As much as we dislike giving any more publicity to
Rosie O’Donnell, there are times when she earns it
by her outlandish statements and actions – like rushing
to marry her girl friend during San Francisco’s hiatus
from normalcy in the city’s "same sex marriage" episode
in 2004. . . or her ongoing invective feud with flamboyant
real estate magnate and TV personality Donald Trump . . .
or her outrageous pronouncements that the tragic events
of 9/11 were illusions staged by our government.

Now she may have gone a bit too far, at least for us
who are firm in our Christian convictions. Last week she
made this bold assertion, in a verbatim quote taken from
the transcript of the TV show: "Radical Christianity
is just as threatening as radical Islam."

One is inclined to wonder on what research she is basing
that strong conclusion. For example, in the Islamic holy
book, the Koran, Muhummad’s instructions with respect
to unbelievers is simple: "Slay them wherever ye catch
them." (Surah 2.191) "I will instill terror into the hearts
of unbelievers; smite ye above their necks and smite all
their fingertips off them. (Surah 8:12) And there are more,
many more similar instructions for Islamists.

By contrast, Jesus Christ, the founder of the Christian faith,
defined the great commandment as "Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment,
and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor
as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

Since all those quotes are from the founders of the religions
of Islam and Christianity, they must represent the "extreme"
or "radical" teaching of each religion. It is difficult to follow
Ms. O’Donnell’s logic that showing love to one’s neighbor
is as threatening as beheading anyone who doesn’t believe
as you do.

But that sort of wild, unsubstantiated attack on
the Christian faith is accorded media attention, with no
factual rebuttal presented or even asked for. Perhaps the
only recourse left to us as believers is in the old phrase:
"Consider the source." But when the "source" flits from
one obscenely high paying TV job to another, that source
tends to gain considerable credibility among those of the
American public for whom wealth is a standard of success
and authority.

A memorable quote, and a solid reason why statements
like the above from Rosie O’Donnell have very little lasting
impact upon American minds. "The Americans combine
the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in
their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive of
the one without the other." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

Afterthoughts . . .

An active Dennis Kucinich . . . it doesn’t really
violate our decision not to comment on the 2008
election by mentioning Mr. Kucinich. One has to
wonder if anyone really thinks he is serious about
seeking the Democrat nomination for president.

Anyway, he made the news this past week by sending
to the floor of the House his bill to impeach Vice
President Cheney for "high crimes and misdemeanors."
The bill has been tabled, and no date has been set for it
to reappear. Meantime the organization "Democracy
for America" released their poll that Liberal activists
have chosen Mr. Kucinich as their favorite candidate
for president. The bona fides for the organization?
It was founded by Howard ("The Scream") Dean.

Not exactly a presidential election comment,
but televangelist Pat Robertson lost what little respect
or influence on the so-called "religious right" he still
might have when last week he endorsed Rudy Giuliani
for president. It makes no sense – Giuliani stands for
just about every thing Robertson has opposed during
his years of activity in behalf of conservative issues –
abortion, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration
control. The "religious right" is leaderless – with Jerry
Falwell and Jim Kennedy both gone. Their wannabe
successor, Jim Dobson, had threatened to back a 3rd party
candidate, but now is rumored to be shifting any influence
he may have to former Governor Huckabee. Meantime
Rudy Giuliani is saddled with an endorsement from one
whose main attribute is what has been referred to as his
"dazzling personal wealth."

One more attempt to bring God to court. A couple
of issues ago we mentioned the Nebraska State legislator,
Ernie Chambers, who filed suit against God for what he
termed making terrorist threats and inspiring fear. Now
one Greg Rollins in Kansas City, MO, has filed suit in the
U.S. District Court for Western Missouri, for defects in
designing Rollins and his brother, and for His handling
of the world. In his suit Rollins had demanded $1 trillion.
The suit was dismissed, with Rollins claiming that the
court was afraid to hear a case against God.

Let no one think Muslims are behind the times.
The Las Vegas MGM Mirage casino has announced that it
will develop a $3 billion luxury hotel and entertainment
complex for Muslims on Abu Dhabi Island in the Persian
Gulf. It will be a non-gambling resort, managed by MGM
Mirage, and is expected to open in 2012. Perhaps in 5 years
even the Muslims will have approved gambling. Or perhaps
Rosie O’Donnell will headline the opening show.

And a car to drive around the resort: Following a
proposal originating in Iran, Malaysia’s car maker Proton
is considering the manufacture of a car designed especially
for Muslims – with a compass to indicate the direction of
Mecca wherever they are, and compartments for prayer
scarves and the Koran. At the moment the proposal is
for the vehicle to be called simply an "Islamic car." But
surely they can come up with a better name than that.
"Super Jihad Cruiser" is a possibility.

Back to the First Amendment: Just 45 words, none
complex or difficult to comprehend . . . and yet 218
years later there is still a lack of understanding as to
what they really mean. "Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press, or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances." And last week the results
of a survey by The First Amendment Center reported
that 56% believe that freedom of religion applies to all
religious groups – a decline from 72% in 2000. However,
only 19% remembered that freedom of religion was one
of the rights; 16% named freedom of the press, but a
huge 64% named freedom of speech. Another interesting
result is that nearly two thirds of the respondees believe
the Founders intended America to be a Christian nation,
and more than half believe the Constitution establishes
a Christian nation. And most of the respondees believe
that teachers should be allowed to lead prayers in our
public schools. We may not be far from right in feeling
that moral values will be important in the 2008 elections.

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