Wow. I didn’t think the Episcopal Church could surprise me anymore. I was wrong. This Sunday an Episcopal Church in New Jersey will feature an Islamic call to prayer as well as readings from the Koran. It’s all in the name of “understanding.”
How come anytime someone does something to further “understanding” I get more and more confused.
This Sunday morning, May 22, at 10 a.m., the sounds of the adhan — the Muslim call to prayer — will ring out in St. John’s Episcopal Church Montclair.
While there’s no minaret at the church, the words of “Allahu akbar,” (God is greater) will none-the-less invite both Christians and Muslims to worship side by side. During the interfaith service, verses from the Holy Qur’an will complement readings from the Holy Bible, including during Communion, embracing the traditions of both religions.
The rector of the church says the reason for the event is that he’s “grown concerned about the demonization of Muslims. I want Montclair to develop an understanding of the religion.”
OK. Let’s get this straight. Muslims all around the globe are killing Christians wherever they find them and CHRISTIANS ARE THE PROBLEM!? This knee-jerk “it’s all our fault” is getting old.
Maybe they’re doing this in hopes that radical Muslims will forcefully convert or kill them last. Don’t bet on it.
Spencer at Jihad Watch asks “Why Sunday? Why not Friday? How Islamophobic!”
May 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm
For a long, long, L-O-N-G list of reasons, I'm so glad I left the Episcopal church & became Catholic. This is just one more.
May 21, 2011 at 4:28 am
This is what the progressives want the Catholic Church to become. Yeesh.
May 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm
They think just because there is one God, then the Muslim deity is the same as our own. Consequently they do things like these that negate the singular element that makes Christianity salvific – unlike Islam. They have forgotten that Jesus is God's incarnate Son, sinless, pure, loving unlike Mohammed who is a blood thirsty, lustful robber and scam artist who hijacked the Hebrew & Christian narratives to give credibility to his self-serving cult of exploitation that enforced by fear.
May 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm
Or maybe they're concerned that the prevailing attitudes – like those that are expressed here -are distorting Islam and lumping a huge swath of good people in with the militant extremists. That's similar to what a lot of people have done re: Catholic clergy and predatory priests. The priest didn't say "it's all our fault" or that Christians are the problem. He said he was concerned about the demonization of Muslims. I am too. I live in the Detroit area where we have the largest population of Arabs outside of the middle east, who have been living peacefully here for decades. Now Terry Jones is suing for his right to burn Korans on public property in front of the largest mosque in town, which would roughly be the equivalent of someone burning a Bible in front of the National Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. The Episcopal priest in this story has expressed a desire to defuse the hate through understanding. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment.
May 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm
@Siobhan: Nothing wrong with the sentiment of compassion and understanding. Something wrong with integrating the practices of a pagan/diabolic belief system into the liturgy i.e. the solemn work of God's people. It is legitimizing, condoning, supporting, accepting this infernal cult. One cannot serve both God and Mammon. And those who blur the lines generate confusion that leads people astray.
May 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Those who would offer tolerance and religious dialogue to Islam do not understand that Islam offers them no such harbor when the demographic tables are turned. Islam-o-phobia, fear of Islam, is probably a good idea for anyone who wants to live in a peaceable, just and equitable society.
Ironically, the average progressive Episcopal parish contains quite a few people particularly unlikely to do well in an Islamic society.
Why will no Imam in Detroit DEMAND his followers IGNORE Terry Jones, no matter what he does? Because Islam isn't wired this way. It is a religion that requires vengeance for every affront.
There are no peace movements in Islamic countries. There are no anti-death penalty movements in Islamic countries. There is no such thing as 'interfaith dialogue' or gay rights or due process in an Islamic country.
Pity the 'average' Muslim. They are caught in a bloodthirsty cult. But a little healthy fear of Islam is natural for Christians.
May 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm
ECUSA is just becoming a branch of the Unitarian Church. I wonder if the Unitarians are this Islamic-tolerant?
May 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm
I guess this answers my question. http://www.islamfortoday.com/cleland005.htm
May 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Anon @7:53AM, I agree. If Islam is such a religion of peace, and the
the acts of the jihadists the aberrations of a tiny fringe element, then
why is it the Muslim majority doesn't denounce those acts and ideology?
How is it that over one billion Muslims have all lost their voices at the
If a Christian fringe group advocated religious terrorism, they would be
repudiated by the vast majority of their fellow Christians. The Muslim
majority, on the other hand, seems to meet each fresh outrage per-
petrated by the so-called 'fringe' with a grim, quiet smile of satisfaction.
May 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm
Rick: agreed, the liturgy is not the place for interfaith dialogue. On the otherhand, inappropriateness is a hallmark of Episcopalianism, so no surprise there. And to Clinton and anon: Pope Benedict XVI initiated interfaith dialogue early on in his pontificate. The fact that people continue to paint the entire Islamic community with the broad brush of extremism is a problem; your attitude isn't helping. The local Islamic leaders in Dearborn publicly denounce every incident of extremist violence, and met the news of bin Ladin's demise with relief and satisfaction. Unfortunately, the amount of ink covering these things pales in comparison to the shrill voices of fear-mongering. We need to learn from the past: ALL the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor. ALL priests don't molest children. And ALL Muslims are not violent extremists. In America, it is/was a very small percentage in each case.
