Planting a new church: 1-24/25-09
Celebrating Mozart: 1-27-09

Christians attacking Islam: 1-26-09

Mbts chapel

I am always a little surprised at the harshness of the criticism of Islam that sometimes comes from Christians who would identify themselves as fundamentalists or conservatives.

Indeed, at times this criticism has degenerated into simple hatred. And I'm not at all sure why they feel the need to adopt such counterproductive tactics. I suspect it arises from a theology that asserts everyone is condemned to hell except certain Christians -- a position that I believe proscribes God's glorious freedom to decide the ultimate fate of individuals.

At any rate, all of this came to mind again the other day when I was reading The Midwestern, the quarterly magazine published by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, North. The seminary is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The publication is not available on the seminary's Web site, though at my request someone there is trying to see if it's possible to post a pdf file of the article. But so far that hasn't happened.

In the Winter edition of the magazine there's a fairly long piece describing what was billed as an "Inter-Faith Workshop on Islam" held at the seminary in the fall. I was intrigued by the title because generally Southern Baptists aren't much interested in interfaith activities. But from what I can tell, that description didn't mean any kind of dialogue between and among people of different faiths. No Muslims were invited to speak. Rather, there were presentations mostly by people representing groups trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

"All the workshop leaders agreed that the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real hope for change in the lives of Muslims," the article said.

The workshop speakers were Jay Smith of London, described as an "Islam expert;" Patrick Sookhdeo of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity (ISIC); Sasan Tavasolli of the Outreach Foundation; Samuel Shahid of Good News for the Crescent World, and R. Philip Roberts, seminary president.

(You can read about these groups on their Web sites, though the link to the ISIC will take you to a Wikipedia page where there's a link to the group's official Web site, but that site appears to be under construction.)

It's clear to me that these organizations are much less interested in a dialogue with Islam than they are in seeking to eliminate Islam by having all Muslims convert to Christianity: "We have a belief that the only thing we must be doing is converting," the magazine article quotes Smith as saying. (In traditional Christian doctrine, by the way, individuals -- contrary to Smith's language -- don't convert others; rather, the Holy Spirit does the converting.) It also said Smith held up a copy of the Qur'an and, referring to Muslims, said, "This is what destroys them. This book makes them do what they do."

From what the magazine piece said about the workshop, I concluded that the speakers think the way to convert Muslims is to belittle Islam and criticize it for its theology.

I understand that Christians are mandated to share their faith. But, of course, there are many ways to do that. Perhaps the least effective way is to attack someone else's religion.

If I were to tell Christians how to share their faith, I would suggest that -- once they have earned the right to speak with others about such things -- they simply describe the joy they experience by being disciples of Jesus. No faith needs to promote itself by denigrating the beliefs of others. That's a sure way to get others to shut you out. But the folks who spoke at this seminary workshop must feel Christianity (the world's largest religion) is so threatened that they have to come to its rescue by attacking Islam. It strikes me as a losing approach, completely out of sync with what Jesus lived and taught.

(And by the way, no, I'm not naive about the reality that some people in the world who identify themselves as Muslims want to destroy Americans. As many of you know, such misguided people murdered my own nephew, a passenger on the first plane to strike the World Trade Center on 9/11.)

(The photo here today is from the seminary's Web site.)

* * *


Pope Benedict XVI has rescinded the excommunication of a bishop who is a Holocaust denier, and some Jews are expressing outrage. Christians and others should do the same. For another version of this story, click here. And for a version that quotes even Vatican insiders as saying the pope's action is divisive, click here. In what I've read so far I have seen no papal justification for the move that makes any sense -- nor can I even imagine such a justification. If B-16 wanted to improve relations with followers of a breakaway bishop, there is no way that motive should have led to rehabilitating someone who denies that Jews were murdered in gas chambers in World War II. B-16 by this act is undoing much of the goodwill that Pope John Paul II created between Christians and Jews in his papacy. How sad and unnecessary. Once again this pope demonstrates his not-infrequent tone-deafness.

* * *

P.S.: Don't forget that Newsweek editor Jon Meacham will be speaking at Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College tonight. It will be the keynote address of the annual Kansas City Festival of Faiths. I'll be introducing him and moderating the Q&A session when he's done speaking. There still are a few good seats left, but hurry. The link I've given you tells you how to get tickets. 


Joe Barone

Bill, I very much appreciate your comments both on Muslims and on Pope Benedict.

I am a Christian who does not believe in Jesus only, who sees God as bigger than any single faith, even Christianity. I know this comment will set off some of the people who write most of the comments on this blog under different names and fake IP addresses, but still it is what I believe.

