Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who Should Not Vote

My Smile Politely column is up: Who Should Not Vote.

It's an expansion of a blog post from last week, where I come up with my own test for who should not be qualified to vote.


brownie said...


brownie said...

"However, I can’t think of equivalent falsehoods from Democrats, so help me out here"

How about: "abortion is not murder"?

Robert Sievers said...

You guys are going to get what you deserve.

After the economy collapses and the next major terror attack happens, I will not say "I told you so" out of spite. I will, however, remind you that you wanted change, and change was what you got. Therefore you should rejoice in your upcoming suffereings.

Dan S said...

We already got what we deserved in this country for voting twice for Bush: A collapsing economy, an angry and less safe world and a bankrupted, incompetent government that is now unable to respond strongly to crisis. No, I don't want any more of that, thank you.

PG said...

You already said your "I told you so," Robert. Right here. Anything goes wrong in the next four years -- and you know it will -- you will be waiting to pounce with your little avant-garde "I told you so" sneer instead of getting with the program to make the world a better place.

On the other hand, if Sarah Palin gets elected... I suppose you think it will be the second coming.

Fingtree said...

What a tool! December 12th, 2000 was the worst day in American history. This country could not lower the bar any further, the damage has been done. It was easy to predict; the latest Bushism quote tells you all you need to know: "This thaw—took a while to thaw, it's going to take a while to unthaw."—Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 2008 ~ How could anyone not see how the incompetence of such a baffoon could only lead to catastrophic failure?.

Fingtree said...

Prededing Bill Clinton's Presidency in 1992, Rush Limbaugh released a book I believe called: "The way things ought to be". His dire predictions of what was to come from a Clinton administration was the antithesis of what manifested. The old rule of thumb is; whatever the 'right' spins, turn it around 180 degrees to reveal it's reality. Like Rush Limbaugh saying; "It's a Liberal media".

brownie said...

Not going to touch that one (my abortion baiting) Dan?

Dan S said...


Anonymous said...

I was trying to imagine how one would "bait an abortion"

Fingtree said...

A white Republican male impregnates a black female Democrat. It was consensual sex at the time. While pregnant, they find out the fetus is a Down Syndrome girl. He wants a patriotic boy for future soldier duty, she wants a normal mixed girl that will be smart enough to avoid welfare. Now they are both faced with a choice, the hook is set and baited.

PG said...

This post's for you, Robert.

Al Quaeda endorses McCain, because Bush's aggression in Iraq has done so much to increase recruitment for terrorism.

Robert Sievers said...


Thanks for the article, but I am well versed on how Muslims react to various political maneuvars. To fully understand, please research the treaty of Hudaybiyya, and tell me what happened to the peacful Meccan Quraysh tribe? What happened to the 3 Jewish tribes of Mecca?

PG said...

No idea what you're talking about or what you are implying.

There's also this article, though, about recent Mennonite relations with Muslims.

I guess,in regards to the previous link, I believe that opposition to Islam on ideological grounds or by force, as in Iraq, invariably creates more violence in the world.

Your hatred of Islam may indeed have some basis in certain facts of history, but that hatred does not alleviate or change anything for the better.

Sometimes it is like the person who insists on driving through the intersection because he has the green light, even though he sees a semi-trailer speeding through the red light at the same time. The person may be "right," but his insistence on it doesn't make him any less dead after the collision.

There's a reason Jesus told us to love our enemies. And he said it wouldn't be easy. I can't begin to tell you how much and how often I fail at doing so.

PG said...

A better link to the aforementioned article on Mennonites and Muslims:

Robert Sievers said...


I have read so many articles like the above. Let me share my observations.

First, we are agreed we are to love our enemies. I love Muslims more than any other group I can think of. I feel such grief over a people who want to serve God, but don't even know it isn't God who they are worshipping.

Second, this article stands out for the following: There are many references to the Qur'an and teachings of Muhammad, but but not one from the Bible. I wonder why?

Third, if that speeding vehicle was someone coming to assinante our president or a bunch of school children, yes, I would enter the intersection.

pg, I have spent the last six years learning about Islam. Please do some research about how Muhammad treated his allies. As the example for Muslims, you must understand his actions to understand Islam itself.

PG said...

OK, Robert. I can see how you are always going to speed through the green light.

(Didn't your mother ever teach you to look both ways?)

