Thursday, October 03, 2002

"Examples of Love"

Matt Drudge (grain of salt not included) is reporting that Jerry Falwell said that "Mohammed was a terrorist" during his interview which will air on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Falwell goes on: "I read enough…by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war. In my opinion…Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammed set an opposite example.”

While the Nitpicker will admit that calling Mohammed a "man of peace" would putting too fine a point on a much more complicated figure, calling him a "terrorist" is just simply ridiculous. A warrior? I'll give you that.

What's weird is that Falwell, who you'd assume has read the Old Testament, says that Moses "set the example for love." I mean, he does know that Moses killed the Midianites, right? Read Numbers, Chapter 31. He orders the Israelites to not only kill every Midianite man, woman (except the virgins), and child, but also to steal all their stuff. He even tells his own people (after the incident of the golden calf), "Each of you, strap your sword to your side. Go back and forth through the camp, from gate to gate. Each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor." They, the Levites who obeyed him, killed 3,000 that day. (Exodus, Chapter 32)

There's much more violence in the Old Testament. (If you thought the walls falling down was the end of the battle of Jericho, check out Joshua 6:20.) The thing is, God orders the Jews to commit these acts, so, in Falwell's world, it's all OK. What he doesn't realize is that Mohammed felt equally justified in his actions, too.

As a Catholic, I believe that I am in some part an inheritor of the work of Moses, but I would hate for anyone to judge my faith solely by his actions. Falwell shouldn't do the same to Muslims.


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