With January 20, we witnessed a new day. For the first time in inaugural history, I think, we had a president who reached out to Muslims and who listed the peaceful of all faiths including non-believers as worthy of being treated in peace and love.
He also spoke out against terrorism and reaffirmed our resolve to fight terrorism.

Your words today were both peaceful and courageous. Thanks you.

adam harrison

Astounging, Bill!

You say you are a "little suprised" at the harshness of the criticism of Islam that sometimes come from a brand of Christians whom YOU have just harshly critiziced.

We know you have it in for Catholics, and now its Baptists?

And yet you have hardly a word for the atheists who regularly come on here smearing Christians, calling them delusional, liars, threateing "wrath" upon them, and other attacks...all the while letting them take over your board as their own message and advertising center. (Although they have admittedly adbandoned their own board because no one looks at it.)

Sounds like those Baptists have the guts to stand up for what they believe; the Muslims will destroy us if they get control, just like the atheists always have...EVERY single officially atheistic government has behaved in the same way EVERY DAMN TIME.

And Presbyterians would just sit back and COLLABORATE I expect.

adam harrison

Bill, you say we have to earn the right to speak to others about such things?



If, say, my family has suffered at the hands of an atheist doctor, or I have had an atheist try to get me in trouble, have I earned the right not to SHUT UP and SUMIT like a poster here demands?

Do I have to keep my thoughts PRIVATE like that poster demands.




So Bill, are you going to explain the reason the excommunication existed in the first place; theological dissent or actions? What kind of excommunication it was, automatic or by hearing? And now that it is lifted, what that actually mean?

Bishop Williamson does not speak for the entire group, in fact, you might want to post what the other Bishops in the SSPX have said about his statements.

I know you won't do that, just like I know you will never stop your unwavering support for those who espouse heresy and corrupt morals. Your never ending crying that Catholics should bow down before people of other faiths and allow them to dictate to us how we should pray, worship, live and believe. Your idea of religious tolerance is a void of tradition and life, a skim milk version of faith.

Iggy -


Bill, I actually came across this interview a few days ago before Bishop Richard Williamson was brought back -

I was looking at this not from the standpoint of how Jews would be outraged at his comments but from the standpoint of RATIONALITY AND COMMON SENSE. I can see why Jews would be outraged at Christians - you yourself in your last year's speech at Community of Reason said that the horrendous treatment of Jews by Christians over the past centuries may have in fact DENIED CHRISTIANS THE RIGHT TO CONVERT JEWS TO CHRISTIANITY.

The preponderance of evidence, first hand accounts by Jews and German soldiers, officers, photo evidence, invoices for "Cyclone B" cianide gas, testimonies of concentration camp guards, chemists and doctors are overwhelming. Deniers like this actually in my opinion UNDERSTAND the outrage and are looking over their shoulders - the Bishop in the interview makes references to German laws outlawing denial of Holocaust.

I would go even further, the IRRATIONAL AND ILLOGICAL AND PURELY ASTROLOGICAL, ALCHEMICAL AND PSEUDO FACTUAL WAY CHRISTIANITY OPERATES NOW AND HAS IN THE PAST in light of constant conflicts with science, human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of doing whatever the individual desire to do as long as it doesn't hurt others is the crux of the problem.

Christian dogma hides in the message of the lamb - the "New Testament". The Old Testament is "part of it" but it "really is not" because itis so contradictory with the message of Jesus, though apologists will tell you not.

I've started a page "Lies of Christianity" at where I will regularly go over glaring and astounding Christian lies, finagling, omissions and just plain lack of common sense and rationality. This current topic is "Has anyone seen the face of God?"

Iggy -


There are 33,000+ denominations of Christianity, there are Christians who don't believe Jesus is god/son of god, but rather a messenger like Mohammad is, there are Christians who don't believe in Yahweh/God, Holy Spirit or Jesus as a human who existed. They only take the best of Christianity as affirmations - here is the list of "Good Stuff" in the Bible (humanistic highlights that can be found in ANY RELIGION - and here is the ones in Islam and here is good stuff in Mormonism

I don't know in how many ways this can be said, but it is time for Christians in the words of the scripture to "shed away their childish ways" and move on to the "Newer" Testament of rationality and reason and it looks like 40+% of American Christians are already "inventing their own theology" - there was a study on it by the Pew Foundation I think. 40-50% of Americans don't believe in Satan or don't believe in Hell. Also 42% of Americans are saying that nonbelievers/atheists can get to heaven without being Christians.

