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Ignorance or bigotry?

Rex Duncan, a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has refused the  “Centennial Qu’ran” offered as a gift by the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council.  Duncan is one of sixteen members of the State House who have refused the offer.  Duncan is free to refuse any gift.  There is nothing that says that he must accept the gift of a Quran, Bible or any other religious text.  Sure, it’s impolite, but well within his rights.  But his rationale for refusing the gift is quite striking.  The Norman Transcript reports that

“Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Duncan said he objected “to the use of the state Centennial Seal and the state Seal all in an effort to further their (Muslims’) religion.”

However, earlier in the year he accepted a “Centennial Bible”

This spring, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma distributed copies of a centennial Bible.

Duncan said he was pleased to receive the Bible.

“I don’t know any Christians who run around using the Bible as their basis of justification or instruction booklet to keep killing innocent people,” he said.

This raises a number of interesting questions.  Is Duncan (a member of the First Methodist Church of Tulsa) ignorant of what the Bible says?  Is Duncan unaware of the long history of Christian terrorism in the United States?  Or is he simply being a bigot?

Duncan says that he rejects “killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology”.  It makes me wonder if he has ever read much of the Bible.  Unlike the Qu’ran, the Bible commands genocide in the book of Joshua, specifically calling for the murder of women and children.  Failure to commit genocide is criticised in the books of Judges and Samuel.  The assertion that one would reject the gift of a Qu’ran because it endorses the “killing innocent women and children”, and yet accept a Bible, is ludicrous.

Duncan’s further assertion that he doesn’t “know any Christians who run around using the Bible as their basis of justification or instruction booklet to keep killing innocent people” is equally amazing.  Has he not heard of Eric Rudolph?  What about the Army of GodThe Lambs of Christ and James Kopp (who murdered Dr. Barnett Slepian)?  The Ku Klux Klan?  The organisers of “Paul Hill Days“?  There have been strong suggestions of a connection between the Christian Identity movement and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Duncan’s actions were criticised by Darryl DeBorde, pastor of Braden Park Baptist Church and a board member of the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance

“The Tulsa Interfaith Alliance expects all of our elected officials to treat all of their constituents with dignity and respect,” he said.

“To purposefully condemn and denounce all Oklahomans who are members of one religious body is just wrong, whether they be Muslim, Baptist or anything else.” 

H/T Bruce Prescott.

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7 Responses

  1. Babykilling abortionists are not innocent people like you alledge. They murder babies for money and Barnett Slepian murdered babies for money too. He reaped what he sowed and James Kopp did the right thing.

  2. It is nice of Rev. Spitz to show that this is still a live issue. If only he read the Bible, he would see that (1) it actually mandated abortion in cases of suspected infidelity, and (2) in at least one instance it seems to treat inadvertently causing a miscarriage as a misdemeanor rather than murder. http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2007/10/souls-life-and-abortion.html

    To kill someone in the name of religion based on a right understanding of Scripture would be troubling enough. But to do it based on a lack of understanding of Scripture shows that these people kill because they are intolerant and/or psychopathic, and cannot shift the blame onto God, the Biblical authors or anyone else.

  3. Just for clarification, having visited the site that Rev. Spitz linked to, as I say in the blog post I shared in my previous comment, I was not in any way suggesting that I support late-term abortions carried about because the baby has become inconvenient. But my convictions about this, like my convictions about the inappropriateness of taking the law in one’s own hand or killing someone else because their religion is different from one’s own, are precisely moral sensibilities that I have today which differ from those of people in Biblical times. When the late Biblical authors condemned child sacrifice, they were condemning something that was common in Israel in earlier times, and not merely something they picked up from neighboring cultures.

  4. You left out Numbers 31: (particularly verses 15-18) and the Midianites. Even the battle-hardened Israelite soldiers didn’t want to kill all the women and children but God and Moses insisted … though they let the soldiers keep the virgin girls … for what purposes I can’t possibly imagine.

  5. Granted, one could parse the word “innocent” in Rep. Duncan’s statement a number of ways, and it’s only fair to judge him by what he meant, rather than by how I see things (after all, he said “killing innocent [people]” not “committing murder”. I have no idea whether he agrees with Rev. Spitz’s position that Dr. Slepian was not innocent, but I very much doubt he would consider the people Eric Rudolph killed anything other than “innocent”.

  6. John: Yes, you’re right. The irony is that Duncan would reject the Qu’ran, which forbids the killing of non-combatants, but accept the Bible. If he had done like Rep. Scott Martin and said “I have no need for it”, that would have been much less of an issue. But when your rationale is so far removed from reality, it really makes you wonder what sort of people we have in government.

  7. Someone please give that man a copy of the Book of Mormon.
    (Just curious about what he would have to say.)

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