A friend of mine recently posted the meme above on Facebook, and I thought this was a topic worth discussing. The image refers, of course, to the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5-7). Here is the actual quote in context:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48)
For centuries now, Christians have disagreed regarding whether Jesus was a pacifist. The extreme perspective suggests that Christians should never go to war. Some even suggest that Christians should never defend themselves or others from criminals—that they should accept death rather than harm another human being.
Even accepting Christ’s status as the Prince of Peace, it’s extremely difficult to reconcile that mindset with his exhortation to his followers before his crucifixion:
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. (Luke 22:35-38)
The two swords were “enough” for … what, exactly? It’s not like Jesus was trying to make sure his followers had the proper tools for cutting leather or chopping wood. There are only two reasons to carry a sword: as a weapon for offense and as a weapon for defense. Even if you believed that Jesus didn’t want his disciples to wage war, it’s ridiculous to believe that he meant for them to be completely defenseless against those who want to do them harm.
Don’t Resist Evil? Seriously?
So what did Jesus mean when he said “resist not evil”?
It’s worth pointing out that none of the things mentioned in that particular passage of the Sermon have fatal consequences. If someone slaps us or sues us, takes our stuff or even requires us to go out of our way to accommodate them—those are bearable inconveniences. In modern law, none of these actions would justify the use of deadly force. In that respect, Jesus’ words fall right in line with modern self-defense laws.
So when is self-defense acceptable? The Apostle Paul, in writing to Christians in Rome, made it clear that they were obligated to give homage and obedience to their rulers. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,” he said, while also cautioning the leaders that they should lead in righteousness. “…But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4)
Sure sounds like we’re supposed to “resist evil” after all, doesn’t it? And if you’re in the business of resisting evil, I guarantee that a sword is going to come in handy.
The Words of Jesus Regarding Islam
Back to the meme above. What, specifically, did Jesus say regarding how we should treat Muslims? That’s an easy one: NOTHING. Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount sometime between AD 28 and 30. Muhammad, the engineer of Islamic ideology, was born in AD 570 in Mecca, which is located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Muhammad didn’t get his first “revelation” until he was 40 years old, in about AD 610. It was at that point, or soon thereafter, that Muhammad and his followers began spreading Islam throughout the Arabian peninsula.
And by the way, they spread their religion using one tool in particular: the sword.
Though Christ had nothing to say about how to treat Muslims, the founder of Islam had plenty to say about how to treat Christians. Follow the link and read the words of the “prophet” if you’re not already familiar with his bloodthirsty rhetoric.
If your ignorant friend tries to convince you that Islam is accepting of other religions (because the Qur’an says in one passage that “there shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion”) ask that friend whether he or she understands the principle of abrogation as taught by Muhammad and understood by Muslims. Once you comprehend how Muslims interpret their own holy writ, you’ll know better than to listen to your ignorant friend.
So yes, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. But to those who try to kill you, be a revenger with enough firepower to execute wrath. Those are pretty good rules of engagement, right there.
The Religion of Peace? Seriously?
The meme above only works if you swallow the lie that Islam is the so-called “religion of peace.” Both history and modern events contradict this idiotic fabrication. The religion of Muhammad is utterly incompatible with civilization. Islam is anathema to freedom, and irreconcilably contrary to pluralistic society. As Americans, we claim the right to worship God in our own way. We believe that all men have the same right. We also believe people have the right not to believe or worship at all. That’s classical liberalism, and its been working in Western society for a long time now.
But a majority (or at least a sizeable minority) of Muslims believe that it’s allowable to kill and terrorize others for perceived slights to their own religious beliefs. Remember Charlie Hebdo? How about the “Draw Muhammad” attack in Garland, Texas? Remember back in 2005, when Newsweek falsely reported that Gitmo guards had flushed a copy of the Qur’an down the toilet? How about in 2010, when Florida pastor Terry Jones announced he would burn a pile of Qur’ans on the anniversary of 9/11. Remember all the “peaceful religion” being waged by Muslims around the world when they believed their religion was being insulted?
Muslims believe they are obligated to kill anyone who says anything bad about their pedophile “prophet,” Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim. Their religion teaches them they should kill or or subjugate anyone who doesn’t want to worship Allah—or anyone who doesn’t want to worship any god at all. Islam isn’t a “religion of peace,” but a death cult.
As Christians, we are encouraged to fight evil and resist it in any way we can. Christians fought the evil ideologies of Nazism and Communism throughout the 20th century … and we won. In this new millennium, the biggest threat to people of all religions and nationalities is Islamism, which is best defined as “Islam as it was designed to be practiced.”
Make no mistake. Islam is an evil ideology. It is Satan’s plan on earth: take away everyone’s agency, force them to be “good,” and enforce inequality among the sexes and races. Kill unbelievers, kill those who apostatize. Kill anyone who questions or attempts to reform. Kill anyone who translates the Qur’an into another language. Wage political and religious conquest through lies and terror. These are all fundamental principles of Islam, all of them founded in the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Ahadith.
