Author: Collectivism & Charity: The Great Deception
For those of you who do not know, the Virginia Christian Alliance (VCA) was recently cited as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Normally, I would not bother to respond to such a list, but there are a couple of important points to be made that support the VCA site’s purpose and the writings I have put together on the relationship between faith and governance.
The first item is to understand the Southern Poverty Law Center’s point of view and then evaluate it. We’ll start by defining hate so that we are all on the same page. According to the dictionary it is “to regard with extreme aversion; have great dislike for; detest.” I went to the SPLC web-site to see their criteria for inclusion in the list. The information about the SPLC’s hate map states, “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s criteria for being included within their ‘Anti-Muslim’ list includes holding “conspiratorial views regarding the inherent danger to America posed by its Muslim-American community … a conspiracy theory known as ‘civilization jihad.’” I won’t dwell on the fact that this is the very term the Muslim Brotherhood uses in their own documents. Maybe they should be on the anti-Muslim list as well. The SPLC goes on to say that these groups “broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. … [Islam] is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s position and rhetoric provide a perfect example to a point I’ve recently made in another post regarding refugees and immigration. The SPLC list’s very title focuses on people and not ideology. “The arguments presented [by those on the political left] are based upon our shared human nature, but our nature alone does not define who we are, whether citizen or foreigner. That is only the starting point. Instead we are defined by our choices and actions, reflections of the beliefs and ideas we hold. From Clement of Alexandria, ‘As are men’s wishes, so are their words; As are their words, so are their deeds; And as their works, such is their life.’ Ideas and beliefs matter as they shape our decisions and actions.
Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center want to make the issue about people and not ideology. It is an intellectually dishonest argument, because it deceptively excludes some of the relevant arguments that should be considered. A religion is defined by the relationship that man has with some supreme being, nature, essence or will. It extends from earth into heaven. An ideology is concerned with man’s ordering of his social interactions, particularly in relation to how he governs himself. It is strictly bound to the earth. Islam is both, in fact terms like political Islam are an oxymoron as Islam is by its very nature political. If you do not believe that, just read a view of the Medinan verses from the Qur’an. On the other hand, Christianity is a religion whose ideas hold implications for governance, but it does not dictate ideology. In the words of Thomas Aquinas,
There are various kinds of regimen … but the principal ones are monarchy, in which one man rules as specially qualified, and aristocracy, that is the rule of the best … Hence the best system in any state or kingdom is one in which one man, as specially qualified, rules over all, and under him are others governing as having special endowments, yet all have a share inasmuch as those are elected from all, and also are elected by all. This is the best form of constitution, a mixture of monarchy, in that one man is at the head, or aristocracy, in that many rule as specially qualified, and democracy, in that the rulers can be chosen from the people and by them. This was the form established by divine law.
He goes on to state that although this particular form of governance is not stated in scripture, every other form but this one is precluded by it. Within Christianity, the spheres of the church and state are intended to be separate, but within Islam they are intended to be one and the same. In fact the only reason for government within an Islamic society is to see that Islam’s requirements are carried out.
Second item. We have stated repeatedly in the Virginia Christian Alliance site’s articles that the issue is not Muslims, but Islam’s tenets—which by the way also come from Islamic sources. All Muslims share the same God given nature that we all have, and are deserving of our prayers. You can make the call whether the above makes us anti-Muslim or not, but we do see a threat in Islam’s tenets. We have about 1,400 years of history supporting these tenets existence. To deny them is the act of a fool. Consider,
- We do not worship the same God. They are contradictory and incompatible.
- We have a different understanding of who Christ is and salvation. These are also views incompatible with our society’s founding principles.
These are truths, grounded in facts. From these truths come several other ideas. Ideas that are connected and rooted in different ideologies.
- Is it man’s nature to be free or a slave?
- What is freedom?
- What is belief?
Do people exist to serve the state, or the state to serve its people?
To all of these questions Islam’s principles are contrary and incompatible to a Biblical world-view. And it doesn’t matter as to my depth of knowledge of Islam. I know my Christian faith, and I know what is different and contrary to it. That is all that matters.
If the Southern Poverty Law Center is truly concerned with identifying hate, one would think they would have at least issued a statement concerning the comments made in the media by various entertainers, politicians, and pundits after President Trump’s recent joint session speech. That speech was one of the few moments in the last eight years that actually was intended to, and should have, brought us together as a people. Instead many spouted mindless hate the following day.
We are truly defined by the actions we take, and taking no action is in itself an action. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s inaction defines who they really are and where they stand; with the fascists, communists, socialists, progressives, and others who seek division, envy, and hate. From the SPLC web-site again, “Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.” Sounds a lot like the recent activities undertaken by our political left, which the SPLC is also silent on. Maybe they should study their own hate criteria. But then again maybe there is another reason for their silence, maybe the Southern Poverty Law Center’s progressive views and Islam’s tenets are really not so far apart.
About Dan Wolf
Dan is gifted at gathering facts about contemporary subjects and sharing information in a manner that is easy to read and understand. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be society’s cornerstones. These require understanding the languages of reason and faith, but we no longer teach what’s needed to remain free and independent—and are losing our way. You can find out more about his work here.