The Oh-So-Holy Quran
Ken Woodward has an article on Saturday’s WSJ opinion page that posits the idea that the Quran is “infinitely” more sacred to Muslims than the Bible or the Torah is to Christians and Jews.
The Quran is not "the Bible" of Muslims. It is infinitely more sacred than that. To use a Jewish analogy, it is more like the oral Torah first revealed on Mount Sinai, which was later passed on orally through the prophets and eventually written down on scrolls for all to read. Whereas Christians regard the Bible as written by human beings inspired by God, Muslims regard the Quran--the word means "The Recitation"--as the very words of God, revealed aurally to the Prophet Muhammad in Arabic. To hear those words recited is, for Muslims, to hear Allah. If, for Christians, Jesus is the logos or eternal Word of God made flesh, the Quran is the Word of God made book, and every Arabic syllable in it lives as the breath of the divine.
Ken Woodward has taken the time to inform himself on what some, or even many, Muslims believe, but is not as well informed about the faith this country was founded on. Typical MSM. Most Christians do, in fact, regard the bible as the literal word of God, yes, written down by people the same as the Quran was written down by people.
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV)
We believe that to read the bible is to read the actual, literal words of God. The fact that Mr. Woodward did not bother to learn this about Christianity speaks volumes about his bias.
So the Muslims who hold the Quran in such high esteem have counterparts, at least in the Christian faith, I’m not sure about Judaism, although I think it likely. Various Christian denominations hold this in differing levels of importance, akin to the doctrinal differences of Shia, Sunni, and Wahhabi Muslims.
Now for a real paradigm shift. Taking it at face value that people of various religions do hold these sincere and devout beliefs, SO WHAT?!
Just because you may hold a sincere belief on some topic does not entitle you to anything beyond what other people have. Are Muslims entitled to more respect for their faith than Christians, Jews or atheists? No, they are not. And it’s about time we stopped according that undeserved, hypocritical hyper-deference, unless we’re prepared to start giving that to every person who holds sincere and devout beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are. Jim Jones and David Koresh sincerely believed, should their beliefs have been catered to and accorded respect based on the level of sincerity they and their followers had? We are free to believe in the Great Almighty Potatohead if we choose, as long as our beliefs do not cause harm to others. We should not expect others to agree or like it, or act like they do. And that’s how it should be.
The next time a government official apologizes for any alleged or actual “desecration” of the “Holy Quran” pause for a moment and think about how many politicians favor NEA funding of sacrilegious art – so long as it is blasphemy to Christianity or Judaism, that is - in the name of freedom of expression. If desecration of two of the worlds three major religious denominations is permissible in the name of art and freedom of expression, then it is also permissible for the third, especially as a non-violent interrogation technique. If we have not used it as such before, we should certainly start.
Posted by Laura Curtis at May 26, 2005 05:47 PM
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|# May 26th, 2005 7:18 PM Laura|
|I just googled for Ken Woodward and found this. If he is the same Ken Woodward, as seems likely, then he was the Religion Editor at Newsweak and is a Catholic. How on earth could he not know that a major tenet of the Christian faith is that scripture, i.e. the bible, is "God-breathed," the literal word of God?? |
|# May 26th, 2005 7:34 PM Laura|
|I feel so stupid... I somehow missed the line in the article that says he did, in fact, spend 38 years as religion editor at Newsweak... that's what I get for skimming. |
|# May 26th, 2005 10:12 PM KVBigSis|
|I can't speak for "most Christians." I DO know that the Catholic school I attended taught that the Bible was written by men, inspired by God. So maybe Mr. Woodward's understanding of the Bible is a peculiarly Catholic one.
|# May 26th, 2005 10:15 PM BVBigBro|
|The catholic school I went to taught it was the literal word of God. |
|# May 26th, 2005 10:54 PM Laura|
|I attended Catholic school and was also taught that it was the literal word of God.
