Are Christmas Trees Idols?

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One of the arguments presented by Christians who oppose Christmas celebration is that Christmas trees are idols.

I think the first material where I encountered this teaching was one of the Alberto series titled “The Force” published by Jack Chick. In it, Alberto Rivera, a self-acclaimed ex-Jesuit priest, said without a shred of documentation:

“As time passed, all over the world on the 25th of December, the sun was worshipped by these various names: Tammuz, Horus, Osiris, Sol, etc. It was a time for orgies, sacrificing of babies to Baal, drunkenness, and merriment. Semiramis ordered trees to be decorated with little balls representing the sun. God fought this evil holiday by forbidding the Jews to decorate trees as the heathens were doing (Jer. 10:1-4).” (The Force, The Crusaders Vol. 15 by Jack T. Chick, 1983, p. 26).

You don’t have to be a scholar to see how groundless these statements are. All you have to do is enter the names of these idols into a search engine and you will realize that they had no specifically fixed dates on which they were worshipped, much less on December 25th.

The hackneyed tale of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz often tied to Christmas by some religious groups is not my issue here. I’ve addressed that hypothesis in my article, The Mirror Image Syndrome.

Also, if you need more info on the yak milk and powdered sparrow eggs being put out by Chick Publications, you can read this. My main concern here is that Bible passage often trotted out, Jeremiah 10:1-5 (KJV):

“For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree…”

Using the principles of sound Biblical interpretation, here are reasons why these Bible verses do not refer to Christmas trees:

1. One of the ways to properly interpret the Bible is to cross reference, to examine parallel passages. It’s dicey to build a doctrine on just one verse of the Bible, especially when other passages go in an opposite direction.

For instance, the passage says, “One cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman.”

Reading this, one would picture a lumberjack going into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree, but this is not the intended meaning.

When you read the entire chapter, you will see that this “workman” was one who took material—in this case the wood from a tree—and formed it into an idol.

Later in this passage, the “workman” is portrayed as plating an idol with silver and gold. He was clearly not a lumberjack; he was fashioning a “graven image… they are all the works of cunning men” and they are “the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth” (vv. 9-14)

In a parallel passage, we read, “The workman melteth a graven image…”

Then he makes an idol with wood from a tree:

“He… chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image…” (Isa. 40:19, 20).

Therefore, the “workman” was an idol carver. The Hebrew word is “charash” meaning “an engraver” or “artificer.” And we all know images of idols were fashioned out of wood, gold, silver, brass or adorned with them.

2. One of the ways to have a good understanding of the Bible is to read it in a clearer and more accurate modern translation.

For instance, the tool the workman uses is called an “ax.” Though the word ax (or axes) appears 18 times in the King James Version, the Hebrew word here (maatzad) translated ax is a different word.

It is not the ax that a lumberjack would use to cut down a tree, but is a carving tool or tong. The workman would use this tool to form an idol from the tree already cut down.

Some translations, more correctly, use the word chisel: “…they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel” (NIV).

3. Just quoting a Bible passage isn’t enough, we must look to see if the passage actually describes what we are saying. Otherwise, we are unfairly reading our preconceived notions into it.

The idol described in Jeremiah 10, was carved from the “stock” of a tree (margin: “wooden idol,” vs. 8). Positioned “upright as a palm tree,” it was fastened with “nails and hammers” so it would not fall over (vv. 4, 5).

While this could be true of a Christmas tree, what is described here is a wooden idol in a standing position. Being lifeless, it cannot stand on its own, and must be fastened down to avoid falling over.

4. Reading the preceding and proceeding verses of a passage is vital to Bible interpretation.

When we take a look at the whole of Jeremiah 10, it’s contrasting the Living God who made the heavens and the earth to man-made idols that “cannot speak…have to be carried, for they cannot walk.”

It speaks of “the living God and the everlasting King” and derides man’s idols “for his images are false, and there is no breath in them” (vv. 5, 10, 14 RSV).

The prophets commonly pointed out the foolishness of believing in “idols…the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not” (Psalms 115:4-7).

The idols Jeremiah described, “speak not”— implies a mouth, but no speech. This would make no sense if Jeremiah was speaking of a Christmas tree— after all, no one expects a Christmas tree to talk!

