December 3, 2015

Conservative Christians for Sharia?

In a recent entry for his Patheos blog, progressive Christian blogger Benjamin L. Corey made a bold, but increasingly common accusation against his conservative Christian brethren.

“Most of the anti-Sharia Christians are gross hypocrites….Conservative Christians often aren’t really anti-Sharia, they’re just anti-Islamic Sharia. They’re actually very pro-Sharia, highly engaged in trying to establish more Sharia, but instead are trying to establish Christian Sharia.”

Putting aside the fact that Sharia is distinctly Islamic (making the very concept of “Christian Sharia” oxymoronic), what did conservative Christians do to earn this accusation?

We’ve seen this most notably in recent history with conservative Christians fighting against LGBTQ equality….Most recently, they went to the polls in Houston to vote down a bill that would have given transgender individuals the legal right to use the correct bathroom in public, instead of being forced into the humiliation of using the opposite gender bathroom. And, they won’t stop there. Between now and election day, Franklin Graham will be touring the country encouraging Christians to run for government office so they can “turn America back to God.” Which, I can translate for you: he wants more Christians to run for office so we can make laws that reflect a very particular conservative Christian viewpoint. AKA, he wants more people to run for office so they’ll have the numbers to overturn their losses and expand Sharia law when it comes to LGBTQ individuals (and a host of other issues)….[T]hose who systematically fight agains [sic] the rights of LGBTQ citizens on the basis of their individual religious conviction, already support Sharia law. Just not that Sharia law, cause, you know, Muslims.

There are so many loaded accusations it is difficult to know where to start.

Corey equates legal attempts by conservative Christians to protect children from disproven, deconstructive sexual ideologies and potential sex offenders to theocratic totalitarianism. This is especially odd, considering that civilizations have forbidden people to choose their own bathroom since the advent of public restrooms. If Corey is to be believed, then everyone practiced tyranny until he arrived on the scene to bring us freedom.

As for Corey’s contention that Graham wants elected conservative Christians to expand Sharia, he would do well to remember that Graham comes from the Baptist tradition, which fathered religious freedom in the United States.

Furthermore, it is beyond insulting to suggest that “very particular conservative Christian viewpoint[s]” are equivalent to Sharia. Mainstream conservative Christians do not call for the death penalty for members of the LGBTQ community, insist that non-Christians be taxed for their beliefs, or demand the removal of religious freedom.

Corey fails to grasp the difference between theocracy and religiously informed policy.

He thinks the mere fact that Christians want their convictions reflected in their public law is indicative that they want a theocratic government like that of Saudi Arabia.

“Next time you encounter a Christian who wants US law to reflect their personal religious code on LGBTQ issues, let’s ask them why they support Sharia law in America.”

However, he proves himself wrong with his own position.

Considering his status as a “scholar in the areas of theology and missiology” and his advocacy of what he calls “the radical message of Jesus,” one can assume that his convictional support for transgender bathrooms, government sanctioned threats to traditional marriage, and the separation of religious conviction from U.S. law is rooted in his “personal religious code.”

So unless he wants to call himself a Sharia theocrat, Corey’s reckless charge has no merit. It is clearly possible to have a religious morality inform or advise the state without giving the Church power over the sword or mandating a Puritanical theocratic government.

In the end, Corey’s article is an object lesson in letting an unbridled tongue run wild (James 1:26).

Just as it is unacceptable for conservative Christians to recklessly paint every liberal Christian as a theocratic communist, it is improper for liberal Christians to charge their conservative brethren with harboring Islamic theocratic ambitions merely because they stand up for Biblical admonitions on human sexuality.

May the Lord keep this in our minds and hearts as we proceed in our dialogues.

33 Responses to Conservative Christians for Sharia?

  1. AndrewDowling says:

    This is so typical: the Politically Correct types feel threatened by a fundamentalist (and violent) religion (as we all do), but if they openly criticize Islam they’ll get tagged as Islamophobes, but it’s perfectly OK to bash Christians, as if all fundamentalists are killing people.

  2. Mike Ward says:

    I follow Pathos and this is typical of Corey. A former evangelical jerk who repented of his ways and became a progressive jerk.

  3. Michael Giere says:

    its own activities, sharia law confirms the horrifying reality that Islam all
    too often practices what it actually preaches. Christianity and Islam are irreconcilable at any level.