From the Vatican website, the official Catechism:
|# May 27th, 2005 9:48 AM StopAndThink|
|I find it interesting how people get all worked up over government sponsored destructino of the Quaran and yet they will sponsor hatred toward Jesus. Click below to read my short blog called
“Piss Christ” & “Crap Qur'an”: Art or Offense?
|# May 27th, 2005 10:18 AM Laura|
|Yes, the Piss Christ exhibit is a great example of taxpayer funded blasphemy. And yet, no one died of it. How remarkable. |
|# May 27th, 2005 1:59 PM grumpyoldfart|
|Couldn't believe the statement that most Americans belive the Bible is literally true, so I Googled for polling data. Sure enough, the majority of Americans apparently believe in fairy tales. Just frightening, but it explains a lot. |
|# May 31st, 2005 1:04 PM freethinker|
|While growing up Catholic, becoming non-denominational Christian, exploring Buddhism and resting with agnostism, as well as having two best friends in high school who were Muslim I can pretty confidently say that any Christian 'sect' (with the exception of your white supremists) is probably less sensitive to holy scripture desecration than any sect of Islam.
Try to get your brains around this scenario. Imagine American Christians are less educated (as a whole) and the U.S. is a third world country. Now Imagine an insanely dominant super power called Iraq invades us to depose our President (whom much of our country doesn't support). While living under their rule we catch word that they are taking crosses with Jesus and defecating on them.
1. How much would you trust them?
2. How would you feel about your faith, probably the only thing you own, being disrespected?
Also remember we, as the most watched country, are under scrutiny and have to be perfect.
|# May 31st, 2005 1:59 PM mbrlr|
|"the faith this country was founded on"
Read the First Amendment. Read the First Amendment. Read the First Amendment.
Read the Declaration of Independence. Read the Declaration of Independence. Read the Declaration of Independence.
Understand the 18th Century and its terminology. Understand the 18th Century and its terminology. Understand the 18th Century and its terminology.
Read biographies of the Founders. Read biographies of the Founders. Read biographies of the Founders.
Jesus. And that's no joke.
|# May 31st, 2005 2:16 PM james|
|declaration of independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
if you're going to argue with someone asserting that the US was founded on religious principles, mbrlr, i think you'd be best to stick to the actual founding document, the others you cited certainly don't help your argument one bit.
|# May 31st, 2005 2:27 PM BVBigBro|
|The numerous references to God in the various documents cited exist for one simple reason: rights granted by God through one's mere existance can't be taken away by man. That's basically the entire reason for this country's existance. |
|# May 31st, 2005 3:08 PM mbrlr|
|Nature's God. Again, look at the 18th Century, y'all, and reference the references. |
|# May 31st, 2005 3:13 PM BVBigBro|
|Again, the documents refence "God" or "Creator" for the expressed purpose above. I would challenge anyone who would assert they are an acknowledgment of a specific religion, or, alternately, that they do not acknowledge the existance of a creator. |
|# May 31st, 2005 3:30 PM mbrlr|
|Challenge to your heart's content, but tell it to the Founders, to our history, to our courts, and to common sense. |
|# May 31st, 2005 3:32 PM BVBigBro|
|I don't have to, the founders tell it to me. |
|# May 31st, 2005 3:33 PM kris|
Now, i'll certainly buy that the Founders had no specific religion in mind, but you're asking me to buy that they are refering to "nature" instead of actually meaning "God"? There's no way in hell that's what they meant. The founders weren't athiests and wiccans.
|# May 31st, 2005 3:41 PM Laura|
|mbrlr, now that you're back on Dummocrats, perhaps you'll comment on the post where I provided documentation you specifically asked for.
Link to the post.
|# May 31st, 2005 3:43 PM BVBigBro|
|Some of the founders practiced no religion whatsoever. So what? Their intent was to diverge from the theory that rights came from parliament, from a king, or from a special social status granted by birth. They did this by asserting that rights were inalienable and came from a higher power.
