Have you been to a baseball game lately, or at least followed the news? Going to a game is not like it used to be. You must now submit to a thorough security check.
I'm from Chicago which probably has more gun violence than any city in the country, but these security checks weren't started because they thought somebody was going to bring a gun into a ballpark and start shooting people. They're afraid that somebody is going to blow themselves up.
his kind of security is now the new normal. You have to take your shoes off before getting on an airplane. Why? You might be carrying a bomb. You can't even bring a liquid in your carry-on. Why? You might have a bomb.
But there is something that is not being said here. While it is true that any given person might have a bomb, why is it only now that this has become a concern? We could say that it is because it is happening more often now. But we are still missing the point.
If it were not for one simple common factor in all of this new kind of violence in the world, the world would be generally a pretty safe place. That common factor is that this violence, or terrorism as it is now called, is committed by Muslims. If there were no Muslims, nobody would be worrying about terrorism. If there were no Muslims, nobody would be worrying about bombs. If there were no Muslims, nobody would be screened at airports or ball games.
And, no, this is not xenophobia or Islamophobia. It's just a fact.
But certainly isn't it unfair to think that any and every Muslim is a threat to the safety and security of our society? Nobody is saying that, but the simple answer is yes. But then the answer isn't really simple, and nobody is really trying to understand the question in the first place.
Those who are willing at least to name this problem use expressions like Islamic terrorism, radicalized Islam, Muslim extremists or Islamists, trying to distinguish the problem from the vast majority of Muslims.
But they are missing something very basic here when they do that. A radical or extremist is a person who takes something that is already there and then overdoes it.
If a Christian becomes radical or extreme, he or she may sell all of their belongings and give the money to the poor. They may fast for days at a time or pray all night, or they may give up everything to go to a remote jungle village and spend years developing a written language and then more years translating the Bible into that language.
If a Catholic (Christian) becomes radical, he may take a vow of poverty or celibacy. He may attend mass everyday and go to Confession once a week. He may say the Rosary numbers of times throughout the day.
If a Jew becomes radical, he may start dressing differently, mostly in black and white, mostly black. He won't drive a car on Saturdays. He won't even turn up the heat on Saturday, the Sabbath. And he will only eat certain foods that have been prepared in a certain way.
If a Muslim becomes radical, he kills people. Nobody noticed this before? If a Muslim kills people as a result of become a radical Muslim, that means that there is something already in the religion that accepts or encourages violence in certain situations.
Every Muslim nation in the world became Muslim through killing people. Is there an exception? I asked an ex-Muslim once who was supposed to be knowledgeable about those things, and he said no. No exceptions. Even Mohammed himself formed an army and went out conquering the infidels.
Muslims don't send out missionaries to teach literacy to primitive people so they can read the Word of God in their own language. They don't start medical clinics to care for the sick. They send in warriors to kill people and blow things up, mostly people.
Now certainly few Muslims will ever do anything like this. The problem is that if we don't monitor their social media or the places where they pray, any Muslim can apparently become radicalized. Doesn't matter whether they are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, employed in a good job or not at all, whether they have a family or not. It can happen anywhere without warning. But this only happens with Muslims.
We are constantly being told that Islam is a religion of peace. First of all, nobody would keep having to say that if this was either an obvious, observable fact or if the question was not a contested one. As a Christian with college and a post-grad degree in all things Christian, I know a bit about religious controversies. One thing I know is that controversies that are not settled early when the movement is essentially united never get resolved.
Islam has been around for over 1400 years. It is not going to resolve itself at any time in the future and decide that Islam is indeed a religion of peace, and thereafter all Muslim killing will cease. Muslim killing in the name of Islam is here to stay, and it has been increasing as the dictators who have kept them in check have been removed, often by Western countries who think they are doing the world a favor.
For most of the modern era, Muslim countries were either under European rule or under a dictator who kept things pretty quiet. But the Europeans moved out, and we killed or encouraged the killing of those dictators, and Islam became free once again to be what it is. Besides warring among themselves as to which of the two major Islamic sects is the true one, they have sparked their armies to continue their conquest of Africa and invigorated their persecution of Christians and Jews.
Challenging the West is a different story. A regular war wouldn't work there, but I saw recently that the Muslim Brotherhood established a 100-year plan for the destruction of Western Civilization. It was written in 1928. A major part of the plan is mass migration to the West and then using the freedoms in the West and the new values of tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism to gain acceptance and position, and their rapid population growth would increase their numbers to a critical mass necessary to change policies.
This means that it is not necessary or important that the average Muslim even be aware of this long range plan. He just needs to be part of the throng making its way into Western countries. You can be sure that the Muslim leaders are fully aware of any long-range goals for Islam in the Western world.
People talk about moderate Muslims, but you can't judge a moderate Muslim in a country where Muslims are only 1-2 percent of the population. If you want to see how a true Muslim lives, you need to go to the countries where Muslims are totally free to be themselves, a Muslim country.
There are about 47 Muslim majority countries in the world today, and frankly there isn't one that you would want to live in. There isn't even one you would want to visit, except for those few places that have either ancient relics or sites from the times before Islam came to be. And if you are a Christian or a Jew, there are no Muslim countries in the world where you would feel safe, except for those countries where they still have that strong secular ruler or dictator.
There are organizations that monitor the persecution of Christians in the world, and apart from places like China or North Korea, whcih don't like religion at all, all the major persecuting countries are Muslim.
Do you really think it would be any different here in the future? In Europe, there are parts of countries or whole countries where there are substantial Muslim populations, and those areas are basically unsafe for non-Muslims. Watch some of the hundreds of videos coming out of Europe today about the clash of cultures.
