By Theodore Shoebat
The state of Texas has accepted Sharia law. The city of Irving, Texas, will be the first to have an official Sharia court in the United States. I did a whole video on this:
According to the report (thanks to Right Scoop):
A group of Muslims in northern Texas has created what may be the first official Shariah law system in the United States.
The Shariah tribunal in Irving, Texas, is trying to assure Americans they’re not planning to follow the type of Shariah law practiced in Muslim countries.
In those places, severe punishments are common, women have very few rights, and blasphemy against Mohammed can result in a death sentence.
But tribunal judge Imam Moujahed Bakhach is denying that will happen in America.
“The misconception about what they see through the media is that Shariah means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands, and we are not in that,” he said. “We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin.”
This illustrates everything wrong with religious liberty. I would like to present to you an argument that I have made against religious liberty, taken from my upcoming book which will be the most exhaustive study ever written on Christian militancy…
Religious equality leads to the inequality of the Christian faith. Light is never identical to darkness, and so the attempt to force to the two to be equal is a support for the darkness to engulf the light. Since all false religions are equal in their error, they wish for all peoples to be equally plunged into deception, while the true religion is seen as a threat by the impious, and needing to be sought for persecution and destruction.
If we are to gauge the level of religious liberty on the basis of Christianity, then we are to heed to Scripture, in which there is no license to false religion, but authority granted to the only true Faith.
Absolute freedom is nonexistent within any body politic.
The question is, how do we determine which acts of religious beliefs are worthy of liberty, and which are meritorious of restraint?
Is there not built within man a natural urge to find God? Yes. But to which god? They are not all the same; thus absolute liberty can only be applied to the one objective God. The natural right to worship can be observed within the realm of venerating the true God Who created the natural order in which exists the desire to seek and to find Him.
In other words, to worship the Creator is in accordance with the natural order, and thus to worship any other god is contrary to the natural order–therefore, error has no right. (See Lefebvre, Religious Liberty Questioned, part 2, pp. 45-46)
For any Christian to deny this would be to implicitly affirm that the identity of the true God is subjective, and left to the judgments of the wavering opinions of man, and that has error has rights.
Liberty cannot be an end unto itself; it is what we do with, and how we protect, that liberty that matters. Liberty is the freedom to make a willing decision, but the object of this liberation must be righteous. The propagation of false religion is an indication of freedom, just as a disease is a proof that the body is functioning; that the immune system is working enough to send signals that it is fighting an illness. But this does not mean that we tolerate the disease, and merely complain about its symptoms, we must sever off the malady, just as we much drive away evil religion. (See Lefebvre, Religious Liberty Questioned, part 1, pp. 5-6)
“Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” (Glations 4:30) These are the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians, and he is referring to Hagar — the bondwoman — and her son Ishmael, being driven out because the latter cannot be a heir with freewoman’s son –Isaac. This is symbolic of two different religions: one being true and bringing freedom, and the other being false and tyrannical. “So then, brethren,” writes St. Paul, “we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” (Galatians 4:31)
Now, the historical context in which Paul is writing is very significant. His letter to the Galatians was dealing with the heretical judaizers who wanted to establish circumcision as necessary for salvation, and Paul is describing them as being of the bondwoman, or being after the flesh. And what is the result of this heresy? Despotism. Paul refers to these heretics as persecutors of the orthodox:
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (Galatians 4:29)
And what is the solution to this problem? St. Paul writes: “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son”. So then, false religion brings despotism, and thus does not deserve liberation. The truth sets us free, and thus error brings us into tyranny. Error has no rights, thus tyranny deserves no liberty.