Read the constitution sometime. It contains lots of clauses that we now consider quaint, like the clause that prevents congress from granting titles. It does so to specifically avoid the idea that rights can come from anywhere but your creator.
|# May 31st, 2005 3:53 PM Laura|
|Oops, within 15 minutes of my posting that, mbrlr logged off this site. Coincidence? You be the judge. |
|# May 31st, 2005 4:09 PM BVBigBro|
|Nah, he hasn't been offensive to anyone. As long as you're not using threats and four letter words left and right you should be welcome to post to your hearts content. Besides, I have yet to meet who's 100% right all the time. |
|# May 31st, 2005 4:15 PM kris|
|Agreed. Mb's comments annoy me sometimes, but I want to hear differing opinions.
And, you can only say your last sentence since you haven't met James
|# May 31st, 2005 4:18 PM Laura|
|No, he's not a typical troll, as I said in the other post. And I'm not suggesting he be banned; to the contrary, I want him to stick around and finish the argument. He asked for proof, I gave it. No response or even acknowlegement. Typical liberal; I don't know why I'm disappointed. |
|# May 31st, 2005 4:37 PM mbrlr|
|BTW, liberals answer arguments, folks. I'm just busy.
"nature's god" is rather vague and nebulous, isn't he/she/it? Who wrote the Declaration...let's see, that would be Jefferson. Read his "Bible"?
Read it and get back to me on those Christian religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers.
And I do seem to remember the First Amendment in the Constitution. Wait!!!! You're right!!! We are a religious people. There's that Masonic symbol on the dollar bill...
As for current immigration and whatnot, Mexico isn't out for la reconquista. Just a bit of economic fairness and for us to recognize that supranational organizations and rules are reality. Heck, we even set a good many of them up and now seem to glory in not recognizing them and muttering about federalism.
We've had 100 years of sponsoring and building transnational organizations and agreements and recognizing such things as the legitimacy of international law and that it doesn't necessarily violate our own. While I'm not certain I agree (shocked?) with President Fox on the specifics, some sort of more organized North American market and political structure --- heck, a union of some sort within all of the Americas --- makes a lot of sense. Our relationship with the rest of the Americas shouldn't always be based upon the Monroe Doctrine, a doctrine that started out only as one allowed by the British and ended up as one that was blatantly imperialistic. Not so much protective as jingoistic.
Now you're all nodding you're heads and saying, "Those liberals!"
Anyway, as far as the Latino takeover bit, I've always suspected mi esposa had an ulterior motive...
Oh, if you want to see a great movie that will probably scare the daylights out of this crowd, see "A Day Without Mexicans". Good flick.
Just keep in mind that in these grim economic days, bringing the Americas up rather than keeping them down makes sense, doesn't it? Recognizing a transnational North American organization, even politically, does not the death of the US make.
One last thing. The bit about Congress not granting titles isn't some "quaint" bit they threw in because Alexander Hamilton thought it was a laugh-getter. It's there because we'd just fought a war against a king and become a republic. George II notwithstanding, we still don't like titles.
|# May 31st, 2005 4:48 PM mbrlr|
|Laura, I will reply to all that other stuff you've posted; I just hadn't looked in there in a few days. Not cowardice, just busy.
So please don't hurt me, okay?
|# May 31st, 2005 4:51 PM mbrlr|
|Perdoname. "A Day Without a Mexican".
|# May 31st, 2005 4:56 PM BVBigBro|
|The declaration was written by lots of people. Jefferson borrows whole phrases from other people's work
The titles clause is there becasue people and the government cannot grant rights, inferred by title or otherwise.
The Monroe doctrine was hardly allowed by the British. They were powerless to stop it.
