-with permission of course. Because who can resist dirty jokes AND theology lessons all wrapped into one?!?
(So go ahead Mr.Cognoski, rape/pillage, do whatever it is you do with Bache-Wiig fodder....you know you can't help yourself)
Amir loosens your lug nuts?! I hope it's still Abram that makes your wheels fly off.
Good, honest post. Couple comments:
1) As Christians, or Messianic Jews who believe that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Savior (Messiah), we don't have to pray five times a day, as Muslims are commanded to do. We're supposed to pray without ceasing. Of course, G-D is practical, and that command speaks to having a heart inclined toward the L-RD in all things ...a prayerful attitude at all times. I fail that, you do, all Christians do, hence the need we ALL have for a Savior/Messiah. We all (Muslims and Christians and “you name ‘em”) are very quick to point each others’ imperfections and hypocrisy. I often hear people say that Christians are not perfect, and are hypocritical – no kidding! What an insightful and incisive conclusion. That’s not to say that because that statement is true that we Christians somehow receive a “pass” for bad behavior (of which there is much, and I “own” my share). The truth in the statement just demonstrates the need we have for Jesus, and His sacrifice for ALL of us. When people say to me, “Aw, the church is just full of hypocrites!” My response is to ask where they think we should be. It’s like complaining about fat people being at the gym. Where would it better fit one’s expectations for “fat people” to be? The ice cream parlor? Burger King?
2) Islam is unapologetically extremely bold an aggressive about world domination. Christians, on the other hand, also want the entire world won for Christ. My personal opinion is that the overall tone and tactics of the two faiths, in securing this shared desire, is quite different (with good and bad apples on both sides).
3) I got to know Amir quite well during the campaign. There weren’t too many people I enjoyed being around more than him. He's a friend, but I, too, questioned his motives, and witnessed perfectly moral and legal tactics with which I didn't agree – ones that are just not cool in my book. However, we all made mistakes in the campaign (me getting less than 9% of the vote was the fundamental error under which all others probably fell for me! Jk).
4) Not voting for an Islamic believer because they're Islamic is not racist. Muslims do not constitute a race. Islam is found in every culture. Muslims are found in every demographic. If someone pulls the "race card" on someone else, using this argument, the first party is uninformed, or unskilled in debate. When this happens, I suggest reminding them that it is the one who "pulls the card first" (using race negatively in any manner) is the one who is displaying racism. Throwing out the word "racist" to get the upper hand in and argument/debate is sometimes called for, and sometimes not. We all must be discerning, calm, rational and thoughtful when this happens in a discussion or debate (unless one IS a racist, then, in my book, they've lost all credibility for social and political intercourse [the use of that unfortunate word is just for you, Dez, to keep the trend alive from the first sentence!). Not voting for someone because of their race or sex, is just plain stupid (and, yes, the proper term here is "sex", not "gender", as uncomfortable as that term is to use sometimes in this context - see the "lug nuts" comment above if your getting the vapors, Destiny).
5) I’m sure it was just a throw-away joking comment on your part, but Abraham of the Bible (Old Testament, or the “Tenach”) was not killing his son because he became a Christian. G-D asked Abraham to sacrifice his son for one purpose – to prove to Abraham himself, that he had the faith (not to mention chutzpah) to go through with it in obedience to G-D. G-D didn’t need to “find out” if Abraham had the faith…G-D’s omniscient. If G-D doesn’t already know stuff like that, them I gotta REALLY “rethink my thinking” on Him, you know?! Abraham had to plum the depths of his own faith and willingness to obey G-D, if he was really going to believe in himself enough to pull-off what G-D was asking – be the earthly father of G-D’s people! Ever said to yourself after succeeding at a particularly difficult task, “Wow, I can’t believe I accomplished that!” And from that comes the boldness to go the next thing, and so on.
6) Personally, I was never treated with more respect and genuine kindness than when I spoke at the Mosque here in Richardson. They are terrific people. But, as a believer in Christ, and, thereby a supporter of and believer in Israel, my personal inclination to vote for a Muslim is dimmed in the light of, at the very least, Islam’s questioning Israel’s position on what Israel considers its G-D given land (I am aware of the Islamic argument for the same case in its favor, too). Worse than that, at the very core many Muslims’ personal faith (possibly not all), is the question of Israel’s right to exist in any form. This conflict was first brought to light for me by Chuck Eisemann. Over coffee, way back in December, we had discussed my faith. His genuine response was to ask how I would be able to work and get along with a Muslim (…should one run and win). My answer then was in the affirmative – no problem, whatsoever. The Richardson City Council is never going to be voting on Israel’s or Palestine’s right to exist. We’re dealing with transfer stations, bad sidewalks and a perfectly good retaining wall behind a doctor’s office that’s scheduled to be replaced as a “thank you” for political endorsements and support. How would it be to work with Amir, had I made it onto the City Council? I would’ve loved every minute of it. Amir isn’t the one who made a big deal out of being a Muslim. I did witness / over-hear him cashing in a little of the “Muslim equity” when, on the campaign trail, he would run up to fellow Muslims to hand them his brochure, and say things like, “We’ve gotta stick together.” But, guess what. I tapped into a little of my own equity, and did that with Christians, too. Both Amir and I genuinely reached out to the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike in order to court their votes. I believe we found all of them to be very genuine people, who care about Richardson.
7) But decisions about who to vote for need to be reached after looking closely at one’s own core beliefs, and if they are compatible with the core beliefs (if you can ascertain them) of the one who seeks our vote. We should judge adherents to a faith by their actions. What has been done in the name if Islam, and what are Muslims willing to do to insure world domination? To what conclusion does the preponderance of evidence lead one to in answering this question? To be fair, let’s compare and contrast Jews’ and Christians’ motives and tactics toward the same end. If one’s choice for whom to vote is based on “likability” and personality alone, then that person is choosing poorly. They are making their decision in very murky, choppy waters, bobbing along without a rudder in the Sea of Subjectivity – but that’s how most of us choose, frankly.