These idols apparently had legs, yet could not walk. They must be carried, “because they cannot go” (Jer. 10:5).

Had Jeremiah’s subject been a Christmas tree, his whole argument would break down at this point since everyone knows a Christmas tree must be carried—no one expects a Christmas tree to walk.

5. The idols that Jeremiah was describing were dressed in clothing: “…blue and purple is their clothing” (Jer. 10:9).

A Christmas tree may be decorated, but no one puts clothing on it—not blue, purple, red or any other colour of clothing.

The fact that he even uses the term “graven [carved] image” (v. 14) to describe them is proof that he was not referring to a Christmas tree but an idol carved in the likeness of a man.

Isaiah described the same thing (Isa. 44:9-15). Though the wood from a tree can be carved into the shape of an idol resembling a man, it is merely a lifeless idol. “There is no breath in them” (Jer.10:14).

Again, the subject could not be a Christmas tree – no one supposes a Christmas tree has breath! (cf. Hab. 2:18, 19).

It has been documented that the custom of decorating with a Christmas tree, as we know it, extends back 500 years to Europe, especially Germany. But the custom originated among Christians.

They were not apostates trying to inject paganism into the church. Fruit or round decorations placed on the tree, to them, spoke of the fruit on the Tree of Life in Scripture. The traditional star at the top represented the star that guided the wise men to the place of Jesus’ birth.

While the Bible condemns worship of trees and fertility deities (such as Baal and Asherah) under green trees, it also shows us that trees were created by God. There were trees in the garden of Eden and even trees in the New Heaven.

Yes, we need to guard against pagan influxes, but at the same time, we also need to guard against extreme and fanatical teachings that see paganism behind every wall, shadow and everything God has created. That mindset is not typifying freedom but spiritual bondage.

That a Christian decorates a tree doesn’t imply idolatry unless he/she is worshipping or praying to it. That I have pictures of a dozen birds in my room doesn’t mean I worship birds or I’m a sorcerer.

I don’t know of any Christian that bows to Christmas trees or looks up to them as a conduit of sympathetic magic, so what is this false accusation based on?

Come to think of it, if Christians regarded these decorations as deities would they be throwing them out in the trash after a while?

The true Christian conduct is to avoid passing judgement on issues that are disputable. If you believe Christmas trees defile your faith, fine, don’t buy one, but then, don’t judge others doing so as idolaters.

KJV Onlyism: A Travesty of Bible Understanding

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In 2016, a family friend and I went to the church bookshop. He wanted to buy two Bibles for his children. He scanned through the Bible shelf and picked out a King James Bible. “Why? But they are still children,” I protested.

He didn’t seem to get it, he apparently felt the KJV should be the default version for everyone because of its regular usage by the church’s general overseer.

“These children won’t understand the old English of the KJV. It should be bought for adults,” I opined. “Children need a Bible that they can fluently read and understand as much as what they read in school. If the Bible is too complicated for them in their young ages, they will grow up not studying and understanding it.”

He listened on, so I selected the Contemporary English Version and gave it to him. He’s not a native English speaker, but after reading a few lines from it, he smiled in excitement saying, “Its English is so clear; it’s like the sermon of a modern European evangelist!”

We both laughed and he purchased the Bibles.

It later dawned on me that this man had hitherto not been exposed to reading any English translation except the KJV. He had been locked in the KJV from the start and this has blunted his personal study and knowledge of Scripture.

The fact is: the language of the KJV can make the Bible complicated to a modern reader.

This has to be demonstrated, not merely claimed. But before I get to this, I want to first point one of the dubious arguments that led me to into KJV Onlyism 12 years ago. Here it is:

“It is all a question of authority! If we say that God wrote only one Bible, and for us today it is the Authorized Version – 1611, King James Version, then our problem is solved. But if we say this version is nice, and that version is nice, and it is a matter of preference, then the authority becomes human opinion” (William Schnoebelen, Blood on the Doorposts, Chick Publications, 1994, p. 211).

This is a mendacious rhetoric that illustrates the cognitive dissonance of the KJO belief. Its major flaw is how the writer places Bible authority on a certain translation whereas the Bible’s authority rests on its inspiration – not its translation.

The Bible’s original languages were Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. These are the inspired and authoritative languages. English is merely one of the translations of the originals. God didn’t write the KJV, and history reveals that the roots of fundamentalism rest in the authority of the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible, not in any English translation.