Anyhow, my thoughts on immigration are known, I hope we can establish some rational system for foreign workers without another massive beaurocratic nightmare. Cheers.
|# May 31st, 2005 5:09 PM Laura|
|mbrlr, you were only in danger of my opinion of you being substantially lowered, as you will see when you read the comments, nothing more dangerous than that. I appreciate the response. I'm interested in your opinion because if anybody is likely to convince me I'm wrong, you are. |
|# June 1st, 2005 4:27 PM mbrlr|
|Bless you, Laura. You're in Louisiana, so you are a Southerner, aren't you? I appreciate your kindness. This sounds awful, but...one of my dearest friends is about as right-wing as you get. I had a "family" I collected in law school and one of them, although he now works for the public defender's office hereabouts, is a Republican through and through. But he was in my wedding and he's my kids' "uncle" and always will be. Friendship and civility can cross party lines and the key is recognizing what is argument and what is not. Anyway, I will get to President Fox's statement. I think, on initial review, that it's just wishful thinking --- a variation of the "Poor Mexico. So close to the United States and so far from God" idea and an attempt to deal with it. Lord, I'm talkative today.
BVBigBro, the Declaration was supposed to be written by committee, but outside of a few phrases and suggestions, it was Jefferson's baby. As for titles, go back and see what the initial discussions were considering what to call the President. As for the Monroe Doctrine, it was initially simply allowed by the British, who still had a good deal of power in North America and with their navy. Pre-civil war and really before the Spanish American War, we just weren't considered much of a power. Sorry, but that's so. Only later did we really have the power to enforce it and did the British decide having a free Canada and those bits in the Caribbean were good enough to keep an eye on us. As for immigration, what on earth would Wal-Mart do (that huge corporation here in the Wonder State) if they suddenly vanished? I guess I just believe, because my own personal Catholic/quasi-Orthodox theology is based upon a belief that God has a wicked sense of humor, that our eventual repayment for the Mexican War may be just what y'all seem to fear is happening. But I do know, based upon first-hand observation of the Latino community up North and down South, that English is in no danger whatsoever. False fears, folks, and merely a repeat of history. And cheers back at you. I much enjoy discussing/arguing with you.
|# June 1st, 2005 4:38 PM BVBigBro|
|Hey, I'm the one who supports immigration.
By titles, I mean the granting of heriditary titles, which the constitution expressly forbids.
The British couldn't stop the Monroe doctrine in part beacause of the U.S., in part because of Canada, and in part because of France. Anytime they threatened to act, the U.S. could always threaten to invade Canada and/or cozy up to France. The British never had the resources to defend Canada for any length of time or to move a significant naval force to North America without leaving themselves vulnerable. Furthermore, nothing was more American in the 19th century than hating the British. Nothing united the USA like England.
Curiously, few wal-marts I've been in have had a big Mexican work force. I think they have a huge Mexican customer base.
|# June 2nd, 2005 1:10 AM mbrlr|
|What state or region are you in? |
|# June 2nd, 2005 1:16 AM mbrlr|
|BTW, because there are a multitude (feeling nervous?) of people here of Hispanic origin who come from or who are descended from people who came from various countries, not just Mexico, there is a bit of a move to make "Latino" the general term for Hispanics in the US, but that's still in the infancy stages. Those here aren't just Mexican, but Central American, Puerto Rican --- and they're citizens just as you and I are and have every right to be here without discussion, thank you --- and even South American. My kids? Anglatinos. Southern Anglatinos. They'll speak Spanish if we get going on it, but they'll drawl to beat the band. Como se dice "good ole boys" en espanol? |
|# June 2nd, 2005 1:50 AM BVBigBro|
|Well I like to use Mexican to refer to Mexican nationals, latino has more of a citizen ring to it, althogh the Mexicans who have worked for me preferred latino.
I'm pretty much all over the country; currently Kansas and southern California. Obviously California has a huge Mexican / Latino population, but wally world no more so than anyone else.
The real employers of foreign nationals are restaurants and hotels. They would shut down without Mexican labor. Construction too, in certain trades, and agriculture to some extent.