Posted by: mystic444 | July 22, 2010

Can Muslims Be ‘Good Americans’?

A couple of days ago I received another of those Muslim trashing chain letter e-mails, this one entitled “Can Muslims Be Good Americans?” The person who forwarded it to me thought it would make a good topic for discussion and invited comments.

In what follows, I’ll reprint the e-mail itself; give the response I made; and also give a response from an evangelical Christian friend. (This will make it a pretty long article). My response showed that the letter slandered Islam; my friend’s response showed that the letter did not represent a ‘good Christian’ attitude.

Since my friend is ‘evangelical’, he believes Muslims need to be converted to Christ in order to be saved. Muslim readers will of course take exception to that (as do I, from a ‘liberal Christian’ standpoint), but I believe you will appreciate the ‘spirit’ of his comments. His is an example of the Qur’anic exhortation to argue ‘only in the best way’ with “People of the Book”; though he wasn’t ‘arguing’ with Muslims, but with fellow Christians.

One further comment before giving the text of the letter: it is rather arrogant for citizens of the USA to use the term ‘American’ as if it applies to them only. Canadians, Mexicans, and citizens of Central and South American countries are all ‘Americans’ also. If one has to ask the question, it would be better phrased: “Can Muslims be good citizens of the USA?” Nevertheless, in my comments I have frequently used the same terminology as the letter even though it’s not quite accurate.

So here’s what the letter said:

CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS? This is certainly ‘food-for-thought’.

This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish.  And send it on to everyone.  Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

Religiously – no.. . . Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam.  (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)

Scripturally – no. . . Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially – no. . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically – no.. . . Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America , the great Satan.

Domestically – no. .. . Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )

Intellectually – no. . Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically – no. . . . Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot coexist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually – no.. . . Because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation…. Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. – – – They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and good Americans.  Call it what you wish it’s still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.

The religious war is bigger than we know or understand. ….

Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.   SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.

Please don’t delete this until you send it on.

Now, here is my response, edited to remove all personal references:

The author says “Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.” Well, as a matter of fact American Muslims are continually speaking out against the atrocities performed by perverts in the name of Allah, but it seems anti-Muslim bigots stop up their ears so they can’t hear those outspoken Muslims. The American media don’t help, because they’re not very quick to publish that kind of information. Anti-Muslim slander makes much better ‘news’. For one example of an outspoken Muslim in opposition to violence, see my recent article “Terrorist Bombing in Uganda” in which I re-posted an article by Dr. Hesham Hassaballa. Another great source is The American Muslim. Click here for the “Topics” page of that site. Scroll down to the “Justice-Injustice” topic and you’ll find a link to Muslim voices against Terrorism.

Religiously – no.. . . Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam.  (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)

If that were true, I don’t know what it would have to do with whether or not a Muslim can be a good American, since the US Constitution emphatically states that the government shall make no establishment of religion, and no religious test shall ever be made for those who hold public office. A person’s religion, and what he believes his God accepts or doesn’t accept, is totally irrelevant to whether or not the person can be a good US citizen. It’s also interesting that the verse from the Qur’an which is referred to is the one that states that there is no compulsion in religion! That’s precisely the point of the First Amendment of our Constitution, isn’t it?

Perhaps what the writer meant to refer to was 3:85. I’ll quote verses 84 and 85: “(84) Say [Muhammad], ‘We [Muslims] believe in God [Allah] and in what has been sent down to us and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes. We believe in what has been given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We do not make a distinction between any of the [prophets]. It is to Him we devote ourselves.’ (85) If anyone seeks a religion other than [Islam] complete devotion to God, it will not be accepted from him: he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter.” The “religion” of Islam is called by that name because the meaning of the name is what the predominant characteristic of the religion is. The meaning of “Islam” is “complete devotion to God” and the peace which results from that devotion. For this reason, when translations or interpretations of the Qur’an are made into English, many of the translators translate the word “Islam” also, rather than leave the false impression that the name of a particular religion is being referred to rather than simply “devotion to God”. So the meaning is that God is willing to accept everyone who devotes himself to God; but will not accept those who devote themselves to anything or anyone else.

It is for this reason that the Qur’an so often emphasizes that all of the Hebrew prophets, including Jesus himself, are from God and honored by the true believer. 2:62 says this: “The [Muslim] believers, the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians [another monotheistic group] – all those who believe in God and the Last Day and do good – will have their rewards with their Lord.” There is only one ‘Lord’, and that One is Lord of all of those who believe in God, the Last Day, and do good – and He will reward them all.

