Robert Spencer discusses the truth of Islam and clearly demonstrates the great falsehood that Islam is a "religion of peace."
00:04:19 Added on 1/28/06 134,176 views
Most of this was written in 2008 to 2010, during my time of
intense research between dealing with my customers and kids. When you don't
need a great deal of sleep, which I didn't back then, I spent my spare time in
the dark of the night researching and studying three things: a) everything to
do with Obama, b) Natural Born Citizenship, and MUSLIMS. In light of recent
events, like the Boston Bombing, treatment of the Ft. Hood shooter (and victims families), denial of the current administration
calling out 'terrorists' as soon as it's obvious that it wasn't an accident and
targeted innocent citizens, attempts at blaming others (like the youtube video producer for Benghazi, which was arrested),
and bans on terms like 'suicide bombers' - 'terrorist attacks' - and 'radical Islam'
from the Whitehouse interviews all are signs that Barry is either ignorant or
Remember, Barry said, "We will never be at war with Islam." and he used the Old Testament to try to justify the violence of the Koran, and claims both the Koran’s Allah and Christian God are the same. Clearly, the facts, upon reading the Koran and hadiths, demonstrate those are Taqiyya (Koran approved lies to further the cause) words.
See http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/011-taqiyya.htm if you have any doubts that lying is approved, encouraged, and acceptable in the Koran.
Hopefully you'll bother to look through this document and the assorted links... and can learn and research for yourself. If you see any mistakes or errors, PLEASE let me know. I do want the information especially that marked as fact, to be as honest, accurate, and ethical as possible. I hope the following sparks awareness, and encourages learning, and promotes positive solutions.
Why would anyone be against anyone's beliefs?
by Terry Mercer
(I wrote this in 2008, published it in 2010... haven't looked back at it since, but I'm positive my position, the facts, figures, and piles of information the last couple years just add to my points & position, and the fact that AWARENESS is key to dealing with anything that might be a danger to you). Why would anyone be against anyone's beliefs?
Until a few months ago, I thought the same thing, WHY?
I was like most of America, busy with my own life, work, family, and just wanting to keep moving forward for the benefit of my kids... and the fun things I enjoyed doing in this great nation. As long as it didn't negatively impact me or my family, I was very tolerant, apathetic, and passively ignorant. If it wasn't being shoved down my throat, 'to each their own' is what I believe when it came to 'religion.' "No Thank You' with a smile as I closed the door, or hung up the phone, was my polite response to those encroaching into my life trying to push their religion. I believed each person had a right to worship or believe what they wanted, so long as it didn't hurt others or clearly break laws... or, once again, (and probably more selfishly important) if it didn't negatively impact me or my family.
Then, one evening (early 2008), I got involved in a pretty good debate in a political chat room. It turned to the topic of Muslims, and I took the above stance. Instantly, I was intellectually challenged - told things that defied logic, were clearly against my own beliefs, and WOW were seemingly from the mid-ages. Surely THAT stuff can't be happening NOW DAYS, I thought. I thought if Thomas Jefferson had a Koran, it could have been that bad. (see http://www.khouse.org/articles/2007/691/ for the reasons, logic, and truth about WHY he bought & read the Koran that sits in the Library of Congress, as it's quite interesting, and makes perfect sense... NOW). Anyhow, I was challenged to learn about it myself - before continuing to be 'politically correct,' apathetic, and so blindly ignorant toward something I clearly knew nothing about. So I took the challenge, thinking I could surely prove that pompous loud mouth jerk wrong. I spent the next few days reading and re-reading the Koran, then cross referencing among the three 'accepted' English translations.
I started out thinking I could find information to 'defend' the Muslim 'religion' (even if I didn't agree with it, surely there has to be some goodness, peace, love, tolerance, encouragement, positive wisdom, etc.) to stack up in my verbal arsenal for the next debate. But, I didn't see much. In fact, mostly and much of what was clearly the opposite. WOW - people can't really believe THIS stuff, can they? After a few links stating some troubling things, and a bit of prodding, WOW, talk about an eye opener. I spent countless hours over weeks trying to DISPROVE MY 'interpretation' and understanding. Again, prodding myself with statements like, "Surely, with 1.6 Million followers, what I'm thinking can NOT be right... they can't think THAT way... they surely don't follow or believe THAT." But in virtually every chapter (114 in all) there was repetition of the hatred, intolerance, nonacceptance, worldly judgment, demand for submission, commandments of violence, oppression of women, and clearly stated calls for death to all Jews, Christians, non-believers, AND (get this) all believers that are friends with or help non-believers. No, surely this has to be the wrong book. I MUST be misunderstanding. So, I research, ask around, and learn that there are three 'accepted' English translations of the Koran, and I read one of them. WOW, I thought... wonder what the others say. Well, the same basic stuff, with only a few different words (attempting to soften kill to death, and .
So, I started talking to Muslims... purposefully seeking them out. Guess what, over the last few months, I've found that there are (for the most part) in reality, only two kinds of 'Muslims' -
1) Those that believe in and follow the Koran KNOWING what it says, and
2) Those that really don't have a clue that it commands & states (and merely claim to be Muslim because they were either born into it, forced into it- or ignorantly believed the 'Islam = peace' garbage their propaganda does say, but the Koran does not).
I *think* Robert Spenser might help answer THAT question:
"A Pakistani Muslim once said to me, in all seriousness, “I am very proud of my religion, and have memorized almost all of the Koran. And one day I plan to get one of those translations and find out what it means.” The implications of this for contemporary debates about Islamic terrorism are profound. The point here is not that peaceful Muslims misunderstand their own religion and would become radicalized if they knew it better."
There are many famous and honestly great people that are 'Muslim' - or claim allegiance to that 'faith'... Mohammad Ali being one of them. What most people don't think about is WHEN and WHY he became a Muslim... though not often discussed, its public knowledge. Clay proclaimed his conversion to the Nation of Islam, shocking the conservative boxing community. Britannica reports that on March 6, 1964, Clay adopted the name Muhammad Ali, given by spiritual mentor Elijah Muhammad, who believed that "white people are 'devils' and there is no Heaven or hell." And, two vital contributing factors,
1) "At that time blacks were still segregated on buses schools etc. The white were predominantly Christian and for many blacks, Christianity did not meet their needs. (It does for many others). Cassius Clay was a natural target for Muslims to go and try to convert. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky during the civil rights movement wasn't easy for any child of color. The Islamic religion appealed to many oppressed blacks as it was not the religion of the rich white exploiters. Once converting to Islam, it is natural for a Muslim to take an Islamic name as opposed to the name given by their oppressors (their slave trader masters as is often said in these cases). So his conversion highlighted the oppression of black people...
2) Ali was drafted during the Vietnam War in 1967. But he refused to do military service on the basis of his religious beliefs, but he was denied conscientious-objector status. He was stripped of his heavyweight titles (for three years) and sentenced to five years in prison (he remained free on bail). The conviction was overturned four years later by the U.S. Supreme Court. So, another factor besides racial equality (or actually the lack of at that time), was because he wanted to avoid the draft! He didn't want to kill others. Making it against 'his religion' at the time of the Viet Nam war, Martin Luther King (Christian) and Malcolm X (Muslim convert), were fighting for civil and equal rights and against black oppression and racism in America. So, being anti-war and anti-racism appear to be his primary deciding factors.
Note: Ali did not know how to read until the mid-to late 70's, therefore has only what Elijah Muhammad told him to go from for many years. And was many times referred to a 'more spiritual than religious.' In NONE of Ali's interviews discussing his Muslim religion, to clearly non-believers, did Ali EVER express anything but praise to Allah, and none of the submissive, oppression filled, hatred that the Koran commands toward non-believers. So, ultimately, Ali a man of honor & peace, JUST believing in a creator and equality among races & sexes... not a person with a hardened heart, ready to punish and commit violent acts against all non-believers as the Koran commands! While all these were valid reasons, it remains that Ali was one of the most infamous Muslims in the last century (if not longer). So, in broader sense, based on his actions and words, it seems that he thought Islam (as he understood & learned it) was the right religion for him, and only way to success in this life.
While he was the GREATEST in the boxing world, it's also clear that he was hit in the head far too many times. While he was apparently a good, kind, gentle, and humanitarian man, faith filled husband, and good loving father, it's also clear that he did NOT follow the commandments in the Koran... but rather a path of peace, under the acceptance and protection of the 'Muslim' title.
When I heard the word 'religion,' prior to reading the Koran (and making comparisons between the three approved 'English' translations) I *thought* most 'religions' were reasonable, peaceful, loving, focused on their 'god' - their idol(s) - their doctrine of goodness. Well, I don't see how *THAT BOOK* can be followed or respected by ANYONE - but especially women and those not born into it and indoctrinated since birth.
It appears to be a cult - filled with hate, intolerance, submission, oppression, segregation, violence, and commandments intent on the promotion of all those things against all non-believers, all Muslims that befriend non-believers, and of course women & children. Over the last year, I've learned of its political power, and the assorted 'changes' and 'peaceful' political and legal means the 'good Muslims’ have used to not-assimilate into a new country, but to promote their ways, believes, and laws onto the natives and citizens of THAT COUNTRY.
