The 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) kicks off this week (June 16-23). It promises to be an orgy of progressive delights — from bashing America’s immigration policies to demonizing fossil fuels to trashing Israel while apotheosizing Palestine to global warming warnings to the horrors of white privilege to the blessings of intersexuality to the condemnation of hate speech in all its forms. What Christian in his/her right mind would want to miss such a momentous event? Surely in all this, the biblical message that Jesus Christ came to save sinners will receive some passing mention….
One of the overtures of special interest to me has been proposed by the Presbytery of Carlisle (Item 07-01 on the GA docket). Entitled “On America’s Interfaith Context and the Church’s Challenge,” this overture contains seven recommendations for action. Six of them are the kind of vapid directives one might expect from a moralistic, progressive bureaucracy, and offer nothing that other mainline denominations have not also chattered about.
The seventh , however — directive number two in order –breaks new ground and would launch the PCUSA boldly into new territory with regard to interfaith activity. It reads:
Condemn all religiously inspired and motivated violence, prejudice, discrimination and hate speech, and in particular anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim behaviors and language.
This sounds very PC on the surface, but in fact would mandate that the PCUSA would have to condemn Islam as a religion and its “holy book”, the Qur’an.
Since 9/11/2001 there have been over 33,000 deadly attacks around the world carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam. No other religion approaches even one percent of this figure over the same period. The bromides bandied about that the perpetrators are not really Muslims or that they have wrongly interpreted their religion beg the question: Why have so many gotten their religion so wrong, if indeed they have? Why is the religious violence we see around the world overwhelmingly associated with Islam? Surely if this PCUSA overture passes, the denomination will quickly issue an official condemnation of Islam’s “religiously inspired and motivated violence” as seen over the last two decades (not to mention its bloody history over the last 1400 years). I will wait with bated breath….
Religiously inspired and motivated…prejudice will also be in the crosshairs of the PCUSA. So the common references to Jews as “descendants of apes and pigs” which echo through mosques around the world every Friday will be condemned, as will all the other epithets targeting the Jewish race for being the source of all the world’s evils. Indeed, the PCUSA will necessarily denounce the Qur’anic teaching that the Jews are the enemies of Allah, and the Hadith reports where Muhammad declares that the Day of Judgment will not come until the armies of Islam hunt down and exterminate all Jews from this world, per the decree of Allah. The anti-Jewish prejudice inherent in Islam will face the scorching condemnation of the Presbyterian Church USA. I can hardly wait.
As regards “religiously inspired and motivated…discrimination,” the yet-to-be approved overture will lead the denomination to excoriate Islam over the third-class status of dhimmitude within the Islamic state, where non-Muslims are allowed to live (except for polytheists and atheists, who are forced to become Muslim or face immediate execution) in subordination to Islamic law and with extremely constricted rights compared to their Muslim neighbors. Likewise, the discriminatory, Shari’a-compliant, hefty, annual poll tax (jizya) levied on all dhimmis will face the withering censure of the PCUSA. Of course, since this is an obvious “justice issue,” the denomination will make its denunciations of Islamic discrimination a first-order priority. I expect a public proclamation by Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, Jr. by the end of this month. If he asks, I would gladly help him compose it.
Lastly, Overture 7-1 would require the PCUSA to condemn religiously inspired and motivated…hate speech. Primary among PCUSA targets would have to be the Qur’an, which serves as the principal source of hate speech against non-Muslims for almost a quarter of the world’s 7.6 billion people. Finally a mainline Protestant denomination will censure the hate-filled portions of the Qur’an that fuel Muslim loathing toward the unconverted world. Here are a few examples to give them a running start:
- “You are the best of all peoples,” (3:110) the Qur’an says to the Muslim community, while “Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein forever. They are the worst of creatures” (98:6).
- The non-Muslim world is variously characterized as diseased (2:10), perverse (2:99), stupid (2:171) and deceitful (3:73).
- According to 8:55, “Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, and they will not believe.” As a result, the kuffar are compared unfavorably with dogs and cattle (7:176, 179), dirty (9:28) and ignorant (6:111).
- The Jews merit these descriptions, but as noted above they garner even more hate speech from Allah. As descendants of apes and pigs (because in the past Allah transformed them into these subhuman animals as punishment for their unbelief (see 5:60, 7:166, 2:65), they are especially corrupt, filthy and helpers of the devil (4:76).
- As a result of all these odious decrees and descriptions, Muslims are warned repeatedly not to take unbelievers as friends, for they are “unto you open enemies”(4:101; see also 4:144; 5:51; 58:22; 3:118; 60:4).
- Therefore, Muslims are commanded to fight against the unbelievers, inflicting harshness on them (9:123); or in the words of the Qur’anic golden rule, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are severe against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves…” (48:29).
- Curses are indeed a powerful form of hate speech. Since Allah himself calls curses down upon Jews and Christians (and all who reject Muhammad’s claims), divine hate speech against other religious groups is canonized in Islam. If Allah speaks hatefully toward the non-Muslim world, how can his followers not imitate him?
After leaning long and hard toward a gospel-denying universalism, the PCUSA seems poised now to condemn the religious teachings of a rival faith. To be fair, it has to be said that this unintended exclusivistic drift is not being nourished by a true belief in the gospel but by a mindless pursuit of “progressive justice,” which holds that anything negative said about anyone or their beliefs must be “hate speech” (except when said against Christians, of course), and as the cause du jour it must become one of the PCUSA’s pet pursuits.
Unfortunately, one of the other fabrications commonly accepted by the progressive left is that all religions, including Islam, are peaceful at heart. Hence, Overture 7-1 assumes that any “religious hate speech” will arise from those perverting their religions, not practicing them faithfully. Unfortunately, as those who know Islam well can testify, religiously inspired and motivated violence, prejudice, discrimination and hate speech is endemic to the heart and culture of Islam as taught and practiced by the prophet of Arabia.
If Overture 7-1 is approved by the PCUSA later this week, then the denomination will be poised to condemn the teachings and example of Muhammad, and of Islam’s “holy book” which enshrines religiously inspired and motivated violence, prejudice, discrimination and hate speech. Even Allah will face the condemnation of the PCUSA, for he is the source of all this malice. I’m trembling with anticipation over the denomination’s bold move!
Of course, this will only happen if the denomination is consistent in its application of Directive number 2. And the denomination has been anything but consistent in following its past principles when they have conflicted with its post-Christian pursuits in recent decades.
So, on second thought, I’m not holding my breath….