Iran misunderstands Islam, sentences Christian pastor who converted from Islam to death for apostasy

DaisyKhanStone.jpgNadarkhani now also experiencing “islam w/o prejudice” in Iran

Muslim spokesmen such as Salam al-Marayati, M. Cherif Bassiouni, and Ali Eteraz (among many others) have assured us that Islam has no death penalty for apostasy. I expect that they will immediately be jetting over to Tehran to explain to the mullahs that they’re getting Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong, and should free Youcef Nadarkhani immediately.

Of course, they won’t really do that, because they’re liars: they know full well that Islam has a death penalty for apostasy. They know that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, said, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). And all the schools of Islamic law still teach that death is the proper penalty for apostates.

An update on this story. “Iran court convicts Christian pastor convert to death,” by Lisa Daftari for Fox News, February 22 (thanks to Anne Crockett):

A trial court in Iran has issued its final verdict, ordering a Christian pastor to be put to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, according to sources close to the pastor and his legal team.

Supporters fear Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two who was arrested over two years ago on charges of apostasy, may now be executed at any time without prior warning, as death sentences in Iran may be carried out immediately or dragged out for years.

It is unclear whether Nadarkhani can appeal the execution order.

“The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

“This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”…

“This is defiance,” Sekulow said. “They want to say they will carry out what they say they will do.”

The order to execute Nadarkhani came only days after lawmakers in Congress supported a resolution sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Joseph Pitts denouncing the apostasy charge and calling for his immediate release.

“Iran has become more isolated because of their drive for nuclear weapons, and the fundamentalist government has stepped up persecution of religious minorities to deflect criticism,” Pitts, a Republican, told FoxNews.com. “The persecuted are their own citizens, whose only crime is practicing their faith.”

The ACLJ has been a major driving force in keeping Nadarkhani’s case in the international spotlight. Many other advocacy groups and human rights organizations also have mounted global campaigns and petitions against the Iranian government, and experts credit Nadarkhani’s international support for keeping him alive.

The ACLJ recently launched a Twitter campaign to publicize Nadarkhani’s case, asking participants to dedicate a daily tweet to “Tweet for Youcef,” stating the number of days he has been imprisoned (currently 863) and ending the tweet with “ViaOfficialACLJ,” sending readers back to the organization’s website where they could learn more about his case.

Tweets have reached 157 countries and over 400,000 people.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 89 members of Congress, along with the European Union, France, Great Britain, Mexico and Germany, have condemned Iran for arresting Nadarkhani and have called for his quick release.

Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 and was tried and found guilty of apostasy by a lower court in Gilan, a province in Rasht. He was then given verbal notification of an impending death-by-hanging sentence.

His lawyers appealed the decision under the premise that Nadarkhani was never a Muslim at the age of majority, and the case was sent to Iran’s Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision of execution, provided it could be proven that he had been a practicing Muslim from the age of adulthood, 15 in Islamic law, to age 19, which was when he converted.

The lower court then ruled that Nadarkhani had not practiced Islam during his adult life but still upheld the apostasy charge because he was born into a Muslim family.

The court then gave Nadarkhani the opportunity to recant, as the law requires a man to be given three chances to recant his beliefs and return to Islam.

His first option was to convert back to Islam. When he refused, he was asked to declare Muhammad a prophet, and still he declined….

Iran: UN inspectors throw up....
Report: Execution order may have been issued for Iranian apostate from Islam
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Comments

  1. says

    “The lower court then ruled that Nadarkhani had not practiced Islam during his adult life but still upheld the apostasy charge because he was born into a Muslim family.”
    —-

    That’s interesting. Under that legal precedent, Barack Obama could be sentenced to death right now.

  2. says

    Muslims always lie. Lie, lie, lie, lie baby lie is their motto to deceive us and everybody. They lie so much that they don’t even know when they were lying or not. So you think these liars will be jetting off to Tehran to save this pastor’s life? Nah, not a chance. We have to see how our lying MSM, the likes of NYTimes, bury this story somewhere on page 100 or totally deep six it or spin it blaming the pastor for being a spy or some thing. Of course they have no shame shilling for Muslims. There is no hope for a country when the academia and the press starts lying as is the case in the US now.

  3. says

    So, where is ‘Peter’, ‘Defender of Islam’ and the others who have posted defenses and excuses for Islam on JW. What do they have to say now?

    Clowns!

  4. says

    Wonder if Oliver Stone’s son, who wants to talk so much about how he converted to Islam in Iran, will have a Cat Stevens moment when someone asks him if this man deserves death? Let’s see him wriggle himself out of that question!

  5. says

    I am confident Obama and Clinton will have a dialogue with Mullahs to save this poor guy after they are done apologizing to Afgans for the KORAN burning. I feel very safe and well connected with this administration.

  6. says

    The evident , to those of the West, absolute amoral barbarity and incomprehensible brutality of the islamic world’s notion of justice and right once more is made clear by this case.
    What is most inexcusable and reprehensible here in the west is the pass cases such as this one are given by the msm. The attention and sensitivity the msm gives to muslims in cases of alleged insensitivity and of “discrimination” where they have felt offended versus the almost complete lack of reporting and the balckout of the preponderant carnage and massacres of non-muslims at the hands of muslims, reveals something quite sickening in the conscience and in the minds of these depraved, prejudiced and biased propagandists pretending to be “journalists”.

  7. says

    I think Youcef Nadarkhani should use the legendary Galilei option to escape a death sentence by the religious authorities: Use the opportunity to recant, and mutter in Latin “Muhammad est porcus” (Muhammad is a pig). And then get the Hell out of Iran.

    Nadarkhani is even more stubborn than Galilei, but of course not as rational. Now, just 400 years after his birth the scientist is almost forgiven by the Church for his provocation against the dogma that the Earth is the center of Universe.

  8. says

    Wonder how Daisy Khan’s ancestors experienced Islam for the first time – given, that she comes from India, its quite possible, this was through rape w/o prejudice – the typical method of spreading Islam.

  9. says

    Revelation 2:10 applies to those Christians who die rather than renounce their faith in Jesus

    “Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Look! The devil will keep on throwing some of you into prison that you may be fully put to the test (as was Paul and so many of his fellow apostles) and that you have tribulation fully. Prove yourselves faithful even until death and I will give you the crown of life (at the ressurection)

    I hope these ones suffering keep this encouraging scripture in mind (as well as Psalms 1116:15 “Precious in the eyes of Jehovah God (regarding their sacrifices for His sake) is the death of his loyal ones”.

    I truly pray for these people in that horrible part of the world that their faith in the true God remains strong and their resolve never wavers.

  10. says

    I know that Robert is against book burning and I agree with him on that.

    HOWEVER, it would be interesting if he threatened to burn a Koran if this guy is killed – interesting that the outrage will be at him, and not the murder by the Mullahs. And it would shine a light on this outrage.

  11. says

    Ole Hartling, a real Christian would not agree with your stance. I am with Champ on this one. Lets go to Jesus’ words:

    Matthew 16:24-27

    “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself (his fleshly desires, and excessive concern for preserving his fleshly existence as well as excessive concern for material things) and pick up his (figurative) torture stake (endure the trials Jesus did in his earthly existence) and continually follow me.

    For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole (material and fleshly) world but forfeits his soul? (turning his back on his Christian integrity and losing God’s favour and resurection hope) or what will a man give in exchange for his soul (or to what lengths will he go to preserve his earthly life, even to denying his Saviour)

    For the Son of Man (Jesus) will recompense each one according to his behaviour”

    Denying one’s Christian faith in the face of impending physical harm results in ones losing God’s favour and hope of everlasting life by the resurrection.

  12. says

    The West: “I would not keep rubbed in a cage,
    a wing that would be free.”*

    The East**: “I will rub you out if you would be free.”

    *Edna St. Vincent Millay **especially Islam

  13. says

    “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words… of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:35-38)

  14. says

    I think that everyone is missing the central point here. A man stands condemned to death. He and his family are devastated. While ire is justly directed at the Iranian government, more than anything else we should all be praying for him and his family.

