• Huge Odd Eric

    The article refers to the North Carolina murders as being motivated by animus toward the Muslim faith of the victims. That has not even been alleged by law enforcement, much less has it been established. Rather, it is entirely unsupported speculation by the family of the victims.

  • Richie

    The most endangered faith in the world today is Christianity.

    – Great observation.
    What is the world doing about stopping the Islamic persecution of those of other religious faith?

  • David T

    Christians since the time of Jesus (earliest Christians) are fast disappearing from countries that were once Christian. The few that speak Aramaic in their native lands have been displaced. The world silently watches Christian persecution in the Middle East, a place that was home to Christians long before the Islamic invaders conquered.

    It’s time to reiterate that Islamic intolerance end and ensuring religious freedom in the Middle East is pivotal to this process.

  • rub
  • Tom Downs

    Get a copy of Jenkins’ The Lost History of Christianity. Christianity was once the largest religion in the East: Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It shrank as it had the habit of making war on itself (one faction against another over doctrine)… that and its willingness to aligning itself with loosing governments. It wasn’t so much a victim of persecution as its own bad judgment and hubris.
    It has long been a question whether Christianity in the West would loose its way and suffer the same consequences.

  • opheliart

    Tom Downs,

    Yes, very interesting what you say here, but as history repeats, it does not happen exactly the same. In looking at this as moving parts, there is a striving for connectedness—each coming into a place of sustainability—and those (religious sects) not able to find common ground within a place of agreement with Humanity will weaken and dissolve. Christianity will become something other, but will retain its core statement of faith: God and Man in witness of viable truths.

  • Olafur

    If you looking for a book to read, you should look into reading the book “The Sword of the Prophet: Islam History, Theology, and Impact On The World”, this is a good book on history that is usually ignored by those that are not well read on history.

  • Rabbi Salkin,
    your sentiment is lovely but you break my heart.
    I salute your well-meaning humanity (and that is what it is) which is radiating from your comments.

    Human empathy for other humans is exactly what connects all of us.
    Unfortunately, you mentioned Christ. Please don’t go there.

    Everyone must take the time to understand our common human dilemma.
    It is religion itself:

    “Bring to me my enemies and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Slay them” – ALLAH (Sura 9:22)
    “Infidels are those who declare: “God is the Christ, the son of Mary.” – Allah (Sura 5:17)
    “Make war on the infidels who dwell around you.” – Allah (Sura 9:123)
    “Kill the non-believers in daylight” – Yahweh (Deuteronomy)

    Do not direct people to the New Testament, whatever you do:

    ”My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter…surrounded by a few followers, he recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them.”
    “In boundless love as a Christian….to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers…”
    – Adolf Hitler, April 12, 1922

    As a former Christian, and as a humanist – please don’t invoke these nightmarish fables of Jesus, Yahweh and Allah.

    The discouragement and abandonement of religion would be a better thing to talk about after these tragedies.

  • Richie,

    “What is the world doing about stopping the Islamic persecution…”

    All religions persecute.
    They all need to be discouraged and abandoned. There is no religion of peace.
    The Islamic world is urgently in need of secularism and reform.

  • Jack

    Rabbi Salkin, wonderful article as usual. You are the conscience of this web site in a lot of ways. Even when I disagree with you, I deeply respect your civility and basic decency. I hope your congregation appreciates you as their rabbi.

  • Jack

    I guess for Max, there is no moratorium on Jesus-bashing.

  • Jack

    While I’m obviously not a Muslim, I’m glad (but not surprised) that the rabbi mentioned Muslim victims of the same radical Islamist hatred that is being directed against Christians. There are Muslims who would lay down their lives to stop non-Muslims from being killed. I believe Jesus is Lord — and I also believe that God sees beyond our theological professions and into the depths of human hearts…..and therefore knows who’s who and what’s what.

  • Jack

    Max, you’re contradicting yourself. On the one hand, you’re calling for all religions to be “abandoned.” On the other hand, you’re calling for “the Islamic world” to “reform.”

    Which is it, Max? Should religions be abandoned, or should they be reformed? The latter necessarily excludes the former, because you obviously can’t reform something you’ve abandoned.

  • I am not contradicting myself.
    Nobody can abandon Islam, Jack.
    Unless it is reformed nobody can leave it without being killed. You should read the Q’uran and learn about other religions so these things are clear to you.

    Ask Ayan Hirsi Ali about her constant death threats even from her own family.

    Islam needs THIS reform:
    Apostasy must not be a death sentence.

    Then it can be abandoned – all of it.

  • As long as Jesus preaches hatred of gays
    and bigotry against non-Christians I shall not rest! Why should I?

    “I never knew you” – JESUS

    What a creepy jerk your Jesus is.

  • “I deeply respect your civility and basic decency.”

    Basic decency, civility and honesty.
    Those are the only things worth respecting in anyone.

    Rabbi Salkin shows that his loyalty is to humanity. Not to a doctrine. Not to a religion (as is clear from his comments).

    When I help at Hospice it doesn’t matter to me what religion or background anyone is. You hold their hands, you join them in a prayer (if that is what they want) – and you try to be there for one thing only – to do what you can to help them.

    Decency, humanity and honesty get no attention from religion.
    Thank You Rabbi Salkin for being better; more decent and more moral than any of these gods I keep being told exist.

  • Jack

    But who’s going to abandon it after taking the time and effort to reform it?

    Reform implies that something is worth working on. Abandonment implies the opposite.

    Pick a horse and ride it, Max. You can’t have it both ways.