Second, the idea of God writing “only one Bible” occurs only in the bubble universe of the KJOs. They peddle their beliefs by collapsing Bible inspiration into transmission and translation. God inspired the original autographs but many copies and translations were made from them.

All through history, there have been different translations of the Bible. People who believe that only the KJV should be used, fail to recognize that men like Peter, Paul, and Jesus Himself didn’t always use the same version!

Just a few of many examples from the KJV confirm this point:

When Isaiah 53:7 is quoted in Acts, it says: “…as a sheep before her shearers is dumb” (Acts 8:32). But when we turn to Isaiah 53:7 it says, “…like a lamb dumb before his shearer.” One says her, the other says his.

When the writer of Hebrews refers to Genesis 47:31, he says that as Jacob died, he “worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff” (Heb. 11:21). But when we turn to Genesis 47:31, it says he “bowed himself upon the bed’s head.”

When Paul quoted Isaiah 28:16, he wrote: “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom.10:11). But when we turn to Isaiah 28:16, it says: “He that believeth shall not make haste.”

What is clear here is that New Testament writers did not always use the same version. This is beyond dispute. In these examples, they quoted from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) whereas the Masoretic text was used for the King James translation of the Old Testament.

I have no problem with people using or loving the KJV, but I have a problem with persons insisting that we must use only the KJV if we are to be in a right standing with God, and then employ all kinds of manipulation, bullying and ad hominem to validate that sectarian position.

When a teacher disseminates wild conspiracy theories and obvious falsehoods all in a bid to bind Christians under a tradition – such as sole usage of a certain bible version – it’s cultic indoctrination and it should be thoroughly rejected.

A KJV Onlyite wrote rather facetiously:

“Readability statistics generated from Grammatik and Word for Windows show why the KJV is 5th grade reading level, while the NKJV and NASB are 6th grade, and the NIV is 8th grade reading level! … According to readability statistics generated by Pro-Scribe, the KJV is easier to read than USA Today, People Magazine and most children’s books.” (Gail RiplingerThe Language of the King James Bible, AV Publications 1998 p. 159 emphasis hers).

Below are examples in the KJV refuting her assertions:

In the KJV, it is stated that Ruth went out to glean in the fields, “ears of corn” (Ruth 2:2). A 21st century reader would have maize corn in mind, but the Hebrew word there is se’orah which means “grain” or “ears of grain.” In ancient Israel, it was popular to grow wheat and barley, but not maize corn (Zea mays).

Also, in Mark 2:23 we read that Jesus “went through the corn fields on the sabbath day.” The image conjured up is of Jesus walking through maize fields, but maize was wholly unknown in the Old World, including Palestine until A.D. 1492.

The Greek word there refers to “fields of grain/wheat.” In old English, the word “corn” was generally used to refer to grains, wheat or barley as well as maize. But English language has changed since then.

In the KJV, we read about a person coming into a church wearing “gay clothing” (James 2:3). The Greek word translated “gay” is lampros which (like “lamp”) simply meant bright. In old English, “gay” in this context meant bright or attractive clothing, but today it means a homosexual. A modern reader can end up with a confused interpretation of that text.

In Acts 28:13, Paul and others were on a ship, when the KJV says “they fetched a compass.” Reading this, you would think they used an instrument with a little needle pointing to the cardinal points. But what we call a “compass” had not even been invented at that time! This expression simply meant to circle  around (see Josh. 6:4; 2 Sam. 5:23).

In the KJV we read: “…thou knowest all the travel that has befallen us” (Num. 20:14; cf. Lam. 3:5). The “travel” in the text was an old English word which meant travail or hardship. We use the word differently today.

In the KJV, we read: “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men” (1 Sam. 4:9). An almost identical wording is found in Paul’s admonition of the Corinthian Church: “Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1Cor. 16:13). The word “quit,” as used here, is obsolete. In modern English we would say: “Conduct yourselves like men” or “be brave like men.”

The Song of Solomon 2:11, 12 in the KJV reads: “The winter is past, the rain is over and done; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

Reading this text, one would immediately think of a turtle, a slow-moving reptile with a hard shell. But how does it have a voice, you’d wonder. In the age of the KJV translation, the word turtle meant a turtledove which is known to make a soft purring sound.

