Wrong Again: Bryan Fischer Says There Are No Muslims in Japan

No. Just. No.
Writing on OneNewsNow, Bryan Fischer says Japan has no terrorism because the nation has no Muslims.
Fischer relies on one Jewish Press article which takes him far away from the facts.
Fischer says Muslims can’t proselytize and there are no Muslim organizations. He says a lot of things that aren’t true.
For the facts, see this Politifacts article. The writers there evaluated similar claims back in November and rated them “pants on fire” which mean blatantly false.
See also this article on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and then this list of Muslim worship centers in Japan.

Donald Trump Calls for Ban on Muslim Travel to the U.S.

From Donald Trump's Twitter page.
From Donald Trump’s Twitter page.

Well, of course he did
Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore is all over it and calls Christians to condemn the idea. I agree the idea should be condemned, but in fact, it would never happen. One doesn’t have to be an expert to know the Constitution would never allow it.
Trump is good at exploiting fear. He probably hopes fear of Muslim terrorism will make him seem like a savior. However, fear can work against him. Many people who value the First Amendment are afraid that a Trump presidency will be a disaster. I believe the latter fear will win out. Daily, Trump is creating a back lash that will undo his chances. At least I hope so.
The Republican front runner is all about keeping even Muslim U.S. citizens out of the country if they travel. He wants to keep them out until we can understand the problem of terrorism which might take awhile.
Where are all of his celebrity pastor supporters now?

Ben Carson's Business Manager on a Muslim in the White House: "Not an issue of religion, it is an issue of one's belief system."

According to Politico, Ben Carson’s business manager Armstrong Williams told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning that Carson’s rejection of the possibility of a Muslim president was “not an issue of religion, it is an issue of one’s belief system, of how they will govern.” 
Someone needs to tell Carson that religions and beliefs systems have a lot in common. Whatever one calls one’s belief system, the Constitution forbids a religious test. Carson is making this unnecessarily difficult.
Carson said there are tenets of Islam which sanction the killing of gays and Jews. Does he not realize what Leviticus says? Is he unaware that some Christian movements have advocated hatred toward Jews?
Carson and his handlers are stereotyping Muslims and displaying group-serving bias regarding Christianity.  One knows the diversity of a social group to which one belongs much better than to an out group. Carson has lumped all Muslims into his stereotyped view of Islam while ignoring similar elements within his own religion.
 

Dean of Liberty Law School Says Islam Not Protected by the First Amendment

Prospective Christian law students pay attention.

Mat Staver, Dean of the Liberty University Law School told OneNewsNow, the “news service” of the American Family Association that Islam is more political ideology than religion and as such does not merit the same religious liberty protections.  Staver said

“One of the issues, however, that needs to be considered is whether or not there will be much emphasis placed on advancing the Muslim cause,” he notes. “Certainly that could be a concern to many people around the country.”

He explains why that should be a concern in a law school.

“Islam is a political ideology. Certainly it takes characteristics of religion, but by and large, at its core, both in the United States and around the world, it is a political ideology,” Staver asserts. “Consequently, to use the same kind of laws for an advancement of a political ideology that you would for religious liberty could eventually cause some concerning issues that we want to address.”

Thomas Jefferson certainly disagreed with this analysis. When Jefferson commented on his Virginia law on religious freedom, he said the law was meant to cover all religions. Specifically, Jefferson wrote:

The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally past; and a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan [Islam], the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.

The Virginia statute is not the First Amendment but it is clear that James Madison, acting in sympathy with Jeffersonian views, intended the same scope for the First Amendment.

Another frightening aspect of Staver’s reasoning is that it could easily be applied to other religions, including Christianity.  Churches that pass out political guides and organize members to vote GOP could easily be considered to be purveyors of a political ideology.

Bryan Fischer: Freedom of religion only for Christians

In the wow, just wow category, Bryan Fischer continued his supremacist ways by stating that constitutional guarantees of freedom of  religion applies only to Christians. To wit:

Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment. 