  15. says

    Ole Hartling you are missing the point. A Christian who dies because of his faith is GUARANTEED a resurrection to life when it is time for God to do so. They are not dead permanently only sleeping and very much alive in God’s memory until that happens.

    The account of the death of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus, is a very good read to understanding this concept. Lazarus sisters were sad that Jesus could not reach Lazarus before he died. What happened here is a foreshadowing of what Jesus will do on a grand scale in the near future. Jesus also resurrected several other people while he was on earth. The apostles of the New Testament also performed resurrections in His name.

    John 11:11 – “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep. Te disciples said “Lord if he has gone to rest he will get well. Jesus however had spoken about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Jesus outspokenly said to them “Lazarus has died and I rejoice on your account that I was not there, in order for you to believe. But let us go to him”. ..When Jesus arrived he found Lazarus had already been four days in the tomb.

    Many had come to Mary and Martha (to grieve with Lazarus’ sisters) Martha said “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died. Jesus said “Your brother will rise”. Martha said “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day”. Jesus said to her “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me even though he dies will come to life …(then asked her) Do you believe this? She said “Yes Lord I believe you are Christ, Son of God..

    (a little later) Mary sister of Martha and Lazarus saw Jesus and also said “Lord if you were here my brother would not have died” Jesus saw her and others weeping and feeling aggrieved he said “Where have you laid him?” They said “Lord come see. Jesus gave way to tears and …he came to the tomb. Jesus said “Take away the stone” (in front of the tomb). Martha said “By now he must smell it has been four days”

    Jesus said “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God ..then raised his eyes to heaven and said “Father I thank you that you heard me ..you have always heard me but because of the crowd ..that they might believe you sent me.. he then cried out with a loud voice “Lazarus, come out!” He came out bound with wrappings and Jesus said “Loose him and let him go”

    This is why Christians do not have an overly fearful attitude to death. They know if they keep their integrity and they die, it is only a temporary sleep and await their awakening when it is Gods time to do so.

  16. says

    They want him to take the violent Islamic creed “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” when Muhammad himself said: “I have been ordered to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and until they perform the prayers and pay the zakat, and if they do so they will have gained protection from me and their lives and property, unless [they do acts that are punishable] in accordance with Islam, and their reckonings will be with Allah the Almighty.”

    Arabic audio: http://www.alameenlibrary.com/audio/40Hadith/15nawawi08.mp3

    Arabic text:
    http://youngmuslimworld.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/hadith-8-from-an-nawawi/

  17. says

    It is a Christians responsibility to go to others and speak of Gods word. It is however Gods responsibility to end false religion and bring the world back to a righteous state. That is one of the chief differences between izlum and Christianity. The izlumic muzlums have a weak impotent demon masquerading as a god who gets his fleshly followers to do his dirty work for him.

    Christians understand it is up to the true God to act on hehalf of his followers and put right the wrongs we are currently going through.

  18. says

    May I suggest that divisions between those who oppose Islam’s liberty-crushing designs are virtually always counter-productive. I especially direct this to those who are not religious but who tend to make a religion out of not having one.

    One fight at a time unless it is absolutely necessary otherwise. It’s not even remotely “otherwise” right now.

  19. says

    It is amazing how converting to Islam could be connected to not being a ‘racist’.

    If you want to offer a ‘civilization alternative’ such as is practised in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – then say so.

    Don’t claim that the rejection of these ideas has to do with prejudice.

    Some us have experienced the Islamic world – so-called without prejudice. And saw the inexcusable treatment of women, arrests made for personal consent issues, like going on a date, or walking together ‘while unmarried’. People arrested for leaving Islam and eating during Ramadan.

    If a part of being without prejudice – means that you convert to Islam – or agree to live under its ‘Shari’a Project’ rules – as a second class citizen – then perhaps Daisy doesn’t understand freedom – or hasn’t come to terms with the fact that she now lives in the ‘free world’.

    We know that Stone’s son – in fact has several religions – Islam being his newest addition.

    When you believe that it is prejudice to read the same verses – Osama Bin Laden and other militant jihadists – practise in the Koran and Hadiths – or the other verses that form the basis of most Islamic nations’ laws – that call for the subjugation of all non-Muslims – and that acknowledging these truths about Islam is ‘hateful’ – then this is what the logical mind is being used for. Not that normal people – some 1000 years ago – fell under these extreme religious controls. And that most, as we can see by this current article – are still held under its grip and are forced to remain a Muslim or else.

    If Stone’s son has a collection of about 3 or more religions – what he does understand is religious freedom without coercion – something that Daisy – calling those racist – for rejecting her religious beliefs – does seem ignorant of.

    Perhaps even the Coptic Christians – need to open up to Islam – hey Daisy!

  20. says

    Nonsense Ole Hartling in James the entire chapter 2 it talks about what one must DO to have Gods favour, and says faith without works is dead. New Testament is full of directives to look after widows and orphans and to give of themselves materially as well as spiritually. I wonder why you seem to have a hate-on for people who are just trying to do the right thing regarding Biblical directives.

  21. says

    Champ and SMredneck, I’m with you on this one. But, brothers, Ole is one who chooses to “sit in the seat of the scornful”(Ps, 1). He receives not spiritual things because they are folly to him, as Paul says somewhere in the Corinthian letters.

    I bow in humility before Almighty God over people like Youcef Nadarkhani. Perhaps God has allowed me to live in North America where the worst they can do to me is call me a “hater” because he knows that I am not made of the same sort of stuff as Brother Nadarkhani.

    But, as Tertullian said long ago, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. The mullahs lose if they execute Nadarkhani, for God will probably raise up a few dozen more such apostates in his place.

  22. says

    I dont give a fig what individuals in the dark ages decided they of their own initiative wanted to do or not to do.

    All I care about is following the Bibles command: You must love Jehovah God with your whole heart mind and soul and to love your fellow man as yourself. That is all that matters.

    That is the beauty and simplicity of the Biblical Scriptures, they don’t tell you what hand to wipe your butt with or you can’t listen to any music at all or what to put on your head. The so called OT may be full of laws slightly similar in that regard, but with the advent of Christ and his fulfilling the Old Mosaic laws and commandments, that is in the past and doesnt apply anymore to anyone not even Jews.

    Now we are governed by PRINCIPLES, like the commandment above to love God and fellow man, that are timeless and apply to any situation at any time past present and future.

  23. says

    One wonders how it is that Daisy Khan & Co just don’t get tired of their own lies.
    “Oliver Stone’s son converts to Islam while making a film in a muslim country. This is what happens when u experience Islam w/o prejudice.”
    -No. This is what happens when you experience Islam w/o anything in your head which might serve as some protection from this “virus”. Islam always appeals to the weak and the lost and the gullible. The bubble-head celebs, criminals, the ignorant and the vulnerable. Those with no backbone, those with no strong convictions.
    It is always how cults have grown.

  24. says

    “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:27)

    Full Context (Liar exposed below!):

    11While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.a “Put this money to work,’ he said, “until I come back.’

    14″But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, “We don’t want this man to be our king.’

    15″He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

    16″The first one came and said, “Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

    17″”Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

    18″The second came and said, “Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

    19″His master answered, “You take charge of five cities.’

    20″Then another servant came and said, “Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

    22″His master replied, “I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

    24″Then he said to those standing by, “Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

    25″”Sir,’ they said, “he already has ten!’

    26″He replied, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them”bring them here and kill them in front of me.'”

  25. says

    “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”

    Revelation 6:9ff

  26. says

    What the wife of the “middle finger to the US mosque” imam meant when she tweeted was: ” This is what happens when you experinence islam and you do not have any intelligence.”.

  27. says

    “The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).”

    &&&&&

    Exactly. But where are the news media? CNN NBC CBS ABC BBC CBC ?

    Quiet as mice as usual or nowhere to be found…

    Maybe the reason for their silence is that the “Islamic issue” is just too controversial?

    Maybe they are ignorant of facts and have actually been duped by the “white-washed, sugar-coated, Religion of Peace”, non-sense version of Islam?

    Maybe the reason for their lack of concern is due to major financial ties with the Islamic world?

    Maybe individual reporters and those in academia known that to speak the unadulterated truth about Muhammad’s dastardly behavior – and lay out all of the bloody violent gore of Islamic theology would be career suicide?

