Letter to the Editor

Look beyond fear, scare tactics, and mistrust

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dear Editor:

In the Oct. 7 issue of the Nevada Daily Mail, there was a warning issued by Dr. Ron Jones regarding an epidemic of "wrong thinking."

Ten days later, in a Letter to the Editor, Dan Gayman wrote of "The Muslim Invasion of the West." He speaks of "politicians, news media moguls, charitable Christian outreach organizations" being "all for giving these so called refugees asylum and our very pro-Muslim White House and liberals all across the country are quite open to untold numbers of these Muslims coming into the United States of America."

The titles and subjects disturbed me and events of the recent days convinced me that another side of the issue needs to be presented. Candidates for the Presidency have made even stronger assertions and claims the Muslims will subvert our government, establish "Sharia law" to replace our constitution.

Dr. Jones recommends a passage in the Bible of Philippians as a gold mine of helpful doctrine. I would certainly agree with him that it is a gold mine of ideas for the person who seeks to be a Christian. He goes on to point out that many Christians are victims of "wrong thinking." His description is about 1,500 words pointing out that God hates evil and that the Bible promises that the beginning of wisdom is to hate evil. Then he points to an evil as he sees it, saying that we must have an accurate view of Islam. He says "I'll be labeled as 'Islamophobic' and a purveyor of 'hate speech' but this is not true. I love Muslims, as God does, but I hate the inherent evil of Islam."

I wish he had structured his sentence differently, but he goes on to speak of the evil of the Muslim faith. He is related to a person who married a Muslim. I suppose that makes him an expert on the Muslim faith. Dr. Jones mentions that he has tried to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ and tell his relative that he must have eternal life through Jesus. The man remembers his mother and her good qualities and as Dr. Jones puts it, "He just cannot imagine her being in hell."

It would take too many words to try to explain the position, but Dr. Jones says there is no other way than through Jesus. Dr. Jones goes on to tell the means and the purpose of this invasion and some of the acts attributed to these people. One claim he makes is that "Christians and Jews are all to be killed 'wherever they are found.' The man described confesses that he has never read the Qur'an. Dr. Jones "suspects" most Muslims have not and admits that "most Christians have never read the Bible through."

He goes on to cite ridicule of Donald Trump for suggesting that a Muslim that might not be a good candidate for president of the U.S. Several paragraphs are used to point out problems with Muslim beliefs and statements against those beliefs. In addition to problems with the Muslim Brotherhood, which he calls a terrorist organization, he charges that President Obama has installed several of its members into high positions in our government. Speaking of President Obama he makes this statement, "he never uses the two words 'Islamic and terrorists' together, and he should be impeached and tried for treason for facilitating the entrance of the Islamic" Trojan horse' into the U.S."

In the remainder of his opinion, he makes many statements quoting what others have said. Probably one of the statements most open to question quotes a chief justice of the Supreme Court as declaring the U.S. a "Christian nation." Many historians disagree with such a statement point to the freedom of religion clause as evidence.

Others have been very critical of President Obama because he does not link the two words together. My own observation would be that he is being very careful to separate the two words so that all Muslims are not automatically thought of as terrorists. A vast majority of Muslims do not agree with the interpretation placed on them by this very extreme, but relatively small group described as Dr. Jones has done.

Many people who have come to the United States and are members of the Muslim faith are good citizens, many even serving in the forces defending our country. Ten years ago, when I began to hear criticism of Muslims, I was troubled by this criticism.

Hearing a book review regarding the faith, I ordered the book, studied it and found the author to be a woman of very strong faith comfortable using Allah or God with the same meaning. She had been persecuted and driven out of her country because of her beliefs and became a citizen of Canada. Her explanation and many others have expressed very similar beliefs in that Islam stands for a religion of peace and has many of the characteristics attributed to the Christian faith.

In the last few days I have heard her and other women speak out for their faith and what it represents. They are calling members of their faith to stand up for what they believe and express to the rest of the world the true Muslim. The excesses that we hear such as raping children, beating children, killing people who express their faith, and many other kinds of brutality do not belong, and cannot be charged to the faith. Leaders of their mosques, our own leaders are challenging us to accept what is good and turn away from the hatred and fear that is being fostered by many. They are calling for a REFORM movement adhering to truth.

My own understanding of our president's separating the two words terrorist and radical Islamist is that he does not want to link the good people that are in our country and in other nations of the world with the kind of behavior of a few that is being exhibited and causing so much misery in the world. Charge him with being timid or uncertain, if you will. I see him, in his wisdom, trying to communicate truth and lessen the fear and danger of war that seems so close to us.

Let me remind you of a sentence taken directly from Scripture, "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free." More than that, try living by the words of Jesus, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye." Or "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7-3, 15 - RSV)

As a personal witness, I have been treated by a Muslim doctor for lymphoma. I saw his joy as he reported, "There is no evidence of the cancer in your body." Finally, I am not charging Dr. Jones, Mr. Gayman or many who have expressed similar fears as being false prophets. (There is danger in the extremists, who seek power by any means!) I do not like to use the word "radical" for it is a perfectly good word meaning to get to the heart of (truth) of the matter.

Lester Thornton