There is a group in Kansas City that considers Christians who don't believe in the "young Earth" - pseudo Christians - they put them in "quotation marks" - read the firstparagraph of this debate challenge -

Christians have lost in my opinion the right to be considered rational - I mean "crazies" of the like of Ted Haggard, now deceased Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Family Research Council, etc. A new era of "new age" Christians is rising - gay Bishops, gay clergy, women clergy, Christians who are agnostics but trapped in the body of Jesus Christ as "cultural Christians", 75% of teenage kids when leaving their families never go back to church, 30-40% of people 19-40 years old are non religious, by different accounts 15-20% of people are non religious in general, those who don't go church weekly are more socially accepted and read more books, socialize more outside the church, people who don't go to to church regularly have higher level of education in general and those who have highest degrees are overwhelmingly non religious, 70% of doctors don't believe prayer works vs. 26% of patients who do.

Appointing a Holocaust denying Bishop back to Vatican can be a good thing - it will just add to the schism between religion and rationality. After all, last year the Catholic Church stated that it is the only "true" church - thus they truly creating a rock they cannot lift themselves.

Dolores Lear

Nice picture. It reminds me of a High Tech rocket after launch. Like most Religious symbols, of steeples on churches. The remembrance of High Tech in the Past.

On Christians and Islam. What we are taught as Children about Religion, is the Way we go as Adults.

Before the past 150 years, Since the Planetary Flood, Most Humans remained in the location they were born, and Married a Mate in the Religion of their Parents.

With High Tech travel in mass, and World Wide Web, the communications have revealed a Divided Planet more clearly, and Wars Spread to World Wars.

Many Humans change their Birth Religion, or become Atheists, because of Events in their Lifestyle.

Who decides which God Religion is the Right Religion, the Majority? The Christian Religion was established in the USA Government, not by Law, but by the Christian Majority.

Now it is Hard to remove Religion from Government, in any Country.
China has removed their type of Religion from Government, but not from the masses. Russia also, but Christianity is still the most dominant Religion.

USA Christian Religious Prayer, Rituals, and Holidays, were established in Government. The Pledge of Allegiance under God, and In God We Trust on our Money, were added in the past Century. Why?

None of this Makes the USA a Christian Country. It is close to losing it's Majority.

None of Jesus' type of Peace and Equal Sharing Lifestyle is prevalent today in Christianity. Were Jesus' Celibate Males and Females Equal?

Only the Adam and Eve Clones were Equal 'in the beginning', until they Reproduced Unequal Male and Female Children by Heterosexual Body Birth.

The Result: Unequal Killers of Each Other and our Home Planet. And then Religion.

Lynne -

Islam, or at least many common Islamic practices, does need to be criticized but of course there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. The problem is that even if you attempt to criticize in the right way you are still accused of "Islamophobia" yet other religions can be criticized, at least to some extent, without a similar charge.

Converting Muslims to fundamentalist Christianity won't solve anything because the evils of any religion always stem from authoritarianism, and fundamentalism is inherently authoritarian.

What I am most concerned about is the common Muslim belief that apostasy is a crime that should be punished (in this life). This is authoritarianism at its worst. It has come to my attention, though, that there is a Muslim group in KC that does NOT share this belief, so that is progress. More progress could be made if Muslims (and everyone, really) saw the wisdom in my sigline below:

"Atheism as a challenge to organized religion has a worthy vocation to fulfill." --Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong

Iggy -

I know you won't do that, just like I know you will never stop your unwavering support for those who espouse heresy and corrupt morals. Your never ending crying that Catholics should bow down before people of other faiths and allow them to dictate to us how we should pray, worship, live and believe. Your idea of religious tolerance is a void of tradition and life, a skim milk version of faith.


You just demonstrated what a "crazy Christian" is. Man, may god have mercy on your soul!

Excommunication is result of "dogma" - religious dogma in this case. Them vs. us mentality. Pure and simple, you god actually set you up for it - it is evident from the post you did today. You accept dogma of tolerance only to those who share your views.

Your write the bishop doesn't speak for the entire group - UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU JUST SAID. Extrapolate on other Christians who may believe that Jesus doesn't speak for the entire world and even for the god they imagine. Take a bird's eye view of things. A Christian is a Christian as long as s/he calls himself a Christian and then we go and parse it. Default position is you call yourself whatever you want to call and "your definition" is what matters - BUT IT MATTERS TO YOU ONLY, THUS IT IS MORAL RELATIVISM and you just demonstrated that you practice it just like your god set ups his "absolute truth" as rule and then changes it and then tells us that he has not changed it through Jesus.

What really should matter is YOUR ACTIONS - in your case (morally relativistically speaking) it is your words and they speak volumes.