“But where is your love?” asks the modern. Those who desire not to partake in the crusade against evil for the sake of love, have no love in them. To love, is to help the oppressed and the downtrodden, and in doing so, the religion of the oppressors must be put an end, and the yokes which bound their victims broken. This love, which is of the purest form, is declared in Isaiah:
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. (Isaiah 58:6-8)
Those who uphold error, will afflict and tyrannize those who fight and strive for the Truth. Error brings terror, and truth brings civilization. As we read in the Epistle of St. Barnabas, written at about the late first century or early second century, described the persecutors of the righteous as those involved in falsehood, paganism, witchcraft, absence of compassion for the oppressed, slayer of children, and other crimes and sins:
For it is the way of eternal death, with punishment, in which they that walk meet those things that destroy their own souls. Such are–idolatry, confidence, pride of power, hypocrisy, double-mindedness, adultery, murder, rapine, pride, transgression, deceit, malice, arrogance, witchcraft, covetousness, and the want of the fear of God. In this walk those who are the persecutors of them that are good–haters of truth, lovers of lies; who know not the reward of righteousness, nor cleave to anything that is good; who administer not righteous judgement to the widow and orphan; who watch for wickedness, and not for the fear of the Lord: from whom gentleness and patience are far off; who love vanity, and follow after rewards; having no compassion upon the poor; nor take any pains for such as are heavy laden and oppressed: ready to evil speaking, not knowing him that made him; murderers of children, corrupters of the creature of God, that turn away from the needy, oppress the afflicted; are the advocates of the rich, but unjust judges of the poor; being altogether sinners. (The Catholic Epistle of Barnabas, 20, trans. Wake)
It is no coincidence that those who are followers of false religions and evil practices, are placed in line with those who seek the blood of the righteousness and the innocent, especially children, for in this world one belief must rule, and the struggle is between good and evil, with evil continuously trying the obliterate the good, and evil always trying to vanquish the evil.
God liberated his people from the oppressions of Egypt, but did He then say, “now go out, live and let live, do what you want with your liberty as long you aren’t hurting anyone; go out and observe your individual desires”? No, God through the legislation of Moses, established certain laws which preserved the liberty of Israel by restraining the very ideologies which brought tyranny to the ancient Middle East. They came to liberty, but made sure that it was preserved by restraining ideas and beliefs that deserved restraint.
All people wish to have the liberty to follow their religions, but what do these religions entail? The liberty to observe violent rituals, to spread sedition, to corrupt the Church? To what end will this equality of religions result in? It will result in the death of liberty and triumph of despotism. That is why there is no concept of religious liberty in both Holy Scripture and Church tradition.
If all peoples became Christian, would that be beneficial? Of course, it would lead to self-governance under the divine law placed in our hearts, and in the common peace of man. Now, let us change the situation. If all peoples became Mormon, would that be beneficial? Any look into the history of the Latter-Day Saints tells us that the Mormon religion–with all of its violence, depravity, occultism, and the like–were to ever triumph, society would decay and be plunged into polygamy, the human sacrificial ritual of blood atonement, and a cruel tyranny under concupiscent men.
Christianity, on the other hand, neutralized these very practices and pacified the entire cult on account of the intolerance of numerous American people. Mormonism–regardless of the politeness of its followers–is not beneficial unto itself, while Christianity is.
The conferring to the people the absolute freedom to choose their rights and politicians, and their government, leads the state to fully becoming indifferent to the will and precepts of God, and dependent on the whims of the masses. Nonetheless, if it is allowed that the people plunge themselves into depravity, and become an occultic, paganistic, and heretical society, then the triumph of evil would be unstoppable. This is why the Church must be there; to keep in check the propagation of wicked doctrines. The failure to do so will lead, and has led, to an inevitable victory to tyranny.
There are three options that we must choose, what we decide determines ones inner conviction in fighting this great war with evil. Should evil never be tolerated? Should evil sometimes be tolerated? Or, should evil, sometimes, not be tolerated?
There are only three choices, and if one is a Christian, one must then choose the first of the three. If evil is to never be tolerated, then false religions–which are all inherently evil, being inventions of the devil–must never be permitted to exist and propagate.
Many may argue that this discourse is contrary to love, and that Christ replaced the laws against heresy with the ‘law of love.’ Our modern sense of the word love is as empty as the modern soul, and is as night and day in comparison to the Bible’s perspective on love. Christ did not replace the Law, but summarized it as love. When a certain lawyer asked Jesus on what is the great commandment in the law, He responded:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy souls, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)
All the laws of God, according to Paul, are briefly comprehended in loving one’s neighbor:
Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Romans 13:9)
The Law of Moses, which outlaws heresy, is love; for Christ summarizes the entire Law as loving God and loving one’s neighbor. To hate heresy is to love God–since you are fighting the false doctrines which seek to replace God’s truth–and to love your neighbor, since you are being vigilant for his eternal soul, and for the preservation of civilization and for the prevention of tyranny.
Toleration of all religions–or more correctly, toleration of error–is an idea which was never accepted by the Church, and nor shall it ever be. We may argue that this sentiment is not love, but we cannot equate the modern perception of love with the Biblical view of love.
