A HOUSE DIVIDED: This used to be a helluva good country, I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
Having grown up in a church-going family, attending services every Sunday of my life no matter what. I knew very well what is was to hold committed and passionate beliefs. I also know, how impossible it is to bring someone around to a different view through dialogue when their belief is associated with their faith. It just doesn't happen.
Where does all the hate come from? It's clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible and the Koran.
The Bible is either the word of God, or it isn't. We believe or agree, that to be a true Christian is to believe that all other faiths are mistaken, and profoundly so. Either the Bible is an ordinary book, written by mortals, or it isn't. If the Bible is an ordinary book, and Christ is an ordinary man, the basic doctrine of Christianity is false.
Along comes Muhammad, who was regarded as the last and most perfect prophet. The people who accepted Muhammad's teachings came to be known as Muslims and their religion Islam, Arabic for "surrender to the will of Allah." They are now the worlds second largest religion behind Christianity, invading every country in the world.
There is no evidence that any of our books was authorized by the creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth, for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology.
A book written by an omniscient being could contain a chapter on mathematics that would be the richest source of mathematical insight humanity has ever known. Why doesn't the Bible say anything about electricity, or about DNA, or about the actual age and size of the universe? What about a cure for cancer? Good, pious people are dying horribly from cancer, and many of them are children. The Bible is a very big book. God has room to instruct us in great detail about how to keep slaves and sacrifice a wide variety of animals. It's astonishing how an ordinary book can be thought the product of omniscience.
CONSIDER: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslin that you have for being a Christian. And yet, you do not find their reasons compelling. The Koran repeatedly declares that it is the perfect word of the creator of the universe. Muslims believe this as full as you believe the Bible's account of itself. There is vast literature describing the life of Muhammad that, from the point of view of Islam, proves that he was the most recent Prophet of God. Muhammad also assured his followers that Jesus was NOT divine and that anyone who believes otherwise will spend eternity in hell. And all his opinions on all other subjects, are infallible.
Why don't you lose any sleep over whether to covert to Islam? Can you prove that Allah is not the one, true God? Can you prove the Archangel Gabriel did not visit Muhammad in his cave? Of course not. But you need not prove any of these things to reject your beliefs of Muslims as absurd. The burden is upon them to prove that their beliefs about God and Muhammad are valid. They have not done this. They cannot do this. Muslims are simply not making claims about reality that can be corroborated.
The truth is, you know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with respect to the beliefs of Muslims. Isn't it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Koran is the perfect word of the creator of the universe, and that the doctrine of Islam represents a near-perfect barrier to honest inquiry? Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way devout Muslims view Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions.
"We're losing the country we grew up in." Uncontrolled immigration threatens to deconstruct the nation we grew up in and covert America into a conglomeration of peoples with almost nothing in common - not history, heroes, language, culture, faith or ancestors. Religion poisons everything. We are a house divided and the death of America as you knew it, is upon us.
Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses, the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints and the Muslims, their Muhammad, and it the way to God were not open to every man alike.
Each of these churches accuses the other of unbelief, and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.
Joseph L. Koperna