When I first started going through the book (the Koran) I wanted to 'believe' there were 'good Muslims’ - but after reading it, I think it's worse than thinking there were 'good Nazi’s' or 'good kkk members' - because it's based on the irrational belief the words are 'gods' - and those commandments are 'his' (spoken through the illiterate pedophile warmonger traveling salesman - Mohammad).
There are THREE 'accepted' (approved) English translations... and while I understand that the eskimo's have 17 different words for 'snow' - be it wet, dry, fluffy, fuzzy, sticky, icy, moist, etc. etc. etc. - the fact remains... it's STILL ...FRIGGIN SNOW... and IT's ALL COLD... and if ya lay your naked body in what ever type it is YOU'LL DIE! With that said, there are only so many ways to say things, and since the English versions 'came out' (in the 1760's) they've had plenty of time to correct or change (or explain) anything they've wanted... BUT HAVEN'T! So, really?!?!?! Do I think I'm missing something in the translations?!?! Not when I compare ACROSS ALL THREE VERSIONS! Bet I'm not missing more than 1 or 2% of the meaning of that hate filled cultish book!
Do a search... you'll be amazed at what's happening STILL... so your goal (or statement) of historical context works for all BUT MUSLIMS (as a religion or 'accepted' cult) practice in modern times.
I don't *hate* Muslims... I DETEST the Koran... and those that knowingly follow THAT BOOK of hate, oppression, violence, intolerance, and discrimination! I challenge ANYONE & EVERYONE to read it... to learn the difference between...n a CULT and RELIGION. I have a 'bookmark' folder called 'Muslim crap' - helps a great deal.
Here's another GREAT tool: http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2010/11/another-useful-tool-for-you.html
Then, if you are really into knowing some of their twisted LAWS (and koronic believes) - there's always THEIR FATWA's... OMG talk about some backassward twisted & oppressive CRAP! Again - THIS IS THEIR LAWS:
The FATWA is UP TO DATE, current 'interpretations' of the Muslims laws from the Koran - and yes, the child bride scenario HAPPENS STILL in their country.
I enjoy looking at their own twisted backward logic that defies common sense, human rights, equality and reality. http://www.fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=425 So, it's against THEIR religion to have 'commercial insurance' (which is also factored into THEIR EXEMPTION in the American healthcare bill BTW... does that mean they don't have CAR INSURANCE? Or TRUCK INSURANCE (those that drive semi-trucks, many of which crap through the floor boards WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD)?!?!?!
Hey, but this stuff is from the Middle Ages, right?!?!
There are a few things that most people currently in THIS group have already seen. Those that haven't, and care to know more... please feel free to take a look. Becoming AWARE is not FEAR, but does allow us to be less likely to get blindsided... and to protect ourselves and our families better. If you are in doubt that the Muslims are attempting to subvert the Constitution, goggle UN 16/18 - and learn!
Religious Imbalance and Political Agenda
by Terry Mercer
Washington DC should be renamed... to MORONVILLE... because 'self-serving egotists and greedy wanna be idiot discriminatory rulers' (SSEGWBIDR) would probably be too hard for people to remember.
"The President’s strategy is absolutely clear about the threat we face. Our enemy is not “terrorism” because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not “terror” because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as “jihadists” or “Islamists” because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=972RW7PzYN4
Read those words; understand what they mean... and how it impacts America and the US Constitution. Some people seem to think I make this crap up. Sorry, I'm not that inventive... and the facts are far too important to play with in that fashion. I call 'liberals' (the capital 'L' omitted on purpose because some iberal might turn it on its side and claim I'm pointing a gun at them, yes... that is sarcastic) 'lemmings' and 'sheeple' and 'morons' because they refuse to SEE THE LIGHT, evaluate the facts, and think ahead to preventable negative consequences in the bills, laws, regulations, power abusing choices, and wasteful spending they ARE DOING).
"The reality, of course, is that we never have been and will never be at war with Islam." - said by Barry, and reaffirmed by the person rumored to become his newly nominated CIA Director, John Brennan.
SERIOUSLY?? I guess then all 'religious' convictions are now a 'legitimate tenet'?? Consider that some 'religions' still believe in, but don't practice (at least publicly, in America) because those actions are criminalized, a variety of wild things. Bloodletting, human (or ritual animal) sacrifice, multiple wives, child brides, refusal of medical treatment for their children, violence against women, and assorted other 'beliefs.'
The Supreme Court has interpreted the clause "Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise (of religion)" so that the freedom to believe is absolute, but the ability to act on those beliefs is not. My question is WHY HASN'T there been a clear, absolute, and legal SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) ruling that bans Sharia Law (and all International Laws) being used as a justification or defense in America?? Oklahoma passed a state law, and the Obama administration sued the state, claiming it was unconstitutional. It's not yet been heard or decided, but the fact that a political administration sues a state over this should be very telling to all Americans. People that believe Sharia (or international) laws should be applied or allowed in American courts should be deported to the country of their choosing, with few exceptions. I'm amazed that any human being would support Sharia, and appalled that any female would wish to be ruled under Sharia law. I have to believe that they are either mentally retarded, subservient by nature, or grossly misinformed about how women are treated under Sharia. Have doubts, goggle FGM (female genital mutilation), Hamas takes child brides, child brides, rights of Muslim women, rape victim stoned, Muslim woman beaten, honor killing, Muslim divorce, etc. etc. etc. Or, you could just read their own book, 'The Quran' (or Koran) - there are 3 'approved' English versions that have gone uncontested and universally accepted for over 450 years. Pay particular attention to chapters 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9. That should tell you all you need to know. Awareness is key...
Understand that the federal government has compelled most 'religious actions' to be legal. They have further barred many 'religions' from tax exempt status until and unless there was an agreement with the leaders of that religion to ban, prohibit, condemn, and agree to stop certain illegal actions. The test, the requirements, and the limitations have never been applied to the Muslim claims (and actions) officially, while many other 'religions' (and cults) have been. Seems a major error to me, or something that our political leaders are enabling, encouraging, and apathetically ignorant of. The first Supreme Court case that addressed the issue of free exercise was Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), in which the Court upheld a federal law banning polygamy over objections by Mormons who claimed that the practice was their religious duty. While the government could not punish citizens because of their religious beliefs, it could regulate religiously motivated conduct, provided that it had a rational basis for doing so. This “rational basis test” became the standard for determining whether a law that impinged on a religious practice violated the free-exercise clause. As that standard was easy for the government to satisfy, for almost a century the courts generally rejected religious-freedom claims against generally applicable laws.
In its 1963 decision Sherbert v. Verner, the Supreme Court found that the Constitution afforded at least some degree of government accommodation of religious practices. Adele Sherbert, a Seventh-day Adventist, was discharged by her South Carolina employer because she would not work on Saturday, her faith’s Sabbath. When she could not find other employment that would not require her to work on Saturday, she filed a claim for unemployment benefits. South Carolina law provided that a person was ineligible for benefits if he or she failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable employment when offered. The state denied Sherbert benefits, saying she had not accepted suitable employment when offered, even though she was required to work on her Sabbath. The decision was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
In Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Court held that the state’s interest in requiring a child’s compulsory attendance at school through age 16, though important, could not withstand a free-exercise claim by members of the Amish religious sect. An Amish family claimed that requiring their children to attend public schools after age 14 would expose them to “wordly influences” against their traditionalist beliefs and undermine the insular Amish community. The Court in Yoder noted that the purpose of mandatory education was to develop a productive, self-reliant citizenry, but that the state’s purpose must be examined in light of the particular circumstances of the case. The Court in Yoder held that “[o]only those interests of the highest order and those not otherwise served can overbalance legitimate claims to the free exercise of religion.”
In its 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, two counselors were fired from their jobs with a private drug rehabilitation organization because they ingested peyote at a ceremony of the Native American Church. The two men, members of the Native American Church, were determined to be ineligible for unemployment benefits because they had been fired for work-related “misconduct.” The Oregon Supreme Court held that the prohibition against sacramental peyote use was invalid under the free-exercise clause and thus the men could not be denied unemployment benefits for such use. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the free-exercise clause permits the state to prohibit sacramental peyote use and the state can thus deny unemployment benefits to persons discharged for such use.
The court had held that the First Amendment barred the application of a generally applicable law to religiously motivated conduct involved not just free-exercise clause claims, but those claims in conjunction with other constitutional protections, such as freedom of speech and the press or the right of parents to direct the education of their children (Yoder).
In the early 90's, civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Concerned Women for America, People for the American Way and the National Association of Evangelicals, joined to draft and support the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — or RFRA. The act, which was signed by President Clinton on Nov. 17, 1993, restored the compelling-interest test and ensured its application in all cases where religious exercise is substantially burdened. However, on June 25, 1997, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 6-3, struck down the act as applied to state and local governments. The Court in City of Boerne v. Flores held that Congress overstepped its bounds by forcing states to provide more protection for religious liberty than the First Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Employment Division v. Smith, required. While RFRA no longer applies to the states, it is still applicable to the federal government, as seen recently in several district court decisions. Currently, 11 states have passed their own RFRAs, all of which reinstate the compelling-interest test to varying degrees.
