, in Islam the only one who has the authority to repeal a law is the same one who has the authority to make a law--God.Â Willful transgression or abandoning without clear authority of any law, even a simple dietary law, is an act of apostasy that can lead to another act of apostasy and eventually the complete loss of faith.Â Even in a secular society, though, it is risky to change a standard without having clear criterion for doing so.
As Believers, we must be teachers and guardians of the faith.Â We do this for those who are young and are still finding their way and for those who might have forgotten that it is to God that we must all return.
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 3:37 PM
A Christian friend shared this with me.Â I think anyone who worships the God of Abraham will appreciate it.
I cannot pray âOurâ if my faith has no room for others and their needs.
I cannot pray âFatherâ if I do not demonstrate this relationship to God in my daily living.
I cannot pray âWho art in heavenâ if all of my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.
I cannot pray âHallowed be thy nameâ if I am not striving for Godâs help to be holy.
I cannot pray âThy Kingdom comeâ if I am unwilling to accept Godâs rule in my life.
I cannot pray âThy will be doneâ if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.
I cannot pray âIn earth as it is in heavenâ unless I am truly ready to give myself to Godâs service here and now.
I cannot pray âGive us this day, our daily breadâ without expending an honest effort for it, or if I would withhold from my neighbor the bread which I receive.
I cannot pray âForgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against usâ if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.
I cannot pray âLead us not into temptationâ if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.
I cannot pray âDeliver us from evilâ if I am not prepared to fight with my life and my prayer.
I cannot pray âThine is the Kingdomâ if I am unwilling to obey the King.
I cannot pray âThine is the Power and the Gloryâ if I am seeking power for myself and my own glory first.
I cannot pray âForeverâ if I am too anxious about each dayâs affairs.
I cannot pray âAmenâ unless I honestly say, âNot my will, but Thy will be done, so let it be.â