In the KJV, we read: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit…” (Col. 2:8). The word “spoil” here evokes images of decay and putrefaction, but the underlying Greek word means “to plunder” or “take as plunder.” To a 17th century English reader, “spoil” or “despoil” conveys that meaning, but not in the 21st century.

In the KJV we read that a delegation of Jewish leaders was sent to prophetess Hulda, who lived “in Jerusalem in the college” (2 Kgs. 22:14). In Elizabethan English, the word college had a different meaning than today.

The Hebrew word so translated means second. That’s why newer versions, including the NKJV, translated it “second quarter” or “second district” of Jerusalem. A modern reader who reads the KJV text would think Hulda was living in a college dorm!

1 Cor. 16:15 “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” The word “addicted” is now used with negative connotation, like someone addicted to nicotine or drugs. Modern translations have correctly rendered the text as, “devoted themselves” to the ministry of the saints.

In 1 Thess. 4:15 Paul says “by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” In 1611, the word “prevent” doesn’t mean what we today mean by that word, namely, “to stop or hinder.”

That word as used back then meant “to precede” and the reader in 1611 wouldn’t have stumbled over its meaning, but a contemporary reader would stumble. A modern rendering would be, “we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep” (NIV).

Similarly, Psalm 119:147 says “I prevented the dawning of the morning.” In today’s English, the word “prevent” means “precede.” The Psalmist was simply saying he rose before dawn!

Paul wrote, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: He who now letteth will let…” (2 Thess. 2:7). When the KJV was translated, “let” meant to hinder as Paul told the Romans, he had intended to come to them “but was let hitherto” (Rom. 1:13). He was hindered in coming to them. But today, the word “let” is used in an opposite sense. It implies allowing a person to do a thing, not hindering him from it!

In the KJV, we read that when Paul came to Jerusalem “he assayed to join himself to the apostles” (Acts 9:26). The word “assay” in modern English means substances being tested in the lab, but here it means Paul attempted to join the apostles.

Rom. 1:28 “…God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

Some ungodly things people do are actually convenient. In 14th century English, “convenient” was used to refer to what is proper and appropriate. So the text is referring to things that are indecent.

How does a contemporary reader without the Greek text, a foreign version or a modern translation understand 2 Cor. 6:11-13?

“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense (I speak as unto my children), be ye also enlarged.”

Now compare this with the NIV:

“We have spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts. We are not withholding our affections from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange–I speak as to my children–open wide your hearts also.”

In the light of these examples, no one with a modicum of fairness and honesty would argue that the language of the KJV is clearer than USA Today, People Magazine and most children’s books.

Obsolete Words

Isa. 8:21, “And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry.” Today we would say hard-pressed or greatly distressed.

Isa. 14:23 “…I will sweep it with the besom of destruction.” We now call it broom.

1 Cor. 12:13 “but by the Holy Ghost.” Due to different translation companies, there were inconsistencies in the KJV renderings of the Hebrew word “ruach” and Greek word “pneuma” in reference to the Holy Spirit. Some resorted to the old English use of “ghost” for all spirits. (Same for “Sodoma” in Rom. 9:29 instead of “Sodom”).

John 2:6 “…after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.” Today we would say three gallons.

Isa. 3:22 “The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins.” In today’s expressions, the items listed are fine robes, capes, cloaks and purses!

Gen. 8:1 after the flood “the waters assuaged.” In modern expression, we would say, “the waters subsided.”

Isa. 19:8 “all they that cast angle into the brooks.” Now we call them “hooks” instead of angles.

Job 41:18 “By his neesings a light doth shine.” This is an obsolete word that puzzles a contemporary reader. The right word is sneezing.

Jer. 4:22 “For my people is foolish … they are sottish children.” Now we say stupid or senseless children.

There’s no child in the 5th grade or primary school that would have a grasp of the KJV than the NIV.