But the Qur’an not only lists all of the Hebrew prophets, and Jesus the Christ, as being sent by God; it also says that many other prophets have been sent by God whom God has not mentioned by name in the Qur’an. I believe Islamic teachers generally believe that includes people like the Buddha, so that Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions are also recognized so long as they remain true to the original monotheism or monism of those ‘prophets’ and don’t sink into polytheism. Just because there are ‘questionable’ aspects to those other religions does not mean they are totally repudiated by God.

In 5:48 and 49, after saying that the revelation given to Muhammad was a confirmation to Scriptures that came before him, God is reported to say this: “…We have assigned a law and a path to each of you. If God had so willed, He would have made you one community [one religion], but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about.”

” Scripturally – no. . . Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Again: so what? There is no “Scriptural” mandate in the Constitution or other laws of our land. The ‘allegiance’ and ‘devotion’ of the true Muslim is to GOD. He recognizes the Qur’an as a revelation from God, and the “Five Pillars” as the basic practices God commands of him. How does that in any way mean that a Muslim can’t be a “good American”? The Christian’s allegiance is to God; he believes the Bible is a revelation from God; Jesus is God’s Christ (the Muslim agrees with him in that). The Christian usually attends church services, and practices baptism and “the Lord’s Supper” in some form. His devotion to God and His Christ does not hinder his being a ‘good American’. Neither does a Muslim’s allegiance to God and God’s revelation hinder him from being a ‘good American’.

Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Once again: so what? Mecca is the location of the Ka’ba, which Muslims believe to have been erected by Abraham and Ishmael as the first building dedicated to the worship of the One True God. Facing the Ka’ba in Mecca while praying is simply a symbolic way of professing the Muslim’s devotion to the God of Abraham, the One True God. It is not a “Pledge of Allegiance” to the city of Mecca, or to Saudi Arabia. How does this in any way affect his ability to be a ‘good American’?

Socially – no. . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Pure falsehood; a deliberate perversion by those who maliciously want to mislead and malign. Since Muslims are allowed to marry Jews and Christians, how could they possibly be forbidden to make friends with them? 5:5 says this: “Today all good things have been made lawful for you. The food of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] is lawful for you as your food is lawful for them. So are the chaste, believing, women of the people who were given the Scriptures before you, as long as you have given them their bride-gifts and married them, not taking them as lovers or secret mistresses…” And it has already been pointed out that all monotheistic religions are accepted by God, so the believers in those religions must be accepted by Muslims also.

Anti-Muslim bigots like to take statements out of their context, however and twist their meanings; so 5:51 is frequently referred to as a proof that Muslims can’t be ‘friends’ with Christians and Jews. “You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as allies: they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them – God does not guide such wrongdoers – yet you [Prophet] will see the perverse at heart rushing to them for protection…” The Jews and Christians being referred to here are those who ridicule and mock the Muslim faith and Muslims. Muslims should not join in alliances with them any more than Christians should be “unequally yoked with unbelievers”. Muslims shouldn’t look to those unbelieving Jews and Christians for protection when in danger. Look to God and their fellow believers for alliances and protection, not those who mock them and their faith. This is made clear in the passage itself. 5:57 and 58 says: “You who believe, do not take as allies those who ridicule your religion and make fun of it – whether people who were given the Scripture before you, or disbelievers – and be mindful of God if you are true believers. When you make the call to prayer, they ridicule it and make fun of it: this is because they are people who do not reason.

But just to be sure there’s no misunderstanding, 60:8 and 9 says this: “He does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just. But God forbids you to take as allies those who have fought against you for your faith, driven you out of your homes, and helped others to drive you out: any of you who take them as allies will truly be wrongdoers.” Forming alliances is much more than mere ‘friendship’ also. Again, it’s like the Bible telling believers not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. Does that mean that the Bible forbids Christians to be ‘friends’ with non-Christians? I don’t think so.

Politically – no.. . . Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.

Absolute nonsense. There’s simply not a word in the Qur’an that could even possibly be construed to teach this. And the fact that American Muslims in general do not submit to any “mullahs” who teach that completely proves its falsehood. There is no “head honcho” of Islam, like there’s a “Pope” in Catholicism. Individual spiritual leaders will interpret the Qur’an differently, and no person has to submit to any individual leader. Those who follow terroristic leaders do so because they have become convinced that the leader is correct and they want to – not because their religion requires their submission to the leader.

