So here I am, reading an article called ‘The Pope on Islam‘ by a Dominic Lawson.
Lawson obviously has a vain view of himself, setting himself up as some intellectual man of courage, daring to speak out the things which others only dare think…etc..etc…
He claims that, despite claims to the contrary from moderates on both sides, the religions are natural enemies with mutually offensive beliefs.
He says “Christianity exists only on the basis that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Islam exists only on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohamed and that the Koran contains the actual words of God” – ignoring completely the simple fact that both religions share one common notion, i.e. monotheism.
He also fails to see that some issues are due to chronological issues.
For example, Islam, coming after Christianity, clearly calls both Jews and Christians ‘people of the book’ – giving them a distinct position not shared with Buddhism, for example.
Dominic, published in the Hamilton Spectator, wants to start a fire.
He quotes an Islamic belief that Jesus could not have been the son of God, and although that may be true, he implies therefore that Moslems see Jesus as a liar, or a deluded fool.
In fact, and if he doesn’t know better then he just hasn’t done his homework, nothing could be further from the truth. The traditional Islamic view, which is (by the way) not contradicted by the Bible itself, is that Jesus was a prophet, and as such is held in very high regard within Islamic circles.
The divinity (or not) of Jesus has always been in dispute, even within earlier Christian circles. I need mention, for example, the adherents of docetism – as well as others – who saw a distinct difference between a moral Jesus and a Divine Christ…
In any case, as anybody who’s done some research would know – the whole ‘Son of God’ thing came later, as did the Trinity concept, which to this day, nobody quite has a grip on.
I remember going through the Jesus quotations in the Bible before, and to my memory, although he does use the idea of God having children, not once did I see it used exclusively. For example, I would notice phrases like ‘our heavenly father’, etc…
In short, when Dominic says “If Jesus was not the Son of God then he, too, was deluded or a liar” – as though this were the Islamic view, he is lying. It’s simply not true. Moslems might consider the vast majority of Christians to be confused or deluded on this point, but none of them believe that Jesus is guilty of this delusion. The guilt for this particular mess is thrown at the feet of the Christian Church, and at the Council of Nicaea, etc…
Also – and this is where Dominic is simply being disingenuous – he quotes a then Cardinal Ratzinger as saying that “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning”. This is where I would laugh if this matter were not so serious for so many. The idea that anybody would today claim that the Church has not been a political entity with political aspirations is absolutely ridiculous. We need only recall that since Constantine the Church has been a political entity, in fact, molded, some have said, for political purposes. For centuries it was the Church and the Papacy that crowned kings in Europe. How is that not political? And yet, here comes Dominic The Inflamer, centuries later, after Napoleon grabbed the crown back from the church, quoting Ratzinger in claiming that the Church from the beginning had no political motive.
Maybe next week Dominic will claim that just because he uses a quote does not necessarily mean he feels the same way.
I leave you with these last words:
“There has only ever been one Christian, and he died on the cross.” – Nietzsche
Dominic? I don’t think so.