Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Painting of Jesus on a Cross Being Investigated as Hate Crime

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NBC reported this weekend that a painting of Jesus on the cross was left near a Long Island NY Islamic Center and "police are investigating it as a hate crime."

The police have instructed anyone with knowledge of the incident to call a 1-800 tip line.

Very interesting.

NBC 4 in New York is reporting that "A worker found the large painting of Christ on a cross on the property" of the Islamic center.

They say, "The anti-Muslim message was found hanging from a fence, deemed to be so obviously because it was a mosque."

The "anti-Muslim message" as NBC 4 labels it, was a green and white painting of Jesus' silhouette hanging on a cross.

The man who hung the painting on the fence was caught on video camera---the police are instructing anyone who knows anything about this incident to call the 1-800 line.

News 12 TV in Long Island reports the matter like this: "Members of this North New Hyde mosque feel someone tried to attack their religion Friday."

The News 12 reporter played a comment from a member of the mosque, "The reaction was kind of surprised, that in this community, we've been here since 2002, this is the first time it has happened."

Another member of the mosque explained that although Jesus is considered a prophet in Islam, "that's not what he meant" when the man hung the painting on the center's fence.

"He meant something else," the member said, "We don't believe in image. We don't have image for Jesus, you know. We don't have image for Muhammad."

The mosque leaders, according to News 12, have told police they don't find Jesus offensive necessarily, even though He is not as significant as Muhammad.

But any lack of offense by the leaders of the mosque has not stopped investigators from labeling the incident as a possible hate crime.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim civil rights group, issued a statement urging the person who did the "hate crime" to learn more about Muslim beliefs.

They say this can be a teaching moment, and others can learn of the love Muslims have for Jesus.

They quote a handful of verses from the Quran, which CAIR says demonstrate "the spiritual unity of all the Abrahamic faiths."

Keep in mind, in 2009, CAIR was listed by the US government as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a scheme that provided funding to the terror group Hamas.

Just as authorities are proceeding with their "hate crimes" investigation, even though the Muslim leaders say they aren't offended by Jesus, TV News 12 is reporting the leaders of the mosque are promoting an Interfaith barbeque on July 21 at the mosque "in hopes of building trust and understanding in the community."

At this point, I'm certain I'm being misunderstood by some who already disagree with my positions but regularly read this column anyway.

Let me be clear.

I do not condone any kind of actual hate or discrimination. Nor do I think it was appropriate to put anything on the Muslim's fence including the painting of Jesus on the cross.

Whoever this guy is, and whatever his motive---his action does not serve the cause of Christ well, nor does it change anyone's heart or mind.

However, it does raise several concerns---at least in my mind.

What is a hate crime?

In 2009, hate crimes legislation was brought to the forefront by then President Obama, the homosexual activists and their people in Congress when they approved legislation that broadened the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks on sexual orientation.

The Senate voted 68-29 to approve the measure. It was attached to a $680 billion defense bill.

President Obama signed the bill.

While that bill included new language that supposedly protected an excused person's free exercise of religion, scholars and Christian activists disagreed over whether a minister could be prosecuted because of biblical sermons he might preach on the subject of homosexual behavior.

However, conservative leaders like Tony Perkins, Jim Dobson, and others said the bill was "part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality."

That was 2009. They were right. We are all well aware of how the homosexual community has used this law to advance their agenda.

We are also aware of how government force and the legal system has been used to silence Christians in public education, the media, and the public square.

Is "hate crimes" an honest attempt at justice for all, or a tool and vehicle to silence anyone who disagrees, while advancing an agenda? Often at the expense of other's freedoms.

I believe hate crime legislation as it has become law in recent years has also become a useful tool for those who seek to silence those who have a different opinion.

"Hate speech" legislation has become the Trojan Horse of our times.

What appears to be a gift, becomes a vehicle of destruction.

The danger is that "hate speech" legislation has the potential to eliminate free speech rather than legitimately moderate its extremes.

In 2009 it was focused on those who disapprove of homosexual behavior---for whatever reason.

In 2017 "hate speech" has been more widely defined to include religion and a number of other issues.

The more widely defined the legislation becomes, the more freedom of speech is eroded to the point where political correctness becomes the litmus test of whether any comments or actions are hate-filled or not.

And those who do not conform are marginalized as narrow-minded bigots, homophobes, Islamaphobes, intolerant, ignorant fascists--"clinging to their Bibles and their guns."

When secular progressives are in power, those who believe in traditional biblical values are silenced and punished.

Religious Unity

Secular progressivism demands globalism. Globalism denies individualism under the guise of equity or equality.

The prevailing belief is that if we can just all come together and get along, everything will be just fine.

This unity is contrived.

The unity the Bible teaches is anchored in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. John teaches we become "one" in Christ. "In Christ" is the key.

Jesus made it very clear that we will not have unity with the world---including those religions that deny that Christ is the only begotten Son of the true and living God. And that He was born of a virgin, died on a cross and was raised from the dead to atone for our sins.

In fact, He said, "You will be hated by all for My name's sake" (Matt. 10:22) and "If the world hates you, you know it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" ( John 15:18-20).

Religious unity, as currently presented, is a mirage much like the Trojan Horse. A useful tool for those who seek to manipulate the masses and silence the opposition.

As we watch the chaos in our culture---the attempt to silence or destroy those who do not conform to the politically correct agenda---Stand firm. Pray for our president. Pray for our nation. Trust God. Look up.

Be Blessed.