May 23, 2011 at 12:48 am
Allah is a name of God, Who has no begotten Son to love and to love Him and no love between them. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the daughter of the Most High God and spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, and our Mother. Allah must be very sad, having no daughter to love Him, no son to love Him, no Holy Spirit of Love. This is posted on cheating teachers
May 23, 2011 at 1:50 am
Siobhan, if people continue to paint the entire Islamic community with
the broad brush of extremism, it may just be because the Islamic
world has yet to repudiate the jihadists and their tactics. I can only con-
clude from its silence that the Islamic 'street' condones or even supports
the goals and methods of the likes of AQ.
The Taliban, AQ, and the various Muslim groups advocating worldwide
jihad seem to be awfully well-funded, well-armed, and enjoying the
protection (or at least benign indifference of) any number of Muslim-
majority regimes. For 'fringe' groups, they seem to be doing quite
nicely, thank you. Where are the crowds in the Mideast clamoring for
them to be brought to justice? Where are the Imams who denounce
anti-semitism and the tactics of the terrorists? Certainly not on
I'm sure that the Islamic leaders in Dearborn have been horrified by
extremist violence perpetrated by their co-religionists. However, it
wasn't so long ago that it was reported on this very blog that a group
of Christians were forcibly removed from public property outside a
Dearborn Islamic festival because the local police feared that their
proselytizing would incite violence. In other Western nations where
the Muslim minority has risen to a greater percentage of the overall
population (e.g. France, Sweden, the UK), even the police know better
than to enter Muslim neighborhoods.
I do not suggest that all Muslims are bloodthirsty plotters, intent on
blowing up the infidel. Rather, I merely state the obvious– the
worldwide Muslim community condemns the jihadists, if it does at all,
in tones so muted as to be inaudible. Where is their outrage at being
hijacked by a crazy fringe? I can only conclude that the so-called
'fringe' is merely shouting what the quiet majority is only thinking.
May 23, 2011 at 11:16 am
Siobhan: Here is a post that reveals a pattern of behavior among Muslims in 50 countries. http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2010/07/revealing-patterns-of-behavior-by.html They are civil when they do not have clout.
May 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm
Now Terry Jones is suing for his right to burn Korans on public property in front of the largest mosque in town, which would roughly be the equivalent of someone burning a Bible in front of the National Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.
Not that I'm a fan of the Rev. Jones, but he was *not* going to burn a Koran at the demonstration. I'm much more concerned that he was jailed for *proposing* to demonstrate. The reach of the Bill of Rights has to extend to Dearborn, and I'm afraid it didn't in this case–and entirely because of fears of a violent reaction from local Muslims, as one juror candidly admitted.
The Episcopal priest in this story has expressed a desire to defuse the hate through understanding. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment.
No, but simulating Muslim worship is not the right, let alone respectful, way to go about it. Have a class, invite a Muslim leader to speak at the parish hall–pretty much everything beats turning the liturgy into Tawhid Sunday.
Then again, given the insanity running loose in the Episcopal church, the congregants probably heard a more orthodox version of God (and even Christ) from the Koran than they would from your average Piskie pastor these days.
May 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Your platitudinous sentiments concerning Islam seem imported from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montclair!
Anon. asks: How is it that over one billion Muslims have all lost their voices at the
I suspect Anon knows that one thing no Muslim, including your champions of civility: the "local Islamic leaders in Dearborn", can publicly denounce is the written word of the Koran.
And so they do not. And so the acts that their fellow, presumably less 'moderate' Muslims perpetrate in the name of the Koran march on.
Read the Koran, Shiobhan.
Read the Koran, for it is in reading of it that the Christian can see the motivations (and dare I say outcomes?) of all that we see in Islam. How could it be any other way?
By their acts you will know them…
May 24, 2011 at 12:38 am
Interesting points, thank you all for your thoughtful responses. And Anon, a friend of mine gave me a Koran a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't planned to read it, but perhaps I shall. But assuming you are correct and the march of Islam will result in worldwide violence, doesn't that argue against our fighting with, training, and arming the freedom fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting the freedom fighters in Egypt and Libya? Not to mention selling $60 billion worth of arms to the Saudis? Gosh, if that's true, one might think this was all about the oil…
May 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm
@Siobhan: Absolutely. But that is Obama's agenda, not the country's. This is what his Arab sponsors set him up for. Congress wanted Obama to comply with the war powers act but he exempted himself to continue using America's might to support the Muslim takeover. And the ultimate prize is to dismantle Israel.
May 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm
A letter to Bishop Lori re:"Interfaith Prayer Service"…read the letter at