To give you another example of MORAL RELATIVISM THAT IS PRACTICED UNDER THE DISGUISE OF GOD - is Mormon baptism of dead people including Jews, Christians and Muslims. They feel their faith is right and not yours :o) even if you are a Christian.

I'll call a couple of Mormon temples today to see if anyone has filed an injunction against them to baptize him/her after they are dead. This will make for a fascinating legal case! Maybe, "emotional distress" while you are alive can be cited as a valid concept.

Will Graham

Lynne, I am highly amused at you telling people what the right way to criticize! LOL!

Strangely, you have nary a word to say to the ATHEIST CRAZIES who like to quote Hannibal Lector (a mass murdering cannibal from fiction so a strange choice indeed!) and go to Bible studies and act up to provoke people...and then calling them crazy if they respond and cowards if they don't!!! LOL!

As for quotes from Spong, just quoting another atheist means nothing to us. You still need an argument and I have yet to see one!

Demonstrate to me that all existence, life, mind, and objective reason itself are the product of mindless forces and then we can talk, kiddo.

Will Graham

Even Richard Dawkins points out in his Delusional book that Hitler was anti Christian, if not an atheist. He considered both Christianity and Bolshevism Jewish inventions, and Dawkins quotes him extensively on this. He also loved Nietzsche's works; admittedly he perverted Nietzsche for his own ends, but one thing Nietzsche was famous for was his atheism, declaring that "god is dead". (Of course, now Nietzsche is dead. LOL!) Hitlers reliance on Nietzschean philosophy is an additional indicator of Hitlers atheism, regardless of his public pronouncements.

And, of course, in the end he killed himself. Not something a good Catholic does, sports!

You can't have it both ways folks!

We won't allow it! LOL!

As for the Holocaust, it was merely a working out of the social darwinism that infested Germany in the early 20th century, derived from Francis Galtons Eugenics theories and popularized by the atheist Ernst Haeckel. (Galton was known as the Father of Eugenics, and Darwin talks about him favorably in The Descent of Man, so Darwin is not off the hook on this one either.)

Will Graham

Here is Richard Dawkins on Hitler's Anti Christianity, page 276's+anti+Christianity&source=bl&ots=1geE2aEjAV&sig=z9h6z6qGUTUVF9KeYfh6soDBwRs&oi=book_result&ct=result&hl=en

Dolores Lear

This week's Daily promise, 1/26/09: Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing
Are you a "big picture" person?
"Who but God goes up to the heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fist? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son's name? Tell me if you know!" Proverbs 30:4 NLT
Impressive panorama
"When people understand events clearly, we often say that they "see the big picture." This passage in Proverbs makes the point that the clearest view of the "big picture" will always include God. - One of the best remedies for a weary and tired spirit is to contemplate the majesty and greatness of God. How have you found that to be true?"

Me: "What is his name-and his son's name? Tell me if you know!"

God our High Tech Human Ancestors, in our Image do have Names. It is hard to translate them out of the past writings, besides Lord God.

With High Tech Science, the clearest view of the "big picture" will include, the Unknown Scientific Creator GOD, of the Atom the Son, and the ElecteroMagnetic Force, the Holy Spirit. None of these are Humans.

GOD nor the Atom or ElectroMagenet Force have Gender. No Species made from GODs Elements can Know GOD/LIFE, and the Son and the Spirit.

This Life Trinity is in All Life Species, Visible and Invisible, Sun, Air, Water, Dirt, Planets, Spaceships, Nuclear Bombs, etc., all Elements that High Tech Humans Know about.

How can GOD the Maker of Elements be a 'Him' made from Elements? What were the Ancients writing about GOD?

What was the Scripture Translation, After the High Tech Planetary Flood, when Saved Humans translated GOD as Supernatural Gods, Goddesses and Angels.


Dolores Lear


Some of the Old Testament Books, were about the Colonization and the Noah/Atlantis High Tech Society Noah/Atlantis also had a High Tech Science Explosion, like we have had for the Past 100 years.

Our High Tech Ancestors, Colonized Earth. They Did put a Human fetus into Mary, as they did to Elizabeth, Mary's cousin who had John the Baptist.

Our High Tech Ancestors, sometimes called God and sometimes the Angel of the Lord, also put a male fetus into Sarah, Abraham's wife, Sampson's mother, and other Male miraculous births, in Hebrew writings, and in other Religions.

Humans today also fly up in the air, and out into space in fiery chariots, and Do make Human Fetus' in the Lab and put them into females. We also Clone Animals, supernaturally.

Why is Religion from our Youth, based on writings of Humans without High Tech Science, more important to Humans, than Killing Each Other and Living Life Species on our Home Planet?