  4. You are wrong on a number of areas. Religious freedom to you is to require jews to listen to christian prayer. Your way or no way. Religios fundalmentalists don’t want religious freedem, they want their version of religious freedom and when they get it they will outlaw any attempts to dissent. Sharia law IS theocratic law and we would live under your law if you had the chance.

  5. Alan says:

    You make it far too easy for yourself by arguing against Corey’s odd views instead of against the general proposition that religious fundamentalists who wish to restrict the behavior of others and punish what they consider “deviant” behaviors are all cut from the same cloth, whether Christian or Muslim. That is the force of the accusation that many fundamentalist Christians also seek to impose a kind of Sharia. Adding a little historical perspective (crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings, vicious persecution of homosexuals, religious wars, etc.) drives home the danger. Rather than reflecting with dismay on their own sins, too many Christians stand ready to cast the first stone .at those they fear or disdain.

    • AndRebecca says:

      The views of others hurt you? Throwing a homosexual off a roof is the same as verbal disapproval of a sexual act?

      • Alan says:

        You seem to have no clue at all about the history of the treatment of homosexuals, including in our own country. Hateful thoughts breed hateful actions.
        Btw, intolerance is not new: Leviticus 20:13. Where do you come down on *that* suggestion?

        But most important, focus on your own sins. Your “verbal disapproval” is just an excuse to hate others instead of hating your own sin.

        • AndRebecca says:

          Everyone, including me, knows the history of pushing for all sorts of non-Christian sexual behavior in this country. The federal government has had gay pride month for the past 25 years. They’ve been teaching alternate lifestyles and have had openly homosexual teachers in the schools. Homosexual partners have been featured in magazines and they have been able to adopt children for years, even when not married. There’ve been movies. They certainly do not get any of this out of the Bible and that is why it is being done. The acceptance of homosexuality is anti-Christian and has been pushed by Unitarians and Quakers and other Leftists. The Bible is against it, but our government is on your side. The gov,. including Obama, is trying to get rid of Christianity. Why you don’t know this is beyond me. I am not supposed to focus on my own sins, according to the Bible, so quit preaching falsehoods.

          • Alan says:

            Matthew 7:3-5
            I understand that you would prefer to feel oppressed than to plumb your conscience.

          • AndRebecca says:

            What does Matthew 7:3-5 have to do with accepting bad behavior in others? Christians aren’t supposed to go down the wrong path, lead others down the wrong path, or tell them it is O.K. for them to go down the wrong path.

          • Alan says:

            If you claim to be Christian, surely you know that we *all* have gone down the wrong path, no matter how self-righteous we may feel. That self-righteousness is what Matthew addresses, and it is addressed directly to you.
            You do not have to “accept” the behavior. If if your opinion is asked, you can explain why you disapprove. Until then, shut up and worry about your own sins.
            (And perhaps about how many innocents will be killed because of how you vote.)

          • AndRebecca says:

            Put on your thinking cap and try to understand the Word. You have a log in your eye…YOU have a log in your eye, and are not even Christian. And, in your paranoid imagination, who are the innocents who will be killed because of how I vote? You are going off the edge.

          • Alan says:

            I see that you wish to ignore Biblical exhortations to focus your attention on your own sins. I am not surprised: Pick and choose; pick and choose. Why focus on one’s own sins when it is so much more exciting and delicious to focus on the sins of others? Surely Matthew cannot be talking to *you*! (Hmm?)

            As for how you vote, I was only guessing, based on the attitudes I detect. Who knows: perhaps you actively opposed say the Iraq War, which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths (including many children) and led to ongoing chaos and destruction in the Middle East. Perhaps you have been working against the death penalty based on its documented failures and posthumous exonerations. Perhaps you have been working toward sensible gun regulation, in response to the ongoing slaughter of innocents we see in this country. I guess not, and I guess you have your excuses in every case. I would be glad to have guessed wrong.

          • AndRebecca says:

            I have focused on my own sins. That has enabled to focus on other things as well, which is what the Bible says to do. Now you are worried about children in Iraq and equate their problems with homosexuality? Your brains seem scrambled.

          • Alan says:

            It doesn’t work like that. You don’t get to just say: “Hey, I’m done working on myself! Now I get to interfere with others!” Reread the passage carefully. It is aimed at *you*.
            I was not making any equations. I was simply responding to your question about how your voting behavior, which you no doubt consider highly moral, produces the death of innocents. Your failure to respond to specifics leaves me believing I guessed right. The point is not to make an equation, but to highlight the hypocrisy in your priorities. “Children dead? Oooh too bad but . But hey wait, I’m really upset about what *those people* might be doing in their bedrooms!” Good grief. Get a life.