Grammatical inaccuracies

English, like most other languages, has evolved over a period of 400 years, therefore, many words in the KJV that were grammatically correct in 1611, are now awkward and flat out wrong today:

Phil. 1:23 “betwist” [between]
1 Thess. 1:8 “God-ward” [toward God]
Matt. 25:44 “athirst” [thirsty]
John 21:3 “I go a fishing” [I am going fishing]
Matt. 25:35 “for I was an hungred” [for I was hungry]
Gen.26:31 “betimes” [early]
Ruth 4:4 “to advertise thee” [to advise you]
James 1:25 “whoso” [whosoever]
1Cor. 7:28 “but and if thou marry” [but if you marry]
Matt. 13:21 “dureth” [endure].

Embarrassing/Vulgar words

The socio-cultural expression of 17th century England is not the same as today. There are some words that were acceptable back then that would be outright rude, embarrassing and even vulgar by modern standards. Here are some examples:

1 Kings 21:21 “him that pisseth against the wall.” Instead of using such an embarrassing description, newer translations use an euphemistic term: “male.”

Song of Solomon 5:4 “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”

An American lady once quoted this in a forum some years ago and wrote, “See, there’s fisting (a sexually perverse act) in the Bible.” If she had read this verse in any newer version, she would have been cleared of her ignorance that bowels was used of the heart in old English.

Gen. 12:16 “and he asses … and she asses.” If you read this out to a teenage or youth group, it will be met with snickers due to the urban usage of “asses.” Newer translations render it as male and female donkeys.

Hebrew 12:8 “then are ye bastards…” This is a strong word. So for proper decorum, “illegitimate” is used in modern translations.

2 Peter 2:16 “the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice.” This is also a strong word which for the avoidance of unnecessary distraction is now rendered as “mute donkey.”

Scholars in linguistics and philosophy of language would agree that language has the dual roles of communication and representation. It is a receptacle of human thoughts and the medium through which we give expression to our subjectivities.

Thus, the central purpose for having a Bible translation is to convey the meaning of words (in the Hebrew and Greek originals) to people in such a way that they can understand it as clear as tomorrow’s newspaper.

The KJV may have served this purpose over 400 years ago, but by modern English and translational standards, it can at best, puzzle and at worst, mislead many a reader.

The rigid insistence that Christians must stick to a less clear, obsolete and rather complex translation – which is difficult for common people to grasp – is similar to the dogma of Rome that made the Latin Vulgate the only “authorized text” in Europe, leading to the dark ages of ignorance and deception.

The Word of God is meant to be lucid even to a child, otherwise it would be a travesty of the Gospel that is being preached from it which should give light to everyone.

On Islam and its Book of Violence

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Premium Times, one of the leading Nigerian media outlets, published a report yesterday titled, Boko Haram, Ten Years On: How hundreds of girls bear brunt of insurgency.

A Muslim named Akeem, in his reaction to the report, trotted out a liberal cop out to Islamic violence which is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice. This comment caught my attention and I responded to it.

Another Muslim, Tajudeen, replied to me, and eventually resorted to attempting to bullying me into a free-for-all debate by boneheadedly “challenging” me to read the Quran.

Of course, over the years, I have developed certain criteria that guide me in who I engage and how I engage them on social media, and the limit to which I invest my time and energy in such pursuits.

I’ve been debating with Muslims online for 8 years now and I can almost predict each encounter. I don’t respond to everyone on every issue. I pick my battles with wisdom.

However, for the purpose of educating our Muslim friends out there, I’ve decided to publish this exchange here.

Let everyone who wishes to know the truth about Islam read the links provided and come to their own conclusions about who between us is presenting the truth or muddying (and denying) the facts.

Akeem’s words will appear in red, Taju’s in blue and mine in black.

The more reason why you need to use your own common senses given freely to you by God to know when you’re being led astray and when you’re on the right path.

Again, the problem with those being misled is that ‘they can’t read, understand nor interpret the Book being quoted for them’, but listen to the ‘words from the evil ones’.

Or could it be that the book itself turns good people into evil ones?

Couldn’t it be that this book is a veritable textbook of hate that robs those who soak it in of their humanity and common sense?

Your argument would have made sense if only Nigeria were plagued with such “misleadings,” but even a 10 year old knows that Islamic insurgency is found everywhere the religion holds sway.

When people from diverse cultures, geographical locations, religious exposures, social strata and political system all subscribe to the same violent ideology, then they are drinking from a common ideological fountain: a religious book of violence.

Have you read the ‘Book’? Can you expressly affirm that those who perpetrate violence are doing so based on the injunctions of the ‘book’?