If you are bored, curious, or otherwise interested, here is 7 pages on the topic, with a lot more detail and references: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Religion
'Religious FREEDOM' does NOT apply to ALL BELIEVES & PRACTICES!
By Terry Mercer
After a repeat discussion regarding a 'Muslim’s RIGHT to First Amendment Protections under the US Constitution, because they claim (and have a history of being) protection under 'Freedom of Religion.'
First, it must be re-affirmed that THOUGHTS ARE FREE... still. BUT, WORDS - whether spoken or written, and ACTIONS, are regulated, by the people, for the people, and subject to legal interpretation, and objective review BY THE COURTS, and SHOULD BE applied to ALL IN THE LAW equally, without reservation or hesitation. My point is that BECAUSE the Muslims’ self-segregation, oppressive nature, demand for submission in their women and children, and intolerance of non-believer's rights... these Muslims are often and usually unwilling to give non-believers equally.
Why should *I* care? Why should *you* care? One SHOULD READ THE KORAN TO UNDERSTAND (especially chapters 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9). This is really important, and I strongly encourage and recommend that. It's always wise to know WHAT the Koran waivers honestly follow, trust, and believe. Thomas Jefferson did, because of what WAS happening in his time. I'm not asking you to blindly believe or trust me. READ THE KORAN. Learn for yourself, please!
Then, if you STILL think they have a right to be protected to believe as they do (which includes MAKING ALL non-believers conform, convert, or die) then I suggest you look to the US Supreme Court rulings and logical reasoning. Ask yourself WHY those same (US Supreme Court) clarifications and requirements have not yet been applied to MUSLIMS. With a clear rise in concern by the majority of Americans, further self-segregation, and reverse discrimination happening in some cities & states here in America (and as evidenced in other free nations) people can't continue not caring, not learning, not listening... and think they have a right to complain when it touches their family, friends, and community. IT IS TOUCHING OUR COUNTRY!
I'm copying part of the link: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/05.html#2 - just in case it gets scrubbed, removed, deleted, or someone attempts to 'change history' as has happened with a couple other vital links I've shared in the past.
FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
''The Free Exercise Clause . . . withdraws from legislative power, state and federal, the exertion of any restraint on the free exercise of religion. Its purpose is to secure religious liberty in the individual by prohibiting any invasions there by civil authority.'' 178 It bars ''governmental regulation of religious beliefs as such,'' 179 prohibiting misuse of secular governmental programs ''to impede the observance of one or all religions or . . . to discriminate invidiously between religions . . . even though the burden may be characterized as being only indirect.'' 180 Freedom of conscience is the basis of the free exercise clause, and government may not penalize or discriminate against an individual or a group of individuals because of their religious views nor may it compel persons to affirm any particular beliefs. 181 Interpretation is complicated, however, by the fact that exercise of religion usually entails ritual or other practices that constitute ''conduct'' rather than pure ''belief.'' When it comes to protecting conduct as free exercise, the Court has been inconsistent. 182 It has long been held that the Free Exercise Clause does not necessarily prevent government from requiring the doing of some act or forbidding the doing of some act merely because religious beliefs underlie the conduct in question. 183 What has changed over the years is the Court's willingness to hold that some religiously motivated conduct is protected from generally applicable prohibitions
The relationship between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses varies with the expansiveness of interpretation of the two clauses. In a general sense both clauses proscribe governmental involvement with and interference in religious matters, but there is possible tension between a requirement of governmental neutrality derived from the Establishment Clause and a Free-Exercise-derived requirement that government accommodate some religious practices. 184 So far, the Court has harmonized interpretation by denying that free- exercise-mandated accommodations create establishment violations, and also by upholding some legislative accommodations not mandated by free exercise requirements. ''This Court has long recognized that government may (and sometimes must) accommodate religious practices and that it may do so without violating the Establishment Clause.'' 185 In holding that a state could not deny unemployment benefits to Sabbatarians who refused Saturday work, for example, the Court denied that it was ''fostering an 'establishment' of the Seventh-Day Adventist religion, for the extension of unemployment benefits to Sabbatarians in common with Sunday worshippers reflects nothing more than the governmental obligation of neutrality in the face of religious differences, and does not represent that involvement of religious with secular institutions which it is the object of the Establishment Clause to forestall.'' 186 Legislation granting religious exemptions not held to have been required by the Free Exercise Clause has also been upheld against Establishment Clause challenge, 187 although it is also possible for legislation to go too far in promoting free exercise. 188
The Belief-Conduct Distinction.--While the Court has consistently affirmed that the Free Exercise Clause protects religious beliefs, protection for religiously motivated conduct has waxed and waned over the years. The Free Exercise Clause ''embraces two concepts-- freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute, but in the nature of things, the second cannot be.'' 189 In its first free exercise case, involving the power of government to prohibit polygamy, the Court invoked a hard distinction between the two, saying that although laws ''cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.'' 190 The rule thus propounded protected only belief, inasmuch as religiously motivated action was to be subjected to the police power of the state to the same extent as would similar action springing from other motives. The Reynolds no-protection rule was applied in a number of cases, 191 but later cases established that religiously grounded conduct is not always outside the protection of the free exercise clause. 192 Instead, the Court began to balance the secular interest asserted by the government against the claim of religious liberty asserted by the person affected; only if the governmental interest was ''compelling'' and if no alternative forms of regulation would serve that interest was the claimant required to yield. 193 Thus, while freedom to engage in religious practices was not absolute, it was entitled to considerable protection.
Recent cases evidence a narrowing of application of the compelling interest test, and a corresponding constriction on the freedom to engage in religiously motivated conduct. First, the Court purported to apply strict scrutiny, but upheld the governmental action anyhow. Next the Court held that the test is inappropriate in the contexts of military and prison discipline. 194 Then, more importantly, the Court ruled in Employment Division v. Smith that ''if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended.'' 195 Therefore, the Court concluded, the Free Exercise Clause does not prohibit a state from applying generally applicable criminal penalties to use of peyote in a religious ceremony, or from denying unemployment benefits to persons dismissed from their jobs because of religious ceremonial use of peyote. Accommodation of such religious practices must be found in ''the political process,'' the Court noted; statutory religious-practice exceptions are permissible, but not ''constitutionally required.'' 196 The result is tantamount to a return to the Reynolds belief-conduct distinction.
The Mormon Cases .--The Court's first encounter with free exercise claims occurred in a series of cases in which the Federal Government and the territories moved against the Mormons because of their practice of polygamy. Actual prosecutions and convictions for bigamy presented little problem for the Court, inasmuch as it could distinguish between beliefs and acts. 197 But the presence of large numbers of Mormons in some of the territories made convictions for bigamy difficult to obtain, and in 1882 Congress enacted a statute which barred ''bigamists,'' ''polygamists,'' and ''any person cohabiting with more than one woman'' from voting or serving on juries. The Court sustained the law, even as applied to persons entering the state prior to enactment of the original law prohibiting bigamy and to persons as to whom the statute of limitations had run. 198 Subsequently, an act of a territorial legislature which required a prospective voter not only to swear that he was not a bigamist or polygamist but as well that ''I am not a member of any order, organization or association which teaches, advises, counsels or encourages its members, devotees or any other person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy or which practices bigamy, polygamy or plural or celestial marriage as a doctrinal rite of such organization; that I do not and will not, publicly or privately, or in any manner whatever teach, advise, counsel or encourage any person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy,'' was upheld in an opinion that condemned plural marriage and its advocacy as equal evils. 199 And, finally, the Court sustained the revocation of the charter of the Mormon Church and confiscation of all church property not actually used for religious worship or for burial, 200
The Jehovah's Witnesses Cases .--In contrast to the Mormons, the sect known as Jehovah's Witnesses, in many ways as unsettling to the conventional as the Mormons were, 201 provoked from the Court a lengthy series of decisions 202 expanding the rights of religious proselytizers and other advocates to utilize the streets and parks to broadcast their ideas, though the decisions may be based more squarely on the speech clause than on the free exercise clause. The leading case is Cantwell v. Connecticut. 203 Three Jehovah's Witnesses were convicted under a statute which forbade the unlicensed soliciting of funds for religious or charitable purposes, and also under a general charge of breach of the peace. The solicitation count was voided as an infringement on religion because the issuing officer was authorized to inquire whether the applicant did have a religious cause and to decline a license if in his view the cause was not religious. Such power amounted to a previous restraint upon the exercise of religion and was invalid, the Court held. 204 The breach of the peace count arose when the three accosted two Catholics in a strongly Catholic neighborhood and played them a phonograph record which grossly insulted the Christian religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. The Court voided this count under the clear-and-present danger test, finding that the interest sought to be upheld by the State did not justify the suppression of religious views that simply annoyed listeners. 205
There followed a series of sometimes conflicting decisions. At first, the Court sustained the application of a non-discriminatory license fee to vendors of religious books and pamphlets, 206 but eleven months later it vacated its former decision and struck down such fees. 207 A city ordinance making it unlawful for anyone distributing literature to ring a doorbell or otherwise summon the dwellers of a residence to the door to receive such literature was held in violation of the First Amendment when applied to distributors of leaflets advertising a religious meeting. 208 But a state child labor law was held to be validly applied to punish the guardian of a nine-year old child who permitted her to engage in ''preaching work'' and the sale of religious publications after hours. 209 The Court decided a number of cases involving meetings and rallies in public parks and other public places by upholding licensing and permit requirements which were premised on nondiscriminatory ''times, places, and manners'' terms and which did not seek to regulate the content of the religious message to be communicated. 210
Free Exercise Exemption From General Governmental Requirements .--As described above, the Court gradually abandoned its strict belief-conduct distinction, and developed a balancing test to determine when a uniform, nondiscriminatory requirement by government mandating action or nonaction by citizens must allow exceptions for citizens whose religious scruples forbid compliance. Then, in 1990, the Court reversed direction in Employment Division v. Smith, 211 confining application of the ''compelling interest'' test to a narrow category of cases.
