No Winner in Alabama

The Alabama Senate race is finally over, and the result was a foregone conclusion: there is no winner. No matter who was going to come out on top, it would be a loss for America.

The ostensible winner, Democrat Doug Jones, is a far-left radical who doesn’t believe there is any right to life until a baby comes out of the womb. He is an Alabama anomaly who never had a hope of winning this Senate seat until Republicans chose the only person he could beat.

If Roy Moore had won, the republic wouldn’t have been in much better shape, and Republicans would have had the Moore albatross around their necks for the next two years.

My objections to Moore go beyond the sexual allegations, which are serious in themselves and which he not only never really answered, but about which he kept changing his story: at first, he declared he never dated anyone without asking the mother’s permission (that can only apply to minors), then switched to saying he never dated any teen when he was in his thirties; he knew some of the accusers, then he didn’t. His entire defense was “Look, media conspiracy!”

This is especially sad to me because so many Christians were pinning their hopes on Moore, much as they did (and continue to do) with Trump.

Beyond the sexual allegations, Moore also wasn’t all that knowledgeable about the issues, from what I have read. He’s an unabashed Obama birther (I know, some of you still cling to that, but it’s untenable), didn’t know what DACA meant when interviewed, and frankly, wouldn’t really have been that reliable a conservative vote on a number of policies.

Shall I continue?

Moore made his mark in Alabama by standing against the removal of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and for refusing to accept the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.

I agree with Moore on both of those issues, yet his public persona came across as grandstanding for personal celebrity. That was my opinion even before all the new allegations surfaced. I was never comfortable with him because I doubted either his genuineness or his wisdom—I wasn’t sure which. Maybe both.

So where are we now, those of us who want Christian principles and morality to be the hallmark of our politics?

Look for the silver linings.

First, Moore will no longer be the main topic of conversation on the national political scene. That’s a plus.

Second, Jones will have this Senate seat for only two years, as it’s merely the remainder of Jeff Sessions’s term. That means the Republicans, if they have learned their lesson, just might nominate someone who can win that seat back. it shouldn’t be hard, as Alabama voters, without Roy Moore on the ticket, are reliably conservative.

Third, prospects for Republicans gaining Senate seats in 2018 still look good since Democrats have more vulnerable seats coming up in that election.

Fourth, Moore will no longer be the main topic of conversation on the national political scene. Wait, did I already say that?

My fervent prayer this morning: God, please bless America despite our many sins and our attempt at national suicide. Spare us. We fall back on Your mercy, which is our only hope.

Place the Blame Where It Belongs

Rev. Terry Jones, the Florida pastor of a tiny church of “let’s burn a Koran” fame, finally decided to do it. He burned one Koran. Word somehow got out to Afghanistan where the natural response of an Islamic mob was to attack the UN headquarters and begin killing people. It was not just a one-day affair; it might be continuing still. At least two of the people killed were beheaded.

Somehow, because of that pastor, the United States has become their enemy, as you can see in this photo:

Forget for now that we freed them from the Taliban and allowed them to set up their own government [yes, I know fraud runs rampant in that government, but that’s not our doing]. Simply because one man on the opposite side of the world took it upon himself to destroy what they consider their holy book, they felt they had the right to go on a killing spree of innocent people.

As this photo indicates, they’re having a grand time wreaking havoc.

Some want to blame this all on Jones. Let’s analyze that for a minute. First, I believe he is primarily a glory hound with little sense of how to communicate the message of the gospel. Do you really think this picture is a proper representation of what Christ offers?

Jones, I believe, has acted foolishly. He is accountable to God for the manner in which he presents the Christian message to the world. I sincerely hope he repents and gets his heart right.

That doesn’t mean, though, that he is accountable for what occurred in Afghanistan. Each person is accountable for his own actions. The individuals in that mob made their own decisions to rampage and murder. They will answer to God for their decisions.

We’ve become far too adept at heaping blame on others rather than looking at ourselves. Yes, someone like Jones may do something to inflame a situation, but no one is forcing anyone else to respond with acts of murder.

Blame Jones for committing a foolish act; blame the individuals in that mob for what they did.

By the way, do you think it’s possible that in Muslim countries, Bibles have been destroyed? What about all those strictures against Christians who would want to share their faith with Muslims in those lands? Did you know that someone can be put to death for trying to convert a Muslim to Christianity? And when’s the last time you’ve seen a mob of “Christians” killing Muslims because a Bible was burned?

There is no legitimate excuse for what occurred in Afghanistan, no matter how far down the road of political correctness we have traveled.

Quran Burning and a Sense of Proportion

Just as I sat down to write about the Quran-burning controversy, the story changed. Then it changed again. Terry Jones, the pastor of this tiny church in Gainesville, Florida, first called off the Quran burning. This undoubtedly was a great disappointment to the media that hyped the non-story into a story. 

Jones says he did so because the imam who was pushing for the Ground Zero Mosque had agreed to move the mosque to a different location. Apparently, this was news to Iman Rauf, who almost immediately refuted the claim.

Then later, Jones said he was lied to about the mosque being moved, so his Quran burning is merely suspended, not officially called off. By the time you read this, the story may have taken another twist. Frankly, I’m having a hard time keeping up with it.

What have we got here? I don’t know Mr. Jones. Obviously, I won’t be the first person to denounce his original plan; neither am I alone in that denunciation. I seem to have joined a chorus that includes roughly the entire universe. The denunciation is richly deserved. Even though I don’t consider the Quran a valid holy book, if I am a true Christian, my goal is to love Muslims into searching for the real truth. How many Muslims will Mr. Jones convert with his approach?

Yes, it’s easy to condemn Jones. But let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. It starts with the media making this into a major event, stoking the story and turning it into a drama of worldwide proportions. No, this is one off-base individual perhaps seeking publicity. Well, thanks to the insatiable desire for “news,” he succeeded.

Another aspect of this is the tarring of all Christians with the “Jones Brush.” The Muslim world, which rarely needs an excuse to be outraged anyway, now is up in arms [both symbolically and literally] against the “crusaders.” If Jones is indeed a genuine Christian, he has now done a great disservice to those he claims are his brothers and sisters.

A sense of proportion is required. Sensitivity is the word being bandied about with respect to the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. How about some balance?

And even though I disapprove of Quran burning, we need to compare that deed with others:

Those who claim to be the face of moderate Islam, such as Imam Rauf, need to start trumpeting more loudly their moderation. Yet, when Rauf appeared on CNN the other night, he did just the opposite. He said that the mosque must be at the Ground Zero site more than ever now because if it is moved after all the controversy, “anger will explode in the Muslim world.”

In other words, you’d better let us fulfill our plans for building the mosque or there will be even greater repercussions. It was a not-so-veiled threat: do what we want or else.

Meanwhile, buried in all this barrage of back-and-forth outrage is a story that appeared on CNN’s website [yes, I know I’ve referenced CNN twice in this posting—that’s a record for me]. It seems that our own military in Afghanistan confiscated Bibles printed in the two most common Afghan languages and burned them. We are so culturally sensitive that we won’t even allow Bibles to exist in that country. You can read the whole story right here.

If this becomes widely known, I wonder what the response of the Christian community will be? Protests in the streets? Riots? Demands that infidels be killed? We all know that won’t be the response. True Christians persevere in showing love and forgiveness, and in offering the way, the truth, and the life.