Reach out to all religions, but more carefully with Islam

Q: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is recommending that the U.S. government develop a strategy to make religion ‘integral’ … Continued

Q: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is recommending that the U.S. government develop a strategy to make religion ‘integral’ to American foreign policy. Should U.S. foreign policy get religion?

One of the truisms I learned in college was that nations have interests. So do religions. Sometimes those interests are mutually exclusive. In most cases, religious interests focus on a “kingdom not of this world,” to invoke a biblical analogy. But one — Islam — has an interest here on earth and large numbers of adherents to that faith believe not only that they have the only truth — a characteristic found in most religions — but that they have been ordered by Allah to impose it by force on everyone else. This imposition also includes the taking of land that can spread the Islamic kingdom on earth. This is not bigotry. This is fact as stated in the sermons of their imams and the media in many Islamic countries.

Any diplomatic “outreach” must understand this truth. It must also include at least some common principles in order for that outreach to produce objectives in the best interests of the nations involved, most especially the United States. The stated objective of the radical Islamists is to destroy America and impose Sharia law. It is hard to find common ground with such belief. Do we agree to less destruction if they will leave us alone? What more is there to understand about “you are infidels and deserving of death”? There doesn’t appear to be any diplomatic wiggle-room there.

Islam makes no accommodation for those of other faiths, or no faith, as America does. Name an Islamic country where Jews, Christians, Hindus, Baha’is, converts from Islam (a condition deserving of death, they say) and atheists can co-exist under the protection of their governments. That happens best only in America. Why would we be willing to discuss or negotiate away one of our most cherished rights for the sake of some elusive foreign policy objective.? Do we think that by sitting down with such people they will recognize Israel and come to like Jews? Do we imagine that through diplomacy they will cease characterizing Christians as “cross-worshippers”?

I am all for talking to adversaries so long as there is a likelihood such talks will serve American interests and not just make certain people “feel better.” It is when feelings are paramount and not hard-headed reality that America runs the risk of having her pocket picked and her interests damaged.

About

  • cadam72

    I am swo glad to be the first one to respond. Cal, I hope you read this and take it to heart. I will only say that this is ironic given two stories in the news today, 1) Isreal forcing immigrant labor from places like the Philippines to leave the the country and dis-allowing over 1000 children born in the country from staying and being considered “Isrealis” and 2) Christian evegelicals in the US contemplating that America’s “allowance for religions” only extends to “Christian” religions, even though countless reviews in American History show our knowledge and acceptance of Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, even in the 19th centry. cal, zealots abound in all religions, even yours. Moderates of all religions should simply show their ability to seek each other out and show their inclusion for others. You could learn something here. To mock Islam and say it is a religion bent of conquering is to take the zelot approach and to white wash all other equally appalling comments in Judiasm and Christianity, that some follow and others thankfully dismiss. You, sir, are a bigot.

  • coloradodog

    As if in Cal’s cold, closed my-way-or-the-highway evangelical heart, he makes “accommodation for those of other faiths.”Not only a bigot, but a hypocrite as well.

  • Counterww

    Coloradodog, the anti Christian bigot calling others bigots.Hilarious.

  • yasseryousufi

    “Islam makes no accommodation for those of other faiths, or no faith, as America does. Name an Islamic country where Jews, Christians, Hindus, Baha’is, converts from Islam (a condition deserving of death, they say) and atheists can co-exist under the protection of their governments. That happens best only in America.”Its hard to take a man who puts on lipstick before getting photographed, seriously at the best of times but this mad evangelical mullah has got my head spinning big time! Does he really appear in 500 Newspaper all over US and Europe to radicalize White Christians against minorities? No wonder Americans are so poorly informed about the rest of the world. If you can only replace Islam with Christianity, this column could have been written by the blind Shiekh! Thousands of non-muslims live all over the Islamic World including the Arab world with more freedom than they have in US. In Dubai Jewish terrorist can get into the peaceful city without a prior visa, murder an innocent man and run away scott free back to their country. Which American or European Country would allow Arabs/Muslims to enter their territories without a visa? Im sure this guy also thinks of America as a White Christian Nation when it suits him so its a bit rich for him to excoriate only Islam (falsely) for seeking world domination. If anything Islam stands between world domination fetish of these fundamentalist christians. And by the way, the American constitution didn’t protect innocent muslims from being kept in prison described as “hell hole” without a trial for almost a decade now! Name one muslim country that has a christian only prison on the model of Gunatanamo bay??