In early cases the Court sustained the power of a State to exclude from its schools children who because of their religious beliefs would not participate in the salute to the flag, 212 only within a short time to reverse itself and condemn such exclusions, but on speech grounds rather than religious grounds. 213 Also, the Court seemed to be clearly of the view that government could compel those persons religiously opposed to bearing arms to take an oath to do so or to receive training to do so, 214 only in later cases by its statutory resolution to cast doubt on this resolution, 215 and still more recently to leave the whole matter in some doubt. 216
Braunfeld v. Brown 217 held that the free exercise clause did not mandate an exemption from Sunday Closing Laws for an Orthodox Jewish merchant who observed Saturday as the Sabbath and was thereby required to be closed two days of the week rather than one. This requirement did not prohibit any religious practices, the Court's plurality pointed out, but merely regulated secular activity in a manner making religious exercise more expensive. 218 ''If the State regulates conduct by enacting a general law within its power, the purpose and effect of which is to advance the State's secular goals, the statute is valid despite its indirect burden on religious observance unless the State may accomplish its purpose by means which do not impose such a burden.'' 219
Within two years the Court in Sherbert v. Verner 220 extended the line of analysis to require a religious exemption from a secular, regulatory piece of economic legislation. Sherbert was disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation because, as a Seventh Day Adventist, she would not accept Saturday work; according to state officials, this meant she was not complying with the statutory requirement to stand ready to accept suitable employment. This denial of benefits could be upheld, the Court said, only if ''her disqualification as a beneficiary represents no infringement by the State of her constitutional rights of free exercise, or [if] any incidental burden on the free exercise of appellant's religions may be justified by a 'compelling state interest in the regulation of a subject within the State's constitutional power to regulate 221 First, the disqualification was held to impose a burden on the free exercise of Sherbert's religion; it was an indirect burden and it did not impose a criminal sanction on a religious practice, but the disqualification derived solely from her practice of her religion and constituted a compulsion upon her to forgo that practice. 222 Second, there was no compelling interest demonstrated by the State. The only interest asserted was the prevention of the possibility of fraudulent claims, but that was merely a bare assertion. Even if there was a showing of demonstrable danger, ''it would plainly be incumbent upon the appellees to demonstrate that no alternative forms of regulation would combat such abuses without infringing First Amendment rights.'' 223
Sherbert was reaffirmed and applied in subsequent cases involving denial of unemployment benefits. Thomas v. Review Board 224 involved a Jehovah's Witness who quit his job when his employer transferred him from a department making items for industrial use to a department making parts for military equipment. While his belief that his religion proscribed work on war materials was not shared by all other Jehovah's Witnesses, the Court held that it was inappropriate to inquire into the validity of beliefs asserted to be religious so long as the claims were made in good faith (and the beliefs were at least arguably religious). The same result was reached in a 1987 case, the fact that the employee's religious conversion rather than a job reassignment had created the conflict between work and Sabbath observance not being considered material to the determination that free exercise rights had been burdened by the denial of unemployment compensation. 225 Also, a state may not deny unemployment benefits solely because refusal to work on the Sabbath was based on sincere religious beliefs held independently of membership in any established religious church or sect. 226
The Court applied the Sherbert balancing test in several areas outside of unemployment compensation. The first two such cases involved the Amish, whose religion requires them to lead a simple life of labor and worship in a tight-knit and self-reliant community largely insulated from the materialism and other distractions of modern life. Wisconsin v. Yoder 227 held that a state compulsory attendance law, as applied to require Amish children to attend ninth and tenth grades of public schools in contravention of Amish religious beliefs, violated the Free Exercise Clause. The Court first determined that the beliefs of the Amish were indeed religiously based and of great antiquity. 228 Next, the Court rejected the State's arguments that the Free Exercise Clause extends no protection because the case involved ''action'' or ''conduct'' rather than belief, and because the regulation, neutral on its face, did not single out religion. 229 Instead, the Court went on to analyze whether a ''compelling'' governmental interest required such ''grave interference'' with Amish belief and practices. 230 The governmental interest was not the general provision of education, inasmuch as the State and the Amish were in agreement on education through the first eight grades and since the Amish provided their children with additional education of a primarily vocational nature. The State's interest was really that of providing two additional years of public schooling. Nothing in the record, felt the Court, showed that this interest outweighed the great harm which it would do to traditional Amish religious beliefs to impose the compulsory ninth and tenth grade attendance. 231
But in recent years the Court's decisions evidenced increasing discontent with the compelling interest test. In several cases the Court purported to apply strict scrutiny but nonetheless upheld the governmental action in question. In United States v. Lee, 232 for example, the Court denied the Amish exemption from compulsory participation in the Social Security system. The objection was that payment of taxes by Amish employers and employees and the receipt of public financial assistance were forbidden by their religious beliefs. Accepting that this was true, the Court nonetheless held that the governmental interest was compelling and therefore sufficient to justify the burdening of religious beliefs. 233 Compulsory payment of taxes was necessary for the vitality of the system; either voluntary participation or a pattern of exceptions would undermine its soundness and make the program difficult to administer.
''A compelling governmental interest'' was also found to outweigh free exercise interests in Bob Jones University v. United States, 234 in which the Court upheld the I.R.S.'s denial of tax exemptions to church-run colleges whose racially discriminatory admissions policies derived from religious beliefs. The Federal Government's ''fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education''--found to be encompassed in common law standards of ''charity'' underlying conferral of the tax exemption on ''charitable'' institutions--''substantially outweighs'' the burden on free exercise. Nor could the schools' free exercise interests be accommodated by less restrictive means. 235
In other cases the Court found reasons not to apply compelling interest analysis. Religiously motivated speech, like other speech, can be subjected to reasonable time, place, or manner regulation serving a ''substantial'' rather than ''compelling'' governmental interest. 236 Sherbert's threshold test, inquiring ''whether government has placed a substantial burden on the observation of a central religious belief or practice,'' 237 eliminates other issues. As long as a particular religion does not proscribe the payment of taxes (as was the case with the Amish in Lee), the Court has denied that there
is any constitutionally significant burden resulting from ''imposition of a generally applicable tax [that] merely decreases the amount of money [adherents] have to spend on [their] religious activities.'' 238 The one caveat the Court left--that a generally applicable tax might be so onerous as to ''effectively choke off an adherent's religious practices'' 239 --may be a moot point in light of the Court's general ruling in Employment Division v. Smith, discussed below.
