Skip to comments.I am a Christian Man (Two Years Later)
Posted on 12/18/2003 7:48:07 AM PST by Jeff Head
I am a Christian Man (Response to "I am a Muslim Woman")
Originally published November 21, 2001 | By Jeff Head
Posted on 11/21/2001 8:53:40 AM MST by Jeff Head
This article is written to people everywhere who continue to contemplate the 911 attacks on America and how America's reaction to them are shaping our world. It is particularly written to people of reason and good conscience in the Islamic faith. It was originally published, shortly after the 911 attacks, here, on the FreeRepublic conservative forum. I am republishing it in an effort to punctuate the understanding of what we are involved in and the continued need for identifying, tracking down, and bringing to justice those who perpetrated those 911 attacks or those who supported and abetted them. I also do so in the hopes that people of reason and conscience everywhere may have a better understanding of the heritage and background that Christian Americans (who are the vast majority in this nation) hold and how it influences us in the current set of circumstances. The article was also orignallly posted in response to a Ms. Rini, of Indonesia, who posted an article/testimonial about herslef entitled, I am a Muslim Woman.
I was raised to believe in and place my allegiance to God, Family and Country. In that order. My God and the One whom I worship and defer to in all things is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father, who died for all mankind and who will return to this earth someday (I hope soon). He is a God of mercy, compassion and love who taught us to love those who despitefully use us and to turn the other cheek and forgive others ... He also taught that there are times when men, if they do not already own one, must sell their clothing to buy a sword to defend themselves and their free will.
I was raised to respect, cherish and defend to the death the principle of free will. I have a firm conviction that free will, exercised within moral and religious constraint, is the most fundamental principle associated with mankind's ultimate happiness and progress. Based on my own travels and experiences around the world, I believe the single most conducive place for the exercise of that principle in the world today (despite whatever other faults) is the United States of America. Having said that, in my own travels throughout the world in my engineering profession, I have also come to observe and respect many differnet cultures and peoples.
I was taught (by good parents and through my faith) a tolerance for others, a desire to share my faith with anyone willing to listen, and the understanding that not wanting to listen is a perfectly understandable and acceptable right, one I should respect in others and hold dear myself.
I married in my early twenties and have (along with my dear wife) raised five children (actually the youngest is now fouteen and not quite "raised" yet). Each of these five, with minor variations, believes as I believe ... and that is good and is one of the things (in my opinion) that will always keep America strong. I am now 47 years old and have three grandchildren, the first of which was born not long after 911. All three are being raised in the same manner that I was, and so the circle of life and freedom continues.
We abhor immorality, vice and sin. We abhor the threat of force and compulsion even more.
This is because people cannot truly repent and change their lives for the better when coersed. It must come from within themselves...they must freely choose. Hence, in the Christian faith, (with very few exceptions) forebearance, persuasion, teaching and the voice of warning are the tools we are taught to use as opposed to secular law, force, and compulsion to win the hearts of mankind. This, when coupled with the basic tennants in American society regarding free will that I have already discussed, has made for the freest, most prosperous and most tolerant nation on earth. It is important for all to understand that a commitment to these principles and qualities by the vast majortiy of Americans of every stripe and color is what has lifted America up...not pride, arrogance or in any way being somehow genetically or physically better than anyone else.
That same commitment to free will and tolerance has, regrettably, also made for some measure of vice, pornograhpy, drug culture, etc. within America in general. But the levels, despite what you may see or hear on the news, are very low when compared to the whole, and in general, to this day, we are a people governed by the rule of law based on moral constraint...and we continue to work on the ill amongst us through the means I already mentioned, and through wise (and sometimes not so wise) use of those laws when the immoral or sinful activities cross the line and begin to infringe (through force or compulsion) on the rights of others.
I hope this gives people everywhere some flavor of what is underlying in "Christian" America, at least from my perspective living in the "heartland" here ... particualrly when it comes to our feelings about the horror of 911.
This brings me to an important understanding, one that is a critical part of my own testimonial that I have related...a part often unappreciated and misjudged and doubted by those (foreign or domesctic) powers and entities who would use compulsion and violence to change the heritage I just spoke of. That point is this...We WILL fight to the death to defend these principles and visit just retribution on those who try and destroy them.
So, people of reason and faith everywhere, including Ms. Rini, please understand that there are tens of millions of Americans who believe God is love too and that He loves us enough to allow us to be free and make our own individual moral choices (when not infringing on others) and to seek to influence others through persuasion and long suffering.
I know that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of all the nations on earth. I also know that there are good and bad amongst all peoples, parties, sects, denominations and religions. Ms. Rini, I believe your honest testimony about your beliefs and I wish you God's blessings.
