Monday, February 18, 2008

Christophobia and Islamophobia

Yesterday, I heard Charles Barkley slamming Christianity for judging people, calling it hypocrisy.  He (Barkley) judged all of Christendom hypocrites for judging others.  The lack of depth, the vacuousness of his thought processes are not unique.  This is fast becoming the populist position within the very culture that is derived from Christianity.  What has Western culture become? 

If Christians are hypocrites for judging others, what does that make those who judge Christians and condemn them for judging?  I do not condemn anyone for judging me, in fact I encourage it.  However, I must condemn anyone who judges me on the basis of prejudice.  Prejudice is a pre-judgment and in this case, a pre-judgment (prejudice) based on my faith, an irrational fear of Christians and it is called Christophobia. 

Judgment based on understanding, facts, behavior, values, and morals is absolutely necessary to our survival.  You cannot succeed in any relationship without using your judgment.  Everybody uses judgment to choose their friends, their spouses, their advisors, their suppliers, their customers, business partners.......everyone is judged daily.  What's more, since no one is perfect, we have to use our judgment within each relationship with every contact, every exchange of information must be evaluated for relevance and accuracy.  Even my pastor, whom I respect and adore and lean on for guidance has weaknesses and holes in his knowledge and is therefore capable of steering me wrong, not because of evil intent necessarily, though he struggles with certain temptations just like I do, but lack of knowledge.  So I evaluate what my mentor has to say maybe even more carefully than what my doctor has to say.  Most assuredly, I evaluate what my doctor has to say since my life may literally depend on it.

I have heard more often than most Christians prejudices like Barkley's because I have tried to reach young people with some good old fashioned common sense.  When I have been on Yahoo's Answers and in chat rooms and when I speak to the youth in person, I am often condemned for judging others for giving common sense advice.  These young people have been taught this prejudice in our educational institutions.  From grade school through college this anti-Christian attitude is rampant among the staff and the kids pick it up directly or indirectly, through lessons or by observing their teachers.  Now with the legal requirements to remove God from schools, these prejudices are being reinforced by our courts and by the highest authority in the land.  This schizophrenia fracturing the character of our nation and its culture is what is weakening our resolve to define and fight evil within our own culture as well as the external threats to our very existence. 

Some examples of what I've been condemned for include, choosing what kind of person to date, what kind of person to be, what kind of person to follow, what kind of person to do business with.  Anytime we Christians are attacked (verbally) on the basis of this prejudice, Christians should respond with a counter attack (verbally) on their prejudice and hypocrisy.  Stand for what you believe in and stand for your reputation loudly and immediately.  Expose the ignorance of your attacker so that all who hear will know their prejudice and shallowness of thought.  Let it be a shame to them.  Do not allow an unreasonable fear based on prejudice to condemn you for following the Scriptures.  Certainly, do not allow a non-believer to mis-quote Jesus or to take His word out of context to condemn you.

The bigger problem is when the non-believer equates Christianity with Islam.  Every week we hear of another act of terror perpetrated on Christians and Jews.  In Chad and the Sudan the Islamic government and those it supports are ethnically cleansing the entire country.  They are killing everyone who does not believe in their particular branch of Islam, so Christians, Jews, and Muslims are dyeing by their torturous methods.  In Saudi Arabia and Iran and numerous other countries dominated by Islam, people are literally executed for leaving Islam.  Where in the Christian dominated governments around the world can you claim anybody is executed for leaving Christianity?  There are none.  Yet, pop culture here in this nation, give Christianity, Islam, and all religions the same level of credence.  We Christians make statements against lewd behavior, debauchery and defend values that have stood the test of thousands of years, but in Arabia and Persia they don't just speak out against this behavior, they take deadly steps to stop it.  If you are a non-Muslim there and are caught in a sexual encounter with a Muslim woman, you will be executed.  If you are caught in a homosexual act whether you are Muslim or not, you will be executed.  If you try to teach a Muslim about your faith, any faith other than Islam, you will be executed.

Ok, so maybe most people are unaware of these distinctions.  What about the way they conduct war?  We see on the nightly news that Muslims target their own innocent civilians in order to disrupt the economy in Iraq to keep the region from trusting the stability the American forces are bringing to them.  Muslims use their youth to blow themselves up in crowded shops in Israel.  They target innocent civilians in other countries.  They keep children around their leaders so that if they are located and attacked the children will be killed in the process, then our media play their story in our homes so that the enemy is aided by our media to make us look as bad as they are because their children were killed.  Their moderates do not speak out against their extremists' obvious evil ways to protect the reputation of their own faith.  Their is no comparison, but they are given equal status with the vastly more honorable by our own colleges, media, courts, and to some degree, even our president.  (Religion of peace) In fact many of the Muslims who fully support these extremists have been employed as professors in our colleges.  The peaceniks and the blame America types have no excuse for equating murderers and terrorists with those of us who try and occasionally fail to hold the standard, who try to convey that standard to others, who do not force our faith on others, but offer information to be evaluated for its truthfulness and who fight to make freedom available to all people.  We do have real reason to fear the advancement of Islam for the things I've listed above and much more.

Charles Barkley is ignorant.  No surprise, this.  What is surprising is that we hear the same rhetoric coming from our youth, our media, and our courts.  That is why we need to be ready to answer prejudicial attacks.  That is why we need to judge right.

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