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Monday, February 10, 2014


The questions asked about Trinitarian Christian beliefs by Imam Shamshad Nasir in his Dec. 21st “From the Pulpit” column [ read here: ] were honest, non-hostile and deserve real, credible answers. I’m still waiting on this last part, because the letters and Emails he has received so far from Christians (none of them ministers) have been defensive and evasive to say the least.
Most have responded by saying how awful it is that Muslims are killing Christians in Muslim countries or that Christians can’t criticize Islam in Muslim countries or they will be attacked or killed. As reprehensible as all that is, what does it have to do with answering the Imam’s questions? In a word: nothing. It’s called changing the subject for obvious reasons. This is hardly a new predicament for Christian theology, but it is a major reason people leave Christianity and look elsewhere for rational answers about God and salvation. And if Islam is such an evil and ungodly religion (which it isn’t), why are so many Christians converting to it? Could it be that they investigated it with an open mind and learned the real truth about Islam and its prophet? This is because the true teachings of Islam (go to: reflect more than anything else what Westerners have come to associate with peace, justice, morality, reason, and freedom of religious expression.
And for the record, what Muslims are doing to Christians (and mostly other Muslims) in Muslim countries completely violates God’s commandments in the Holy Quran. Kind of like the violation of the commandments of Jesus when Christian nations have gone to war against other Christian and non-Christian nations over the past 1,700 years, or when they go to war against Muslim nations like Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of “stopping terrorism” because what they really want is oil or other resources.
All these acts of violence by Christians go against the pacifist teachings of Jesus to “turn the other cheek” and “love and forgive your enemies” and to “never oppose evil.” Show me just one example in all of Christian history where a so-called “Christian” nation has ever behaved as Jesus commanded. Don’t examine the history of war or the treatment of Jews (pick any era) or Native Americans or the Japanese Catholics in Nagasaki on Aug. 9th, 1945 or [insert your race, religion or country here] for any evidence of Christ-like behavior -- you will be hard-pressed to find it. Christian charity doled out in the aftermath of economic or military aggression by so-called “Christian” nations is like a rapist giving a bath and a blanket to his rape victim after the crime.
In practical reality, the teachings of Jesus are beautiful as a personal philosophy and code of conduct, where a person willingly accepts a life of poverty, social justice, good works and pacifism, but as a viable system of government, it is largely untenable.
          When I was a young man, I had many questions about Christianity that either never got answered or else the answers I got never made much sense. I remember reading a quote from Thomas Paine that hit the nail on the head: “Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.” And this is one of his tamest quotes on religion!
When I first read this over 30 years ago, I imagined a small boy in Sunday School being told about God’s Master Plan to send His beloved son, Jesus, to die an agonizing and torturous death on a cross to pay for our sins. Now, any son would naturally expect his father to show his love by protecting his son from such a horrific end, not consigning him to it. Can you imagine the shocked mind and fear-filled heart of a boy looking at his father, thinking: “If my dad loves me like God loves Jesus, I’m in big trouble!”
Now imagine that young boy asking his Christian father to explain how God could let his own son die like that, rather than just forgive repentant sinners? Even a child can see that God should be powerful enough to forgive sins without requiring such a gruesome act of murder that certainly shocks the minds of grown adults, let alone young children.
And lastly, in response to the frequent assertions by Christians that no Muslims speak out against terrorism or the persecution and killing of Christians, I can’t speak for all Muslims, but I’ve known Imam Shamshad for almost a decade and I can say with full certainty that he writes and speaks out on a regular basis condemning such evils. See links below:    
Imam Shamshad’s March 2013 essay “Who are the real blasphemers in Pakistan?” which condemned the attack on Christians at Joseph Colony in Lahore, Pakistan:
Here’s the same essay in the Sept.-Oct. 2013 issue of Liberty Magazine, a Christian publication:
In-depth article on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in Nov.-Dec. 2013 issue of Liberty Magazine:
The Imam’s “Letter-to-the-Editor” condemning the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing:
March 2012 essay condemning the Saudi Grand Mufti’s edict calling for the destruction of Christian churches in Arabia:

The Imam’s 2010 essay on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws titled: “What if Jesus were to visit Pakistan?”:

[ A slightly edited versdion of this appeared online at on Feb. 1st, 2014 at this link: ]