Freedom of Religion…But not Freedom to Kill

First AmendmentThe political landscape in America has been going through a major shift for many years. As God is squeezed out of the inclusion in serious debate, man is left with only secular and naturalist input to attempt to solve major issues. Hence, the hot debate over what to do with Islam in America is one such debate that rages like a blazing fire. Wisdom from godly counsel could be gained if our leaders would seek out understanding of the issues instead of just looking for another talking point to up their standing in the political polls.

Our Constitution was written by men who understood religious persecution. They did not desire to ‘kick God out’ of the public arena. Instead, they wanted to protect religious liberty in the market square. Today, most politicians, especially liberals, want to exclude God from a place at the table of ideas. And most conservatives want to invoke Him and claim to speak for Him, while many times failing to have an understanding of sound Christian Theology. Therefore, the options of policy offered by our leaders usually vacillates somewhere between over-simplistic and foolish, to outright ridiculous.

The BIG mantra we here these days concerning how to stem the growth of Islamic terror in our Country is that “We are a people of religious freedom. There must be no test of faith for someone immigrating to America.” This sounds good, at least in most of the previous generations. (I say most because today’s generation fail to realize the strict measures our country took to protect our land from other potential threats. e.g. Japanese during WWII and Iranians during the Iranian crisis of the Jimmy Carter administration.)

What about today? Are we offering viable options by shouting out, “Freedom of Religion” or “No religious test for immigrants”? These banners are over-simplistic and do not offer real life solutions to the threat of Islamic Jihadists.

Take a moment and consider a few important issues about Islam:

  1. Islam inherently includes violence for unbelievers. The Quran contains Allah’s commands to kill those who disbelieve. Should “freedom of Religion” protect or recognize a religion that commands its followers to perform terror?
  2. The term radical is a smokescreen. Radical simply means to return to the fundamental principles of an ideology or religion. A radical Christian will be more like Jesus, walking in mercy and love. A radical Muslim will be more like Muhammed, seeking control over every area of people’s lives and killing or forcing submission or taxing to those who refuse.
  3. The only way a Muslim will be peaceful (usually called “moderate” by news media) is if they reject the violent Medina passages of the Quran. However, when they do this, they are confessing they no longer follow Allah, or that they believe those passages are not for today!
  4. The majority of Muslims in America are peaceful. That means they either a) do not really know what the Quran says, and this is very prevalent because many of them quote and pray the Arabic passages without knowing what it is saying! This sounds foreign to us in America, but is true among Muslims. They are told by their Imams and scholars what the Quran teaches. Therefore, to be radicalized is the simple step of when they either discover what the Quran teaches about violence or if they are told what it teaches by a respected leader. Or b) they have personally rejected the violent passages or believe they do not apply to this age. (e.g. The Ahmadiyya branch of Islam rejects violence for today, and they have been branded as apostates from the Sunni and Shia sects, which carries a penalty of death!)
  5. The only way to know whether a Muslim is peaceful or not is to ask them about their view of the violent passages in the Quran. (and this is not a guarantee as Islam teaches that it is OK to lie in order to protect yourself from unbelievers or advance the cause of Allah)
  6. Anyone holding to the belief that the entire Quran is to be obeyed is a radical Muslim and supports violence. This is why many ‘peaceful’ Muslims will applaud the acts of terror when they occur. Very few have come out and denounced the killing of innocent people in societies because they would be standing against the Quran and against Muhammed!

So much more could be discussed. But let’s get to some of the questions that must be addressed in order to make a wise decision concerning Islam and Muslims in this country.

  1. Do we define “Freedom of Religion” to include “Freedom to Kill”? Our founding Fathers certainly would not have. Therefore, there must be a process to vet all Muslims coming into the country to attempt to discern between the peaceful and the violent ones. And this vetting must go beyond background checks, because the absence of a criminal record does not mean they are not operatives for Islamic terror. The vetting must include an investigation of their faith, or we are only kidding ourselves. These questions should address their view of the violent passages in the Quran toward those who reject Islam.
  2. Should our country allow Mosques that teach violence to exist? If so, then we have constant training centers for Jihad. If not, we inquire about their beliefs in regards to violence. Mosques for peaceful worship are no problem. Where we fail is when we allow terrorists to navigate and be encouraged toward violence by Mosques whose leaders are preaching violence. All it takes to become radical is to attempt to be faithful to the foundational beliefs of Islam.
  3. Should a person who desires to set up Sharia law be allowed to become a citizen? If not, during the vetting process, we must ask Muslims whether they support Sharia Law or not? If they do, they should not be allowed in. Those who believe in Sharia Law want to enforce it upon their own communities and thereby, undermine due process of law that is guaranteed by our Constitution. If they want Sharia Law, they should seek to live in countries that have it–not America.

Conclusion

The vetting process for Muslims must be thorough…and it MUST involve questions about the type of Islam a person follows, from the violent passages in the Quran to Sharia Law. If we fail here, we are only blowing hot air and failing to see the heart of the issue. We can not hide behind “No test of Faith” for immigrants. It sounds patriotic, but in this day and age, we walk a fine line between security and liberty. And if we don’t include security, there will be no liberty to defend!

As Christians, we are called to proclaim the gospel to all men. That includes Muslims. We must not view all Muslims, especially those in Western countries as jihadists. Most of the Islamic terrorists come from Middle Eastern countries and are of the Sunni branch. Most Muslims born in the West love the freedoms we hold so dear. Of course, like anyone from any background, violence lies in the nature of all men. However, most Americans do not hold to a religion that is inherently violent toward others…and that is the main difference.

We must get beyond cute labels and banners. Proclaiming “Freedom of Religion” or “We must love everybody” will not answer the questions. We must demand substance and full consideration of the issues. The choices will not be easy. Many of them will not be popular. However, we can fulfill the great commission and be wise at the same time.

The Apostle Paul fled from a death sentence by escaping through the walls of Damascus. The early believers fled the persecution while Saul ravaged the Church. Using wisdom to escape terror is not an act of faithlessness. Sometimes it is an act of wisdom. We must not confuse the two!

For our political leaders, let us pray they seek wisdom in standing for “Freedom of Religion…but NOT Freedom to kill.”

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