I am curious about your love for Muslims and about the amount of contact you have had with Muslims. Is it first-hand?

Two, there are probably no references to the Bible in the article because it is a Christian publication and people already know Bible references but are otherwise unfamiliar with Koran references. There's nothing sinister in that.

Three, you have carried the speeding vehicle analogy too far, because it is only you who are convinced that the vehicle has evil motives. Not all agree.

Four,I am impressed by your study of Islam for six years, but I would like to ask the sources of this study. What reference works have you studied? Are they based on evangelical Christian readings of the text or are they based on primary sources and Muslim sources? Were any Muslim sources directly asked and researched (to perhaps counter an evangelical Christian negative bias)?

Thanks for answering this.


Robert Sievers said...


Yes, my contact is first hand. It is true that I have spent more time with real Muslims, and not the moderate half-hearted Westernized ones. There are some I still pray for though I have not seen them for years.

All of the "interfaith" sessions I have been to and and heard about are one-way. This one seems to fit the mold as well. Your contention is that the media outlet ignores Scripture because all its members are so well versed, I can only accept that at face value.

My research comes from a variety of sources including Christian publications, Muslims sources, and personal contact. I have read large sections of ibn Kathir and Al-Bukhari. As for the Christian sources I read, I tend to migrate toward those that come from Muslim background believers, who tend to have a better handle on reality than anyone on either side.

If your only source of knowledge of Islam is what Muslims at interfaith gatherings tell you, I can certainly understand why you feel the way that you do.

PG said...


This has become too abstract. It sounds, although I can't be sure, as if all your contact with Muslims has been through former Muslims who have recanted their faith. Your resistance to "interfaith" meetings seems to indicate that you reject any interaction that is not anti-Muslim from the outset, that you have never approached Islam without prejudice.

Obviously, you are convinced that Islam is evil, in the same way that many Muslims are utterly convinced that Christianity is evil, because they, too, have been exposed to much evidence "proving" it to be so.

For you, war is the only "answer" to such an impasse. For me, war is never an answer at all.

The people pictured in the article are close friends of mine. I know they are extremely well versed in the Bible.

Two years ago, I posted a YouTube clip from the movie Talledega Nights, the scene of prayer at a dinner table.

800,000 people have watched it. Just yesterday, someone posted the following about Christians:

"christians killed 500,000 iraqi children in 1979

christians killed 1.5 million in algeria

christians supported the civil war in lebanon

christians VS christians killed 40,000,000 in WW2

christians supported and established al qeada in 1979 to fight the soviet union

christians killed 1.5 million iraqes for OIL..and trying to convert the other to KKKristianity

christians killed 3 millions in vietnam

christians killed 800,000 in afghanistan

christians supported the civil war in darfur ( sudan ) and killed 200,000 sudanes

christians supported the terrorist state of israel to steal palestine land and killed 750,000 palestinians"

Today, someone else posted this comment:
"i love watching the christians and muslims fight about which fairytale is true!! you guys should do a comedy routine!"

So, Robert, again, both sides are "right" and both sides are running the green light and both sides are getting nowhere fast.

I guess I believe I can be Christian without declaring myself on a "side" in this debate. In fact, I think that's my responsibility as a believer, not to prove the other side is "wrong" but to be an example and live out what I believe to be "right" and let God take care of the details and factoids and statistics of the truth.


Robert Sievers said...


Let me clarify. The personal interaction I have had is with current Muslims. The MBB I refered to were ones I have read.

I am not sure where you saw me advocating war.

You misunderstand me greatly. I am not interested in debate with Muslims. It is true that goes nowhere fast. However, we also must be willing to stand up for truth. Either you have it, or you should be quiet. I will ask you this question. True or false: Would Jesus respect Islam as an institution? I am not referring to its adherants, I refer to the system itself. What Jesus praise Islam?

PG said...

I wonder what gave you the confidence that you have an exclusive on the truth.

You asked: "True or false: Would Jesus respect Islam as an institution? (Would) Jesus praise Islam?"

No. I'm pretty sure he would not, just in the same way I am absolutely confident that he would be loathe and denounce Christianity.


Nate said...

Wow. Not much on here has to do with "Who should vote"

To PG,

" No. I'm pretty sure he would not, just in the same way I am absolutely confident that he would be loathe and denounce Christianity."