The Court also drew a distinction between governmental regulation of individual conduct, on the one hand, and restraint of governmental conduct as a result of individuals' religious beliefs, on the other. Sherbert's compelling interest test has been held inapplicable in cases viewed as involving attempts by individuals to alter governmental actions rather than attempts by government to restrict religious practices. Emphasizing the absence of coercion on religious adherents, the Court in Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Ass'n 240 held that the Forest Service, even absent a compelling justification, could construct a road through a portion of a national forest held sacred and used by Indians in religious observances. The Court distinguished between governmental actions having the indirect effect of frustrating religious practices and those actually prohibiting religious belief or conduct: '''the Free Exercise Clause is written in terms of what the government cannot do to the individual, not in terms of what the individual can exact from the government.''' 241
Similarly, even a sincerely held religious belief that assignment of a social security number would rob a child of her soul was held insufficient to bar the government from using the number for purposes of its own recordkeeping. 242 It mattered not how easily the government could accommodate the religious beliefs or practices (an exemption from the social security number requirement might have been granted with only slight impact on the government's recordkeeping capabilities), since the nature of the governmental actions did not implicate free exercise protections. 243
Compelling interest analysis is also wholly inapplicable in the context of military rules and regulations, where First Amendment review ''is far more deferential than review of similar laws or regulations designed for civilian society.'' 244 Thus the Court did not question the decision of military authorities to apply uniform dress code standards to prohibit the wearing of a yarmulke by an officer compelled by his Orthodox Jewish religious beliefs to wear the yarmulke. 245
A high degree of deference is also due decisions of prison administrators having the effect of restricting religious exercise by inmates. The general rule is that prison regulations impinging on exercise of constitutional rights by inmates are '''valid if reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.''' 246 Thus because general prison rules requiring a particular category of inmates to work outside of buildings where religious services were held, and prohibiting return to the buildings during the work day, could be viewed as reasonably related to legitimate penological concerns of security and order, no exemption was required to permit Muslim inmates to participate in Jumu'ah, the core ceremony of their religion. 247 The fact that the inmates were left with no alternative means of attending Jumu'ah was not dispositive, the Court being ''unwilling to hold that prison officials are required by the Constitution to sacrifice legitimate penological objectives to that end.'' 248
Finally, in Employment Division v. Smith 249 the Court indicated that the compelling interest test may apply only in the field of unemployment compensation, and in any event does not apply to require exemptions from generally applicable criminal laws. Criminal laws are ''generally applicable'' when they apply across the board regardless of the religious motivation of the prohibited conduct, and are ''not specifically directed at religious practices.'' 250 The unemployment compensation statute at issue in Sherbert was peculiarly suited to application of a balancing test because denial of benefits required a finding that an applicant had refused work ''without good cause.'' Sherbert and other unemployment compensation cases thus ''stand for the proposition that where the State has in place a system of individual exemptions, it may not refuse to extend that system to cases of 'religious hardship' without compelling reason.'' 251 Wisconsin v. Yoder and other decisions holding ''that the First Amendment bars application of a neutral, generally applicable law to religiously motivated action'' were distinguished as involving ''not the Free Exercise Clause alone, but the Free Exercise Clause in conjunction with other constitutional protections'' such as free speech or ''parental rights.'' 252 Except in the relatively uncommon circumstance when a statute calls for individualized consideration, then, the Free Exercise Clause affords no basis for exemption from a ''neutral, generally applicable law.'' As the Court concluded in Smith, accommodation for religious practices incompatible with general requirements must ordinarily be found in ''the political process.'' 253
The political processes were soon utilized in an attempt to provide additional protection for religious exercise. In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Supp.11 Congress sought to supersede Smith and substitute a statutory rule of decision. The Act provides that laws of general applicability--federal, state, and local--may substantially burden free exercise of religion only if they further a compelling governmental interest and constitute the least restrictive means of doing so. The purpose, Congress declared in the Act itself, was ''to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. Verner and Wisconsin v. Yoder and to guarantee its application inall cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened.'' Supp.12 Enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not, however, close the book on Smith. Issues concerning the RFRA's constitutionality ensure continuing litigation over the appropriate constitutional test. Supp.13
The ramifications of Smith are potentially widespread. The Court has apparently returned to a belief-conduct dichotomy under which religiously motivated conduct is not entitled to special protection. Laws may not single out religiously motivated conduct for adverse treatment, Supp.13.1 but formally neutral laws of general applicability may regulate religious conduct (along with other conduct) regardless of the adverse or prohibitory effects on religious exercise. That the Court views the principle as a general one, not limited to criminal laws, seems evident from its restatement in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah: ''our cases establish the general proposition that a law that is neutral and of general application need not be justified by a compelling governmental interest even if the law has the incidental effect of burdening a particular religious practice.'' Supp.14 Similar rules govern taxation. Under the Court's rulings in Smith and Swaggart, religious exemptions from most taxes are a matter of legislative grace rather than constitutional command, since most important taxes (e.g., income, property, sales and use) satisfy the criteria of formal neutrality and general applicability, and are not license fees that can be viewed as prior restraints on expression. 254 The result is equal protection, but not substantive protection, for religious exercise. 255 The Court's approach also accords less protection to religiously-based conduct than is accorded expressive conduct that implicates speech but not religious values. 256 On the practical side, relegation of free exercise claims to the political process may, as concurring Justice O'Connor warned, result in less protection for small, unpopular religious sects. 257
Religious Test Oaths .--However the Court has been divided in dealing with religiously-based conduct and governmental compulsion of action or nonaction, it was unanimous in voiding a state constitutional provision which required a notary public, as a condition of perfecting his appointment, to declare his belief in the existence of God. The First Amendment, considered with the religious oath provision of Article VI, makes it impossible ''for government, state or federal, to restore the historically and constitutionally discredited policy of probing religious beliefs by test oaths or limiting public offices to persons who have, or perhaps more properly, profess to have, a belief in some particular kind of religious concept.'' 258
Religious Disqualification .--Unanimously, but with great differences of approach, the Court declared invalid a Tennessee statute barring ministers and priests from service in a specially called state constitutional convention. 259 The Court's decision necessarily implied that the constitutional provision on which the statute was based, barring ministers and priests from service as state legislators, was also invalid.
[Footnote 178] Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 222 -23 (1963).
[Footnote 179] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S 398, 402 (1963) (emphasis in original).
[Footnote 180] Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599, 607 (1961).
[Footnote 181] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 402 (1963); Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961).
[Footnote 182] Academics as well as the Justices grapple with the extent to which religious practices as well as beliefs are protected by the Free Exercise Clause. For contrasting academic views of the origins and purposes of the Free Exercise Clause, compare McConnell, The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 1410 (1990) (concluding that constitutionally compelled exemptions from generally applicable laws are consistent with the Clause's origins in religious pluralism) with Marshall, The Case Against the Constitutionally Compelled Free Exercise Exemption, 40 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 357 (1989-90) (arguing that such exemptions establish an invalid preference for religious beliefs over non-religious beliefs).
[Footnote 183] E.g., Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879); Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905); Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944); Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599 (1961); United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982); Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990).
[Footnote 184] ''The Court has struggled to find a neutral course between the two Religion Clauses, both of which are cast in absolute terms, and either of which, if expanded to a logical extreme, would tend to clash with the other.'' Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 668 -69 (1970).
[Footnote 185] Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n, 480 U.S. 136, 144 -45 (1987). A similar accommodative approach was suggested in Walz: ''there is room for play in the joints productive of a benevolent neutrality which will permit religious exercise to exist without [governmental] sponsorship and without interference.'' 397 U.S. at 669 .
[Footnote 186] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 409 (1963). Accord, Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 719 -20 (1981). Dissenting in Thomas, Justice Rehnquist argued that Sherbert and Thomas created unacceptable tensions between the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, and that requiring the States to accommodate persons like Sherbert and Thomas because of their religious beliefs ran the risk of ''establishing'' religion under the Court's existing tests. He argued further, however, that less expansive interpretations of both clauses would eliminate this artificial tension. Thus, Justice Rehnquist would have interpreted the Free Exercise Clause as not requiring government to grant exemptions from general requirements that may burden religious exercise but that do not prohibit religious practices outright, and would have interpreted the Establishment Clause as not preventing government from voluntarily granting religious exemptions. 450 U.S. at 720 -27. By 1990 these views had apparently gained ascendancy, Justice Scalia's opinion for the Court in the ''peyote'' case suggesting that accommodation should be left to the political process, i.e., that states could constitutionally provide exceptions in their drug laws for sacramental peyote use, even though such exceptions are not constitutionally required. Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 890 (1990).
[Footnote 187] See, e.g., Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 664 (upholding property tax exemption for religious organizations); Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327 (1987) (upholding Civil Rights Act exemption allowing religious institutions to restrict hiring to members of religion); Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437, 453 -54 (1971) (interpreting conscientious objection exemption from military service).
[Footnote 188] See, e.g., Committee for Pub. Educ. & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756, 788 -89 (1973) (tuition reimbursement grants to parents of parochial school children violate Establishment Clause in spite of New York State's argument that program was designed to promote free exercise by enabling low-income parents to send children to church schools); Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, 489 U.S. 1 (1989) (state sales tax exemption for religious publications violates the Establishment Clause) (plurality opinion). Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village v. Grumet, 114 S. Ct. 2481, 2492-93 (1994) (''accommodation is not a principle without limits;'' one limitation is that ''neutrality as among religions must be honored'').
[Footnote 189] Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 304 (1940).
[Footnote 190] Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 166 (1878). ''Crime is not the less odious because sanctioned by what any particular sect may designate as 'religion.''' Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333, 345 (1890). In another context, Justice Sutherland in United States v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605, 625 (1931), suggested a plenary governmental power to regulate action in denying that recognition of conscientious objection to military service was of a constitutional magnitude, saying that ''unqualified allegiance to the Nation and submission and obedience to the laws of the land, as well those made for war as those made for peace, are not inconsistent with the will of God.''
[Footnote 191] Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) (compulsory vaccination); Prince v. Massachusetts 321 U.S. 158 (1944) (child labor); Cleveland v. United States, 329 U.S. 14 (1946) (polygamy). In Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 403 (1963), Justice Brennan asserted that the ''conduct or activities so regulated [in the cited cases] have invariably posed some substantial threat to public safety, peace or order.''
[Footnote 192] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972); cf. Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599, 607 (1961): ''[I]f the State regulates conduct by enacting a general law within its power, the purpose and effect of which is to advance the State's secular goals, the statute is valid despite its indirect burden on religious observance unless the State may accomplish its purpose by means which do not impose such a burden.''
[Footnote 193] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 403 , 406-09 (1963). In Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), the Court recognized compelling state interests in provision of public education, but found insufficient evidence that those interests (preparing children for citizenship and for self-reliance) would be furthered by requiring Amish children to attend public schools beyond the eighth grade. Instead, the evidence showed that the Amish system of vocational education prepared their children for life in their self-sufficient communities.
[Footnote 194] Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 U.S. 503 (1986); O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342 (1987).
[Footnote 195] 494 U.S. 872, 878 (1990).
[Footnote 196] Id. at 890.
