Does God Need a Bodyguard? Notes on Religious Violence

18 09 2006

Iraqi Muslims burn an effigy of Pope Bendedict IV.I cannot comment on Pope Benedict XVIrecent comments that set off such a firestorm in the Islamic world the last couple of days because I have not heard his speech in its entirety. I cannot even comment on his apology because I have not heard it in its entirety either. So I will choose to believe that he probably misspoke, and that he did not intend to cause harm. Yet I do hold him responsible because he must realize that there are certain people in the world who do not need much to set them off. And there has already been some grave consequences: at least 7 churches have been firbombed or vandalized because of his speech. And an Italian nun and her bodyguard were shot to death in Somalia.

That said, this in no way justifies the behavior and anger of Islamic extremists all over the world. My main beef with Islamic extremism in particular, and relgious extremism of any stripe, is with their sense that somehow, God needs their protection and that any disrespect shown their faith must be dealt with through intimidation and bloodshed.

My view is drastically different. I believe that everyone is made in the image of God, and as such, everyone is “holy ground”. To harm another human being is a grave sin and an affront against God, even if they are an “infidel”. I think that God is big enough to handle people who think and talk badly about Him. Those who think it is there duty to “defend the faith” do not really have a true faith in my opinion.

Finally, I really think that it is incumbent upon Islamic people of deep humanity and sensitivity to step up and make their voices heard concerning religious violence done in the name of Islam. Shia and Sunni alike must put a check on this immorality and nihilism. This sordid violence is making a mockery of religion and creating even more “infidels” who are tired of religious violence and the religious zealots who commit them.

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4 responses

18 09 2006
bonnieq

I must agree with you, Marc. God is big enough and powerful enough to defend Himself and us as well. Faith is knowing this and faith is knowing we need not even defend God’s Word. This is exactly why He told us not to argue His Word with anyone. Besides, He is going to give understanding of His Word to whom He pleases: we never were charged with “making” others believe His Word, ours being only to put the Word of Truth out there. The rest is up to God and I’m certainly glad that is His task and not mine.

Unfortunately, the masses tend to put their faith in whatever Christian denomination or other religion to which they belong instead of having their faith in God and His Word. If they did the latter, they would find that far too many lies are falling on their ears from the various global pulpits.

As for me, I place my faith firmly in God and Christ and God’s Written Word. And, it is there that we find ourselves being instructed to be peacemakers and to give good for evil. Violence in the name of God is in direct opposition to Him and will, in the end, bring nothing more than fire raining down upon those who use violence to further their misdirected religious beliefs. Papal Rome is no stranger to using the same violence as radical Islamics do today. This tells us clearly who is their master.

Yours is the first piece I’ve read that I felt addressed the Pope’s faux pas with logic and common sense. Thank you for posting your thoughts on this matter.

Visit me some time at http://bonnieq.wordpress.com

Love in Christ,
BonnieQ
Truth Seekers and Speakers, link on blog page
Unicorn Haven, link on blog page

18 09 2006
marcdav

Thanks Bonnie, you said it much better than I could. I definitely will stop by,

18 09 2006
dlw

I think we don’t need heavy-weights like the Pope or Franklin Graham trash-talking Islam.

If we act in a loving manner to muslims, they will experience more freedoms and be able to find out more about their faith and deal with it on their own.

Here’s what my friend who is a missionary in Gambia wrote for me.
dlw

29 10 2008
Assusecox

A good way eh? Are you ignoring my pleasurable flight Wanna joke?) What did one hot dog say to another? Hi, Frank!

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