Yes Tajudeen, I’ve read the Quran for more than a decade now. And I’ve read a number of hadiths. My first exposure to the Quran was in 2002. Frankly, it’s not a book of love, peace or justice.

So it would be very strange if I by now, I still didn’t know what its injunctions are, or whether Muslim jihadists have a credible support from Islam’s texts or not.

Perhaps you need to catch up on your history lessons to rediscover how yet another popular ‘book’ was used to enslave, violate, plunder and totally destroy other races by those claiming to be custodians of the messages of that specific book.

Don’t even try to deviate this issue to the Bible or Vedas or Adi Granth. The Bible or any other religious book beside the Quran is NOT the book being discussed here.

This is the well-worn path of the Muslim once they are backed up into a corner – deflecting to the Bible. They can’t defend their book without attacking another because they feel uncomfortable discussing their own book without running off in tangents. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the Muslim diversionary handbook.

Those who fight jihad read, quote and obey the Quran, not the Bible. They also follow Muhammad’s examples in the hadiths. They don’t follow the Bible or emulate Jesus Christ. Nice try, but I won’t fall for it.

The fact is, humans will always find justification for whatever they do, be it good or evil. And their ‘infallible’ argument will come from whichever ‘book’ they subscribe to.

Not in the case of Muslims who take their ideology from the Quran. That’s why you can prattle that “misinterpreted” line from here to Ceylon, it won’t fly because you have a religious figure – Muhammad – whose actions constitute your ethos and ethics.

He is your perfect example (uswa hasana) and you are expected to be violent as he was violent, fight as he fought his enemies, treat your wives as he treated his women, take people as slaves as he enslaved people, and by the “perfect legacy” he laid down for you to gain Allah’s approval, all his other heinous sins, practices and misguided worldview have become legally enshrined in your religious dogma.

That’s far off the bat from a person who seizes on certain Bible verses to approve of war, slavery or rape. These are opposed to the teaching and spirit of Christ. The Muslim who emulates Muhammad is the true Muslim and a Christian who doesn’t live as Christ lived is not of Christ. It’s as simple as that.

But before you go tripping with baseless conjectures and flaunting ignorance, Google the said ‘book.’ The English or Yoruba translations should be accessible to you.

In the Muslim mind, there’s no way you would read their Quran and not bow to Allah in adoration. To them, anyone who disagrees with Islam and its book must be labouring under baseless conjectures and ignorance. This is emotional bullying; like the high school jock calling a girl a lesbian for not accepting to dance with him.

It doesn’t occur to them – or they want to avoid accepting the possibility – that one can reject a religious system precisely because one has studied it through and through, but finds it spiritually objectionable, morally deficient, historically flawed and logically full of holes.

I promise, you will be amazed and astounded with what you find.

There’s nothing amazing and astounding in that book. It’s even an insult to the human intellect.

What do I want to find astounded with verses about rocks falling down in fear, Allah’s golden cow, sun sinking in the stream, meterors being thrown at jinn, an ant and Hoopoe bird talking to Solomon, semen being formed in the vertebra, the moon being splitted, a Jesus who escaped the cross and other outlandish claims that can only be found in a poorly written fiction for children?

I assure you that those who perpetrate violence/terror in the name of Islam, are not muslims.

That “they are not muslims” card has been overused. It’s time you guys cut it into pieces and threw it away.

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Its a lie, you have not read the Qur’an. Neither have you studied the hadiths. If you have, you would quote expressly where hate and violence is sanctioned just to spite every muslim.

You will buttress your points with verses and bash me in the face with facts, rather than tender these same worn out, threadbare arguments.

I don’t have to respond to you in accordance with your expectations. I don’t have to bash anyone in the face with facts, after all, your initial claim was that I was ignorant of your religion and you presumably know better.

It’s empty barrels that make the loudest of noise. Knowledgeable people are not always in an impulsive fit to bully people into accepting what they say.  That was your expectation, but I’m above that.

It was Sigmund Freud who first proposed what psychologists call “projection.” It’s an ego defense mechanism that propels a person to attribute their own negative (and positive) traits to others. For instance, when a person is a self-serving narcissist, he also sees others as narcissists. It’s a windscreen syndrome.