    Probably a combination of all the above and more…

    We ex-Muslims know that Islam is the exact opposite of what it claims to be.

    Here is a recent statement from a group of Bangladeshi apostates living in the UK explaining the reasons why they have abandoned Islam:

    “One who claims to be a messenger of God is expected to live a saintly life. He must not be given to lust, he must not be a sexual pervert, and he must not be a rapist, a highway robber, a war criminal, a mass murderer or an assassin. One who claims to be a messenger of God must have a superior character. He must stand above the vices of the people of his time. Yet Muhammad’s life is that of a gangster godfather. He raided merchant caravans, looted innocent people, massacred entire male populations and enslaved the women and children. He raped the women captured in war after killing their husbands and told his followers that it is okay to have sex with their captives (Qur’an 33:50). He assassinated those who criticized him and executed them when he came to power and became de facto despot of Arabia. Muhammad was bereft of human compassion. He was an obsessed man with his dreams of grandiosity and could not forgive those who stood in his way…

    The statement continues,

    Muhammad was a narcissist, like Hitler, Saddam or Stalin. He was astute and knew how to manipulate people, but his emotional intelligence was less evolved than that of a 6-year-old child. He simply could not feel the pain of others. He brutally massacred thousands of innocent people and pillaged their wealth. His ambitions were big and as a narcissist he honestly believed he is entitled to do as he pleased and commit all sorts of crimes and his evil deeds are justified.”

    &&&&&

    Qur’an, 9:29 (One of the many Qur’anic verses that Muslims MUST believe to be ACTUAL words of God himself and that Islamists have for centuries used to kill and/or subjugate non-Muslims and spread Islam though Jihadist warfare).

    “Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.”

    &&&&&

    This hadith and many others like it MUST be considered by devout Muslims to be part of the authoritative Islamic texts:

    Hadith: Sahih Muslim 4294:
    “When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to 3 courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also except it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya (the Islamic tax). If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” – Muhammad

  28. says

    Ex-Muslim Ali Sina’s ongoing challenge to Muslims can be found over @ Faith Freedom.org:

    THE CHALLENGE

    If you do not like this site and want me to remove it, instead of acting as a bully or as a victim, disprove my charges against Muhammad logically. Not only will I remove the site, I will publicly announce that Islam is a true religion. I will also pay

    $50,000 U.S. dollars

    to anyone who can disprove any of the dozen of the accusations that I have made against Muhammad. I accuse Muhammad of being:

    a narcissist
    a misogynist
    a rapist
    a pedophile
    a lecher
    a torturer
    a mass murderer
    a cult leader
    an assassin
    a terrorist
    a madman
    a looter

    …You simply can’t disprove them because they are reported in Islamic sources and as such they are as good as confession…

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/the-challenge/the-challenge/

  29. says

    Has anyone started a save Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faacebook page?

    I am not a book burner but hey I would be willing to burn a Quran if the Pastor is killed!!

  30. says

    Can Robert or someone else start a movement asking muslims like daisy khan on film (for evidence):
    “Do you think that putting a person to death for leaving islam is part of shariah law?”

    And then, when lots of media-darling muslims have answered ‘yes, this is an application of shariah law’, then pass on this evidence to those brain-dead US senators and other law officials who are opposing passage of The Foreign Law Bill in various states of USA.

  31. says

    People involve themselves in religion for the same reason some people indulge themselves in drugs…The mental state produced is preferable to the ‘normal’…It makes them ‘feel good’…The ultimate feel good for the religious is to be one with God, or at least imagine it…The tools used for this are meditation, contemplation, intense prayer, religious ritual etc…The reported results of all that is clarity, or enlightenment…This leads to what Shankara said…’The highest experience possible for a human is to recognize yourself as the universe’…HMMM I wonder if that hurts?

  32. says

    @champ

    signed petition

    Also, Mark Levin led his radio program off last night speaking on behalf of this brave Pastor and the subsequent silence from the MSM—silence = complicity

  33. says

    I never received any response to my comment to the pseudonym “Smredneck5″ in which I documented that my view – that the Crusades cannot by justified by reference to Scriptures – is actually shared by Robert Spencer:

    “Robert Spencer has already written on this in his “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” so before spouting nonsense without the entire picture, please read what Robert has written about it.”

    I have most of Robert Spencer’s books in my library, and I agree with his position, that you cannot adduce any scripture in support of the assumption: “Warfare in the name of Christ is justified”. (“Religion of PEACE?”, p.69).

    Nevertheless that was what Urban II did, and that I criticize. The Crusades could be justified according to the “just war theory”, as a secular war of reconquest, but not as a holy war to be fought under the banner of Christ.”

    So if I was “spouting nonsense”, so did Robert Spencer. But for some unknown reason nobody criticized the position of Spencer; all comments from a number of debaters were focused on attacking my person – almost a Crusade – instead of attacking my arguments.

    I do not blame strong believers that they react emotionally and irrationally when something that is dear to them are criticized. I cannot allow myself this “luxury” because to me only the rational arguments counts.

    Seen from outside the dogmatic Catholic position the Crusades are often strongly criticized. One example is Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, who wrote an article about the Crusades in 1999:

    “My crusade against ‘crusading’

    RECENTLY IN JERUSALEM, a group of 500 Christians from America and Europe made a pilgrimage to seek forgiveness for the Christian Crusades in which tens of thousands of innocent Jews and Muslims were slaughtered in the name of Jesus. Jesus, of course, bears no guilt for the misuse of his name, but those popes, kings, generals and other leaders who ordered Christian soldiers to put non-believers to the sword deserve a special place in hell and in infamy.

    … I do not wish to impose rules of political correctness on everyday speech. But when an event is as outrageous, brutal, and unjustified as the Crusades, it is important that we say so in clear and direct terms. Until we eliminate the words “crusade” and “crusaders” from our vocabulary of praise, we will not achieve religious reconciliation. Recently, the Lutheran church formally renounced the anti-Semitic writings of its founder, Martin Luther. Can the rest of Christianity do any less with regard to the Crusades?”

    I think it is an internal theological matter whether the Vatican should repudiate the Crusades as against the Scriptures or not. And I also understand the reasons why the Vatican cannot apologize the Crusades.

    Pope John Paul II had little problem during his pontificate issuing apologies for historical wrongs committed by Christians in the service of the Church. He apologized in such a way at least 94 times according to one estimation. Not surprisingly, a number of people have assumed that the Pope has in fact apologized for the crusades, but many scholars argue that technically he has not. This dispute arises from the fact that the former Pope chose his words very carefully, apologizing for misdeeds, but not specifically the crusades of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries or the principle of crusading in general. In fact one can read the text of Pope John Paul II’s March 12, 2000 official request for pardon for such misdeeds on the Vatican’s website and will notice that the word “crusade” is found nowhere in the text.

    Some argue that the Church has not only declined to apologize for the crusades, but that it never will. Cambridge historian Jonathan Riley-Smith has argued that the Church will never apologize for the crusades because it cannot do so theologically. He notes, “The dilemma facing the Church, therefore, is clear. If contrition is to be expressed for the principle of crusading, as opposed to abuses committed during Crusades, either the Church can no longer be regarded as a reliable moral teacher or ethics are relative. Both conclusions are unacceptable, which is why no “apology” for the Crusades will ever be forthcoming…”.

    I think Riley-Smith is right. The Church cannot apologize for the Crusades basically for the same reason that Islamic scholars of jurisprudence cannot apologize for the conquest by offensive Jihad or the principle of Jihad itself. If they did they would undermine their own moral authority and that of the Qur’an and Sunna.

    The difference is of course that Jihad is legitimized, actually a religious duty, accepted by all major schools of jurisprudence in Islam, while Crusades – holy war under the banner of Christ – cannot be justified from the Scriptures, because war itself (any violence) cannot be justified even if it is purely defensive, as the Crusades were.

    If you claim that there is no justification for violence or war in the Scriptures, as Spencer and many other commentators, inclusive myself, claim, then the Crusades cannot be justified on theological grounds. There is no way around this ethical dilemma. If you deny that there is a dilemma, you deny logic itself.

