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Tag: World Events

ObamaShiva?

ObamaShiva?

Shiva Statue

From FoxNews.com:

“Newsweek’s depiction of President Obama on its latest cover has irked some Indian Americans who, fresh off Obama’s visit to the world’s largest democracy, are not happy with the image of the U.S. president as the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva.

“The Newsweek cover shows Obama with several arms carrying policy issues while balancing on one leg. The headline reads: ‘God of All Things’ with a subtitle, ‘Why the Modern Presidency May be too Much for One Person to Handle.'”  

Burning the Quran

Burning the Quran

A Florida pastor says he has called off the Quran burning scheduled for September 11, 2010. No… Wait… That’s not for sure, maybe they’ll do it anyways! (http://us.cnn.com/2010/US/09/09/florida.quran.burning/index.html)

So… Should Christians burn the Quran?

Point 1: There is nothing immoral about burning the Quran.
Point 2: There is nothing illegal about burning the Quran.

Is it offensive to burn the Quran? Should all of the various Christian, Muslim, and political leaders be speaking out against this burning?

There is no such God given right to “not be offended.”

I remember getting an email once calling on all Christians to contact some television network because what they were showing was “offensive to Christians.”

I don’t care if television is offensive to Christians. I don’t really care if it is offensive to anybody.

I do care if the material is inappropriate for a general public audience or for the age group that may be watching. I may choose not to watch it if it is hostile to God or to Christians.

But whether or not it is “offensive” to burn the Quran isn’t really that important. I am not concerned if people burn the Bible either. As long as they paid for them, they can do with them whatever they want.

So should we be held hostage by the supposed millions who may act childishly and riot, etc. if this pastor burns Qurans?

A lot is being said to condemn this pastor, but where are the voices condemning such absurd behavior as the predicted response?

I for one don’t intend to condemn this pastor because others will act wrongly as a result of his actions.

He is not doing anything immoral, he is not doing anything illegal, and it doesn’t really matter if it is offensive.

There are two other important questions though:

1) What good will come of this Quran burning? Will anything useful be achieved?
2) Is this pastor choosing the right battle to fight here, by burning these Qurans?

Try as I might, I cannot think of anything useful that will be achieved. It is already established that he has the right to do it. Everyone will choose to either agree or condemn him, but what is the point? “The Quran is bad?” “Islam is bad?”

I don’t believe in Islam. I don’t believe all religions are equal. I don’t believe all religions are true. I’m not afraid to say that I hope all Muslims leave that system and find saving faith in Jesus Christ instead. But I don’t need to rub that in the face of Muslims. Many Muslims believe that I have chosen a false religion by believing that Jesus is God and that Mohamed is not a prophet of the One True God. I am not threatened or offended by their opinion.

I could still be neighbors with a Muslim. I could even be friends. I could talk to a Muslim respectfully about the differences between our religions. I wouldn’t talk about that all the time though. Perhaps some good food and talking about family, weather, fun, hope, etc. would be an important part of our conversation!

If a Muslim asked me “what about this guy who is burning Qurans?” I would say “ignore him, it is not relevant.”

I wish to reach out to Muslims, not unnecessarily alienate them. I am not willing to claim that “all religions are good” in order to meet this goal, but I am willing to avoid stupid provocation or useless conflict.

In the end, if this pastor were someone that I knew personally, I would say “don’t waste your time burning Qurans. Nobody will benefit. God won’t benefit. No Muslims will give their lives to Jesus as a result. All you will get is a whole lot of grief and no benefit.”

I would like to see a public figure respond to this pastor and this Quran burning by saying “whatever, can we talk about something that matters?”

It’s only an issue because of all the hype.

Victory in Iraq?

Victory in Iraq?

I just watched President Obama’s speech on Iraq.

I appreciated that he did not seem to be diving into any “I told you so” kind of talk.

The speech seemed mostly consisting of patriotic rhetoric.

So… Did America win the war in Iraq?

  1. Saddam Hussein was removed from power.
  2. Iraqi WMDs are either gone or in Syria, but they don’t have them now.
  3. Iraq has a government. I am not sure that the U.S. can do anything more militarily to ensure that. I agree with the President that this is ultimately up to the Iraqi people and their natural leadership.

Perhaps we should have pulled out a bit more slowly and it certainly should have been done with much less “we’re losing, it was wrong, so let’s leave” kind of rhetoric (as in what happened in the last presidential campaign).

I think if John McCain would have been elected, the timing of our withdrawal would have been historically similar. That is, it would have only been a few years longer before we pulled out of Iraq. That may be a long time in terms of U.S. Presidential Elections, but it would not have been that long in terms of history.

In other words, President Obama’s election has very little to do in real history with the draw down in Iraq.

I give all of the credit to President Bush and the troops. The results in Iraq would have been disastrous if John Kerry had won in 2004 and actually pulled us out then. (I doubt he would have actually pulled us out.)

I am glad that Obama didn’t pull out as fast as he seemed to think we should during the campaign.

Summary: The U.S. and its coalition of friends has won the war in Iraq as far as achieving the major objectives is concerned. We are pulling out pre-maturely, but only barely pre-maturely (by perhaps 2-3 years).

I’m not an expert on military but there are my thoughts. For free.

🙂