When a person lacks the internal capacity for telling the truth, even in the simplest of matters, he will be quick to label others as liars. He will find it difficult to take people’s words for it because truth is the farthest thing from his own mind.

When a man is intellectually insecure, emotionally immature and lacking in self-confidence, he will have an overwhelming urge to “overcompensate” by always wanting to throw his weight around or preening to impress the public with the shallow stuff he owns or knows.

Taju, I’m sorry I don’t fit into that box you are familiar with. I’m not interested in impressing you or anyone, I am more interested in presenting the truth. However, you are welcome to read my two-part article, Islam: the Religion of War (one and two) where I quote copiously from your authoritative texts.

In any case, you can still bash yourself in the face with facts by picking up your Quran and reading it and noting the violence taught in it.

Too many people, like you, have been thoroughly brainwashed by the vociferous and fully loaded ‘islamaphobia industry’. Their knowledge of Islam is at best third hand. Certainly not a direct intellectual enquiry.

Really? Well, such banal, pablum drooling scribblings are getting real old. I’ve had it up to my chin. That’s another distraction: poisoning the well. First you say I’m completely ignorant of Islam, next you accuse me of having a third hand knowledge of it.

Somehow, you pit yourself as some omniscient guy who implictly knows the nature and extent of what I have read.

The truth is, you can’t deal with the fact that I reject Islam because it’s false and destructive, so you try to make up all sorts of wild scenarios in your head about me to cement your malformed worldview. The whole world doesn’t revolve around you and your religion.

Speaking of “islamophobia,” you are deploying a worthless term like “homophobia,” used by liberals for smearing others. We are not “phobic” of Islam, we reject it, period. And you are very much welcome to interrogate our reasons for rejecting it rather than hiding behind stupid slogans.

But you see, your hatred of Islam is your personal choice. But it does not change its meaning and essence, which millions have discovered through the centuries.

But you see, your hatred of Christianity is your personal choice. But it does not change its meaning and essence, which millions have discovered through the centuries. And in this case, for at least five centuries before Muhammad arose in Arabia.

When people pout the word jihad without even knowing its meaning, I laugh. You don’t know what Jihad means, but I can tell you for free, it is aeons away from fighting or killing.

Yeah sure. Because you say so. Why don’t you “buttress your points with verses and bash me in the face (not literally, of course) with facts, rather than tendering these worn out, threadbare arguments” mouthed by lying Islamic apologists?

And too bad for those who think otherwise. Because they are ignorant. You don’t even know jack about the prophet of Islam.

You haven’t demonstrated anything of the sort, you have only given me an autobiographical window into the state your soul. Your barks are far out proportion to your bites. Since you have failed to persuade those who read this, you have to resort to blustery and bombastic words.

You are free to refute any of these articles

The Sex Life of the Prophet

Islam and Sex Slavery

The Tongue of the the Prophet

The Cruelty of the Prophet

The Wickedness of the Prophet

The Miracles of the Prophet

The Prophet and his Demons

The Danger of Blind Belief

A Tiptoe through the Hadiths

Allah, Satan and the Hadiths

The Cult of the Slave Masters

Islam: the Demise of Love

Please read books written by both enemies and friends of Islam, then you will be illuminated.

Did you just say I should read books authored by enemies of Islam? I thought you earlier said that I have “been thoroughly brainwashed by the vociferous and fully loaded ‘islamaphobia industry'” who lack “intellectual enquiry” and whose knowledge of Islam is third hand?

Politics has found its way into religion across board. The terrorist are not Muslims. To you that is a cliche, to us it a living fact.

Alright, bring those living facts along and refute these

The Two Faces of Islam

The Seed of Jihad

It doesn’t really matter what you think. Islam has stood the test of time. It will still be here when we are all gone.

You should be more concerned about Islam’s fraudulent “plan of salvation” and where it is taking you when you leave this earth.

This is the problem, you guys have been indoctrinated into seeing yourself so intertwined with Islam that you take it as a personal offence when it is questioned. But faith is supposed to be personal. You should be more concerned about how your investigation of Islam will affect you as a person, rather than how it will affect the public image of Islam which you have been conditioned to uphold.

I challenge you yet again to read the Qur’an

Your challenge has been met years ago. Here is an example.

Salamu Alaikum brother Victor. Peace and blessings of God be with you.

And also with you.