The Islamic Samaritan

…a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”   – Luke 10:27-29

“I keep thinking I’ve seen everything; I keep being wrong.”

This is tried and true phrase of a good friend of mine in the Spirit, Roger Wolsey. And I can attest to the fact that he never runs out of reasons to utter it. But I can guarantee he’d never imagine I’d start saying it myself.

Take a look at this article and the first interrogative you’ll utter is most likely “how.” Brian McLaren recently called Cass (as well as a number of Charisma News executives) to account, primarily over the concern for how it could have become a published piece of writing. My concern is how it could have reached the point of being presented for publishing, as it would first have to reach the state of being a piece of writing.

You know, the life of prophetic witness is a difficult one. There’s no money in it, you never choose when the Spirit is going to give you something to say, once you do say it you barely feel as if you chose the words to say, and once it’s out there you wonder if it was really the Spirit in the first place. Most people won’t hear it, and a good portion that do will be upset because it’s the truth and not some kind of pyrotechnic, sensationalist, glamour-rock show.

But I can tell you this: if I ever once published anything that I knew was deliberately ad hominem, deliberately immoral, or deliberately fear-mongered, every single entity possible would know it was not of divine inspiration. This is why, most of the time (though ideally it should be all of the time), I’ll catch something before I write it, let alone before I revise it, and still further before I publish it. And I rarely have anyone but myself to check it. We are all mistake-prone; we all fall short of an ideal moral life. But that is why we try to aim for as many checks as possible before we make those mistakes.

None of these checks apparently occurred when “Reverend” Cass wrote against Muslims everywhere as if they were all counterproductive, self-defeating, hateful and anti-Christian extremists.

If Cass had simply wished to make sure his sentiment cleared logical fortitude, he may have been drawn to the recent campaign by our own government to dissuade Muslims from joining ISIS. In material for that campaign, he’d see how blatantly anti-Islam ISIS actually becomes, killing its own people, forcing its own people to do things no lifelong Muslim would ever advise. So it seems the most unfortunate thing is that Cass and ISIS have one thing in common: they are both, at the core, self-defeating anti-Islamists, which ironically therefore leaves little room for being pro-Christian. 

Well, and this is rightly questioned, what of his logic? What argument does he present? Let’s see:

  • “My fear is not an irrational fear…” Fair enough. Let’s see what you have to say, rationally.
  • ISIS is doing to American journalists what every true follower of Muhammad wants to do to you and yours—subjugate or murder you.” Hmm. I wasn’t aware that “every true follower” was different enough from “ISIS” to be addressed separately, and yet exactly the same as ISIS. Might want to check your referents there; the fallacy is called a bait-and-switch.
  • “They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world.” (1) Who is “they,” ISIS or “every true believer”? I know, I know: REFERENTS ARE HARD. (2) “Allah” is a very different term from “Satan,” even linguistically. (3) Proof for anything in any part of this sentence? None.
  • “Fourteen years of history, both ancient and modern…”  Wow, history is only 14 years old? I guess Jesus didn’t have time to exist. Whoopsie for your conscience.
  • “…tell us that Muslims are deadly serious about their infernal goals. Now we get to watch their violent, demonic fanaticism on YouTube videos.” See, now there you go again with the referents and the vague pronoun bait-and-switch. Not only does the last “their” refer to ISIS and not Muslims, even if all ISIS members were Muslims, that would not necessitate all Muslims being ISIS. Frankly, I’m glad that’s true, because otherwise we’d already be fighting them…wait, Cass already wants us to do that (more on that later).
  • “History shows that when Muslims get the power and means to subjugate and behead Christians, Jews, et al, they do it.” Perhaps Mr. Cass would like to find out and learn about Moorish Spain, Andalucia.
  • “Its what Muhammad did and taught.” Perhaps he’d like to learn about what Muhammad really thought about “people of the book”: they were siblings. Of course, Muslims think Islam is the superior next-step, but then we Christians believe the same thing about Christ, do we not? And yes, “Its” is a typo in the original article.
  • “So I have what I believe is a very rational fear…” Actually, sir, it seems you didn’t offer anything rational at all.
  • “Do you?” Well, yes…but it has more to do with the irrational demonism and aggression that you seem to share with ISIS.
  • “Muslims laugh at us for how stupid we are when it comes to dealing with them.” If by that you mean non-ISIS Muslims…then yes; if they were to read this article, I’d not be surprised that they do.