To God love is not accepting everyone as they are, falsehoods and all, but in part, punishing those who are evil to bring them away from error. This love is explicitly found in the Proverbs:
(He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenth him betimes.) (Proverbs 13:24)
If toleration of evil doctrines is Biblical, then why do the prophets, from Moses onward, call for the end of idolatry and afflict punishments on those who observe false religions? (Augustine, letter 173, trans. Sister Wilfrid Parsons, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 30)
St. Augustine, while rejecting the method of forced conversions, believed that the state had an obligation to prohibit and punish heresy as a measure to prevent the wicked ideas of heretical cults from coming into practice:
No one is indeed to be compelled to embrace the faith against his will; but by the severity, or one might rather say, by the mercy of God; but by the severity, or one might rather say, by the mercy of God, it is common for treachery to be chastised by the scourge of tribulation … for no one can do well unless he has deliberately chosen, and unless he has loved what is in free will; but the fear of punishment keeps the evil desire from escaping beyond the bounds of thought. (Augustine, in Edward Peters, Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe, ch. i, intro to Compelle Intrare, p. 43)
In the time of St. Augustine, the Church was dealing with a most dangerous sect of heretics called the Donatists, founded by Donatus. They were schismatics who broke away from the Catholic Church, and believed with shameless pride that the true church was to be found in Africa alone. In doing this they became very insurrectionist, and like all heretics, tried to replace the Catholic Church. (Augustine, On the Treatment of the Donatists, chs. 1, 3, trans. Sister Wilfrid Parsons, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 30)
They held a fanatic belief in martyrdom, reminiscent to that of the Muslim. They would attack pagan idols simply to be killed by the pagans; they would willfully seek death unlike true Christian martyrs who simply accepted their end when it came. They would threaten armed men with death if they did not kill them.
If they could not find someone to spill their blood, they would jump off cliffs or drown or burn themselves alive. They burnt down homes, stabbed Christians with swords, beat men almost to death, and took others and tied them to millstones and afflicted them with blows. They would also a throw a liquid made up of vinegar and lime into the eyes of Christians to blind them. They took a bishop and severed off his hands and tongue, burnt down churches, threw Bibles into the flames, and even massacred Catholics. (Augustine, On the Treatment of the Donatists, chs. 12, 15, 18, 30; letter 88)
They sent a message to the Catholic Church which said, “Keep away from our flocks, if you do not want us to kill you.” (Augustine, letter 105, trans. Parsons) A Donatist named Restitutus of Victoriana joined the Catholic Church, and this incensed the Donatists so much that they dragged him from his home, beat him and imprisoned him. He was later freed when the Donatist bishop Proculeianus intervened since he knew that it would lead to trouble for his cult. (Augustine, letter 105) This is exactly the type of tyranny the Muslims want to do to Christians.
Another Donatist, Marcian of Urga, joined the Catholic Faith and had to go into hiding from fear of the demonic cult. The Donatists found out where he was hiding, beat him almost to death and then stoned him. For this crime the state burned down the homes of the criminals. Maximinus, a Donatist bishop, also left the cult and joined the Catholic Church, and so angered by this were the Donatist that they sent out this message:
If anyone remains in communion with Maximinus, his house will be burned down. (Augustine, letter 105)
Possidius, the Bishop of Calama, was attacked by the Donatists in the farm of Oliveta, and they “left him half-dead and tried to burn down the house from which we had escaped. They would have done it, too, if the tenants of that same farm had not three times put out the flames which endangered their own safety.” (Augustine, letter 105)
They attacked the Bishop of Bagai in his church, beat him with clubs and stabbed him in the groin. As they dragged his body, with a trail of blood following him, some dirt clogged the wound and stopped the bleeding, sustaining him from death. They dropped his body, and the Christians tried to carry him away. But anger seized the Donatists and they grabbed him again and drove the Christians away with viscousness and kicks.