Many Muslims in America take exception to political and military actions of the USA – as do many of us who are not Muslims. I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the ‘get-go’, years before I started making any investigation of Islam. I very much disliked the George W. Bush administration, but it wasn’t because I was Muslim or un-American. My objections were (and are) because I believed the policies to be unconstitutional and unjust. American Muslims who oppose particular political policies do so for the same reason: they love the Constitutional principles of “liberty and justice for all” and object when they believe those principles are being violated.

As a matter of fact, the Qur’an requires true believers to obey the laws of the land in which they’re living, even though that law is not ‘Islamic’ per se. If they don’t feel they can obey those laws, they are required to immigrate to another country if they’re able to; otherwise they can practice nonviolent civil disobedience, and accept the consequences. The standards for when civil disobedience is permissible are the same as those for Christians: the law must be so clearly contrary to the law of God and justice that there is no other real alternative. He is simply not allowed to take up arms against the government of the land in which he is living.

Domestically – no. .. . Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )

The Qur’an does not “instruct” men to marry 4 women; it permits them to marry up to 4 women. But the Qur’an requires that the Muslim man treat each wife equally and justly; if he doesn’t believe he can do so, he is told to marry only one woman. And regardless of this permission in the Qur’an, the requirement to obey the laws of the land in which he lives overrides that permission if the country’s laws forbid polygamy.

The statement in 4:34 that a man, as a last resort, may strike his wife is much debated within the Muslim community. There are certainly Muslim men with ‘diseased hearts’ who jump at this as an excuse to abuse their wives, particularly if they live in a culture which plays up to ‘macho’ men.  There are many non-Muslim men with ‘diseased hearts’ also who would love to have religious permission to beat up on their wives. It wasn’t too long ago in this country that men felt they had the right to the absolute submission of their wives, and many felt they were doing nothing wrong if they hit their wives when they were ‘disobedient’. A number of popular TV shows and movies had scenes of men ‘spanking’ their wives. I remember at least one episode of “I Love Lucy” where Ricky turned Lucy over his knee and started spanking her. Now that’s (thankfully) “politically incorrect”, but it represented a prevalent attitude among ‘macho’ men even in this country.

Many, if not most, Muslim men however find ‘beating’ their wives to be morally repulsive – even as a ‘last resort’ – and seek other ways to explain that one statement in the Qur’an. They are particularly encouraged in seeking other explanations by the fact that there is simply no evidence that Muhammad himself ever struck his wives or encouraged anyone else to do so – and it is the only verse in the Qur’an which at least seems to teach such a thing. Some believe that the verse means simply a light slap, more of a symbolic gesture than actual ‘beating’.

Interestingly, though, some contend that the word does not even mean ‘strike’ or ‘beat’ in this context. They point out that the word has at least 10 distinct meanings in the Qur’an (and even more in use outside the Qur’an); and one of those meanings is ‘leave’. Like our English word ‘beat’, it can mean a number of things. If you beat someone in a game (say checkers), you haven’t physically hit him. And sometimes you might tell someone “beat it”, meaning ‘get outta here’. Or how about “they beat a hasty retreat”? The word rendered ‘beat’ or ‘hit’ in this verse, according to some at least, has the same possibilities. In this case, the husband is being told that if nothing else works, “beat it” meaning leave her (or send her away): divorce, in other words. The Qur’an does definitely allow for divorce. So even in this case, the meaning of the Qur’an is not so certainly violent as it might at first seem. Men with ‘diseased hearts’ might find delight in giving the verse a meaning that suits their violent natures; but it’s not necessarily the proper meaning.

Whatever the meaning of the word, again the requirement that Muslims obey the law of the land in which they live would override any permission they might think they have to strike their wives, when the law of the land forbids it. This ‘permission’ to strike one’s wife would not be an overriding moral law of God which would permit ‘civil disobedience’.

Intellectually – no. . Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

The fact is that American Muslims in general do accept and love the US Constitution. You can find plenty of evidence of this on the American Muslim site I linked to earlier. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who leads an Islamic congregation in NYC and is one of the leading spokespersons for Islam in the USA, wrote a book entitled What’s Right with Islam: a New Vision for Muslims and the West (HarperCollins, 2004). It showed the favorable correlation between the Qur’an and the US Constitution, and very clearly presented why American Muslims love this country and its Constitution – and why Muslims in other countries frequently desire to immigrate here. I checked it out from the library earlier this year; you may be able to find it in your library also if you’re interested in seeing what a real American Muslim has to say – but don’t wish to purchase the book.

