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Two recent studies, the WND/Wenzel Poll and the CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) assessment have found the following about what Muslims in the US believe and are thinking:
  • nearly half say parodies of Muhammad should be prosecuted criminally and offenders given punishments up to the death penalty
  • 68% planned to vote for Obama, 7% for Romney, 25% were undecided
  • 40 percent of Muslims in America believe they should not be judged by U.S. law and the Constitution but by Shariah standards.
  • Nearly 55 percent of the American Muslim voters say the U.S. is on the right track, and another 13 percent are uncertain.
  • One in eight respondents said they think those Americans who criticize or parody Islam should face the death penalty
  • Four in 10 said Muslims in America should be judged by Islamic law, Shariah.
  • In the CAIR poll, 66 percent said they are closer to the Democratic Party, while affiliation with the GOP was about 9 percent.
  • While 39 percent of Muslims said they believe existing U.S. courts should consult Shariah law when adjudicating cases involving Muslims, a plurality of 45 percent said they do not agree with this idea. Asked if the U.S. should establish separate courts based solely on Shariah law to adjudicate cases involving Muslim, 21 percent said it should. Two-thirds of respondents – 66 percent – said that separate courts are not necessary to adjudicate Muslims
  • One in five say Muslim men should be allowed to follow their religion in America and have more than one wife, and 58 percent said criticism of their religion or of Muhammad should not be allowed under the Constitution.
  • While 43 percent said they disagreed with the idea of Christians evangelizing Muslims, another 27 percent said they were undecided. Only 19 percent said they “strongly agree” with the idea that Americans have a right to invite Muslims to consider another faith.
  • Nearly one in three said Israel either has no right to exist or they were uncertain whether it does.
Please know this is a mashup of both polls.  You can read more details here. Thoughts? Todd
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Stephen Prothero is a religion scholar at Boston University, and has written a book entitled “The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation,” . Stephen has taken some flack for some of his recent writings at the blog about Jesus. I’m not saying that I agree totally with Stephen’s conclusions… but I will say that I think many times our Christianity here in the states is more ‘western’ than ‘biblical’ at times.  It’s a natural response to our culture and upbringing. Personally… I like pieces like this that make me think. Take a read, and let me know what YOU think about Stephen’s writing: In my book “American Jesus,” I demonstrated how American views of Jesus, rather than adhering strictly to the unchanging biblical witness, have shifted with the cultural and political winds. Over the course of U.S. history Jesus has been a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior. In other words, he has been used, by both the left and the right. Or, as I put it, “The American Jesus is more a pawn than a king, pushed around in a complex game of cultural (and countercultural) chess, sacrificed here for this cause and there for another.” This problem of mistaking your God for the God  the problem, that is, of idolatry was captured beautifully by Albert Schweitzer, who suggested that scholars on a quest for the “historical Jesus” were looking down into a deep well and seeing not the real Jesus but reflections of themselves. This is what is happening, in my view, to my angry evangelical readers. In this case, however, they are looking down the well and seeing some mashup of Ronald Reagan and Romney. Instead of the biblical Christ, they are seeing the Republican Jesus. There are many ways to support my argument that the preoccupations of the Christian Right today are not the preoccupations of the Bible. One is to point out that abortion is never even mentioned in the Bible. (Yes, Jeremiah 1:5 reads, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” but when did that formation happen? At conception? At quickening? At birth?) Another is to point out that American evangelicals didn’t care about the abortion question until the GOP taught them to care. As Jonathan Dudley observes in a recent Belief Blog post, U.S. Catholic leaders began to take on abortion right after Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973, but American evangelical leaders continued to teach that life begins at birth until the late 1970s and early 1980s. If the Bible clearly teaches us that our politics should center on the abortion question, why did it take nearly 2,000 years for Bible believers to figure this out? Here is my basic proposition: Bible-believing Christians who want to base their politics on the Bible ought to get the Bible straight, which is to say (a) correct and (b) directly from the page, rather than filtered through the spin of the GOP. To this end, I would like to challenge them to look at an amazing website, part of“The Official King James Bible Online,” which lists each and every word in that translation of the Bible in order of popularity. Not surprisingly, “and” and “the” are the top two.  But how do more meaningful words rank? Abortion, of course, is not on the list. Neither is homosexuality, though there are, I will admit, perhaps a couple dozen references to what we now call male homosexuality (and either one or zero to lesbianism, depending on how you read Romans 1:26). So these issues are not central. But which issues are? Well, faith, grace and salvation, for starters. (They appear 231, 159 and 158 times, respectively.) But if you turn to the political questions that beset us today, what does this quantitative approach to the Bible yield? First and foremost, a preoccupation with “war” (470 times) and “peace” (280). Second, a preoccupation with economics, and especially with the rich (109) and the poor (233). The Bible also seems far more concerned with “prison” and “prisoners” (109) than we are in U.S. politics today. And, I might add, with famine (101). Finally, the Bible mentions Israel a lot (2,509 times)  even more than heaven (644). So that seems to be something that both candidates got right in the third debate. To conclude, I have no problem with evangelical Christians voting for Romney. My complaint arises when they say they are doing so because the Bible commands them to vote for the candidate who is opposed to abortion rights and opposes same-sex marriage. You can read more here. Thoughts? Todd
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This is an interesting article at the LA Times. When the rapture happens, Daystar and Trinity Broadcasting are ready to air it live… direct from the Mount of Olives. Also at stake… an Israeli audience; and US Christian  viewers who want more coverage from the Holy Land. From the article: Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door. The dueling studios are part of an aggressive push by U.S. evangelical broadcasters seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the holy city. Their presence not only offers boasting rights with American viewers and contributors, but also — and more controversially — a platform for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to Jews in Israel. In addition to its new multistory building, TBN is negotiating with Israel’s Yes satellite television provider to secure a full-time home for its evangelical Shalom TV channel. Daystar already airs its English-language programming in Israel with dedicated channels on both Yes and cable provider HOT Telecommunications Systems, claiming to be the first Christian evangelical broadcaster to transmit a gospel message to Israeli television sets 24 hours a day. “The main thing we want to do is help sponsor what we call Messianic Jews, or Jews that have received Jesus Christ as their Messiah,” said TBN co-founder Paul Crouch, who recently wrapped up a tour of Israel with 1,800 TBN supporters, most of them from America. “We want to do some Hebrew language programs to reach out to Jews and entice them to read the word of God and become what we call a completed Jew.” Such proselytizing angers Orthodox Jewish groups who say it threatens the character of a nation that was created as a home for Jewish refugees of the Holocaust. Christian proselytizing is legal in Israel, though the government has at times restricted and discouraged the practice; members of the Jewish faith do not seek to convert those of other faiths. Read more here…
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