          • AndRebecca says:

            No, you don’t just say anything if you are a Christian. There are certain things you have to do. You haven’t done them and don’t even know what they are. I have done them and for that reason I would not come to you for help with my religion or help with the way I vote. I am glad to hear of your interest in the Bible though, and pray you continue to read it. It would cause great things to happen to you if you converted. Your whole life would change for the better and you would even go to heaven. It’s so much better to rely on the one true God instead of relying on what man comes up with. It’s night and day.

          • Alan says:

            So your view is that your votes that imply the killing of innocents (as listed above) are “Christian” votes, is that right? Just how twisted is that?

            And exactly why do you think that Matthew 7 does not apply to you? “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

            And getting back to the topic: your desire to impose your priorities on others is precisely what you share with Sharia extremists. Of course, you both have the “one true religion”. Get it?

          • AndRebecca says:

            You views on voting and the world are twisted. So are your views on the Bible. I hope you continue to read the Bible and get help for all of your problems.

          • Alan says:

            Sorry, that kind of evasion won’t cut it, and neither will pretending that people who expose your hypocrisy are “twisted” just so you can ignore what you are learning about yourself.

            Try explaining why you believe you get to ignore Matthew 7. I did not offer you an “interpretation”, as you would pretend in cowardly evasion. I offered you a direct quote of Jesus’s words.

            Try explaining how supporting policies that lead to the deaths of innocents is compatible with your supposedly “Christian” faith. Until you can do so, you stand accused *by yourself*. It is pretty clear from your reliance on evasion instead of reasoned discussion that you already understand at some level. I can only hope it is a conscious level.

            Remember 1 Corinthians 13:
            “if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

          • AndRebecca says:

            You are really out of touch with reality. I did not ignore Matthew 7, you only think I did. So, you don’t know what you are talking about. I have not supported policies leading to the deaths of innocents, and have no idea what you are talking about in that regard. Loving people means keeping them away from the gates of hell, not leading them through them. And, for your enlightenment, I suggest if you want to know what your fellow “persecuted” gays are up to in America, just google “gay pride and the name of a city,” or “gay churches plus the name of a location” and then tell me all about how horrible all of you are treated.

          • Alan says:

            How amusing. Do you really believe that someone who is appalled by your bigotry and by your odd interest in the sex lives of others must be gay? I suppose you also think that the civil rights movement only involved blacks? Wow.
            And to apply the same kind of argument you try here, I suppose you will suggest that the existence of black churches meant that black people were not oppressed. Is that right? No real need for a civil rights movement? Baffling logic indeed.
            If you have not ignored Matthew 7, why don’t you tell me how your understand it in the context of our current conversation. Stop hiding and put your views on the line.
            Finally, how can you say you do not know what I am talking about when I speak of your support for policies that lead to the death of innocents. When given the chance, you did not deny supporting the following: Iraq War, death penalty, policies forbiding reasonable gun control measures. Do you now wish to deny that you voted for politicians responsible for these things? Again, stop being a coward: put your views on the line.

          • AndRebecca says:

            You are stuck on stupid.

          • Alan says:

            Thanks for elevating the conversation…
            Well, at least you exposed online your bigotry, your unwillingness to reason, and your inability to respond coherently to even the simplest questions. Hopefully some part of your conscience knows enough to burn in shame.

            Romans 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God

          • AndRebecca says:

            I think I have done a great job of exposing you. If you continue the read Matthew 7 and God decides to open your mind, you will be able to see why the Methodist Church of today is doing wrong. Happy Bible reading! Christians are supposed to make better and better judgments regarding everything, because making judgments is the only way to gain wisdom. Plus it is impossible to not judge. Ever since Adam and Eve, people have had the ability to know right from wrong and have made judgments.

          • Alan says:

            Seriously? You are going to pretend that you do not understand the difference between exercising good judgment and being judgmental? And all so you don’t have to listen to the words of Jesus that rebuke you? Sad.
            Yes, conscience is key. Yours should be pricking you.

          • AndRebecca says:

            Actually, my conscience is fine with what I have written here. And, you are the one judging me, and saying untruths.

          • Alan says:

            If you feel judged, that *is* your conscience.

            Listen to it.

            Have Matthew in front of you as you do.

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