    But of course those who instead of expressing an opinion on this crucial moral point prefer to attack my person, close their eyes and want to talk about the evil of Islam or whatever instead, make themselves untrustworthy. I will not accuse them of “spouting nonsense” but using the the not very dignified well known tactic of the ostrich when trouble are in sight. The Church do it, so why should not the believers close their eyes for inconvenient truths, and curse the messenger?

    Thank you for the discussion which at least did make some things clearer to me.

  34. says

    I believe this thread has gone wildly off-topic.

    The question is not whether anyone shares Youcef Nadarkhani’s faith, or, indeed, whether they believe religious faith has any rational basis whatsoever.

    The issue is that this man is *sentenced to death* because he is not a Muslim.

    It seems that good people of any creed should be in agreement that this is horrific, and beyond the bounds of civilized actions.

  35. says

    Robert, in response to the preposterous Daisy-chain Khan:

    “Nadarkhani now also experiencing “islam w/o prejudice” in Iran”

    Ultimate snark.

    As an aside, this whole wasteful argument for and against Christianity and or the absence of belief of any deity is wasteful, useless and detracts from the value of this site.

    I thought proselylitization of any sort was frowned upon at JW. Not so?

    We might as well validate the claims of the Muslim trolls when they comment here, based on their personal religious beliefs. I see no discernable difference worth noting.

  36. says

    Champ,

    Trying to “demonstrate” to Ole Hartling, the error in his thinking by not believing in Christ, or God by that extension, is the textbook definition of proselytizing, as if “Ole Hartling” is somehow excluded from “perpetual life” for his current disbelief, based on your professed Christian doctrinal references.

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”, I’m paraphrasing, because I have neither the will of the chutzpah to verify, but that is besides the point. I am critical of the atheist position here at JW, vocally and consistently, especially when the atheist position is used as a religious moral equivalence argument, when comparing the doctrinal texts of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    It is not uncommon for Muslims and Islam apologists to use the OT in this tu quoque argument. In fact it is commonplace. The NT is tougher to equivocate in my estimation, but in stating so I will surely be accused of being anti-Semitic. Most believers, Muslims not excluded, believe in a preclusion for salvation by believing other creeds other than their own. What is your opinion on Jews who reject the historical and divine existence of Christ as the Son of Man?

    The point, which you apparently missed, is a point of perception. I don’t care what Jews, Christians or Muslims think about my personal religious beliefs, assuming that I have any. The point is simple. Faith is faith. A belief of the unprovable, and in my opinion, is a useless argument for those predisposed against belief in that particular faith.

    How are Muslims different in that regard? The answer is that they are not. What is different is that after the secular reformation of the Judaic and Christian orthodoxies, live and let live is a common theme, and the Golden Rule still stands as the Golden Rule in my estimation. Islam stands opposed, and in fact, lauds that differentiation from the the others in that false associative “Abrahamic Faiths” group.

    I learned a valuable lesson awhile ago in an unimportnt, unrelated discussion. Would you rather be right or would you rather be successful?

    Think about it.

  37. says

    Did “Ole Hartling” change his mind due to your lecture and summary provision of the Bible about Christ?

    I think not.

    Second. Does this thread hold any meaningful comments about the article, and its reality besides that the Iranian Christian should die for Christ on principle as purported by you?

    I thnk not.

    I think it is indicative of people who say things behind an anonymous veil of internet security, those who talk a good game here on JW or other blogs, but similarly would allow some savage, Muslim or not, to eat their lunch and then give their menu for their dinner to be had.

    That you think on principle this Iranian should accept death as a martyr for Christ says alot about you. You own that sentiment through your explicit and eternal words here on this thread, no one else.

    So I guess I call out the hypocrisy. I have been mislabeled a “hater” for supposedly calling out for the suicide of another, (a charge originated from and perpetuated by YOU champ) but yet you put the Iranian convert to certain death on Christian principles, which you hold dear?

    Disgraceful.

    I suggest less pills with an accompanying increased clarity going forward. Fear not though, Hesp will be along any minute to rescue you, but don’t wait up for the “side-stepper”. After all, he’s got much bigger fish to fry. :)

    Bed.made.lie.in.it.

    Peace, and I mean it, not because some unhinged blog commenter thought it was better for me to accept death at the hands of Iranian Muslims to prove a point about Christ.

    I’m only glad that you are not the chosen councellor to the children of the soon to be dead father.

    Maybe you csn recite some Bible quotes to them to ease their suffering afterwards? That’s more than Hesp would do, in my opinion. :)

  38. says

    Well, this has just gone completely off the rails. While you’re sniping at one another, Nadarkhani is in jail. Let’s keep that in mind, and be mindful of why we’re here on future postings.

  39. says

    I’m not sure confronting him would do much good. He’d probably condemn it but at the same time deny the sentence had anything to do with Islam… that being said, even a simple condemnation could be useful. Coming from such a public useful idiot, it could shame Iran into giving the pastor some more time.

  40. says

    Matthew 10:32-33

    Confess Christ Before Men

    “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

    ~~~~~~~~

    Denying Jesus Christ is a serious matter for a Christian; and you refer to Youcef as stubborn, but I think that he is very brave …although I wouldn’t expect you to understand that given your above suggestion.

  41. says

    @ Ole –

    Your not-so-subtle attempt to equate Islam and Christianity is shameful, and even more so in response to this tragic story of an innocent man being put to death.

  42. says

    “So it’s all about saving ones hide no matter how unprincipled or cowardly the act?”

    No, its about not fighting a fight you can’t possibly win. Therefore it is better to fight another day, and in another way.

    You may call the convert a martyr, I call his stubbornness a state assisted suicide that does not change anything. The Islamic Republic is not the Roman Empire and even if 10,000 followed the converts brave example Islam would remain murderous Islam.

    To fight Islam your first priority is to stay alive.

  43. says

    Thanks for that link, champ. I signed the petition. Hope you’re well. Moreover, I hope Youcef Nadarkhani and his family are well a year from now. Islam is such a blot on humanity.

  44. says

    I have also signed the petition to free Youcef, primarily because I am in principle against the death penalty, and secondly because Islam is a murderous imhuman ideology which should be fought in any way possible. Short of committing suicide.

  45. says

    “Ole Hartling, a real Christian would not agree with your stance. I am with Champ on this one. Lets go to Jesus’ words: …”

    I am sure you are right, because a “real” Christian is a dead Christian martyr. Christianity is not about saving the world but your soul. If that is the premise, then you are right.

    However, that is not my premise as a rationalist and agnostic. I don’t care what people wrote in old books they called holy two or three mellennia ago. People should follow the advise of Buddha – not because he is right – but because he makes good sense:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    For this reason I have rejected theism altogether: Buddhism, Christianity and of course Islam as the most primitive and barbaric religion and totalitarian ideology.

    If there is an omnipotent Creator “he” must be outside the physical and logical limits of the Universe, absolute transcendent, that’s what I hold true because reason force me to.

  46. says

    I responded to your ideas and the post didn’t take for some reason…I don’t want to re-write it, it was no antagonistic and I ended it with a quote from Meher Baba…’Don’t worry be happy’, a little simplistic but it works…

  47. says

    Thank you:

    “I ended it with a quote from Meher Baba…’Don’t worry be happy’, a little simplistic but it works…”

    I am as happy as anyone, and the only way Islam can win is if we lose trust in our own rational culture and its values and no longer find it worth fighting for because of cultural relativism, political correctness or whatever other nonsense.

    As one debater told me when discussing the U.S. Constitution: “It is not a suicide pact!” Unfornatulately, taken literally Christianity is, as demonstrated by the quotes presented here.

  48. says

    Re: Ole Hartling

    Reject away! You didn’t recognize the substance of Jesus’ words, only what you consider as it’s ramifications and consequences.

    Again, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

  49. says

    I have not recieved any divine revelation telling me what a soul is or how to interpreter the gospels and overcome its many inconsistencies, mythic tales and abstractions.

    It seems that a lot of people who call themselves Christians have similar problems given the fact that more than 32,000 different versions of Christianity exist – officially.