  • Jack

    Max, I’d like to know the real story of Max, not the fraudulent one.

  • Jack

    Well, Max, if you and I agree that Rabbi Salkin is a decent man, why did you berate him for being decent?

    One of the hallmarks of human decency is to act with kindness and gentleness even toward holders of belief systems with which one disagrees. It’s to do everything in one’s power to find commonalities….to build bridges, while still standing for one’s own beliefs without compromise.

    That’s the mark of a decent man…..and that’s what I see in the rabbi’s columns. He is in no way a Christian, or a Muslim, or an atheist, or any number of other things. But…..his instinct is toward kindliness and reason toward people of other beliefs. If he can find something in common, he will stress that.

    It’s because, unlike you, he is no fanatic. He puts people first. He is not on some fanatical quest to destroy, as you are. He is a builder. That’s obvious.

  • Jack

    Just wanted to add that just as Jewish leaders like Rabbi Salkin are standing up for persecuted Christians around the world, so are Christians of nearly every stripe in America standing up overwhelmingly for Israel and the Jewish people.

    We as evangelicals are most noted for that, but the fact remains that support for Israel is not confined to evangelical circles. Far from it…..I know Catholics and mainline Protestants who feel he same way, that Israel’s cause is just, and are as concerned as we are about its survival. Even in churches that have been cool to Israel for decades, there are plenty of people in the pews who disagree with their church leadership on that issue.

    One more point: The movement to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians abroad has had Jewish support from the get-go. I have been in rooms where Jews have argued passionately for Christians to wake up and stand for persecuted Christians around the world. I recall the late Abe Rosenthal of the NY Times and how magnificently he stood up once he learned about the persecution. I recall Nat Hentoff of the Village Voice standing up, too. And there was Michael Horowitz, a one-man army for persecuted Christians in the early days. And today, Malcolm Hoenlein has been superb on this issue.

    Rabbi Salkin has answered a call as they have and did. God bless him.

  • Jack,

    “why did you berate him for being decent?
    I applauded his decency, Jack – his humanism. I berated only religious impulse (which is not the Rabbi’s fault) of referring to religion at all – as if it heals, as if a Christian or Jewish person is rightly identified as believer first and a human second.
    You are a cigarette smoker, to my eyes, handing out cigarettes – and you are calling me offensive because I object to the poison in those cigarettes. You say “It is a misreading of cigarettes” – you say, “they are a nice crutch”.

    “unlike you, he is no fanatic.”
    I am capable of acknowledging your 100% right to smoke four packs of Lucky Strike Unfiltered cigarettes everyday – while simultaneously being fanatically against smoking.
    Same for religion. It is the Rabbi’s right (and yours) to have religion. I ask only that he would question how much cancer religion causes before he passes along a pack of smokes no different from his own.

    When 9/11 happened I sent flowers to my local mosque with a note “We stand with you as neighbors,” it read. It was a crude but genuine humanitarian gesture to reach out toward people who might soon be wrongly blamed directly for something they did not do.

    But I did not put a note in it saying “May your Allah grant you peace in this difficult time” because that would be dishonest. And it would validate the religion – and it would be presumptuous, asserting that I saw them only as believers in WRONG god. And it would have been patronizing as I had no idea whether 9/11 would affect them negatively toward their own religion or not.

    Even when I was a Christian I did not put religion in such high esteem.

    My flowers were for the people as victims, not for religion but in spite of it.
    There is a big difference.

  • You never will.

  • I’ve told the truth about me. And I don’t like the way you make me the focus of your comments all the time.

    Why don’t you just explain where your God is?
    Is it so impossible?

  • Diogenes

    Max, Hitler identified himself as a Christian for political purposes only, it was to his advantage to do so…it didn’t make him one. There are many who identify themselves as Christians without understanding what that honestly requires. You frequently portray Jesus as bloodthirsty in His rhetoric. In some senses your are correct. In His 1st Advent He preached the way of Peace, Compassion, Mercy and Forebearance. He also prophesied that when He returned in His 2nd Advent He would be coming as Judge; then indeed His wrath will be executed on those who will not repent and continue to reject Him as Lord and Savior.

  • Diogenes,

    “Hitler identified himself as a Christian for political purposes only”

    – Then why was Hitler’s first peace treaty with the Vatican in the Koncordat of 1933?

    – Why was The Pope the first to FORMALLY BLESS his campaign to RID Germany of Jews with a special prayer to Jesus for success of all of his ambitions?

    – Why did The Pope formally celebrate Hitler’s birthday every April by commanding church bells to be ringing treating him as a Christian prophet?

    – Why did Hitler demand, and get, the right to pick the Bishops for Germany?

    – Why was Hitler elevated by the Church as an example of a good Christian – he was never get excommunicated from the Catholic Church for his role in mass murder of 6 million Jews?

    – Why did Hitler demand ‘God Mit Uns’ (God with us) on every belt buckle of every Nazi?

    – Why did Hitler demand the closing of all Atheist institutions throughout Germany and force Christian classes across his empire?

    – Why did Hitler put his love of Jesus in his journals? Why did he fill his arguments with the Jesus Soldier motif he learned from Martin Luther?

    “….the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
- Adolf Hitler (following the
 position of Martin Luther), Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11


”Hence today I believe that I am 
acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself
 against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” -Adolf Hitler
(Mein Kampf)

    Don’t think the seeds of fascism are not fundamentally religious.

    Religions claim Absolutist Utopias where everything will be perfect – ‘if only this ONE THING is enforced’ – that is the trouble with religion and why it leads to such terrible things. It is the promise of something unnatural and unhealthy.