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    All of this wrangling back and forth between Islam and Christianity… I find these two religions to be weirdly reflective of each other; it is a little comical watching a man in an argument with his own reflection in the mirror.

  • pseudoenergy

    “Islam makes no accommodation for those of other faiths, or no faith, as America does.”In truth, if evangelicals had it their way, we would all be living under a Christian version of Sharia law. So you can forget the talk about Christianity being just about a “personal relationship with Jesus” or whatever metaphor you find comforting because the religious excesses of Christianity are not kept in check by its “inherent goodness” but by our nation’s adherence to the value of pluralism. Just like Islam and Judaism, there’s nothing inherently pluralistic about Christianity: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

  • coloradodog

    Like Jews who automatically and shrilly dismiss any comment about America’s entanglement with Israel as “anti-Semetic”, Counterww calls “anti-Christian” any outrage against radical extremist evangelicals like Cal who spew hatred in the name of poor old Jesus.If there is anything “anti-Christian” here it’s Cals comments and Counterww’s blind support of his intolerant garbage.

  • washpost18

    Fatwa envy, Cal? I thought we had all moved well beyond that years ago. Please do try to keep up.

  • emonty

    “Islamic country where Jews, Christians, Hindus, Baha’is, converts from Islam (a condition deserving of death, they say) and atheists can co-exist under the protection of their governments. That happens best only in America.”Others have commented on the ‘Islamic’ portion of this ridiculous statement but i would point out that there are many. many countries in the world that ‘do’ religious freedom at least as well as the United States.

  • rlholloway

    Mr. Thomas I believe is correct in his understanding of Islam. With Christianity when a person has a relationship with Christ they love other people. Many of the rights that so many hold dear in our country have roots in the understanding that everyone has worth and is a created being by God. Christianity is about a relationship with the Lord. Islam is about religion and not relationship. A muslim can not know Allah and is forced to follow a certain set up rules and customs if they strive to enter paradise. Islam has not respect for individuals such as children and women. Islam has no respect for other religions. Trying going to Mecca and praying to the Jesus Christ. Trying opening a Christian church in Iran. As Mr. Thomas points out “The stated objective of the radical Islamists is to destroy America and impose Sharia law. It is hard to find common ground with such belief.” They would rather destroy us than work with us. They might for a season say “peace” but once they have the ability they will again try to destroy us. True Islam’s ultimate goal is world domination under Sharia Law. True Christianity is about a relationship with the Jesus Christ and helping others find Him.

  • Counterww

    Sorry, DILD, you have it wrong again. Islam is about obeying Allah. And it is about strict adherence to trying to be good enough to meet that false God’s expectations. Christianity is about grace- God’s grace is sending His Son to die for us, so that we can have God be in a close loving relationship with us. All you have to do is look at the nations where Christianity has been prevalent, and where Islam has and is prevalent. The Christian nations-or – where Christians are a pluralrity- are prosperous. The Islam dominated ones have poverty, lack of infrastructure, and are dictatorial in nature. Islam is a far cry from Christianity, and if you don’t know that, you have either not read much about both religions, or you don’t observe the differences.

  • Counterww

    Coloradodog-I just call them like I see them. You hate Christians, and hate anyone that stands up for Christianity. At least admit it.

  • coloradodog

    Counterww,I can call it like I see it, too.You hate religious freedoms and anything other than you my-way-or-the-highway agenda for a Huckabee Christian sect theocracy for the US.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Haveaheart said:When I said that Christianity and Islam are weirdly reflective of each other, I really meant it in a tangible way.Allah = GodI know, I know, I alaway get clobbered over the head with a Koran, then sucker-puncher with a Bible whenever I make this comparision, that I am superficial and do not really comprehend the deeper meanings behind all this.But I do comprehend. I just don’t see the point in splitting a hair 40 ways.

