January 2016

Dear Friends,

       Included in this newsletter is a letter from our bishops addressing the issue of immigration. I was going to recycle this, but I prefer to share it with you. This letter crystallizes for me the kind of liberal thinking that has dominated the highest councils of the Episcopal Church for a generation; a mindset that for all its good intentions has reduced this once prominent denomination to a shrunken sideshow of no importance. The judgment that those who would temporarily restrict the immigration of Muslims into this country are bigots, no better than Ku Klux Klansmen engaged in “arbitrary fear-mongering,” is hard to take. We know that ISIS is using the immigration wave leaving Syria as a tool to infiltrate their agents into the West. Is it a Christian virtue to ignore this threat?  Does living in peace with all people mean blindly believing that all of us have unconditionally good motives? Our Lord taught us to be good to all people and especially kind to the oppressed and strangers. But he also said, as a word of warning, “I send you out as sheep among wolves. Be innocent as doves but wise as serpents.” It’s a dangerous world we live in full of evil people who mean us harm. It is not wise to play make-believe and foolishly pretend that all religions have the same goal.  

       Last weekend the Wall Street Journal reported on recent events in Iran: “Award-winning filmmaker Keywan Karimi was sentenced in October to six years in prison and more than 200 lashes on the charge of “insulting sanctities”…The same month, two Iranian poets…each received decade long sentences and 99 lashes for kissing members of the opposite sex and shaking their hands.” This is Islam. The sentences were handed down by Iranian mullahs who are experts in Islamic law. We are playing a game of “see no evil” when we choose to pretend that Islam is a religion of peace with the same values and concern for human rights that Western liberalism has. Islam is an entirely different way of being in the world. It demands not faith but submission to an impersonal hyper-legalistic deity as unlike the loving Holy Trinity as night is from day. Rather than impugn the character and attack the motives of those who wish to prevent more attacks like the massacre we saw at San Bernardino, we need to begin a project to educate this country, beginning in our own Episcopal church, about Islam. The KKK is virtually dead in 21st-century America, but its hateful spirit is alive and well in the Islamic world. Most of the Muslim countries aligned with the Nazis in WWII, and it wasn’t just because they resented the British. Islam is much more like a fascist ideology than it is a Christian denomination. We need to wake up and realize what we are dealing with.

     I would suggest that we all do some serious study. Many important books have been written about Islam since 9/11.  The Crisis of Islam by Bernard Lewis, The Closing of the Muslim Mind by Robert Reilly, Defeating Political Islam by Moorthy Muthuswamy, Christianity and Islam by William Kilpatrick and Not Peace but a Sword by Robert Spencer would be a good reading list with which to start. Before we jump to the conclusion that everyone who is repulsed by Islam and worried that what is happening in the Muslim-only no-go zones in Paris could happen here is a small-minded bigot, we need to learn more about this so-called “religion of peace”: a “religion” that has waged offense war on and off against Christianity ever since the 7th century and routinely teaches little Palestinian children today that Jews are descended from pigs. We love and respect our bishops. Let us hope that, drawing upon our faith, we can elevate the level of dialogue in the future to include a truly educated and objective view of Islam. 


Fr. Jansen String