I would like you to define this statement for me please. Do you mean to say that He would denounce all Christianity, they way it was written in the Bible? Or do you mean he would just denounce Christianity the way that someone such as John Haggee interprets it?


PG said...

Jesus didn't have much love for organized religion. He disobeyed the laws: healing on the Sabbath, hanging out with rabble, spending money meant for the poor on pleasure, and eating from the land (anybody's land) when he was hungry.

He didn't get along with the Pharisees, which didn't mean he preferred the Sadducces. He just didn't hold much respect for those who interpreted and then enforced their interpretations of the law. He wasn't a dogmatist, as far as I can tell. In other words, he was a liberal.

I think today Jesus would equate James Dobson with the Taliban, two entities that proclaim loudly that they know the law of God, how it must be carried out, and would punish those who think differently.

Christianity as an organized body of law or as a social instrument for punishment and control (i.e. political action to repress human rights, to insist on practice of specific religion in schools, etc.) isn't something I would expect Jesus to have anything to do with.

Robert Sievers said...


We obviously disagree. Let's try it this way. If given the choice, would Jesus prefer you read the Bible, the Qur'an, or the Upanishads?

Or do you think He considers them all of equal value for guidance?

PG said...

I'm not sure what answering your question would prove. That you are right once again? I've read the Upanishads. I have not read the Koran. I surmise from your question and from other things you have said that you believe the Koran is an evil text and that you believe the Torah and the New Testament books are holy texts.

Now, to me, the question is not which text to choose or to speculate which text Jesus would prefer.

I'm more interested in why you, Robert, fear the texts you do not personally prefer and, moreover, what actions you feel are necessary to enforce your preference on the world.

Don't you think God might be big enough to encompass more than you as a single individual are capable of comprehending?

Isn't it a little arrogant to say you know the absolute truth and others don't have access to it?

Again, if you look to the behaviors that have emerged from followers of the Bible or the Koran, it's about a toss-up in terms of violence and repression over history.

Robert Sievers said...


I do not fear the Qur'an one bit. However, I do know its origons, and I will not be quiet about them.

Also, everyone has access to absolute truth. It's just that many people don't choose to accept it.

As for the size of God, He is way bigger than I can comprehend. However, he relates in many ways just exactly who Jesus is. It is you who diminish Him by suggesting He cannot accurately transmit truth to His followers.

PG said...

Interesting, Robert.

I'm glad God transmits absolute truth to you, his follower.

I thought I was a follower, too, but I must be chopped liver because the truth that God transmits to me often seems to contradict the truths you espouse here in words.

Who does God like best, you or me?

Or, just possibly, God is so big he's like Walt Whitman! He contains multitudes and contradicts Himself!

I know the God who transmits truth to me is precisely that big. I can't even comprehend how contradictory things can both be absolutely true.

But I believe it!

Robert Sievers said...


Obviously you believe you have a relationship with God. Let me ask you, how did that happen? If I were a Muslim, what is the good news you have for me as God's follower?

Seriously, pretend I am a Muslim, and I come to you seeking truth. Do you have any to offer me? What good news do you have?

PG said...

I would attempt to demonstrate with my life and actions the way of Christ as I know it. I would not proselytize. Also, I would listen to this dissatisfied Muslim, if he wanted to talk. That's about it. I had written a long answer, but thought the better of it. It was really funny, too.

It started like this:

This is like Halloween.

"Hello, Muslim-looking guy named Robert."

"Trick or treat. Allah be praised."

"All I have are bags of pork chitlins."

"Then I will bomb your house, infidel."

Seriously, if Robert the Muslim were unsure about his AND my faith in general and was curious about it all, I'd suggest we all get together, his people and my people, and have a potluck, without pork.

Then we'd all watch the movie The Matrix.

Robert Sievers said...


do you even believe that people need their sins forgiven? Do you even believe they should be told about the redemptive work of Jesus?

PG said...

Yes, I do. But probably not in the way that you do, not with the language that you use. And I don't like to debate theology.

Your approach is unforgiving and absolutist, whether the target of your convictions is gay or Muslim. As I understand you, people must be converted and changed from what they are into becoming what you are.

I don't see how that benefits anyone.

I don't think you are saving anyone from hell.

I think you are just making things worse.

I think evangelism is (or should be) different from the way it used to be. For starters, people should be accepted for who they are.

We can let it rest for a while, Robert. I have to pack. Let's talk again after the election.