(Please note: if you have a strong opinion about Islam and you don’t know what the Hadith and Ahadith are, you need to find out and then reconsider your opinions.)
Should I Love My Muslim Neighbors?
Absolutely! If my neighbor is practicing a peaceful form of Islam, I’m obligated as a Christian to treat him as a neighbor and love him. But any peaceful form of Islam is false Islam. The very DNA of the this totalitarian political/religious creed requires conquest and universal conversion. So … either my neighbor is living a false Islam (which would make him kafir and subject to death, under sharia law) or the neighbor is intentionally deceiving me about his or her peaceful motives (i.e., committing taqiyya) and secretly plotting to kill or subjugate me and my family.
We can be sympathetic to the kafir (who, under the Islamic doctrine of takfir, would eventually be killed). We can be friendly, but we should be careful not to try to convert him or her to Christianity. That would constitute apostasy (riddah or irtidād), and again, the penalty in Islam for this is death. Also, we can’t encourage him to reform his religion from within. Reforms would be considered bid’ah say’iah, and does anyone want to guess what the penalty for that is?
That’s right. Death.
Should We Tolerate Intolerance?
In his Sermon, Jesus seemed to make a clear distinction between evil—face-slapping and petty theft and so on—in sharp contrast with the evil evil covered by Paul. Christians in the United States already tolerate evil quite a lot. We are constantly criticized by the left. Our monuments are torn down to please nuisance lawsuits waged by atheists and Satanists. We have our holidays watered down and made meaninglessly secular. We are called bigots for believing what we believe. We are lampooned in the media. And yet, by and large, we follow Jesus’ advice and turn the other cheek.
Case in point: on September 25, 2012, leftist ideologue Barack Hussein Obama made a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in reaction to Islamists’ attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Promulgating the lie that the attacks were a reaction to a stupid Internet video that nobody had actually seen, Obama stated that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
I find it profoundly ironic that, at the same time he uttered these words, a popular musical that lampooned and slandered my religious beliefs (and the religious beliefs of 6.5 million Americans and over 15 million people worldwide) was raking in money on Broadway. But of course, Mormons don’t blow up buildings or commit vindictive massacres in magazine offices when someone makes fun of Joseph Smith. We turn the other cheek—even if it hurts. We follow the example of Jesus, even as Islamists follow the example of Muhammad and behead women and children.
Tolerance should only be granted where tolerance is offered. As Christians, we should support religious freedom and honor the First Amendment. But those who murder and riot to prevent the free speech and religious liberty of others should automatically forfeit their right to live in civilized society. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.
As Christians, we are supposed to love our enemies. But have no obligation to suffer or tolerate evil evil … whether at home or abroad. The millions of Muslims in America who attend fundamentalist mosques, listening to those that preach the destruction of America and death to all Americans, should have no expectation of tolerance from us. Neither should any fundamentalist Islam in any country in the world. Because we aren’t required to suffer the evil of Islamism any more than we should the evils of Nazism and Communism.
Be Polite, Be Professional
Maj. General James N. Mattis served as the Commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from 2010 to 2013. He gave some very good advice to the Marines who served under him in Iraq:
Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
I would suggest that this is the best possible policy regarding Islam and Muslims. Those who follow Muhammad are enemies of Christianity and opponents of liberty. Whether they’re our neighbors or whether they live on the other side of the world, they support an ideology that advocates the complete conquest of the planet. And this is not an “every knee shall bow, every tongue confess” kind of thing. Islam doesn’t suggest that we convert to the religion of Muhammad. They require it. As the Qur’an states:
“And fight them until there is no more fitnah (worshiping gods besides Allah) and the religion will all be for Allah alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshiping gods besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” (Surah 8:39)
Fighting for Allah and Muhammad is an important requirement for membership in the death cult of Islam. And, according to the Qur’an, good Muslims are supposed to continue doing this until “every soul in the heavens and the earth has submitted to Him, willingly or by compulsion….” (Surah 3:83)
No, thank you.
Does Not Play Well with Others
In response to the meme above, someone posted an equally ignorant follow-up meme:
Irony alert: As far as I can tell, there’s just one major world religion that believes in killing gays. (Spoiler alert: NOT CHRISTIANITY.) There’s just one religion with followers who regularly advocate killing people who worship gods other than their own. Only one major religion says that unbelievers should be forced to convert, under penalty of death. By a show of hands, can anyone identify that bloodthirsty cult?
If you didn’t say “Islam,” you haven’t been paying attention.
Islam is a religion that doesn’t play well with other religions. As Christians and Americans, we have no obligation at all to be tolerant of the intolerant, or to give allowances where no allowance are given. Instead, we have an obligation to fight the evil that is Islam:
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Psalm 94:16)
It’s one thing to do good to those who hate us or despitefully use us. But though Jesus willingly carried his own cross to Calvary, he didn’t ever tell us we have to be neighborly to people who are actively plotting to kill us, to destroy our Constitution, to turn our wives into concubines, and to enslave our children. That’s not part of the deal, no matter how clever your meme is.