To bolster his claim, Fischer quotes Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story out of context:

“Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation…
“The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”
Story, writing as a constitutional historian, is quite clear. The purpose of the First Amendment was not “to advance Mohametanism” but to “exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”

However, a elsewhere in the same book, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), Story wrote:

It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic, as well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject. The situation, too, of the different states equally proclaimed the policy, as well as the necessity of such an exclusion. In some of the states episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other presbyterians; in others, congregationalists; in other, quakers; in others again, there was close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it has not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and Protestant, the Calvinist and the Arminian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils, without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship. (596-597)

Justice Story said correctly that most people in the early nation were Christian of one stripe or another. The common understanding was the state would advance Christianity, but Story’s argument, if read in context, was that the United States would be different. In matters of national business, there was not to be a religious test, no inquiry about allegiances to a particular religious view.
Elsewhere in his book, Story writes about the religious tests in England for those pursuing public office. Candidates had to demonstrate allegiance to the Church of England via statements from clergy and involvement in religious ceremony. Such tests according to Story, were designed to keep out “non-conformists of all denominations, infidels, Turks, Jews, heretics, papists, and sectaries…” However, the First Amendment stood against the formation of such tests in the new nation.
Story’s real argument is for a government which respected the individual conscience, saying that the “rights of conscience are, indeed, beyond the just reach of any human power.” (p. 727). Reading the relevant sections, it becomes clear that Fischer has pulled out a section out of the context of Story’s eloquent tribute to freedom of conscience that is the First Amendment.
As an addition to this post, I want to include a lengthy section of Joseph Story’s writing (free on Google books) on religious tests for involvement in public life. Story is commenting specifically on Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Although primarily influenced by Christianity, the founders did not want state limitations on conscience and made that explicit. Story’s commentary blasts religious bigotry and supremacy and should be heeded by those on the Christian right who want to limit the religious freedom of others.

1841. The remaining part of the clause declares, that “no religious test shall ever be required, as a “qualification to any office or public trust, under the “United States.” This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any religious test, or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off for ever every pretence of any alliance between church and state in the national government. The framers of the constitution were fully sensible of the dangers from this source, marked out in the history of other ages and countries ,- and not wholly unknown to our own. They knew, that bigotry was unceasingly vigilant in its stratagems, to secure to itself an exclusive ascendancy over the human mind; and that intolerance was ever ready to arm itself with all the terrors of the civil power to exterminate those, who doubted its dogmas, or resisted its infallibility.
The Catholic and the Protestant had alternately waged the most ferocious and unrelenting warfare on each other; and Protestantism itself, at the very moment, that it was proclaiming the right of private judgment, prescribed boundaries to that right, beyond which if any one dared to pass, he must seal his rashness with the blood of martyrdom. The history of the parent country, too, could not fail to instruct them in the uses, and the abuses of religious tests. They there found the pains and penalties of non-conformity written in no equivocal language, and enforced with a stern and vindictive jealousy.
One hardly knows, how to repress the sentiments of strong indignation, in reading the cool vindication of the laws of England on this subject, (now, happily, for the most part abolished by recent enactments,) by Mr. Justice Blackstone, a man, in many respects distinguished for habitual moderation, and a deep sense of justice. “The second species,” says he “of non-conformists, are those, who offend through a mistaken or perverse zeal. Such were esteemed by our laws, enacted since the time of the reformation, to be papists, and protestant dissenters; both of which were supposed to be equally schismatics in not communicating with the national church; with this difference, that the papists divided from it upon material, though erroneous, reasons; but many of the dissenters, upon matters of indifference, or, in other words, upon no reason at all. Yet certainly our ancestors were mistaken in their plans of compulsion and intolerance. The sin of schism, as such, is by no means the object of temporal coercion and punishment. If, through weakness of intellect, through misdirected piety, through perverseness and acerbity of temper, or, (which is often the case,) through a prospect of secular advantage in herding with a party, men quarrel with the ecclesiastical establishment, the civil magistrate has nothing to do with it; unless their tenets and practice are such, as threaten ruin or disturbance to the state. He is bound, indeed, to protect the established church; and, if this can be better effected, by admitting none but its genuine members to offices of trust and emolument, he is certainly at liberty so to do; the disposal of offices being matter of favour and discretion. But, this point being once secured, all persecution for diversity of opinions, however ridiculous or. absurd they may be, is contrary to every principle of sound policy and civil freedom. The names and subordination of the clergy, the posture of devotion, the materials and colour of the minister’s garment, the joining in a known, or an unknown form of prayer, and other matters of the same kind, must be left to the option of every man’s private judgment.”

