Monday, July 21, 2014

Radical Christians Follow Terrorists’ Model

ISIS terrorists
Over the weekend, Islamic militants began enforcing an ancient Muslim contract that forces nonbelievers to convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death.  The Islamic State, an al Qaeda clone, took over northern Iraq last month, and imposed a “dhimma” contract on Saturday, appropriately the Jewish Sabbath.

Naturally, thousands of people have fled the area rather than convert, pay the “jizya” tax or die.

The situation has caused great horror in this country as the insurgents revert to the Islamic demands that date back 1,400 years.  Then, Muslim armies, fueled by religious zeal, overran the Middle East and northern Africa by offering residents the same three dismal choices.

Unfortunately, the only difference between Muslim and Christian zealots is one of degrees.  Based on the strident comments by American religious leaders, given the chance, Christians wouldn’t offer a tax or the opportunity to convert to nonbelievers.

Consider the statement by Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit who disguises her intense hatred with a smile:  “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

She was echoed by Gary Potter, president of Catholics for Christian Political Action: “When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil."
Then there’s Randall Terry, founder of the Society for Truth and Justice and of Operation Rescue (STJOR), an anti-abortion group, "I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."

The real difference is that while Muslims can impose their will because religion is the government, in the United States, with its Constitutional separating church and state, Christian extremists can only talk and dream of their ideal Christian Eden.

And what a world it will be.

Violent: “As soon as Jesus sits on his throne he’s gonna rule the world with a rod of iron. That means he’s gonna make the ACLU do what he wants them to. That means you’re not gonna have to ask if you can pray in public school. We will live by the law of God and no other law,” noted Cornerstone Church's Rev. John Hagee.  He is the minister who caused so much trouble for 2008 Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Controlled: Dr. James Kennedy, head of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and a firm believer that evolution is a myth, wrote, "This is our land. This is our world. This is our heritage, and with God's help, we shall reclaim this nation for Jesus Christ. And no power on earth can stop us."

Limited Laws: “Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments,” demanded Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and darling of the right wing.  

"America is under the judgment of God. And if we are ever going to rebuild this country, it must be under God's law. Our goal must be simple: We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No apologies,” claimed Ralph Terry of STJOR, who has developed a well-earned reputation for spouting nonsense.

Filled with hatred for nonbelievers: "What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time... I honestly believe that in my lifetime we will see a country once again governed by Christians..." Religious News Service editorialized, as if every American president hasn't been a Christian.

"We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way,” insisted Dr. Jay Grimstead, founder of a Christian outreach program called Coalition on Revival. 

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel," wrote author Gary North in his book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism, which was published by the Institute for Christian Economics.

He added in The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right in Christianity and Civilization: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture, "So let us be blunt about it: We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will be get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” 

Uneducated: "The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ," recommended Dr. Kennedy. 

"We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America," one-time presidential candidate and political pundit Pat Buchanan said.
"The Church has through the centuries, understood that ideas are really more dangerous than other weapons. Their use should be restricted,” added Francis J. Lally, American Roman Catholic Monsignor.

The late Rev. Jerry Falwell concluded, "One day, I hope in the next ten years, I trust that we will have more Christian day schools than there are public schools. I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be.”

What the Muslim extremists in Iraq are doing is wrong.  But, would it be any different if their Christian counterparts in this country got control?

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history.  He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  You can reach him at  He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.

You can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion for Dummies, at


  1. A zealot is a zealot, no matter what religion he or she espouses.

  2. You are correct. However, zealots killing in the name of a god who they believe espouses peace are really vile.