The basic flaw in this accusation is that the Constitution is emphatically not based on Biblical principles – at least not any principles which are peculiarly Biblical as opposed to the teachings of other religions. The Declaration of Independence declared that proper government was based on “the laws of NATURE and of NATURE’S God”. They put it that way deliberately to exclude any particular religion or denomination’s claim to government establishment. The First Amendment specifically forbids government establishing any religion. Its principles must be wide enough to embrace all religions – and even no religion. The Treaty with Tripoli of Barbary specifically said that the US government is not based in any way on Christianity, and is not at all in opposition to the laws and tranquility of Muslims. This Treaty was signed into law in 1797 – just 10 years after the ratification of the US Constitution – by John Adams (one of the ‘Founding Fathers’) and was unanimously approved by Congress (how often has that happened?).

See my article “Are The United States A Christian Nation” for more about the ‘Founding Fathers’ views on religion/Christianity and government. From its inception, the government of the USA was set up for a pluralistic society, rather than a ‘Christian’ society. Christianity may be the predominant religion, but it is not the ‘established’ religion – and there is nothing in our Constitution which would be contrary to another religion actually coming to predominate here.

Philosophically – no. . . . Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot coexist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Simply not true. It has already been pointed out that the first Qur’anic verse referred to by the letter itself specifically says there is no compulsion in religion. There are lots of other verses teaching the same principle. The prophet Muhammad was told often that it was not his place to ‘convert’ people, or punish them for not ‘converting’; it was only his place to proclaim the ‘truth’ he was being given.

The principles of Islam insist on equality and justice for all – no matter how some people have perverted those principles. Democracy is quite consistent with Islam as a form of government. Whatever governments might be like in other lands, American Muslims love the Constitutional form of limited Democratic government we have here – and many come here specifically because of that form of government. They feel it is more ‘Islamic’ than the governments of their own countries of birth.

As previously pointed out, no matter what the form of government (Democracy, Monarchy, whatever), Muslims may – and must – live according to the law of the land unless an extremely clear and basic moral law of God is being violated by that government; and this is the same as Jews and Christians believe.

Spiritually – no.. . . Because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

While the Qur’an may not refer to God as ‘Father’, it does refer to Him as the Creator of all, and insists that we learn to live together in love. It may never say the words “God is love”, or give Him the “name” Love, but it frequently refers to His love for men, and His grace, mercy, and kindness. And since the Qur’an insists that the Gospel given to Jesus came from God (Allah) it would mean that Islam (devotion to God) believes the Christian teaching that “God is love”.

The Qur’an is clear in over and over stating the fact that ‘Allah’ is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, all the prophets, and Jesus. There is no difference between the “Christian God” and the Muslim’s “Allah”. There is only One God, and He is the God of all. In fact, “Allah” simply means “the God” and is no different than a Spanish person saying “el Dios”, a Hebrew saying “Elohim” – “Allah” is actually simply the Arabic equivalent of the singular form of the Hebrew “Elohim” – or the Greek saying Theos.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation…. Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. – – – They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and good Americans.  Call it what you wish it’s still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.

This is no different than the bigoted suspicions of, and accusations against, Catholics and Jews in earlier years of our country. It seems some people never learn. There is nothing “Christian” about this hatefulness. My position is that it’s clear that you cannot be a ‘good American’ and slander anyone of whatever religion, including Islam. You certainly can’t be a ‘good Christian’ and do so.

Many people have been concerned over government profiling of gun owners, opponents of the Income Tax, and supporters of ‘libertarian’ political candidates like Ron Paul and Bob Barr – considering such people as possible members of anti-government militias, or terrorists. If you promote profiling of Muslims as possible terrorists, then you have no basis for opposing the profiling of those others. As the saying goes, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.

THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.

There are an awful lot of Muslims in the US Armed Forces, including the Marines, who would be surprised to hear that. You can go to this link to read the response of an American Muslim Marine to another  “American Patriot” who was castigating President Obama for stating that Muslims have been a part of our heritage in the USA from the beginning. The Marine’s response is a little more than halfway through the article.