At the same time, and this is VERY critical and germaine to the discussion, there are many, many in the Islamic faith (as we see it) who either approve of what happened in America on 911, or who have been to this day, unwilling to condemn it. Please, Ms. Rini, write a codemnation of what happened on 911, a condmenation without any equivocation that somehow blames us for those attacks, to supplement your remarks. That would immeasurably help all of us in America.
We Americans, Christian and otherwise, are very disturbed by a continued general lack of avowed and open condmentation of 911...a condemnation that should reverberate and ring loudly and openly around the entire world, particularly the Islamic world. A condemnation with no excuse, by Islamic clerics both abroad and here in our own country. A continued lack of that loud and clear condemnation is the part of the fuel (along with the continued burning pyre of the WTC and the Pentagon that resides in our hearts, which marks the resting place of thousands of innocents) that continues to feed the feelings of rightous indignation in America.
For all those Islamics who truly believe that God is love and that He is merciful yet Just, then go with God and distance yourself from these others amongst who will not condemn such atrocities ... because these others and those who harbor or abett them WILL continue to feel our terrible retribution. Not a retribution of revenge, rather, one of Justice and a true desire to see that a 911-like experience never happens again.
...and if we somehow are not successful, and there is another similar attack...then we shall start from that moment, and once more do all in our power to defeat and destroy the enemies of free will and moral constraint and see that it never happens again from that point. To paraphrase our President in this...we will not be deterred, we will not falter...we will not fail in this, as God is our witness.
So, again, I am a Christian man. There are scores of millions here just like me...I am nothing special. I believe what I have related to you is something all poeple of good conscience everywhere, particularly in the Islamic world, need to hear and understand.
As a note in passing: I also believe, for example, that millions of good people of reason and conscience in Iraq, who are now free of an evil tyrant who harbored and supported terrorists and who murdered and plundered his own people, have now heard and understand this message, and are responding to it so that they too, can enjoy the true blessings of liberty. In the end, as with all of us, it will be up to them.
Bump. Kudos to you sir.
... Semper Paratus, De Oppresso Liber!
Nah. The guy they put in charge of that is helping OJ look for the real killers.
...the point which makes a huge difference, and marks the major difference between freedom and liberty as opposed to permanent oppression and slavery, both temporal and spiritual...
In Islam there is no free will, only the Will Of Allah.
We have to freely choose with our heart, might, mind and soul to be good, to be moral...to do all we can to adopt and follow God's way...or, in the end, it is meaningless.
Is he the one in the Bruno Magli shoes?
Very profound point and one eminently worth making. In fact the word Islam means something like submission.
I think I would consider Winston Churchill to be one of the greatest men of the 20th century if not the greatest. Perhaps a close second is Whittaker Chambers, who from ignoble beginnings as an American Communist cast off all of the evil that that represents and led the spiritual fight against communism spritually, ideologically and legally. Chambers was the ideological mentor of McCarthy, Nixon, Buckley, and Reagan among many others.
Chambers realized that Communism was the triumph of the enlightenment in which man reigned supreme. Our way of life was the triumph of God, in which God reigned supreme, but as Jeff as so eloquently pointed out, Man retains free will.
In one line, you, Gritty have pointed out the problem with the new totalitarian enemy we now find ourselves faced with and it can be fitted neatly into a Chamberseque view of the world. Our enemies reject free will just as the communists rejected God.
Somewhere, Whittaker Chambers is smiling on this thread.
I'm glad you did. I believe if I'd read this before I would have remembered it. You are able to eloquently put into words what I think most Christians believe, but are unable to articulate. Wonderful piece of writing Jeff.
May God continue to bless you and yours.
Let me ditto that.
With all of the cries for 'security', I fear not for my life, but for my freedom. All that the terrorists can do is kill me. My own government tries to restrict my freedom. There are things worse than death and the loss of liberty is one of the worst of them.
None that don't invariably blame the Jews...
I take this tact regarding raising kids...
If I can somehow be half the parent my folks were...and raise my kids to be twice the parent I am...then I will have contributed tremendously to my community and my nation.
That is one of my prayers for our troops, that their presence and bearing will help in the transofrmation of Iraq...andthat that transformation will stand as a beacon to unalienable rights, religious freedom, freedom of speech and all the rest for the entire Mid East. It would be a miracle, like the fall of the iron curtain, worked by God's hand and in his way.
Merry Christmas to you and yours and may the true spirit, meaning and Peace of this season rest upon your households and all there...and may He motivate and inspire us all to do more good.
Hope you are able to get and read Volume IV. When and if you do, let me know what you think.
Fregards and the best of the season to you and yours.