Bryan Fischer: Now let’s ban the mosques

The American Family Association has become scary. There I said it.

At one point, I presented facts to the AFA correcting a report from their information source, OneNewsNow, about the American Psychological Association’s task force report on sexual orientation but their reporter hung up on me. I was allowed to rebut some criticism aimed my way which they published as hearsay, but the damage was done. But these are minor problems compared to where Bryan Fischer has taken the group.

I have discussed Fischer’s views before (biblical law, gay nazis) and I suspect will again. Here is one that is really troubling from a group that claims to uphold religious freedom. From Fischer’s blog post, No More Mosques, Period:

Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.

You have to read the rest to grasp the concept. Fischer, fronting an ostensibly Christian group, calls for the coercive power of the state to limit the freedom of expression of Islam. When Islamic nations call for restrictions on Christianity, we rightly criticize them. Well, what about this?

Of course, any group, Islamic, Christian, atheist, gay or straight, who plots rebellion against the government should be investigated and stopped. If there is evidence that a mosque is really a front for terror then make the case and take action. However, in the most obvious of ironies, Fischer wants the government to violate the Constitution with his plan to restrict Islam. Freedoms of religion, association and speech are freedoms we want to protect, right?

Amy Ritter at Hot Air tossed a nurf ball at Fischer and the AFA. She is worried about Fischer declaring his idea in the name of conservatism. I am more concerned about what is coming out of the AFA being considered Christian.

Update: Quickly, I note that another AFA writer criticized Fischer’s stance the next day. That’s nice. However, it still is deeply troubling that someone in leadership at AFA has a platform to call for the undermining of the Constitution in the name of conservatism and Christianity.

Note: Been away for a spell, might be back at it more next week.

Iranian cleric: Promiscuous women cause quakes; Dutch Sheets has the answer

Well, everybody knows that. Read to the end for the rest of the endtimes news…

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI (AP) – 1 hour ago

BEIRUT — A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair.

“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”

Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future.

Some experts have even suggested Iran should move its capital to a less seismically active location. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.

In 2003, a powerful earthquake hit the southern city of Bam, killing 31,000 people — about a quarter of that city’s population — and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.

“A divine authority told me to tell the people to make a general repentance. Why? Because calamities threaten us,” Sedighi said.

Referring to the violence that followed last June’s disputed presidential election, he said, “The political earthquake that occurred was a reaction to some of the actions (that took place). And now, if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God’s power, only God’s power. … So let’s not disappoint God.”

The Iranian government and its security forces have been locked in a bloody battle with a large opposition movement that accuses Ahmadinejad of winning last year’s vote by fraud.

Ahmadinejad made his quake prediction two weeks ago but said he could not give an exact date. He acknowledged that he could not order all of Tehran’s 12 million people to evacuate. “But provisions have to be made. … At least 5 million should leave Tehran so it is less crowded,” the president said.

Minister of Welfare and Social Security Sadeq Mahsooli said prayers and pleas for forgiveness were the best “formulas to repel earthquakes.”

“We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice,” Mahsooli said.

In other news presaging the apocalypse, Dutch Sheets is calling for a big Joel’s army gathering (Joel 2 Gathering) in Poplar Bluffs, MO for June 14-18, 2010. Called the Wilderness Outcry, the  event is necessary to prevent coming hard times. Sheets says unless we act,

The stock market will go well below where it went a few months back—a crash is coming, and soon. More terrorism and violence will occur in our land, perhaps even war. In my spirit I’ve seen buildings crumbling and cities burning. Devastating natural disasters will take place. In general, hard times will be prevalent. Why is this so? Because we have turned from God and His ways. Consider the true condition of America. This assessment is bleak but accurate.

Now he tells us.

Want to cover your bases? Pack up your promiscuous women and head to Poplar Bluffs.

Vanderbilt University professor says Islamic law provides death penalty for homosexuals

Does Uganda want to be an Islamic country or a Christian nation? Listen to this professor from Vanderbilt University say that Islam calls for the death of practicing homosexuals.

The link is here.

You can read more about this professor here.

I wonder if the mainstream press will cover this. I also wonder if the Islamic element of Uganda has infiltrated those Christian clerics who are calling for dramatic punishments and violence.