    This argument is even used by the Mormons to convert people to the only true faith:

    Hi, Welcome and Enjoy Reading
    The Book
    Think About it…
    Why Should I be a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Most Important Investigation of My Life? …

    “Still another fact is that there are 17 different major religious groups in the world. One of those major religious groups is Christianity, In Christianity, there are over 32,000 different Christian religions or Churches you can join. Over 32,000 different Christian religions! Because I am a believer in Christ, because I believe He is the God of heaven, I realized that there can be only three logical possibilities to explain the over 32,000 different Christian religions. Either The Lord God is unsure on what to teach us, or, as long as we accept Him as our Savior, He doesn’t care what we believe. The absolute and only third possibility is that one of the 32,000 is true.

    Because I am a believer in Christ,
    because I am a believer in the Scriptures,
    because I believe in Christianity,
    that is how this book got started and where it goes.
    I hope this book helps you in your search, or your friends search for the truth.

    It (the book) contains numerous interesting police stories related to Gospel principles and Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions to the most frequently presented anti-Mormon literature you or your family will be confronted by. …”

    That is of course what they all say – all 32,000 different Christian congregations. I think I will renounce on the offer. 😉

  50. says

    Ole Hartling:

    A “suicide pact”? No, it’s pacifism. Obviously someone like you who is always “confronting” isn’t going to understand the Message of Jesus. Christians don’t confront others by words of aggression, but by hearkening to “man’s goodness”. However, too often are displays of “man’s goodness” proven to be just that, displays.

    Ahmadinejad is seen as a “good man” and Usama bin Laden was “just trying to free the Palestinians” when their true agendas are clear.

    Bomb churches, gas Jews, desecrate graves, paying money to governments to murder and kidnap children (e.g., Egypt, Pakistan)

    We have no choice in the matter if those “nice people in power” have already decided the matter for us. Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world, if those worldly sovereigns have decided to eradicate those who believe in Him, that’s what they have decided.

    “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’ Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world”to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, ‘I find no guilt in him.'”
    (John 18:36-38)

    “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:12-20)

  51. says

    “I have not recieved any divine revelation telling me what a soul is or how to interpreter the gospels and overcome its many inconsistencies, mythic tales and abstractions.”

    Good, I hope you haven’t. God Forbid.

    The rest of it isn’t on the substance of Christianity but on it’s varying forms.

    As much as I’d like to think of you as different than a Muslim, you are no different.

    Jesus proclaimed “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”

    I don’t care if there is a church that says “follow us exclusively and you’ll be saved”. Jesus has the highest authority. Thinking that, by going to an establishment that is orchestrated by individual humans is the one thing that is going to save you, will save you as much as it will save Hamza Kashgari and this Iranian Pastor from execution. (May God protect and free them both.)

    If you hate Mormonism or the infinite number of Christian denominations so much, then take it up with reality.

    I don’t have time for jokers who can’t attack the substance of Jesus’ Message.

    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6-7)

  52. says

    You wrote:

    “…there are over 32,000 different Christian religions or Churches you can join.”

    Well no wonder you seem so confused; forget all that …

    Instead consider the words of Jesus, if you will, to simplify the matter a bit. Jesus said:

    “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” — John 3:1-7

  53. says

    “That is of course what they all say – all 32,000 different Christian congregations. I think I will renounce on the offer. ;-)”

    Then do so, all you provide is a complete ignorance of Christianity. As such I think Jesus’ sacrifice for your life was in vain. Jesus should have lived, you shouldn’t have.

    Jesus didn’t say: “Follow the Protestant denomination and you’ll be saved”. I think even a worthless piece of matter like you could have figured that out.

    Jesus said: “I am the Door, whoever enters will be saved…” (John 10:9)

    I think you’re disregard for what Jesus said, which is what Christianity is, and instead cowering behind the “number of Christian denominations” just shows that Jesus was wise in saying: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:6)

    However, I encourage you, if you have an open mind and a courageous spirit which I doubt, to continue reading His words: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

  54. says

    “Ole Hartling you are missing the point. A Christian who dies because of his faith is GUARANTEED a resurrection to life when it is time for God to do so. They are not dead permanently only sleeping and very much alive in God’s memory until that happens.”

    Nice to know, you don’t have to do good deeds also. 😉
    The only point I am missing has to do with miracles. If you can believe in miracles you can believe in anything.

    To me the whole thing is like Alice in Wonderland:

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    I see you got the practice. 😉

  55. says

    Accusing Christianity of being “Alice in Wonderland” is as bold as a kid who asks out a girl for the first time can be.

    God give you the highest rewards!

    “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

    The rest is history.

  56. says

    “Nonsense Ole Hartling in James the entire chapter 2 it talks about what one must DO to have Gods favour, and says faith without works is dead.”

    Yes, but how can one know if King James Bible or Martin Luther with his Sola Fide doctrine is right? I think there is no objective way to chose, it is a matter of irrational belief:

    “Sola fide (Latin: by faith alone), also historically known as the doctrine of justification by faith alone, is a Christian theological doctrine that distinguishes most Protestant denominations from Catholicism, Eastern Christianity, and some in the Restoration Movement.

    The doctrine of sola fide or “by faith alone” asserts God’s pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith, conceived as excluding all “works”, alone. All humanity, it is asserted, is fallen and sinful, under the curse of God, and incapable of saving itself from God’s wrath and curse. But God, on the basis of the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus), grants sinners judicial pardon, or justification, which is received solely through faith.

    Faith is seen as passive, merely receiving Christ and all his benefits, among which benefits are the active and passive righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christ’s righteousness, according to the followers of “sola fide”, is imputed (or attributed) by God to the believing sinner (as opposed to infused or imparted), so that the divine verdict and pardon of the believing sinner is based not upon anything in the sinner, nor even faith itself, but upon Jesus Christ and his righteousness alone, which are received through faith alone. Justification is by faith alone and is distinguished from the other graces of salvation.”

    I think I will stick to the golden rule with some minor adjustments and leave religious faith out of the ethics.

  57. says

    Again, what have you proven?

    I fail to see any substance (i.e., nothing at all) in what you type.

    My suggestion is to just not type anymore, your agenda is exposed the more you reveal it.

  58. says

    Ole, one thing you forget about the Protestant denominations’ assertion of justification by faith alone (common to both Lutheran and Reformed) is that justification is understood as the forensic act whereby God declares one just and accepts one as righteous. This is predicated on the active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ, which is imputed to the believer, just as the believer’s sins are imputed to Christ (who suffered vicariously and as the believer’s penal substitute on the cross). Hence, Jesus risen from the dead and reigning with God the Father and the Spirit from Heaven stands as His people’s representative in Heaven.

    But justification is not alone in the blessings which God would give. It is accompanied by regeneration and repentance as well as faith, and sanctification (the process of being made holy) follows, as does glorification (entry into Heaven). Works are a large part of sanctification, but they are simply our imperfect acts of gratitude for what God has done for us. We cannot depend on their merit to win God’s favor for us, otherwise Christ died in vain.

    I don’t know what kind of theological education my brethren smredneck and champ have received. What I have given you is a quick rundown and summary of certain teachings of the Reformed churches, as found in the Westminster Standards (1648) and the Three Forms of Unity (1618).

  59. says

    “But, as Tertullian said long ago, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. The mullahs lose if they execute Nadarkhani, for God will probably raise up a few dozen more such apostates in his place.”

    Tertullian may be right, there are too few martyrs in this day and age, but the Muslims are doing what they can to spread the seeds of the church. So thank the Lord for the worshippers of the Devil – the Muslims.

