From the poem “Weaker and Wiser” by Jay Arrington
The attack last week by two gunmen at a competition sponsored by the anti-Islamic group the American Freedom Defense Initiative once again highlighted the fact that hate-filled inspired acts do nothing to deter hate-filled inspired acts. In other words, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Cartoonists were invited to the competition in Garland, Texas to compete for $12, 500 for drawing the most satirically disrespectful caricature of the Prophet Mohammed. The gunmen, killed by a nearby traffic cop acted as did previous attackers in France and Denmark in defense of the Prophet Mohammed as the mouthpiece of God in Islamic faith.
In a Salon.com article posted last week, “When it got to the murders, I think I was surprised by that”: An abortion provider’s story David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon printed excerpts from, "Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism" which, chronicled the perils of an abortion doctor. The man, whose work as an abortion doctor dates back at least two decades has been targeted by anti-abortionists for the better part of those years. According to the article, in the early 90s anti-abortionists began a direct and violent campaign against the doctor including arson. The protestors set fire to the doctor’s house and barn. As a result, the doctor and his family lost all of their possessions, which included in addition to their house and barn, three other buildings, a dog, cats and seventeen horses.
Not unlike the followers of Islam who retaliate against disrespectful caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in the name of Allah, anti-abortionists commit acts like those mentioned above in addition to murder in the name of God. In his January 2015 article, Prophet Mohammed cartoons: the roots of Muslim fury ... John Bingham Religious Affairs Editor of the Telegraph wrote, “Judaism, Islam and some strands of Christianity all, to varying degrees, share an aversion to visual images. In the Bible, the Second Commandment forbids not only any depiction of God but “any graven image, or any likeness of anything” in Heaven or Earth. It has not stopped Roman Catholic, Orthodox and, increasingly, Anglican churches being filled with icons and statues of Jesus.” Bingham went on to say, “Many Islamic scholars forbid images of any living thing and few if any permit depictions of God or any prophet – including Mohammed, Abraham and Jesus.”
After a jury found Paul Jennings Hill guilty of murdering Dr. John Britton along with James Barret an abortion clinic escort, The Army of God (AOG) came to Hill’s defense. The AOG issued a statement, which read, “Whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. If in fact Paul Hill did kill or wound abortionist John Britton, and accomplices James Barrett and Mrs. Barrett, his actions are morally justified if they were necessary for the purpose of defending innocent human life." The Army of God is the same group, which claimed responsibility for the 1997 shrapnel bombings by Eric Robert Rudolph of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham.
While I understand the anger felt by those offended by abortions and those offended by the misguided hate-filled in the name of ‘free speech’ BS of some groups and cartoonists, I do not as a Christian agree with or condone retaliation, especially injury and/or murder. Call Him what you will God or Allah, He is the same God of Mohammed and Jesus and therefore the laws and commandments apply to us all. The Sixth Commandment says, “Thou shall not kill” except perhaps in defense of one’s life, home or family. Jesus also mentioned that the greatest expression of love is for a man to lay down his life for his brother, lay down his life not take a life. As far as caricatures are concerned, it would serve us all well to revisit the full text of the Second Commandment.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands who love Me and keep My Commandments.” Exodus 20:2-17…Who love Him and keep His Commandments.
Notice if you will the crux of this commandment. “Do not make any image of what is in heaven above or the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” In other words, make no images of man for which to serve or for which to bow down before and especially do not commit murder defending an insult of the person, a form of worship. God essentially says that we should worship the creator not the creation and certainly not commit murder over hurt feelings or because we disagree with the choices of others.
When Peter severed the ear of the Roman soldier in defense of Christ, Christ reprimanded Peter telling Peter that he who lived by the sword shall die by the sword. If Christ would not allow Peter to defend His (Christ) life with violence then surely the life choices of others and certainly no cartoon is worthy of violent retaliation. We cannot be selective regarding obedience of the commandments. It’s either all or nothing because from the law no one is immune and from the judgment no one shall escape.
By Jay Arrington, Maryland Daily Examiner
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