But there is another issue at stake here as well.
We are told that our country is based on freedom of religion, and so Muslims have as much right to be here and practice their religion as anyone else.
But you may have noticed if you have been watching the news that a lot of religious people, particularly Christians, are finding that their religious views and practices are being trumped by the "rights" of other people. So what does that mean, and what does that mean with regard to Muslims?
The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]."
That can only mean one thing. Religion, as understood at that time, was consistent with the highest values of our country and would promote the health and prosperity of it as well. Otherwise our country could not allow or guarantee totally free exercise of religion.
We are being told today that our Founders established a secular nation. But if that were true, then there would be secular values that would be higher than religious ones, and freedom of religious expression could not be guaranteed. Something like tolerance, the newest supreme value, would require Christians to accept things they didn't believe in to accommodate the beliefs and practices of others.
The fact is that Congress had Bibles printed to be used in our public schools and that the Bible was used and taught in our public schools for almost 200 years before the court called supreme somehow found this practice unconstitutional. So when the Founders were thinking of freedom of religious expression, they were thinking of Christian values.
But wouldn't this freedom apply for all religions? Several years after our nation's founding, we went to war with five Muslim countries in northern Africa. Our leaders couldn't understand why they kept attacking our ships and imprisoning our sailors. Their leaders then showed our leaders from the Quran why they had to do this. They were Muslims, and we were not. This is what Muslims do.
I can't imagine our Founders would have accepted or encouraged thousands of Muslims to come to our country and then encourage them to openly practice their religion. We know from their writings that there were indeed some Muslims here already and that the Founders were not against their being here. But they believed that the free exchange of ideas would convince people of what was true, and Christianity would win out in the end.
Our Founders did not see religion as one's personal taste in beliefs, like one's taste in music or food. They understood religion to be a description of reality, telling us what is true and false, right and wrong, good and bad. So a religion is either true or false itself, and one could know which it is, if he really wanted to. The issue can be debated and resolved with open, thoughtful discussions. So to think that all kinds of contradictory moral values can be given free expression is not what they were thinking. Take a poll of Muslims and ask them their views of honor killings or what they should do to a person who converts from Islam to another religion or if violence is ever justified in the name of Islam.
We have already talked about immigration in the last article. And we have noted that immigration is forever. Hundreds become thousands, and thousands become millions. Throughout our nation's history, the vast majority of our immigrants came from Europe, and they assimilated seamlessly into our culture and society. It would be inaccurate to say that Muslims don't, won't or can't assimilate, but the fact is that there are far too many differences between Western Civilization and Islam for this to happen enough. Again, we have the hundreds or thousands of videos coming out of Europe that show this clash.
It would be foolish to experiment with or jeopardize the entire future of our country, thinking that it will be different here. Again, see my article on immigration for a fuller discussion of the purpose of our government in the first place. Our government exists to promote the unity, tranquility and welfare of our people. There is no room, place or authority for our government to put that at risk, and for what? To give some non-Americans a promise of a better life? Living in the United States can probably provide a better life for maybe 7 billion people on the planet. Unless they can all move here, other countries will need to learn what they can about how we became the nation they all want to come to and then duplicate what they can where they are at.
Is this a cruel, heartless thing to say? No, and frankly it's because we are no longer that rich, wonderful nation we used to be. We have to borrow money now from other countries just to pay our bills, and we still don't have enough to do that. We print new money to pay bills with, and that just lowers the standard of living for everybody who already lives here.
This is the third in a series of article on the most important issues of the 2016 presidential campaign. I was going to call the issue terrorism and then discuss Islam in a separate article. But then I saw that this would be redundant. The goal of terrorism is to change a country into a Muslim country. The goal of Muslim migration is to change a country into a Muslim country. The goal of Muslim immigration to our country is to change our country into a Muslim country. This is not the thought of every single Muslim who comes here, no, but this is the thought of Muslim leaders throughout the world, and massive migration is necessary to work that out.
Muslim immigration is unlike any previous immigration to our country. We used to have an American identity that we were proud of and that immigrants gladly embraced and assimilated to. We no longer have that, and there is nothing in Islam that a Muslim thinks should be accommodated to adapt to a new culture. At least permanently. We will need to adapt to them.
There is only one presidential candidate who has even expressed a willingness to stop Muslim immigration even temporarily, and I know of no political leader who even sees a problem here at all.
I have two children and a grandchild on the way. Political and public policy is not just about what effect things will have today. It's about how policies affect the future. I am old enough to see countless changes to our country that younger people see as the way things have always been. I see the direction our country is going in where younger people don't even know what road we are on.
Our Founders and our Constitution stressed how the role of our government to unite our people, promote their tranquility, and secure our liberties for future generations. Our political leaders have proceeded to divide our country into as many groups and subgroups of people as possible, almost all with competing interests, needs and demands. They have stifled our freedoms so as not to "offend" even the smallest of those groups, even if only the slightest possibility exists such a thing might occur. And they have cast everyone as either a victim or an oppressor in a never-ending clash of classes, races and religions.
With the growth of Islam in our country, this dynamic will be repeated yet different in a unique way. And it won't need any help from our politicians. Our nation will bend to their will, first through polite accommodation, then through demands for equality and fairness, and then frankly you will be afraid not to give them everything they want because, frankly, you will be afraid of what will happen if you don't.
Bringing Muslims into our country could be the single worst mistake in our nation's history. Bad laws can be undone. Bad taxes and bad trade policies can be undone. Bad immigration cannot. Donald Trump is the only candidate for president who has talked about stopping, even if only temporarily, Muslim immigration to America.
Larry A. Craig is a pastor and author of the book The Importance of Healing.
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