    Tertullian was however at nutcase in his view of Women:

    “God’s judgment on this sex [that is women] lives on in our age; the guilt necessarily lives on as well. You are the Devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that tree; you are the first foresaker of the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not brave enough to approach; you so lightly crushed the image of God, the man Adam; because of your punishment, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die. And you think to adorn yourself beyond your “tunics of skins”? (CSEL 70.59 as cited in Clark “Women in the Early Church”)

    Tertullian’s view on women was quite similar to what is found in Islam:

    “This woman, finally, is stupid enough to scorn the real good and to allow herself to run after shiny things (for example gold and money, much less useful in the practical life than iron and bronze: Cult., I, 5; or the pearl which is only a disease of the mollusc: I, 6, 2). Her limited intelligence does not enable her to consider sensibly the relative value of things (I, 7,1; 9, 1; II, 10, 2): she hoards stupidly objects which are ignored elsewhere because they are in abundance. But she is at the same time cunning enough to ruin the man whom the devil had not even dared to attack (I, 1, 2). She knows how to adjust the divine law skilfully so that she can present herself to God while making herself fair or russet-red when it is written in the Gospel that no one cannot change a black hair into white or vice versa (II, 6, 3) and she finds an easy way not to contravene the words of the scripture: “Nobody can add to his size” by bunching the buns of false hair behind instead of above her head (II, 7, 2).”

    Link to “Being a woman according to Tertullian” :

    http://www.tertullian.org/articles/turcan_etre_femme_eng.htm

  60. says

    “Again, what have you proven?”

    I could ask you the same thing. You cannot prove anything referring to old books, you may believe what is written that’s all.

    As long as you dont tell other people what to believe and not believe or use the secular political system to impose your religious truths upon others, I have no problem with any religion. If your belief make your life more meaningful, what more can you ask for?

  61. says

    Uh Huh.

    His citation of Tertullian was only on the subject of martyrdom, and suddenly we endorse everything he says. As we have said on countless occasions, Tertullian is not God.

    Jesus himself had a higher view of women than any figure of the early century (and even sometime after in certain areas), some Leftists even consider him a “proto-feminist”.

    http://www.catholicarrogance.org/about/women&jesus.html

    http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200102/024_jesus_and_women.cfm

  62. says

    “I could ask you the same thing. You cannot prove anything referring to old books, you may believe what is written that’s all.”

    Alright, I have proven that (1) you know nothing about Jesus’ teachings, which is the sole grounding of Christianity, (2) that you don’t listen, or you only listen to what favors you, and (3) that you hold Christian beliefs on the standard that you have outlined yourself. In other words, you have defined the terms which makes this disscussion worthless.

    “As long as you dont tell other people what to believe and not believe or use the secular political system to impose your religious truths upon others, I have no problem with any religion.”

    When has that occurred, and if it has who cares? Again, Jesus said: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”.

    http://www.uu.edu/personal/sevans/syllabi/425sylls06.htm

    One’s affirming of Jesus’ divinity is what saves them, killing people to make them affirm a belief isn’t salvation, it’s slavery. That’s what you and Islam want to impose, not Christians, and not Jesus. (God forbid!)

  63. says

    Again: “My suggestion is to just not type anymore, your agenda is exposed the more you reveal it.”

    “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)

  64. says

    “Jesus himself had a higher view of women than any figure of the early century (and even sometime after in certain areas), some Leftists even consider him a “proto-feminist”.

    You wont get any arguments from me. I agree completely from a simple reading of the New Testament. But the problem still remains: How to distinguish true interpretations from false ones? Luther got his negative view on women from St. Augustine and he got his from St. Paul. There are no prophets in Christianity so you are on your own! That also explains the 32,000 different versions of Christianity. Make your pick, or look somewhere else.

  65. says

    Interpretations? What are you talking about? There is no interpretations, there are just simple minded people who can’t read.

    I don’t understand, read what Jesus says not what so and so says.

    This argument of “interpretations” can be made by anyone, but it ultimately doesn’t matter. You can’t interpret “Love your enemies” as “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” and I’d like to see someone try doing so and creating a successful congregation from it.

  66. says

    Also, your “Got it from so and so who got it from so and so and who got that from so and so etc.” line isn’t bought by any careful observer.

    As we said, and as Paul has affirmed, JESUS is our authority. Maybe Paul didn’t treat women like Jesus. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? He was an Orthodox Jew before that time. The same narrow-minded establishment that Jesus defied when He was alive. Obviously, Paul who was a Jew would follow approach things based on his upbringing. That’s how all human beings are.

    As I said, if you don’t like it, take it up with reality.

  67. says

    Ole, I get my negative view of a lot of women not from the Old and New Testaments, or even from Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Augustine, the Westminster Divines, or Tertullian, but from a simple reading of the stupid, hate-crazed, destructive collective insanity called modern feminism, and every male–oops, eunuch–who shows it sympathy, including those eunuch sympathizers who have four legs, tails, and go by scientific names other than Homo Sapiens.

    And, since you tell me that Christianity is a suicide pact based on a simple reading of the Old and New Testaments, I’ll add that the Old Testament is full of warrior saints (from Abraham, when he went forth to rescue his abducted nephew Lot, on down); when John the Baptist was approached by soldiers, he told them simply to be content with their wages and rob no-one by violence (Luke 3:14); when Jesus was confronted with a Centurion who wanted his servant healed, he did as asked, and held the man up as a marvel of faith (luke 7:2-10); and when Peter was sent to a Centurion’s house, he baptized him and opened the door to mission to Gentiles (Acts 10). In no case were the soldiers told to quit their jobs. Paul also speaks of the civil ruler as bearing the sword of authority to punish wrongdoers (ROmans 13). And now dear Ole, min Norske Landsmann, is probably going to pull out a bit of Marxist “nothing buttery” and triumphantly shout, “You see? The Christian position is abjectness before authority!” As if we didn’t have the apostles’ “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

  68. says

    “This argument of “interpretations” can be made by anyone, but it ultimately doesn’t matter. You can’t interpret “Love your enemies” as “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” and I’d like to see someone try doing so and creating a successful congregation from it.”

    I am not sure, because Pope Urban II had no problems interpretate “Love your enemies” as meaning “kill as many muslims as possible in holy war”:

    “If you must have blood, bathe in the blood of the infidels. I speak to you with harsness because my ministry obliges me to do so. Soldiers of Hell, become soldiers of the living God!” The crowd suddently roared back at him: “God wills it!”, “Dieu li volt!”

    “Yes indeed”, Urban II answered. “Yes, it is the will of God. You today see the accomplishment of the word of our saviour, who promised to be in the midst of the faithful, when assembled in his name; it is He who dictated you the words that I have heard. Let them be your war cry, and let them announce everywhere the presence of the God of armies!”

    Jesus never used violence against his enemies, not even to defend himself when arrested on false charges. He preached to love our enemies and forgive them. Maybe it was the Devil who wispered in the ear of the pope – a Christian version of the Qur’ans “satanic verses”?

    You see the problem to know from whom the revelations come?

  69. says

    Again, so and so said “Kill them all” Jesus says another thing.

    Tell you what. If you can give me a direct correlation (a relation that coincides with something that is said or done) then I’ll buy the nonsense you’re selling.

    It’s just too bad that you can’t cite where the Pope proclaims the supposed words of Jesus. It’s also just too darn bad that nobody has found those words in the Bible until the pioneering Christian critic Old Hartling happened to stumble upon them.

  70. says

    Also, if you knew the context (Yeah, that little word that somebody named Ole Hartling pays no attention to) the Pope was addressing the Christian armies on account of their thirst for blood. “If you must have blood, bathe in the blood of the infidels.” Why was it so that they had this blood thirst? Simple, Muslims killed Christians before that.

    Robert Spencer has already written on this in his “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” so before spouting nonsense without the entire picture, please read what Robert has written about it.

    I shouldn’t be selling Robert’s book for him, but seeing as it’s suddenly relevant…

  71. says

    “You see the problem to know from whom the revelations come?”

    Revelations or not, Jesus didn’t say that. I would like to know then why this is relevant.

  72. says

    Daisy Khan:

    Oliver stone’s son converts to islam…this is what happens when u experience islam w/o prejudice
    …………………………

    Too bad pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has never had a chance to experience Islam “w/o prejudice”.

    Ole and other posters re dying for one’s faith”this is a *really, really tough one*.

    Certainly, I am very much aware of Christian thought on this point.

    At the same time, there were many Jews during the Holocaust”including many very devout ones”who hid or posed as gentiles for the duration.

    I have to say I do not blame them at all.

    I very much respect both points of view here.

    But Youcef Nadarkhani’s words and actions during this whole horrific ordeal have been exemplary”it is his vile tormentors who concern me.