  • tbarksdl

    What an exercise in massive hypocrisy by Cal Thomas. But then I realized He contrasts Islam–a religion–with America–a country–and finds the former wanting. He completely ignores the fact that the reason America offers all those freedoms he finds so praiseworthy is precisely because our Founding Fathers, in their unique genius, made sure that religion was separated from politics and government–the very decision that Cal Thomas finds so grating and, along with the other religious wing nuts, have worked so diligently to try to overturn.What an excellent opportunity to remind Cal Thomas that the freedoms that protect us from the imposition of Sharia law are the same freedoms that protect us from the imposition of any supposedly Christian-based laws that would prevent the teaching of evolution, the practice of abortion, or the granting of full legal rights to homosexuals.I wish I could believe that Cal has been born again and is now bathing himself in the waters of the First Amendment. I’d be glad to welcome him into the ranks of us who want to keep religion out of the political realm, as the Founding Fathers intended.But I greatly fear that we’ll learn shortly that he trots out his defense of religious pluralism only when it’s useful to bash Muslims–and never intended to apply those same standards to his fellow Christians when they try to shove their brand of religious strictures down our throats. But maybe Cal Thomas is not that much of an in-your-face hypocrite?

  • haveaheart

    “God’s grace is sending His Son to die for us, so that we can have God be in a close loving relationship with us.”CounterWW,Saying this until you’re blue in the face won’t make it so. The vast majority of the world’s people would find this sentence, if translated accurately, to be incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo.Sadly, this parroting of meaningless words is about as concrete as Christianity gets.I believe that Jesus, a great teacher of life lessons, would be devastated by the religion established in his name.To Danielinthelionsden:You noted, “I find these two religions to be weirdly reflective of each other; it is a little comical watching a man in an argument with his own reflection in the mirror.”I agree. They are both absolutist and dictatorial. And both accuse the other of being absolutist and dictatorial.

  • Athena4

    “Name an Islamic country where Jews, Christians, Hindus, Baha’is, converts from Islam (a condition deserving of death, they say) and atheists can co-exist under the protection of their governments.”Turkey. What do I win?

  • Publ1us

    Daniel,God=Evolution (or Life Force!)

  • Counterww

    DILD- the difference between Jesus and Mohammed is the following:Mohammed just claimed to be a prophet. Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, the god-man. His early followers said it, they believed that. When I said grace- what it means is that we get the free gift without having to earn it, and it is that inputting to us that gives us the ability to WANT to do what God would like us to be like.And he give us the power and love to do so.Islam is about obeying rules and trying to strive to meet Allah’s expectations to get to paradise. With Christ, we are already set to go to heaven, and the works are there because it becomes innate to do so. It becomes a natural thing to love others and be kind – illustrate patience ,kindness etc etc.As for Coloradodog- I have no desire to make this country a theocracy. Forcing others to be Christians would never work anyway. Choosing Christ can’t be forced. I still believe you sir have a irrational hatred for those that follow Jesus the Christ.

  • coloradodog

    counterww wrote:”I still believe you sir have a irrational hatred for those that follow Jesus the Christ.”I personally believe Christ was the best teacher of unconditional love, positive visualization and personal responsibility the world has ever seen; and there is much good done in the world in His name. It’s some, not all (as you have judgmentally and unfairly accused me) of his followers who have hijacked his teachings for political and social agendas including homophobia that I abhor.Believe anything you want. Believe Cal’s intolerance represents “…those that follow Jesus the Christ.” That’s what religious freedom is about. Sorry if you’re disappointed or delusioned by believing I will.

  • Counterww

    Coloradodog-You assume that all evangelicals are “homophobic” which is like the race card for liberals. I have friends, co workers, and relatives that are gay. We agree on lots and agree to disagree on other topics that I am sure you get all up in arms about. But that does not stop me from treating people- all people with love, respect, and decency as human beings. It does not mean that I must adhere to their desire for marriage etc …..and it has nothing to do with fear but with the discussion and discourse around what is best for society in the long run, which there is disagreement on. Using the moniker “Huckabees” just illustrates your irrational hatred of Christians when their viewpoint is different than yours. This is America,we are allowed to speak up.

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