[Footnote 197] Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879); cf. Cleveland v. United States, 329 U.S. 14 (1946) (no religious-belief defense to Mann Act prosecution for transporting a woman across state line for the ''immoral purpose'' of polygamy).
[Footnote 198] Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15 (1885).
[Footnote 199] Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890). ''Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries. . . . To call their advocacy a tenet of religion is to offend the common sense of mankind. If they are crimes, then to teach, advise and counsel their practice is to aid in their commission, and such teaching and counseling are themselves criminal and proper subjects of punishment, as aiding and abetting crime are in all other cases.'' Id. at 341-42.
[Footnote 200] The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890). ''[T]he property of the said corporation . . . [is to be used to promote] the practice of polygamy--a crime against the laws, and abhorrent to the sentiments and feelings of the civilized world. . . . The organization of a community for the spread and practice of polygamy is, in a measure, a return to barbarism. It is contrary to the spirit of Christianity and of the civilization which Christianity had produced in the Western world.'' Id. at 48-49.
[Footnote 201] For recent cases dealing with other religious groups discomfiting to the mainstream, see Heffron v. ISKCON, 452 U.S. 640 (1981) (Hare Krishnas); Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228 (1982) (Unification Church).
[Footnote 202] Most of the cases are collected and categorized by Justice Frankfurter in Niemotko v. Maryland, 340 U.S. 268, 273 (1951) (concurring opinion).
[Footnote 203] 310 U.S. 296 (1940).
[Footnote 204] Id. at 303-07. ''The freedom to act must have appropriate definition to preserve the enforcement of that protection [of society]. In every case the power to regulate must be so exercised as not, in attaining a permissible end, unduly to infringe the protected freedom. . . . [A] State may by general and non-discriminatory legislation regulate the times, the places, and the manner of soliciting upon its streets, and of holding meetings thereon; and may in other respects safeguard the peace, good order and comfort of the community, without unconstitutionally invading the liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.'' Id. at 304.
[Footnote 205] Id. at 307-11. ''In the realm of religious faith, and in that of political belief, sharp differences arise. In both fields the tenets of one man may seem the rankest error to his neighbor. To persuade others to his own point of view, the pleader, as we know, at times, resorts to exaggeration, to vilification of men who have been, or are, prominent in church or state, and even to false statement. But the people of this nation have ordained in the light of history, that, in spite of the probabilities of excesses and abuses, these liberties are in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy.'' Id. at 310.
[Footnote 206] Jones v. Opelika, 316 U.S. 584 (1942).
[Footnote 207] Jones v. Opelika, 319 U.S. 103 (1943); Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943). See also Follett v. McCormick, 321 U.S. 573 (1944) (invalidating a flat licensing fee for booksellers). Murdock and Follett were distinguished in Jimmy Swaggart Ministries v. California Bd. of Equalization, 493 U.S. 378, 389 (1990) as applying ''only where a flat license fee operates as a prior restraint''; upheld in Swaggart was application of a general sales and use tax to sales of religious publications.
[Footnote 208] Martin v. City of Struthers, 319 U.S. 141 (1943). But cf. Breard v. City of Alexandria, 341 U.S. 622 (1951) (similar ordinance sustained in commercial solicitation context).
[Footnote 209] Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944).
[Footnote 210] E.g., Niemotko v. Maryland, 340 U.S. 268 (1951); Kunz v. New York, 340 U.S. 290 (1951); Fowler v. Rhode Island, 345 U.S. 67 (1953); Poulos v. New Hampshire, 345 U.S. 395 (1953). See also Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228 (1982) (solicitation on state fair ground by Unification Church members).
[Footnote 211] 494 U.S. 872 (1990).
[Footnote 212] Minersville School Dist. v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586 (1940).
[Footnote 213] West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). On the same day, the Court held that a State may not forbid the distribution of literature urging and advising on religious grounds that citizens refrain from saluting the flag. Taylor v. Mississippi, 319 U.S. 583 (1943).
[Footnote 214] See United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644 (1929); United States v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605 (1931); and United States v. Bland, 283 U.S. 636 (1931) (all interpreting the naturalization law as denying citizenship to a conscientious objector who would not swear to bear arms in defense of the country), all three of which were overruled by Girouard v. United States, 328 U.S. 61 (1946), on strictly statutory grounds. See also Hamilton v. Board of Regents, 293 U.S. 245 (1934) (upholding expulsion from state university for a religiously based refusal to take a required course in military training); In re Summers, 325 U.S. 561 (1945) (upholding refusal to admit applicant to bar because as conscientious objector he could not take required oath).
[Footnote 215] United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965); see id. at 188 (Justice Douglas concurring); Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970); and see id. at 344 (Justice Harlan concurring).
[Footnote 216] Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437 (1971) (holding that secular considerations overbalanced free exercise infringement of religious beliefs of objectors to particular wars).
[Footnote 217] 366 U.S. 599 (1961). On Sunday Closing Laws and the establishment clause, see supra, pp. 987-988.
[Footnote 218] 366 U.S. at 605 -06.
[Footnote 219] Id. at 607 (plurality opinion). The concurrence balanced the economic disadvantage suffered by the Sabbatarians against the important interest of the State in securing its day of rest regulation. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. at 512 -22 (1961). Three Justices dissented. Id. at 561 (Justice Douglas); Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. at 610 (Justice Brennan), 616 (Justice Stewart).
[Footnote 220] 374 U.S. 398 (1963).
[Footnote 221] Id. at 403, quoting NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 438 (1963).
[Footnote 222] Id. at 403-06.
[Footnote 223] Id. at 407. Braunfeld was distinguished because of ''a countervailing factor which finds no equivalent in the instant case--a strong state interest in providing one uniform day of rest for all workers.'' That secular objective could be achieved, the Court found, only by declaring Sunday to be that day of rest. Requiring exemptions for Sabbatarians, while theoretically possible, appeared to present an administrative problem of such magnitude, or to afford the exempted class so great a competitive advantage, that such a requirement would have rendered the entire statutory scheme unworkable. Id. at 408-09. Other Justices thought that Sherbert overruled Braunfeld. Id. at 413, 417 (Justice Stewart concurring), 418 (Justice Harlan and White dissenting).
[Footnote 224] 450 U.S. 707 (1981).
[Footnote 225] Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n, 480 U.S. 136 (1987).
[Footnote 226] Frazee v. Illinois Dep't of Employment Security, 489 U.S. 829 (1989). Cf. United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) (interpreting the religious objection exemption from military service as encompassing a broad range of formal and personal religious beliefs).
[Footnote 227] 406 U.S. 205 (1972).
[Footnote 228] Id. at 215-19. Why the Court felt impelled to make these points is unclear, since it is settled that it is improper for courts to inquire into the interpretation of religious belief. E.g., United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 257 (1982).
[Footnote 229] Id. at 219-21.
[Footnote 230] Id. at 221.
[Footnote 231] Id. at 221-29.
[Footnote 232] 455 U.S. 252 (1982).
[Footnote 233] The Court's formulation was whether the limitation on religious exercise was ''essential to accomplish an overriding governmental interest.'' 455 U.S. at 257 -58. Accord, Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680, 699 -700 (1989) (any burden on free exercise imposed by disallowance of a tax deduction was ''justified by the 'broad public interest in maintaining a sound tax system' free of 'myriad exceptions flowing from a wide variety of religious beliefs''').
[Footnote 234] 461 U.S. 574 (1983).
[Footnote 235] 461 U.S. at 604 .
[Footnote 236] Heffron v. ISKCON, 452 U.S. 640 (1981). Requiring Krishnas to solicit at fixed booth sites on county fair grounds is a valid time, place, and manner regulation, although, as the Court acknowledged, id. at 652, peripatetic solicitation was an element of Krishna religious rites.
[Footnote 237] As restated in Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680, 699 (1989).
[Footnote 238] Jimmy Swaggart Ministries v. California Bd. of Equalization, 493 U.S. 378, 391 (1990). See also Tony and Susan Alamo Found. v. Secretary of Labor, 471 U.S. 290 (1985) (the Court failing to perceive how application of minimum wage and overtime requirements would burden free exercise rights of employees of a religious foundation, there being no assertion that the amount of compensation was a matter of religious import); and Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680 (1989) (questioning but not deciding whether any burden was imposed by administrative disallowal of deduction for payments deemed to be for commercial rather than religious or charitable purposes).
[Footnote 239] Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, 493 U.S. at 392 .
[Footnote 240] 485 U.S. 439 (1988).
[Footnote 241] Id. at 451, quoting Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 412 (1963) (Douglas, J., concurring).
[Footnote 242] Bowen v. Roy, 476 U.S. 693 (1986).
[Footnote 243] ''In neither case . . . would the affected individuals be coerced by the Government's action into violating their religious beliefs; nor would either governmental action penalize religious activity.'' Lyng, 485 U.S. at 449 .
[Footnote 244] Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 U.S. 503, 507 (1986).
[Footnote 245] Congress reacted swiftly by enacting a provision allowing military personnel to wear religious apparel while in uniform, subject to exceptions to be made by the Secretary of the relevant military department for circumstances in which the apparel would interfere with performance of military duties or would not be ''neat and conservative.'' Pub. L. 100-180, Sec. 508(a)(2), 101 Stat. 1086 (1987); 10 U.S.C. Sec. 774.