    It is that Islam”over and over again, for almost 1400 years, has put hundreds of thousands”*millions*”of innocent people in this horrific position.

    *No one* should have to face this. This is what I hate and condemn”not whatever this decent man decides for himself and his family.

  73. says

    “It’s just too bad that you can’t cite where the Pope proclaims the supposed words of Jesus.”

    But I can:

    “His words were intended to shock, and also to heal. Christ’s words sustained his argument. In the mythology he was developing throughout his sermon, he was relying on all those cryptic and well-known words where Christ demands that his followers should abandon their fathers, mothers, wives, and children, and for this abandonment they would be rewarded a hundredfold and enter eternal life.” (Quoted from “The Crusades” 1986/1998 by Robert Payne).

    Among the cryptic words Jesus spoke are: “Think not that I am come to send peace: I came not to send peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34). “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36). “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:27).

    So you cannot disregard inconsistencies and consequently the need to interpretate texts in the New Testament, and words alledgedly spoken by Jesus that was used by the church to commit crimes against innocent women and heretics. The burning of unbelievers during the Inquisition was based on the words of Jesus: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6).

  74. says

    Your Islamic facade has been exposed. Making the same arguments that Muslims make by taking verses out of context proves you deserve to be in the same camp as them.

    “Think not that I am come to send peace: I came not to send peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

    This verse may have meant something literal… or not. Did Jesus do what he said in this case if it was taken literally? No. Jesus never had a sword, Jesus never beheaded anybody. Muhammad did. Muhammad himself said: “I have been sent with the sword, before the hour, to ensure that none is worshipped but Allah alone” The clear difference is that Muhammad REALLY MEANT IT when he took up the sword, Jesus didn’t mean it literally.

    http://www.usna.edu/Users/humss/bwheeler/swords/swords_index.html

    “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) Yeah, and the apostles bought swords afterward. Then, when Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of one of them and Jesus said to put away the sword.

    “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:27)

    Good try, but this verse was Jesus using a PARABLE to talk to his followers, this was a QUOTE of ANOTHER PERSON Jesus was using to explain his parable.

    “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)

    Full Context (Warning: Exposure of deception incoming!):

    1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

    Your deception is exposed.

  75. says

    “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)

    Here’s the instance referred to above:

    “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'” (Matthew 26:51-52)

  76. says

    I am very interested in your comment:

    “I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.

    “If they execute this man, Islam will die too.

    “Simple as that. It may be a death that is slower than we would like, but most certainly, it will have been the beginning of the end for Islam.

    Mark my words.”

    Curiosity makes me wonder: is your opinion based on ‘the blood of martyrs being the seed of more conversions’ spirituality, or is it based on some of your observations while you were in the Mideast? if the later what are they?

  77. says

    @ Ole –

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it…”

    Good thing Christ nor Christianity holds the view that people must believe nonsense, with zero evidence behind it.

    “If there is an omnipotent Creator “he” must be outside the physical and logical limits of the Universe, absolute transcendent, that’s what I hold true because reason force me to.”

    Nonsense. It takes more faith to believe this world came into being from nothing than it does to believe in a Creator.

    Now, why don’t you save your rants (and lies) about Christianity for a blog of your own? This site is about ISLAM.

  78. says

    Ole Hartling, you have greatly contradicted yourself …

    On 2-22 @3:31PM on this thread you wrote:

    “However, that is not my premise as a rationalist and agnostic.”

    But then later @9:39AM, in your above response to Duh_swami, you wrote:

    “Rather I see theism as an irrational endeavor, involving wishful and magical thinking to answer the the existential problem man is facing – the WHY?”

    Earlier you claimed that you’re agnostic; but here you claim that believing in God is irrational? …you sound more like an atheist to me; so which is it–are you agnostic or an atheist?

  79. says

    “Robert Spencer has already written on this in his “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” so before spouting nonsense without the entire picture, please read what Robert has written about it.”

    I have most of Robert Spencers books in my library, and I agree with his position, that you cannot adduce any scripture in support of the assumption: “Warfare in the name of Christ is justified”. (“Religion of PEACE?”, p.69).

    Nevertheless that was what Urban II did, and that I critizise. The Crusades could be justified according to the “just war theory”, as a secular war of reconquest, but not as a holy war to be fought under the banner of Christ.

  80. says

    “Now, why don’t you save your rants (and lies) about Christianity for a blog of your own? This site is about ISLAM.”

    I agree, Mo, and I’m tired of hart’s ole hobbyhorse …

  81. says

    And Ipso would always use that *wink* in his comments like Ole did above here:

    “I see you got the practice. ;-)”

    …and he winked in other comments on this thread, as well.

    Yeah, methinks that they’re one in the same person …

  82. says

    Champ,
    But of course he is that IpsoFacto character.
    I don’t access JihadWatch as often as I used to, so I missed your exchange with the man. Had I seen it before I would have warned you that IpsoFacto/OleHartling is a weirdo maniacally obsessed with Christianity who will rant and spin and very often not only distort but simply lie in order to, what he imagines is, “scoring a point”.
    He is also perfectly immune to embarrassment and when cornered and his ignorance or crude dishonesty exposed, he doesn’t shut up forever, but wait a while and try the same garbage on someone else who not knowing him may initially take him seriously.
    I remember engaging him around summer 2010 and catching him repeatedly plagiarizing really large parts from different sources. He claimed some kind of “misunderstanding” and I think he did shut up for a while, but only to re-emerge in his new form as Ole Hartling.
    Champ, as said, the man would enter any conversation on any subject and wait for a moment he can smuggle in his gibberish regardless how unrelated to the issue. He needs audience he may, if not dazzle, then at least irritate. A middle-age precocious child. An authentic, unadulterated wasteoftime.

    Another thing:
    I am not on FaceBook, but would very much like to sign the petition. Do you know of other petition organizers?
    take care,
    Thomas

  83. says

    Hi Thomas_h …

    Thank you for confirming my suspicions; and notice that he didn’t even respond to my direct question by denying it either. And you’re assessment of Ole Hartling, aka Ipso Facto, is spot on; and imo he is an unconscionable liar.

    And thank you for signing the petition! :)

    ~~~~~~

    Thank you, Tom D, for the link!

  84. says

    People involve themselves in religion for the same reason some people indulge themselves in drugs…The mental state produced is preferable to the ‘normal’…It makes them ‘feel good’…The ultimate feel good for the religious is to be one with God, or at least imagine it…The tools used for this are meditation, contemplation, intense prayer, religious ritual etc…The reported results of all that is clarity, or enlightenment…This leads to what Shankara said…’The highest experience possible for a human is to recognize yourself as the universe’…HMMM I wonder if that hurts?

    Wow! – an insight worthy of a sage expressed in such a wonderfully succinct manner.

    How fortunate for Augustine, Aquinas, Maimonides, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Kant, Kierkegaard…and a score of others who were spared acquainting themselves with your eye-opening, ground-breaking thesis. In their quest for “feel good” when having the alternative of direct, fun way offered by drug indulgence and the arduous work requiring extreme mental and moral discipline there is no doubt they would have choose the “fun-way” and storm the nearest drug pusher ending their days as drug wreck.

    You, of course, realize that there are now a few billion people now whose “feel good” derives from “involving themselves in religion”- as you so eloquently put it. Therefore, please don’t try to, as William James tried, enlighten these people about the “origins of their religious experience. Imagine the catastrophe if these masses should take you, rather than W. James, seriously and turn to drug consumption instead religion. Yes, for the sake of the human race, do not open our eyes.

    PS.
    “People involve themselves in religion for the same reason some people indulge themselves in drugs…The mental state produced is preferable to the ‘normal’…It makes them ‘feel good’..

    Are you planning soon to reveal the reason why some people just can’t resist involving themselves with the” people who involve themselves in religion” on forums which have nothing to do with religion?

    PPS.
    Oh, and another small thing, really,
    Why do you “wonder if that hurts”, after asserting that… “It makes them ‘feel good’.? Quite a contradiction for such a short dissertation.
    Perhaps you should have kept it shorter..

