The Nazarene and the Prophet

It should not seem surprising that as the curtain begins to close on the History of Men, that two great universal systems of apprehending the Divine have commanded center stage: Christianity and Islam. Although both posit their ends in the worship of the One God, when one scratches beneath the surface, the stark differences become manifest. One need only look to the personalities that are held out as templates for their acolytes to emulate. Jesus, the humble and meek, (yet possessing the power to create and dissolve the material universe), suffers unto death the penalties that man has been so deserving of -- sacrificially performing that magnanimous act of love that reverberates across the Universe. He calls us to forsake our carnal lives -- not as an empty act of nihilism, but as a means to shed our hatreds, pettiness, and the worm of resentment and pride that gnaws at our unregenerate cores. Jesus commands that we renounce every vestige of the world that would war with all things emergent from the light. In Christ, and in the fullness of his love, we are the transformed sons and daughters ransomed back from the folly of our desire to flee and disconnect -- reveling in that unruled passion to be the final arbiter of our own faltering trajectories.

And in the Prophet we have the antithesis of the Christ. Mohammad stands as the great archetype of every Muslim. He is the warrior, the sublimator -- the fanatic incarnate who draws the line: "submit, convert or perish." Islam reinforces human distinction, elevates human pride and normalizes the earthly and vicious. All is permitted in waging the grand jihad that will inexorably lead to the submission of the earth under the monolithic law of a terrible and distant god -- a deity whose cold hand and dark gaze inject an anxiety and terror into every believer. Mohammad can murder. He can engage in rape and theft. He views women as chattel and children as his playthings. He can engage in treachery and genocide for the sake of his dark vision of the lord god. Christ paved the way for flesh to be made spirit, for rebels to become children and heirs to His kingdom. Mohammad promises a voluptuary paradise of sensual delight -- the Celestial Whorehouse of God for unquestioning slaves who enact his bidding -- men who unquestioningly shed human blood in the fearful name of their exacting and vengeful lord.

So many centuries hence, we can discern in our matured civilizations the ripened fruit of these two men. Indeed, it seems as if the West, which is wildly intent upon shedding the Nazarene's ethos, is centrifugally spinning into spiritual darkness, while Mohammad's maddened distortion of orthodox fire and wreckage is ascending long past the point of no return. From the Christian ethos, the Logos of ordered architectonic genius has permeated our understanding of causality and rationality. Christianity has given us science, opened our eyes to the existence of transcendent truth, kindled our knowledge of man's worth in the eyes of God, and in the final reckoning, upended the wickedness affirming the lie that one man exists for the sake of another's arbitrary will. The aesthetic of the loving God has uplifted and imbued our poetry, philosophy, and politics with the sublime and ironclad foundations from which we have constructed our interpretation of the Good Life. Moreover, our enlightened positions as sons and daughters of the Most High have shown us that grace and mercy can be reconciled, at least for a time, upon the pillars of liberty, equality, and wisdom.

But it is in the action of affixing its flinty resolve against the spirit of Jerusalem's heritage that Islam-Rising casts its opaque veil over the human heart, just as it unleashes that same savage vigor that lurks so cruelly within the unrestrained children of men. In the Fundamentalist Muslim's worldview, the notions of tolerance, democracy, and political equality are scarcely allowed the honor and authority that the West so foolishly takes for granted, except for that smothered and squalid egalitarianism that languishes at the bottom of a boot. And although slavery was outlawed in Saudi Arabia a generation ago, it exists now, through the blessing of Koranic legitimacy, in its myriad forms throughout the many prison windows of the Islamic world. In truth, we would be liars if we were to ignore Islam's ancient internal battleground that condemns its silent and subjugated women to the receiving end of its own political/theological mailed fist.

The god of Mohammad remakes nothing, redeems nothing, and loves nothing. He demands obedience through the instrumentalities of blood and divine hatred. As a Capricious Wraith of Unmixed Terror, he cultivates fear in the subjects and slaves who blindly follow his lead through the unwavering Orthodoxy of Despair. But in Christ, we see a revelation of God altogether "other" than we should suspect: Deny your hatreds, place yourself last, shed your pride, love your enemy, and pray for those who wish you evil. And if you must perish for your beliefs, let it be with clean hands and the blessing of Christ's love on your lips. For we are not commanded in service to a devil who demands that the flesh of innocent women and children should be sacrificed by means of a bomb vest to quell a tyrant's ancient bloodlust. It has been said that ye shall know the tree by its fruits. Let us take this wisdom to heart as we labor to plumb the mystery contained within the Character of God.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com and appears at www.stubbornthings.org.

