Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell, the Pope, and Danger

Nobody really likes being in danger. In fact, most people like to avoid it, unless, of course, you are a professional stunt man, a missionary to a third world country, or a convenient store clerk. Some jobs bring inherent danger with them...it just comes with the territory.

On September 12, two statements were made about religion and danger that I think are interesting to compare. The first came from Rosie O'Donnell, new co-host of The View. (Side note: Though this is a second blog containing information from The View, I promise...I don't watch it.) In talking about the war on terror, O'Donnell said, "We were attacked not by a nation. And as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries." When Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the professing Christian and conservative of the group, began to respond with comments on radical Islam, O'Donnell piped up again, "Just one second...radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."

Did you read that correctly? Yes. Did she really say that? Yes. In other words, Rosie O'Donnell believes that Christians who stand for their faith (and hold to a doctrine that confronts her lesbian lifestyle) are just as dangerous as a radical Muslim. Sure, they aren't flying planes into buildings or torturing and killing those who oppose them, but they are certainly as dangerous with their articles and preaching and books. Please excuse the sarcasm.

The second comment on religion and danger came from Pope Benedict XVI, who spoke at the University of Regensburg in Germany that same day. He was speaking on faith and reason, and in doing so, he quoted 14th century emperor Manuel II, who said, "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." He did all of this to show the irrationality of conversion by compulsion...that it was no conversion at all. In other words, "The man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Clearly, in the pope's speech, the evil lies with radical Islam and not with Christianity.

Now, with such harsh statements coming against Christianity and Islam, I think we'll get to see which is more dangerous. First, let's think of the consequences of Rosie's words...blogs, articles, coffee shop discussions, radio talk show hosts with more material, etc. What is the world coming to?!?! (Sarcasm, yet again.). What about the result of the Pope Benedict XVI's words? Churches being bombed, Christians being shot in the West Bank and Gaza, an Austrian nun killed, the pope burned in effigy, a call for the pope's assassination, a threat to destroy the Vatican, and public Muslim prayers like "enable us to slit their throats." No sarcasm here...those are all things I found online in a 3-minute search. So, whose life is in greater jeopardy because of their words? Rosie O'Donnell or Pope Benedict XVI?

Well, the story doesn't end there. Remember those episodes of Scooby Doo when the mask was taken off the monster at the end, and you were surprised to find our who the real crook was? There's a mask here, as well. If we stop here, then we're in danger of disobeying a command of Jesus and giving too much authority to the Islamic religion.

What is the command would ignore? "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mt. 10:28). If we stop the discussion too soon, then the greatest power of religion lies in this life...in whether some radical Muslim will take our lives or not. Rosie would be wrong...radical Christianity wouldn't be just as threatening as radical Islam...radical Islam would be the greater danger because of the threat of death.

I still think Rosie is wrong, but in a much different way. I believe that, for Rosie O'Donnell and all others who do not believe, Christianity is much more dangerous than Islam. The Christian message is that all are sinners, and unless we repent and believe in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then an eternity of hell awaits us. The threat of torture, a slit throat, a destroyed Vatican, a dead nun, and burned churches are nothing compared to the threat of the wrath of God being poured out on a soul for all eternity. That is danger...refusing to believe in Christ is the most dangerous life to live. We'll all stop breathing one day, but apart from Christ, you will never stop suffering.