On Libya & Great Religions


In response to the murder of four U.S. diplomats by angry Muslims in Libya, Secretary of State Clinton went on record today saying Islam was a “great religion.”

I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant by that.

I wasn’t sure if she meant there were some religions that were not so great. Of course if that were true, it would mean the U.S. government was preferring some religions (the “great ones”) over others (the not-so-great ones).

So then I thought perhaps she meant all were religions were great. But of course that isn’t really worth saying. If all religions are great it doesn’t really make sense to call out one without mentioning the others.

And you know, when The Last Temptation of Christ was released, I don’t remember the U.S. government apologizing to Christians or calling Christianity a “great religion.” Maybe, I thought, the moniker “great” is reserved by the U.S. government for religions whose adherents commit murder in response to criticism of their leader. I don’t know; it’s all very confusing to me.

I thought about this some more–and you can tell I thought about this a lot today–and I seemed to remember President Bush saying the same thing in response 9/11, i.e. that Islam was a “great religion,” which seems an odd thing to conclude from a group of Muslims murdering 3,000 people.

So I concluded that neither Mrs. Clinton nor President Bush really believed Islam was a great religion. After all, if they thought Islam was so great I suppose they would be Muslims instead of Christians. And besides, Mrs. Clinton did go on to say in her speech today that murdering others in the name of religion was not such a great thing to do.

So, I decided that both were probably just pandering to Muslims–you know, blowing sunshine in their face, saying something nice they don’t really believe in the hopes that the Muslims will stop murdering us in the name of Allah.

Now, I’m not a diplomat, and this blog is not intended to be political. It is however intended to help shed some light on how earthly problems should be solved with Kingdom principles. And the bottom line here is I don’t think conducting foreign policy premised on false assumptions is wise or safe.

I’m not saying Mrs. Clinton should have said “Islam sucks as a religion because too many of its adherents murder in the name of their god.” I’m just saying she didn’t have to say something that neither she nor the vast majority of the non-Muslim world believes just to appease. It makes her (and the U.S. government) look naive and weak, and if history has shown anything it is that naivete and weakness do not fare well in a fallen world. GS

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