It should not seem surprising that as the curtain begins to close on the History of Men, that two great universal systems of apprehending the Divine have commanded center stage: Christianity and Islam. Although both posit their ends in the worship of the One God, when one scratches beneath the surface, the stark differences become manifest. One need only look to the personalities that are held out as templates for their acolytes to emulate. Jesus, the humble and meek, (yet possessing the power to create and dissolve the material universe), suffers unto death the penalties that man has been so deserving of -- sacrificially performing that magnanimous act of love that reverberates across the Universe. He calls us to forsake our carnal lives -- not as an empty act of nihilism, but as a means to shed our hatreds, pettiness, and the worm of resentment and pride that gnaws at our unregenerate cores. Jesus commands that we renounce every vestige of the world that would war with all things emergent from the light. In Christ, and in the fullness of his love, we are the transformed sons and daughters ransomed back from the folly of our desire to flee and disconnect -- reveling in that unruled passion to be the final arbiter of our own faltering trajectories.

And in the Prophet we have the antithesis of the Christ. Mohammad stands as the great archetype of every Muslim. He is the warrior, the sublimator -- the fanatic incarnate who draws the line: "submit, convert or perish." Islam reinforces human distinction, elevates human pride and normalizes the earthly and vicious. All is permitted in waging the grand jihad that will inexorably lead to the submission of the earth under the monolithic law of a terrible and distant god -- a deity whose cold hand and dark gaze inject an anxiety and terror into every believer. Mohammad can murder. He can engage in rape and theft. He views women as chattel and children as his playthings. He can engage in treachery and genocide for the sake of his dark vision of the lord god. Christ paved the way for flesh to be made spirit, for rebels to become children and heirs to His kingdom. Mohammad promises a voluptuary paradise of sensual delight -- the Celestial Whorehouse of God for unquestioning slaves who enact his bidding -- men who unquestioningly shed human blood in the fearful name of their exacting and vengeful lord.

So many centuries hence, we can discern in our matured civilizations the ripened fruit of these two men. Indeed, it seems as if the West, which is wildly intent upon shedding the Nazarene's ethos, is centrifugally spinning into spiritual darkness, while Mohammad's maddened distortion of orthodox fire and wreckage is ascending long past the point of no return. From the Christian ethos, the Logos of ordered architectonic genius has permeated our understanding of causality and rationality. Christianity has given us science, opened our eyes to the existence of transcendent truth, kindled our knowledge of man's worth in the eyes of God, and in the final reckoning, upended the wickedness affirming the lie that one man exists for the sake of another's arbitrary will. The aesthetic of the loving God has uplifted and imbued our poetry, philosophy, and politics with the sublime and ironclad foundations from which we have constructed our interpretation of the Good Life. Moreover, our enlightened positions as sons and daughters of the Most High have shown us that grace and mercy can be reconciled, at least for a time, upon the pillars of liberty, equality, and wisdom.

But it is in the action of affixing its flinty resolve against the spirit of Jerusalem's heritage that Islam-Rising casts its opaque veil over the human heart, just as it unleashes that same savage vigor that lurks so cruelly within the unrestrained children of men. In the Fundamentalist Muslim's worldview, the notions of tolerance, democracy, and political equality are scarcely allowed the honor and authority that the West so foolishly takes for granted, except for that smothered and squalid egalitarianism that languishes at the bottom of a boot. And although slavery was outlawed in Saudi Arabia a generation ago, it exists now, through the blessing of Koranic legitimacy, in its myriad forms throughout the many prison windows of the Islamic world. In truth, we would be liars if we were to ignore Islam's ancient internal battleground that condemns its silent and subjugated women to the receiving end of its own political/theological mailed fist.

The god of Mohammad remakes nothing, redeems nothing, and loves nothing. He demands obedience through the instrumentalities of blood and divine hatred. As a Capricious Wraith of Unmixed Terror, he cultivates fear in the subjects and slaves who blindly follow his lead through the unwavering Orthodoxy of Despair. But in Christ, we see a revelation of God altogether "other" than we should suspect: Deny your hatreds, place yourself last, shed your pride, love your enemy, and pray for those who wish you evil. And if you must perish for your beliefs, let it be with clean hands and the blessing of Christ's love on your lips. For we are not commanded in service to a devil who demands that the flesh of innocent women and children should be sacrificed by means of a bomb vest to quell a tyrant's ancient bloodlust. It has been said that ye shall know the tree by its fruits. Let us take this wisdom to heart as we labor to plumb the mystery contained within the Character of God.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com and appears at www.stubbornthings.org.

RECENT VIDEOS