  85. says

    It did hurt the believers, and I think it is unfair to compare the effect of religious belief with the intoxication of drugs. An argument used by Karl Marx: Religion is opium for the people.

    In extreme cases you may claim that the strong believer is removed from the ethical laws of this world because of “religious intoxication”.

    Jessica Stern, the author of “Terror in the name of God”, reflected the puzzlement that initially strikes almost everyone encountering Islamist terrorism until they come to understand its ideology as a pseudoreligion rather rather than as a political movement. She writes:

    “I have some to see that apocalyptic violence intended to ‘cleanse’ the world of ‘impurities’ can create a transcendent state. All the terrorist groups examined in this book believe – or at least started out believing – that they are creating a more perfect world. From their perspective, they are purifying the world of injustice, cruelty, and all that is anti-human. When I began this project, I could not understand why the killers I met seemed spiritually intoxicated. Now, I think I understand. They seem that way because they are.”

    The joint commissioner of the Mumbai police, Rakesh Maria, said of the captured terrorist Muhammad Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving perpetrator of the 2008 mass murder in Mumbai, India, “He was led to believe that he was doing something holy.”

    Rather I see theism as an irrational endeavor, involving wishful and magical thinking to answer the the existential problem man is facing – the WHY?

    Science cannot answer the “why” so there is only two possibilities – a theological or a philosophical explanation involving the metaphysical or transcendent aspects of reality.

    I see no reason to attack believers with such primitive remarks. Like everyone else theists should be criticized for their actions if they are morally indefensible, and not for their metaphysical beliefs. Islam as a religion with direct political implications may of course be criticized as all religions should be if their core teachings interfere with rational universal moral obligations we have solely qua persons.

  86. says

    The reason I didn’t respond was because it was completely meaningless to do so. I don’t disagree that the Crusades are unjustified. All violence and killing is unjustified. All I did was give you the facts to what happened when you took your precious time to take the Crusades out of context to “chalk up a point” for yourself.

  87. says

    Thank you for signing the petition as well, Libertyinall50! …and yes, Youcef is indeed a very brave soul, and Mark Levin is such a good man for raising awareness on his radio program; and thank you for sharing this with us. :)

  88. says

    “The issue is that this man is *sentenced to death* because he is not a Muslim.

    It seems that good people of any creed should be in agreement that this is horrific, and beyond the bounds of civilized actions.”

    Nobody here has defended Sharia, so there is not really anything to discuss in this respect. That’s why I took the initiative to discuss moral issues related to the bloody history of Christianity, so we may understand ourselves better, and why we all condemn the lack of spiritual, political and religious freedom in Islamic Republics.

    The ethical foundation of Christianity and the separation of religion and politics allow us to institute such liberties as the foundation in secular democratic societies, Islam does not.

    I don’t think such a discussion is “wildly off-topic”, but relevant because the mistreatment of a convert to Christianity in an Islamic Sharia state makes it appropriate to look at the differences between the two religions and the cultures they produced. Those profound differences between Islam and Christianity has been the focal point in many of the books and articles written by Robert Spencer. It is therefore a relevant and useful perspective for this debate. But you are of course entitled to your personal opinion about what is and isn’t relevant for the debate. As we all are. Nobody can “own” a free debate; all we can do is participate or ignore comments we find irrelevant.

  89. says

    Excellently and succinctly put, gravenimage.

    This incredibly heroic and courageous man is about to be judicially *murdered* because he refuses to accept this vile cult.

    This is in wait for *all* of us, Christian, Jew, atheist, agnostic, if we don’t continue to fight back and resist. If there *is* a God, He must be very proud of this man.

  90. says

    “Earlier you claimed that you’re agnostic; but here you claim that believing in God is irrational? …you sound more like an atheist to me; so which is it–are you agnostic or an atheist?”

    Believing in a personal omnipotent God is irrational – believing in a “god” – unspecified – is not necessarily irrational. “god” could then just be a word used to describe the – transcendent – force or principle behind natural laws if one assume that the Universe has been created, and have not always existed.

    So I am not a deist, as some of the Founding Fathers were, and I am also not an atheist, because logic and rationality cannot definitively rule out the possibility that some creative force may exist outside the limits of logic and the physical world.

    That puts me somewhere within the wide range of possible existential positions covered by the word “agnostic”. I think I am closer to the atheist position than in the middle of agnosticism, but not quite there. So far I have not seen any atheist present a consistent rational argument for his position, because you cannot rule out the possibility of “other worlds” or “parallel Universes”. In philosophy called the Multiverse theory. You can only rule out what is impossible in this Universe. So strictly speaking atheism could be called an irrational belief.

    I have not heard any Christian theologian claim that the existence of an omnipotent being with necessary existence can be proven by means of conceptual logic. At least not since such endeavors was attempted in the middle ages by scholasticism, and most famously disproved by the philosopher Kant, by means of conceptual logic. So God is something you may believe in, but not a fact of language and logic. If it were you would not have to believe, your own logic and rationality would lead you to “God”. This is not controversial in any way, most Christian theologians hold this position, and that is why you need belief, and can have no certain knowledge about what is the essence of God or the will of God except from revelation and not from reason alone.

    It is in this context my claim, that believing in God is irrational should be understood. If it was not so God would be an objective fact of life and “his nature” could be adequately described by science and/or philosophy and not be a bigger mystery than for instance electricity or the principle of contradiction is. All Christian believers I know of point to miracles and that God works in mysterious ways. So why should it be a problem for you that religious beliefs are by definition irrational?

  91. says

    You misunderstood my question …

    Above I wrote:

    “Earlier you claimed that you’re agnostic; but here you claim that believing in God is irrational?”

    I wasn’t questioning why you don’t believe in God. I was expressing my confusion over a contradiction from what you had written, that’s all; although the second part of my sentence should have clarified this for you:

    “…you sound more like an atheist to me; so which is it–are you agnostic or an atheist?”

    Thank you for answering my question …

  92. says

    No, Ole, belief in a personal, omnipotent God is simply not empirical (for such a God is too large for the tools with which empiricism leaves us), not irrational.

    As for the theologians, Thomas Aquinas believed he’d found a set of proofs for God’s existence.

    And assertions that there is no God at all are merely dogmas, not proofs. Further, most so-called “atheists” I talk with long enough show me soon enough that there’s something they worship.

  93. says

    I cannot think of a better thread than this one to discuss WHY Jesus Christ matters to a Christian like Youcef Nadarkhani …

    On a thread where a man is going to be KILLED unless he renounces his faith in JESUS CHRIST and claims that allah is god–and muhammad his prophet–then really, there’s no better time than now. But no, instead you would rather quibble about proselytizing, etc? Under the circumstances I find this rather small and petty a thing to address, especially since it’s important to discuss WHY Youcef is taking this stand for Jesus–what with his own LIFE on the line. Yes, of course some of the comments got carried away, but so what! Again, under the circumstance, I have to believe that there’s a little room for discussing Christ on Jihad Watch ESPECIALLY on a thread such as this one!

    Besides, no one is actually proselytizing here, not by a long shot; which by definition means to try and convert someone over to their faith.

  94. says

    Awake, I don’t need to be right ..I was stating my opinion in response to what you wrote, so perhaps it was too bold for your taste. Hey you do the same thing, so whatever. Successful? What are you talking about? And what “valuable lesson”, do tell?

  95. says

    “So I guess I call out the hypocrisy. I have been mislabeled a “hater” for supposedly calling out for the suicide of another, (a charge originated from and perpetuated by YOU champ) but yet you put the Iranian convert to certain death on Christian principles, which you hold dear?”

    Marisol has warned not to drag arguments from one thread to another, which is what you’ve done here …

  96. says

    Don’t play Ole’s game by dividing Jesus from Paul. Both of them were Jews and made no bones about it. Further, if you look closely at Paul’s teaching about husbands and wives, you see he tells us guys to love our wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). Anyone who has aby appreciation for the Messiah’s life and work (as ooposed to that of the Muslim parody or the bloodless New Age critter) knows how far that kind of sacrificial love went.

    And this love for our wives which Paul enjoins is a far cry from the chattel status which Islam bestows on women.