Now here’s the response my evangelical Christian friend gave – again, edited to remove personal references:

Can Muslims be good Americans?  It opens up the discussion as to what is a good American or what are Americans good at doing.  As *** pointed out there are atrocities being carried out all over the world. The better publicized ones are the ones where it is Muslim against Christian.  When we lose an American serviceman usually there is a biography and memorial services planned.  When we kill an “enemy combatant”, we usually do not provide their name or any discussion about their family or service to their community… a number is sufficient to dehumanize the enemy.  My Dad sends these types of mass mailings.

I am not going to address this using the constitution like Stephen did as I like to think of myself as a Christian first, before I consider myself part of the geopolitical landscape.  I do think it is ironic that the author pitted “good Americans” vs. Muslims.  Huh?  Would it be similar to take good Syrians vs. Christians (list all the bad things Christians do… and believe me we do have a list.) It is how we twist the facts to make propaganda and promote an us vs. them mentality.  Why? To distract us from important things, make us feel better about ourselves, validate our imposition/killing of enemy combatants.

Lately I have begun to employ the two commandment criteria.  Does the email in any way honor God by asking people to pray (pray for our troops/Eph 6), pray for peace (Prince of Peace/Blessed are the Peacemakers), God’s blessings (Genesis 12) and does it ask for us to love our neighbor.  I think this email falls a bit short on the 2nd commandment teaching.  Certainly there is no need to rattle off all the scriptures again on loving our enemies, our fight is not against flesh & blood, hospitality to strangers, or the failure of Christians to preach to everyone (Great Commission…now God is bringing them to us and we complain?).

People want their ears tickled.  ***, you have been studying about Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, called to fast, and having to deal with the temptations of the Devil.  What does Jesus do after this?  He goes to the synagogue and preaches His first Holy Spirit empowered sermon.

Reads Isa 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel (Good News) to the poor.” Where do the world’s poor live?

He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, (criminals in jails/sinners) and recovery of sight to the blind, (again spiritual and physical), to set free those who are downtrodden (abused), to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (*** also does this when he talks about the end times)

And that was the end of his sermon… no wait! He said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” “And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.” Wow, Jesus you came to bless us.  It is all about us and our Israeli nation and ethnic group. You are here to set us free from the Romans, heal us, make us rich again.  You are way awesome dude!

Then Jesus messes with them and prophesies… telling them they will tell Him to heal Himself and perform miracles in his hometown, how unwelcome He will be.

Then the huge, huge deal breaker – and it hinges on the “But”: “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them (who? Israelis), but only to Zarephath, (wow, she has a name! she is a person designed in the likeness of God) in the land of Sidon (she was a Sidonian), to a woman who was a widow.”

Hmmm Jesus didn’t think they were getting it so He gave them another example… “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and NONE of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

Perhaps someone could confuse Zarephath as to being an Israeli living in Sidon but there was no confusion with Naaman. He was neither ethnically Jewish nor religiously Jewish.

Whoa, great sermon Jesus!

And ALL in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.”

Let’s just say Jesus first sermon could have been His last.  What were they all mad about? Did Jesus not say He was going to bless? Do we not sing “God Bless America”? And yet when it comes to people that are not “us” we start to have some troubles.

I have a next door neighbor that is in the National Guard (served in Iraq) and I am going to ask him if he would be offended if I got a bumper sticker that said “pray for our enemy’s troops”.  This would be based on scripture about loving enemies and the truth that we are killing a lot more of “them” than they are of “us”.  If they were killing more of us we would not be there anymore.  *** can you please find out the estimates on how many Iraqis died under the Bushes vs. how many coalition lost.  How many Afghans vs. us?  I think you will see a disproportionate number.  My understanding of the first gulf war was we lost about 2,000 and they lost over 100,000. This is either a great win or a massacre depending on how you view war. Whether it causes you to thump your chest or mourn for families that lost loved ones.  If our American troops are Christian then I know God has them in His hands, right? What’s to pray for?  It would seem our enemies probably do not know the Lord, and have a greater risk of dying and going to Hell.  Who should we be praying for?

I definitely appreciated the ‘spirit’ of those comments by my friend. As you know if you’ve read some of my earlier blog posts, I don’t even believe in hell; I certainly don’t believe that the ‘enemy’ soldiers have a greater likelihood of going to such a place just because they’re not of the evangelical Christian faith. However, I believe he makes some very good points to the effect that the attitude shown in that e-mail letter was a far cry from being a Christian attitude of love for one’s neighbor – and even for one’s ‘enemy’, if you just have to consider Muslims as enemies.

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