[Footnote 246] O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 349 (1987) (quoting Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987)).
[Footnote 247] O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342 (1987).
[Footnote 248] Id. at 351-52 (also suggesting that the ability of the inmates to engage in other activities required by their faith, e.g. individual prayer and observance of Ramadan, rendered the restriction reasonable).
[Footnote 249] 494 U.S. 872 (1990) (holding that state may apply criminal penalties to use of peyote in a religious ceremony, and may deny unemployment benefits to persons dismissed from their jobs because of religiously inspired use of peyote).
[Footnote 250] Id. at 878.
[Footnote 251] Id. at 884.
[Footnote 252] Id. at 881.
[Footnote 253] Id. at 890.
[Footnote 11 (1996 Supplement)] Pub. L. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (1993); 42U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 2000bb to 2000bb-4.
[Footnote 12 (1996 Supplement)] Pub. L. 103-141, Sec. 2(b)(1) (citations omitted). Congress also avowed a purpose of providing ''a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.'' Sec. 2(b)(2).
[Footnote 13 (1996 Supplement)] See, e.g., Flores v. City of Boerne, 877 F. Supp. 355 (W.D. Tex. 1995) (holding the RFRA unconstitutional); and Canedy v. Boardman, 16 F.3d 183, 186 n.2 (7th Cir. 1994) (dictum that the constitutionality of the RFRA--not before the court--''raises a number of questions involving the extent of Congress's powers under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment''). For an overview of these issues, see Scott C. Idleman, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Pushing the Limits of Legislative Power, 73 Tex. L. Rev. 247 (1994). For arguments pro and con, compare Douglas Laycock, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 1993 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 221 with Christopher L. Eisgruber and Lawrence G. Sager, Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is Unconstitutional, 69 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 437 (1994).
[Footnote 13.1 (1996 Supplement)] This much was made clear by Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993), striking down a city ordinance that prohibited ritual animal sacrifice but that allowed other forms of animal slaughter.
[Footnote 14 (1996 Supplement)] 508 U.S. 520, 531 (1993).
[Footnote 254] This latter condition derives from the fact that the Court in Swaggart distinguished earlier decisions by characterizing them as applying only to flat license fees. See n., supra. See also Laycock, The Remnants of Free Exercise, 1990 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1, 39-41.
[Footnote 255] Justice O'Connor, concurring in Smith, argued that ''the Free Exercise Clause protects values distinct from those protected by the Equal Protection Clause.'' 494 U.S. at 901 .
[Footnote 256] Although neutral laws affecting expressive conduct are not measured by a ''compelling interest'' test, they are ''subject to a balancing, rather than categorical, approach.'' Smith, 494 U.S. at 902 (O'Connor, J., concurring).
[Footnote 257] Id. at 1613.
[Footnote 258] Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 494 (1961).
[Footnote 259] McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978). The plurality opinion by Chief Justice Burger, joined by Justices Powell, Rehnquist, and Stevens, found the case governed by Sherbert v. Verner's strict scrutiny test. The State had failed to show that its view of the dangers of clergy participation in the political process had any validity; Torcaso v. Watkins was distinguished because the State was acting on the status of being a clergyman rather than on one's beliefs. Justice Brennan, joined by Justice Marshall, found Torcaso controlling because imposing a restriction upon one's status as a religious person did penalize his religious belief, his freedom to profess or practice that belief. Id. at 629. Justice Stewart also found Torcaso dispositive, id. at 642, and Justice White found an equal protection violation because of the restraint upon seeking political office. Id. at 643.
Links all 'non- Muslim' supporters [of Muslims] should watch...
By Terry Mercer
These are relatively 'tame' - educational, and describe how 'we' can't blindly accept that Islam and Muslims are worshipping the SAME GOD... or just want to live in peace, like the Amish... and are commanded to do, allow, and see through certain acts & actions AGAINST ALL NON-MUSLIM BELIEVERS (especially Christians & Jews, named specifically). If you have a 'polite' link that you think SHOULD go to a Muslim supporter (that isn't Muslim) that thinks Muslims 'have religious rights' feel free to add it... with a brief description of its purpose: This encourages people to read the Koran, to question and learn about the differences. It's low key, but pretty effective, and doesn't require reading, but is well presented, and most always leads to more questions... and some acceptance that their blind apathetic ignorance MIGHT BE WRONG. I think it's one of the best 'non-attacking' starting places, which point out some of the vital differences. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib9rofXQl6w&feature=player_embedded
Those that claim to have 'Muslim friends' - ask them JUST HOW CLOSE & personal those friends are, of if those Muslims joke around, or talk about personal issues, challenges, and problems. Few do, few will... with non-believers. Because it's forbidden. The problem is that so many Americans (and free nation workers) are so busy with their work, survival, and life... that they often confuse 'friends' with 'co-workers' and 'acquaintances' and 'associates' - not realizing the general lack of depth, meaning, and real sharing FROM the Muslim (many will listen, few actually openly share THEIR SIDE with non-Muslims). MOST people don't realize that they are doing most of the talking, and the Muslims do very little. Another thing, to ask those 'good Muslims’ - is what they think about domestic security, profiling in airports and sensitive areas, and sharia law. Point blank ask them if they've actually READ the Koran for themselves... and what their opinion is on women not being allowed to drive, or being worth less than a man, or what they think about the violence the Koran calls for.
The Tragedy of Aisha: a Product of Abuse
The Tragedy of Aisha: a Product of Abuse
by Khalil Fariel
It is no secret that child-sexual abuse has serious consequences on its victims, and among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, it is no longer a secret that the Qur’an explicitly condones pedophilia. Of course, for Muslims to finally acknowledge the harmful effects of abuse on a child, it becomes necessary for us to expose those effects through authentic Islamic sources. That is why we find Aisha, Muhammad’s third and ‘favorite’ wife, to be the perfect model for assessing pedophilia and its consequences on the victims.
In Islam, Aisha bint Abu Bakr is referred to as one of the “Mothers of Believers”. Islamic sources boast of her as a great scholar who narrated a large volume of hadiths. There is some truth in this claim; with over 2,000 attributed to her name, Aisha is second only to Abu Huraira in narrating hadiths. However, this act (of narrating incidents which occurred in Muhammad’s life) would not have required much scholarship, simply a good memory; something which we will later see she most definitely possessed. In contrast, there are so many things about the life of Aisha, Muhammad’s child bride, that Muslims of today would rather have forgotten.
Contrary to their claims, she was never a likeable character in life. Perhaps she would have grown into an emulative figure if it had not been for the carnal needs of a perverted old man disrupting her innocent life. We have lost most of Muhammad’s wives to history, Aisha stands distinctive in this regard, as her life is well known in Islamic tenets through her involvement in the notorious “Battle of the Camel” and the devastation it caused among the Muslim Ummah.
Let us begin our analysis of Aisha from her life with Muhammad. Was she a good wife in Muhammad’s harem? Given that she was by far the most rebellious among the wives, the answer is an emphatic NO. Islamic sources attest that Aisha remained as an immature child in Muhammad’s harem.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: that ‘Omar entered upon Hafsa and said, “O my daughter! Do not be misled by the manners of her who is proud of her beauty because of the love of Allah’s Apostle for her.” By ‘her’ he meant Ayesha. Omar added, “Then I told that to Allah’s Apostle and he smiled (on hearing that).” [Sahih Bukhari. Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 145]
Omar, the second Caliph of Islam, testifying of Aisha’s bad mannerisms in a Sahih Hadith, warning his daughter to not be misled by her. So much for the perfect Mother of Believers! Islamic sources also tell us that, there was much infighting in Muhammad’s harem. The wives were divided into two groups, with Aisha in control of one.
Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Ayesha: The wives of Allah’s Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of ‘Ayesha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Apostle. [Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book:47, Hadith: 755]
Was Aisha happy with Muhammad’s wife collecting spree? Again, NO she was not. When made privy of Muhammad intentions of making a further addition to his harem in the form of Zainab bint Jahsh, his son-in-law’s wife, Aisha exploded. This frantic outburst even warranting an intervention from Muhammad’s alter ego- Allah, with holy verses.
Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).’ (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your lord hastens in fulfilling your carnal desires” [Sahih Bukhari. Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith: 311]
The truth is, she was never happy with Muhammad, and their marriage was far from being a match made in heaven. We have Sahih sources which confirm this.
Aisha once plotted against Muhammad, and by extension, this can be construed as a plot against Islam itself.
Narrated Ibn Abbas: I intended to ask ‘Omar so I said, “Who were those two ladies who tried to back each other against the Prophet?” I hardly finished my speech when he said; they were ‘Ayesha and Hafsa.” [Sahih Bukhari. Vol. 6, Book: 60, Hadith: 436]
So even during Muhammad’s lifetime, Aisha was subversive towards Islam and she, along with Hafsa, rose up against him. Once again, Allah- the alter ego of Muhammad, had to intervene with verses to fix the problem. We find these verses in the Qur’anic chapter At-Tahrim.