They thought the Bishop was dead and so they tossed him into a tower. He landed on a soft surface, and was discovered in the evening by some good samaritans who rescued and brought him to a church where he was revived. The Bishop then requested from the Roman emperor that laws be passed to protect the Church from these heretics. (Augustine, On the Treatment of the Donatist, chs. 27-8)
The legislation was of course a policy of intoleration on the Donatists, and this was because, as Augustine observed, “when emperors pass laws favoring falsehood and opposing truth, staunch believers are tested [through persecution] and faithful champions are crowned [with martyrdom]; but, when they pass good laws favoring truth and opposing falsehood, the cruel extremists are constrained by fear and the intelligent are converted.” (Augustine, On the Treatment of the Donatist, ch. 8, brackets mine) When the Donatists began to protest the suppression against their cult, St. Augustine, in a letter written to them, said:
If you are angry with us because you are forced by the decrees of the emperors to rejoin us, you brought this on yourselves by stirring up violence and threats whenever we wished to preach the truth, and you tried to prevent anyone from listening to it in safety or choosing it voluntarily. (Augustine, letter 105)
From all of the violence that this cult cause, there is one thing that we can conclude: the Donatists, even though they cried out that they wanted freedom, did not themselves believe in freedom. If the Donatists were this violent as private citizens, we can only imagine how more brutal they would have been if they had controlled the whole government. From the example of the Donatists we can learn much on the nature and aspirations of dangerous cults: they aggressively strive for power until they have dominated every infrastructure of society — education, the arts, the government — and then they suffocate the whole population, until their beliefs become the generally accepted view, and the Christians are deemed worthy of death and tyranny.
If the Christian Roman state had the same mindset as the modern of today, the Donatists would continued further in their bloodshed. But thank goodness the emperors did not possess the tolerant sentiment, and most fortunately, they listened to St. Augustine who said to the Donatists:
If you, private citizens, so boldly and violently force men either to accept error or to remain in it, how much greater right and duty have we to resist your outrages by means of the lawfully constituted authority, which God has made subject to Christ, according to His prophecy, and so to rescue unfortunate souls from your tyranny, to free them from long-continued false teaching and let them breathe the clear air of truth! (Augustine, letter 105)
Those who preach falsehoods and heresies work arduously for Orthodox Christians to accept their evils, but error has no rights and does not deserve liberty, and so it deserves to be abolished through the force of the state.
If heretics, or the haters of Christianity, are given power, or a position of dominance, they will persecute the Christians just as Cain killed Abel.
It is not the Church which executes these laws, but the state. Therefore it is not for us, as the Church, to become a mob and attack our enemies, but for the government to enact law to protect the Church. Governments do a great mercy to prevent dangerous cults and antichrist sects from prevailing, for to do so prevents the wicked from persecuting Christians, and also from infiltrating the government and using the state to implement tyranny.
This is exactly what we are seeing today, with Muslims and Leftists within the government trying to enact decrees in support of terrorism and socialism.
Some may argue that Christ or the Apostles did not believe in this, but this is because there were no emperors who believed in Christ in those times, and so they would not have enacted laws in favor of the Church. When the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, and were being persecuted under the Pharaoh, did they declare wars against heathens, or establish jurisprudence outlawing heresy or paganism? No, because they did not have the enabling of, nor the influence over the government, to do so.
As soon as they gained their freedom from the oppressions of Egypt, and when they had Moses as their political leader, then they began to observe the Divine Law and launch holy wars. The same can be said for Christian history; the Christians were heavily persecuted by the Roman government, and so had no state to govern. As soon as the Christians took over the empire, then they began to enact the laws of God and commence crusades and holy wars. To isolate Christianity to just the New Testament writings, is like isolating Israel to only the times of its enslavement under Egypt.
Christianity does not end at the New Testament, but continues on, alive and vigorous, and continuously expounding upon holy and inspired prose of the Apostles and the Disciples. The observing of Christian laws do not necessarily need to be observed solely under a purely Biblical government, but also in pagan states through the influence of Christianity.
When the Hebrews were under the neo-Babylonian kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, did they declare war against the pagan king, or attempt to enforce Mosaic law on him because he subscribed to a false religion? No, but when the miracle of Hebrews–Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego–surviving the great furnace, influenced him, he established this decree:
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s words, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, and Meshach, and Abedego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” *Daniel 3:28-29*
Did Daniel, or any other Hebrew within the government, object or reprove the king? God did not want Sidrach, Misach, and Abednego to obey the decree of Babylon and worship the golden image, but God did not have a problem with Nebuchadnezzar issuing a law of intolerance against the haters of Him. (Augustine, On the Treatment of the Donatist, ch. 8)
This is just one section that I have on the dangers and evils of religious liberty from my upcoming book on Christian militancy.