The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Pat Robertson Asks the Tough Questions

Like this one:

"The entire world is being convulsed by a religious struggle; the struggle is whether … the moon god of Mecca, known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah God of the Bible is supreme."

The moon god of Mecca? Yikes. These kids and their imaginations. Okay, I realize that this issue is serious business to some people so I shouldn't trivialize it but Pat Robertson is just too goofy. I'm no theological scholar but I was under the impression that the god of Islam and the god of Christianity were the same dude.

Since I don't have any stake in who will win this deity battleroyal I'm free to sit here and be cynical about statements like this. Mr. Robertson does not see that his beliefs are pretty much the same as those of the people he condemns. That his club is no different from their club. That his god is the moon god of Mecca. The story just has a few different characters and it doesn't end quite the same in their version.

Update:

Jon Rowe discusses Gary North, among other things here.

3 Comments:

  • Yes, I've noticed that most fundamentalists refuse to hold that the God of Islam is the God of the Bible (as the Muslims claim he is -- they claim to be like, Judiasm & Christianity, an "Abrahamic" faith), but rather a false "God."

    The Muslim fundamentalists are no more tolerant (they consider Christianity to be "polytheistic" -- and polytheism is a major sin in Islam).

    But it just goes to show you that the more extreme version of Christianity that Robertson represents is not really any more tolerant than the Muslim fundamentalists.

    In this nation & culture, with our peculiar principles of natural & political right, which derive as little from Robertson's brand of Christianity as they do from Muslim fundamentalism, basically Robertson et al. have to be somewhat more tolerant than the Islamofascists. But take away the Enlightenment, and there really isn't much of a difference between the two. Just look at what I've written on Gary North to see what fundamentalist Christianity looks like without an Enlightenment.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 3:56 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 4:06 PM  

  • Just a side note. Most Muslims recognize the God of Islam and the God of Christianity as the same. Some Christians do as well. However, some and perhaps most see the recognition of Jesus as divine as a paramount in the definition of "God" and, as Islam denies this, they claim that "Allah" and "God" are in fact quite different.

    As they disagree so fundamentally anyway, I'm not sure that it matters, after all, if you're a Christian who believes in the Qur'an, you're no longer a Christian, and vice versa, regardless of whether or not the "God" in question is the same.

    Incidentally, the word "Allah" which westerners seem to treat with some sort of mystic reverence is simply Arabic for "The Lord." However, most Muslims believe that the teaching of the Qur'an can only be truly communicated in Arabic (as it was communicated to Mohammed) so they never translate "Allah." But, if you're speaking English and talking of the Muslim god, it is perfectly reasonable to call him "lord" or "god."

    Incidentally, this lack of translation is probably the biggest fundamental problem with Islam. It has 2 dire consequences:

    1. Control over the meaning of the religion by a few powerful literate people, and

    2. A lack of understanding of the very religion that they practice. Many Muslims know the Qur'an by heart, but have no idea what it means. It is somewhat analogous to the prevalence of the Latin mass in Catholicism.

    The printing press was instrumental to the enlightenment for this reason. As soon as Islam embraces this idea, they will have an enlightenment of their own.

    Check out:
    http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/08/battle-in-clouds-undercard-in-kerry-vs.html

    "Yet for good or ill, the genie is out of the bottle. Before the Gutenberg printing press men knew the contents of the Bible solely through the prism of the professional clergy, who could alone afford the expensively hand copied books and who exclusively interpreted it. But when technology made books widely available, men could read the sacred texts for themselves and form their own opinions. And the world was never the same again."

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 4:11 PM  

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