So far, we have looked at Islamic sources and how they reflect on Aisha, but if we take a careful look at the hadiths Aisha had narrated herself; their nature and content are almost always derogatory towards Islam and very often she is found mocking and belittling her husband. This is not merely propaganda, but a fact which anyone with an impartial outlook can confirm for themselves. Here are just a few examples:
Aisha said Muhammad was affected with magic, and black magic is considered to be the devil’s doing, thereby she is in fact proclaiming he was under the influence of the devil. Muhammad had lost all sense of reality and acted quite bizarrely. This has been recorded in many places.
In Sahih Bukhari alone: [Book: V.4, Book, 54-Hadith: 490, V.7, Book-71 Hadith: 658, V.7, Book: 71-Hadith: 660 Vol.7, Book -71 Hadith: 661, V.8, Book- 73 Hadith: 89, V. 8, Book: 75- Hadith: 400]
Muhammad; the final Messenger of God being controlled by the devil. This, from the lips of the Mother of Believers!
She also created the impression of a very forgetful and clumsy Muhammad.
Narrated ‘Ayesha: The Prophet heard a man (reciting Quran) in the Mosque, and he said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy upon him. No doubt, he made me remember such-and such Verses of such-and-such Sura which I dropped from my memory. [Shih Bukhari. V. 3, Book: 48 Hadith :82]
She disclosed things which Muhammad had told her in private.
Narrated Aswad: Ibn Az-Zubair said to me, “Ayesha used to tell you secretly a number of things. What did she tell you about the Ka’ba?” I replied, “She told me that once the Prophet said, ‘O ‘Ayesha! Had not your people been still close to the pre-Islamic period of ignorance (infidelity)! I would have dismantled the Ka’ba and would have made two doors in it; one for entrance and the other for exit.” Later on Ibn Az-Zubair did the same. [Sahih Bukhari.Vol. 1, Book :3 Hadith :128]
She betrayed Muhammad’s private affairs.
Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Ayesha: The wives of Allah’s Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of ‘Ayesha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Apostlei you will find the rest of this hadith to be hilarious. Please read through Sahih Bukhari. Vol 3,Book :47/ Hadith: 755.
When all is said and done, it is very hard to believe that Aisha was in fact a true Muslim. There is little wonder that most Shi’ites view her with contempt. They are treating her memory in accordance to her merits in Islam. Yes, it may come as a surprise too many but 1/10th of the worlds Muslim population consider Aisha as not being a true Muslim, not in the absolute sense of the word.
Due to her (Aisha’s) actions against Imam Ali during the times of the Prophet and after his death (including the famous battle of the Camel), the followers of the ahl al-bayt are not encouraged to keep her name for their children.
Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, once suggested for him to divorce Aisha when she had become involved in a scandalous affair with a man named Safwan, and there is evidence in Islam’s authentic sources which affirm that Aisha kept hold of her vengeful hatred towards Ali for the rest of her life. So much so, she could barely bring herself to mention him by name.
Narrated ‘Aisha: “When the Prophet became seriously ill and his disease became aggravated he asked for permission from his wives to be nursed in my house and he was allowed. He came out with the help of two men and his legs were dragging on the ground. He was between Al-Abbas and another man.” ‘Ubaid Ullah said, “I told Ibn ‘Abbas what ‘Aisha had narrated and he said, ‘Do you know who was the (second) man whose name ‘Aisha did not mention’” I said, ‘No.’ Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘He was ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib.’ “ [Sahih Bukhari. Vol. 1. Book:11, Hadith: 634]
Worse still, the troubled state of mind of this young woman led to the first civil war in Islamic history to be caused by a woman. She led an army against Ali, the fourth elected Caliph of the Muslims. Her actions ultimately caused the death of twenty thousand Muslims in the war now known in history as the “Battle of the Camel”. But what could have possibly drove her to such extreme measures without ever considering the outcome of her actions? The answer is simple; she was metaphorically attempting to kill two birds with one stone.
Narrated Jarir: The Prophet said to me during Hajjat-al-Wida’: Let the people keep quiet and listen. Then he said (addressing the people), “Do not (become infidels) revert to disbelief after me by striking the necks (cutting the throats) of one another (killing each other).” [Sahih Bukhari. Vol. 1, Book: 3, Hadith: 122]
Her actions were very much reflective of Aisha’s disturbed psychological make up. A physically [Sahih Muslim Book 4, Hadith: 2127] and sexually abused female, deprived from the innocent pleasures of childhood and adjoined to Muhammad’s harem while she was still a playful little girl. She could never rid herself of this affliction and the physical and psychological pain manifested itself through hatred.
And the outlet for this hate? In a delirious state, she raised up arms against Ali and her own brethren (Muslims) and by doing so, she was rebelling against her deceased husbands wishes, “Do not revert to disbelief after me by striking the necks of one another.” Aisha’s forces were ultimately defeated, yet amidst all of these mishaps, this deranged woman preserved and carried her animosity towards Ali throughout her life. In Tabari vol. 7:224 we even see her rejoicing at the news of Ali’s death. The life of Aisha bint Abu Bakr truly was a seventh century tragedy.
God's Begotten Son (Muslims claim allah has NONE)
By Terry Mercer
The Hebrew Scriptures clearly teach that God has a begotten Son. The Old Testament reference can be found in Psalm 2:6-7, which states:
· “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (7) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Though the Muslims are taught that this passage refers to King David, David was begotten of Jesse. Ruth 4:22 states, “And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” In Psalm 2:7, the Hebrew word yalad is used, Strong’s 3205. This word refers to an actual begetting, bearing, birthing and siring. Therefore, this passage clearly teaches that the God of the Bible has an actual begotten Son. As fulfilled in the New Testament, Luke 1:30-32, 34-35 declares that He was born of a virgin:
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David…(34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
When referring to the New Testament, Acts 13:33 cites Psalm 2:7 indicating that it was Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, who is the fulfillment of God’s begotten Son. Acts 13:33 attests: “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
It is also significant to note that, in Acts 13:33, the Greek word gennao is used, Strong’s 1080. Regarding this word’s definition, it is the equivalent to the Hebrew word yalad. This word also refers to an actual begetting, bearing, birthing and siring.
Though both Old and New Testaments teach that God has a begotten Son, the Koran emphatically rejects Allah having a son. In the following Suras, Muhammad declares:
Sura 23.91 “Never did Allah take to Himself a son, and never was there with him any other god-- in that case would each god have certainly taken away what he created, and some of them would certainly have overpowered others; glory be to Allah above what they describe!”
Sura 25.2 “He, Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Who did not take to Himself a son, and Who has no associate in the kingdom, and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure.”
In direct opposition to the Koran, Jesus teaches in John 3:16-18 that He, as God’s only begotten Son, is the only way to eternal salvation and everlasting life. He also instructs that those who deny Him as the only begotten Son of God are doomed to destruction:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
With respect to this passage, John 3:18 is just as important as John 3:16 when considering the teachings of Muhammad in the Koran. John 3:18 declares condemnation to those who do not believe “in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Meanwhile, Muhammad teaches to reject God’s Son. Therefore, when considering the message of salvation in the Bible, the Islamic faith, through the guidance of a false instructor and prophet, teaches condemnation to all, not salvation to all!
Throughout the New Testament, the message that Muhammad rejects remains consistent. Jesus Himself continues to testify in John 14:6 and Matthew 10:32-33 the following:
· John 14:6 “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
· Matthew 10:32-33 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
While the Holy Scriptures continue to stress that the only way to eternal salvation is through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the Koran, through the written words of Mohammed, teaches that Allah will destroy anyone who believes that he has a son. The applicable Sura from the Koran and the written words of Mohammed follow:
Sura 9.30 “And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”
With respect to the begotten Son issue, Allah cannot be the God of the Bible. The Scriptures are blatantly clear that God has a begotten Son and that His Son is the only way to salvation. Meanwhile, the Koran teaches that Allah does not have a son and that those who believe that he does will be destroyed. Therefore, Allah is NOT the God of the Bible!There are MANY other examples and sited scriptures, and logical explanations that dispell this MYTH (which I clearly believe it to be) at http://www.kingmessiahproject.com/is_allah_not_God.html
The following is the essence of the Quran, the rest are fairy tales:
By Terry Mercer
The following is the essence of the Quran, the rest are fairy tales:
Quran Surah 2: The Cow
Quran Surah 3: The Family Of ‘Imran
Quran Surah 4: Women
Quran Surah 5: The Table Spread
Quran Surah 6: The Cattle
Quran Surah 7: The Heights
Quran Surah 8: The Spoils of War
Surah 9: Repentance
Quran Surah 10: Jonah
Quran Surah 11: Hud
Quran Surah 13: The Thunder
Quran Surah 14: Abraham
Quran Surah 15: The Rock
Quran Surah 16: The Bee
Quran Surah 17: The Children of Israel
Quran Surah 18: The Cave
Quran Surah 19: Mary
Quran Surah 20: Ta Ha
Quran Surah 21: The Prophets
Surah 22: The Pilgrimage
Quran Surah 23: The Believers
Surah 24: The Light
Quran Surah 25: The Criterion
Quran Surah 26: The Poets
Quran Surah 27: The Ant
Quran Surah 28: The Narrative
Quran Surah 29: The Spider
Quran Surah 30: The Romans
Quran Surah 31: Luqman
Quran Surah 32: The Prostration