The problem of registering Muslims – or any group


 

Donald Trump Sets Off a Furor With Call to Register Muslims in the U.S.  

Sure – it sounds great to some people.  If they don’t think about it too much.  Even a little bit of thought would (should?) bring up all sorts of reasons why it’s not good at all.

But then, how many of us actually do what my wife calls “play the movie forward”?  If we did, we’d have to take a hard look at ourselves – but the look may be more than worth the time and effort.  

There’s this saying about when you point – some number of fingers point back at yourself.  Some say three.  Others say four, although my thumb isn’t capable of pointing back at me without a great deal of effort.  Either way – the “point” (pun intended) is that there are more fingers pointing back at us than there are pointing at the person to whom we point.

Here’s the first part of the article from the New York Times that this story comes from.

Under assault from Democrats and Republicans alike, Donald J. Trump on Friday drew back from his call for a mandatory registry of Muslims in the United States, trying to quell one of the ugliest controversies yet in a presidential campaign like few others.

The daylong furor capped a week of one-upmanship among Republican presidential candidates as to who could sound toughest about preventing terrorism after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. Polls show the national mood has soured on accepting refugees from Syria amid concerns about potential terrorist attacks within the United States.

Mr. Trump’s talk of a national database of Muslims, first in an interview published on Thursday by Yahoo News and later in an exchange with an NBC News reporter, seemed the culmination of months of heated debate about illegal immigration as an urgent danger to Americans’ personal safety.

Sure – Trump has a reason for saying this.  What’s actually in his head?  Who knows.  What about those who support his call for a registry of Muslims?  Most likely – fear.  The problem with talking about or judging the statements / actions of those involved in any movement to register Muslims (or any other group) is this statement from Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5 –

Mt 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Consider that – first take the plank out of your own eye – because only then can we see clearly to remove the speck from your (our) brother’s eye. Sounds like “playing the movie forward”.  Because when we look at this issue as applying to us – then we can clearly see why it’s a problem for others.

So let’s do that. 

What if it was a registry of Christians?

Since I’m a Christian – let’s look at this as the plank in my eye.  What if the call was to register all Christians?  Would I be in favor of that?

BTW – let’s take a small side trip here.  Some say the registry “only” needs to include Muslim terrorists.  Question – who is going to decide whether any given Muslim is a terrorist or not?  I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be a simple thing like having each Muslim check a box that indicates: terrorist? select (a) yes or (b) no.  
So if I was to play this movie forward, and it was a registry of Christians – I’m guessing that someone other than me is going to be checking that box either yes or no as to whether I’m a terrorist or not.  Thanks – but no thanks.

What if we were to have detailed vetting – and an unbiased person making the decision?  Maybe something like what Jesus said when a woman who had committed adultery was brought to Him.  The woman wasn’t to be put on a registry.  She was to be stoned to death.  So Jesus set the criteria for this stoning to take place –

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

And what happened after that?

Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said.

And there’s the problem.  Judging someone else is easy.  Inflicting the punishment on someone else is easy.  
Being judged by someone else is hard.  Being punished by someone else is hard.
Especially when the only one who’s really qualified to judge and punish isn’t involved.  Because His time for judging hasn’t come yet.

When the fingers point back

Think the fingers can’t point back?  The Bible says otherwise.  While there are significant differences between the Muslin and Christian versions of the End Times – think different movies – there are a number of things they have in common as well.  Although they also have different approaches as to how to bring about the End Times, both are hurtling towards that End Time with great anticipation.  

With that in mind – here’s a quote about the End Times from the book of Revelation –

Rev 13:16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark …

No – I’m not going to put this in context.  Why not?  Because there are two different movies being played by Christians and Muslims.  They’re kind of like watching a mystery movie – where essentially the same actions take place in both movies – sometime with the part being played by a different person – sometimes with the same person saying something different – but with enough in common that both would recognize the movie if they were to hear the other describe the plot.  To add context here would be to choose one of the movies.  Given that this post is addressed to both – although I clearly identify myself as Christian – I choose to play both movies here.

So the statement above talks about having a mark.  In order to have that mark – it’s reasonable to assume that someone gave each person the mark.  It’s certainly reasonable to also assume that as each mark was given – the relevant information for each person would be put into a database.  And a registry is created.  

Would you want to be in this registry?

Clearly – as the target of the proposed registry, Muslims do not want to be on it.  Many see that as a problem.  If the Muslims could only remove the speck from their eyes – they would be able to see that this is necessary to root out the terrorists.

But what if Christians were the target of the proposed registry?  We would not want to be on it.  And we’d be telling those who wanted us on the registry to remove the plank from their eyes so they could see the obvious problems being caused by the registry.  

Think the Christian registry scenario can’t happen?  I submit – you are wrong.

  • It’s already being proposed!  Some are already proposing for priority to be given to Christians trying to come to this country from Syria – priority over Muslims.  You think this isn’t going to result in two registries – one for Muslims and one for Christians?  If you think this won’t happen – you are so naive.  
  • Even if the above scenario doesn’t happen – and only the Muslim registry is created at this time – the same procedures and technology that are put in place to register Muslims can easily be adapted to register Christians.  Or any other group.  If you think this can’t happen – you are so naive.  
  • Both of these lists may already be in progress.  At one of your “favorite” places.  The IRS.  If you give to your mosque, church, synagogue, or other religious organization – and deduct it on your tax return – the IRS already knows it.  Think the government isn’t aware of it?   If you think this isn’t already happening – you are so naive.  

Let’s close this line of thought with another quote from Jesus – in Matthew 10:16 –

16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Be innocent –
don’t judge / hand out punishment to others unless we have done nothing wrong ourselves.  BTW – that rules us all out from doing either.

Be shrewd –
play the movie forward.  Consider how present actions / reactions against others will later come back to be actions / reactions against us.

Conclusion

Various things may happen now.  None of us knows what’s going to happen next.  Even the two movies being played out by Muslims and Christians have different endings.  Actually – I believe Muslims are playing out two movies on their own – so there would actually be three being played out now.  The Muslims that we call “moderate” are not playing the same movie as those we call terrorists.  Islam appears to have started as a peaceful religion.  However – even while The Prophet was alive – he was the very person who turned it into a violent religion – turning against the “People of The Book” that he previously had gotten along with.  Both the text of the Qur’an and world history covering the time from the 6th century forward clearly show this.  The second Muslim movie started about 1600 years ago – by the very same person who started the first one.  The followers of each Muslim movie thinks theirs is correct.  I believe the Christian movie has the correct ending.

One thing that it seems all three movies will include is something along the lines of the following –

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

Only God knows when and how this movie will end.  Only He knows which has the right ending – and when it will take place.

As I said – I stake my eternal life on the Christian view.

However – I firmly believe that the warnings above from Jesus came for a reason.  
Any action / reaction taken by any side in this on-going issue – can, and will, be turned around to be used against them.

And in then end – God wins.


To see how it all started – how we got the different religions / “movies” – with Abraham – see 
What religion was Abraham?

If you’re curious as about Christianity and Islam – comparing the Bible and the Qur’an – check out a series I’m working on –
Islam, peace, love and hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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