At this point in the article, it seems Cass isn’t giving us much hope for a “rational fear” or argument of any kind. But perhaps he argues better for his “solutions”:

  • “[Conversion to Christianity] is not biblically doable. Why? God has a plan and he revealed it at the birth of Ishmael, the father of the Arabs.” Um…did you read the entirety, or in fact any, of Paul’s letters to non-Jews? Every single thing offered in this paragraph of the original article is every single thing Jewish Christians hurled at Paul against his Gentile converts. Every..single..thing. Apart from the unease felt at conversion being the first proposed solution (Dark Ages, anyone?), if Muslims can’t be converted, then logically neither can you, and that must mean the argument isn’t worth listening to anyway.
  • “D.A.M.N. (Deport All Muslims Now).” Yes, a Christian leader just judged himself by forming his condemnation of others into a condemnable term borne out of a condemnable approach to his fellow human beings. If that’s not the biggest self-refutation….then let’s continue, because there’s more.
  • “Deport them like Spain was forced to do when they deported the Muslim Moors.” That…that event wasn’t forced, at least on anyone but the Moors. See, now this is why it would’ve paid to research Moorish Spain.
  • “Muslims in America are procreating at twice the rate of other groups.” I believe I’ve heard this about all Hispanic groups, too. I’m sensing a theme, and it’s not exactly immune to racism… Oh, wait: is there proof for this statement? Because if there is, I can listen to….nope, no proof.
  • “So either we force them all to get sterilized…” I’m going to pretend I didn’t just hear a crystal clear Nazi-eugenics statement out of the mouth of someone acting as if he’s some kind of Christian leader.
  • “…or we wait for the “Army of Islam” to arise in our midst and do what Muslims always do, resort to violence” Apart from the subconscious obviousness that the written use of air-quotes means he knows it’s a constructed falsehood, “always” isn’t true in any case. Well, unless there’s…nope. You know, eventually I’ll get the idea that this isn’t a proof-driven statement from Cass.
  • “Just see what they are doing in France, Britain and Scandinavia…” Which is what, dealing with it? Accepting Muslims as equal citizens? What?
  • “But history shows America is always late to the fight.” Unless you mean the Revolution…or Manifest Destiny against the Natives…or the Mexican-American War…or the Spanish-American War…or saving the world at D-Day…or Iraq…or Afghanistan… Shall I continue?
  • “most Americans…wishfully think we are the exception and Muslims will all of a sudden change and want to co-exist.” To change would mean to go from one state of being to a different one; most Muslims are in horror over ISIS, because, unlike you, they know ISIS is actually anti-Islamic, and they’d be forced to do the same things you yourself want to avoid. Even a son of a convicted terrorist is able to turn away from the behavior, so if anything it seems the exact opposite of this sentiment is true. 
  • “This is irrational and stupid.” You mean your own argument, right? Totally agree there. Wow; agreement!
  • “…we must be prepared for the increase of terror at home and abroad.” Again, you mean stuff like the mentality you’re espousing right?
  • “First trust in God, then obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self-defense…” I believe we just suffered tremendous heartbreak at kids even being around guns, sir, let alone learning to use them. And by the way, Just War Theory is not a Christian doctrine…there is no mandate from Christ to slay infidels. Just War Theory is one doctrine out of many formulated by Christians. That’s not the same thing. Christians can make some mighty fine ale, too, and in fact were the first ones to perfect it, literally saving lives in the process — but you wouldn’t argue distillery’s a Christian doctrine, would you Mr. Cass?

Then again, perhaps Cass should argue something like that, because after something like that, I certainly feel the need to ease some serious pain over the faith suffering from incalculable ignorance. We need love-fueled Christian leaders, not fear-engulfed war-mongerers. I have one remaining question for Mr. Cass, and everyone who agrees with him: who is your neighbor?

+MSH

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