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Religion can be directed only be reason and conviction

By: Carl Langley
EdgefieldDaily.com Guest Columnist

web posted March 24, 2007

GUEST COLUMN – “Religion can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men are entitled to the free exercise of religion.” - James Madison, fourth president of the United States.

James Madison’s affirmation of faith remains true after more than two centuries, but there are millions around the world who consider his words heresy. In the Muslim world freedom of religion can mark you for a death sentence.

The Muslims are not alone in their fondness for the ultimate punishment of non-believers. The Christian world’s hands are not clean, but at least the passage of time has changed things. No longer are non-believers burned at the stake or hanged for heresy but time has brought little change in the Islamic world.

I focus on religious belief this week because it has caused the deaths of more people than pestilence, famine or the savagery of the countless wars that have been the curse of mankind throughout the course of both recorded and non-recorded history.

In many places today religious fanaticism can get you killed, or get entire populations of people killed if they do not toe the line when it comes to following the dictates of approved scripture embedded in the minds of lunatics.

While almost any debate over divinity will set to boil the blood of many, it seems that anytime I write a letter or essay questioning the morbid values of Islam and deploring the actions of its congregants a few of my critics begin turning up the heat.

I have nothing against the Islamic faith if its practitioners leave other people alone, but I hold fast to my belief that it is a cult of death. I get a bit antsy when I hear or read about Muslim preachers exhorting their followers to kill anyone who challenges the supremacy of Allah and the words of the Prophet Mohammed? Years ago I watched a television program in the old black and white days and the host was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, a fine man who encouraged viewers to love their fellow man. He would not fit well in the robes of a Muslim preacher.

Frankly, I am quite tired of hearing from my critics and reading the words of those who condemn me for my views on Islam. Even while condemning me, which I can tolerate, they are trying to convince everyone that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, which I can’t tolerate.

As I previously noted, Christianity doesn’t have clean skirts in this matter of promulgating religious belief. I am a student of history and remember the lessons learned about the Crusades of ancient times, the Spanish Inquisition and the more recent blood-letting by Catholics and Protestants of Northern Ireland. I am familiar with the assaults on Mormons in this country, a rabid bit of business that forced the Mormons to keep on the move westward until they finally could no farther and settled in Utah.

Now that I have said this, will someone please tell me the last time American Methodists and Baptists engaged in fire-bombing each other’s holy places. Is there anyone out there who can identify any American religious group that kidnaps and beheads the members of other congregations? Is there any religion group in this country that uses women and small children to carry out bombings?

We take our beliefs seriously in America, but not to the point where it means the summary executions of those of opposite faith. It does not work that way in a more enlightened Christian world. On the other hand, violence is endemic to the Muslim world. It is a rite of passage to millions of its crazed followers.

The sad part about this clash of cultures is that we have in this country too many people quick to condemn Christians, but, due to cowardice more than anything, lapse into silence when it comes to questioning the spiritual and moral values of Islam. I have nothing but contempt for those who believe just being nice will stay the hands of those who would kill us.

In Europe, entire populations of countries that were founded on the solid rocks of Christian belief are now held captive by Islamic thought and demand. In England elementary school children no longer recite the Three Little Pigs fable. Out of fear of Muslim complainers who are quick to turn violent, the fable has been changed to the Three Little Puppies. A school administrator said the change was made so the fable would be more sensitive to Islamic beliefs. Muslims, so I am told, consider pork unholy. On the other hand, it appears to me that every outhouse in a Muslim country is a holy place.

In a more bizarre case than the Three Little pigs, a foolish female judge in Germany refused to grant a Muslim woman a divorce, citing Islamic law, not German constitutional law, as the basis for her ruling. The poor woman sought the divorce because her husband had been beating her and she feared he eventually would kill her.

The German judge said the Koran approves such punishment for the wives of Muslims. The husband, who has gotten off without punishment, reportedly beat his wife for being unchaste. Unchaste in his twisted little mind meant the wife should be punished for preferring to wear western-style clothing. The husband should have been happy his wife was wearing clothes. Go down any American street these days and you will marvel at how little clothing some people are wearing..

The incidents in England and Germany make me wonder just when the Islamic shoes will start to drop in America. We have a large Muslim population in this country and a taxpayer-funded national law firm (the ACLU) salivating at the prospect of defending Muslim practices in our courts even if it means kicking our Constitution into the trash can. I believe it is only a matter of time before these lunatics decide to test the American lifestyle.

My fears are exacerbated by the fact that we now are served by a Congress filled with the most reprehensible cowards in our history. Too worthless to do meaningful work and to afraid to uphold the value systems given us by this nation’s Founders, they have taken refuge in elected office, which is the perfect hiding place to cover their sorry behinds.

The Founding Fathers made one real blunder in writing the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They should have inserted a provision that no elected official can serve more than four years in any office, be it a small town council or the U.S. House and Senate. What a glorious gift that would have been!

Before total darkness falls upon this land, all Americans should demand that the new waves of immigrants, particularly the Muslims, learn to value the American system and put its interests ahead of their own, religious beliefs or no religious beliefs.. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, then they should be deported immediately. It would not only be the honorable thing to do, but it could save the republic.

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