Because our Parents and Grandparents believed, without High Tech? Then when a Child is Grown, it will not depart from it?

Genesis 6:11,12. KJV. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, Behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

What is our Verdict today, before God? A corrupted Flesh and Planet?

Will Humans today Understand the High Tech "Big Picture", Before our Nuclear 'Arm'ageddon, and Planetary Fire Catastrophe?

My Sigline.
NoThing is More Important to Eternal Physical Life After Birth, than Balanced GOD High Tech Elements, in our Bodies, on Planets, and in Spaceships.

Iggy -

Will Graham,

This Tuesday we'll have a meetup in North KC and also one in Olathe and then on Thursday there is one in Leawood. Please, call on our web site phone number 913-660-9529 and let us know which one you'd like to come to. We will be happy to provide you with arguments that all existence, life, mind, and objective reason itself are the product of mindless forces. I know Cole asked you before to call and we never got a call back from you. Let us try again and discuss this. Please, call and let us know which one you'd like to come to. We also will be glad to meet with you during any other meetups happenning next month. Please, note that some will be changing to 6 p.m. to allow more poeple to come after straight after work, so we look forward to seeing you and hearing from you. I cannot wait to get a voicemail from a Will Graham!

Invisible man, woman with longest finger, ghosts and spirits with four arms or mutants?
Yes, they are real - they have been documented on a photo during the Obama's inauguration ceremony. There is no doubt that they exist! Or is it the perception by the brain of the reality translated/skewed/altered by a camera that is two slow to capture the moment?

Could it be that god and Jesus are just like that? Imperfect perception of the reality?

Could it be that "religious crazies" have an imperfect perception of reality and they cannot accept it? I'll be first to admit that reality is difficult if not impossible to perceive fully and it can play tricks on your senses and your rational view of the world. Would religious people accept this premise? Check this out

There is also a CNN video interview with the photographer at the bottom of the article
You’ll see Aretha Franklin appears to be sitting by an invisible man. There’s a woman who appears to have the world’s longest finger. Is a grown man sucking his thumb? Check out the guy with four arms. There’s another guy who resembles a mutant.


Bill, you've offered so much to think about. How do we win others over to our point of view? Usually, we do it by listening, not talking; this is the paradox.

Sure, Jesus commanded people (at least the apostles) to baptise all nations in Matthew 28. However, a few chapters before we see that the criterion for judgment is whether we serve the weaker brother (Matthew 25).

Jesus showed that his way of teaching was to wash the feet of his students. I don't know if any so-called teachers of Christianity have done the same thing since. I have no problem with Christians teaching Muslims. They should start by washing the Muslims' feet, though.

Will Graham


I have already called. No one ever answers the phone. I have left more than one message. No one ever calls back.

The only people you call back are the girls who call! And then you wanted one of them to meet you in a parking lot! Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

(Your text messages have been saved. Wanta see em again?)

So who ya kiddin, ain't gonna call back.

As far as the meetings in Olathe, Leawood, or NKC...what do you have to argue that you can't post here? Why should I drive all that way just to have you back out on some techincality and tell me it was a joke?

If you have it.

If you don' won't.

Simple, Logical, Rational analysis! won't.

Because you can't. LOL!

Will Graham

Christian sites vanalized in Kansas City. One man caught on surveillance video.

Iggy - is going to have Darrel Ray, author of "The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture" for one of our meetups later in the year.

He may also have a presentation at Atheist Community of Topeka (ACT) and Community of Reason.

As we know more we'll post about it.

Will Graham,

You called and left "more than one message?" We don't have a single voice mail from Will Graham or Will anything. Cole and I both get them in our e-mail, none from a Will or Bill Graham or Billy Graham :o) - ever. We can play them for you all if you want. They are all archived in our e-mail and also on the Vonage web site. Sorry, willyou have to come to meet with us face to face so you can see for yourself the records online and all the voicemails that have been recorded. Or just accept our word for it. There were some voice mails from some mythical James Christensen.

On Friday, the city of Albany, N.Y. proclaimed Feb. 12, 2008 to be Darwin Day. Jennifer Lange, legislative liaison of the Institute for Humanist Studies, contacted the Mayor's Office in Albany to request the proclamation.


With my weekly reading of this blog, I see we still have our spamming atheists and our smear campaigning nutjob Christians in Will and adamh. Glad to see nothing has changed. Though, for once, I wish someone would learn a logical fallacy for a change.


Bill Tammeus,

I notice you never respond to comments in any way. You just throw your slime out there, see what sticks, and move on the next day, apparently never looking back.

Why do you even have comments?

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