Monday, September 25, 2006

A Christian, a Muslim, and an Actor Go on a Talk Show...

No, it's not a joke. It's an incredibly enlightening exchange that you can see here.



After you watch it, report back. Who's more sympathetic? How does the Christian woman come off? What about the Muslim? The actor? The host?

Is Maher right when he says that to be a Christian and think that someone is not saved is to automatically consider him or her inferior?

9 comments:

Daniel said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

Jovan said...

I was suprised.

I thought all three guests represented their view points well. And Bill allowed them to speak. I appreciate the Muslim commenting on the 'majority' as being moderate and that their voice needs to be heard. (Maybe not many are paying attention). I appreciated the Christian for making a distinction between martyrs and 'extremists'. And briefly commenting on the radical nature of Christianity.

I'm really intrigued to see this movie.

Grace and Peace!

Phil said...

My point of interest was the woman using language that I'm very familiar with and even if I don't use that kind of language all the time and how utterly offensive that was to Maher.

Now, of course, I thought Whitford (who I really like as an actor) was over the line with the schizophrenic comment, but I really, really enjoyed the entire exchange.

Tony Arnold said...

I found Maher just as condescending in his disbelief Phil, as was Whitford's schizophrenic comment.

I found it interesting that on several occassion the Christian woman said she agreed with one of the others but the group continued on as if she had not said it and stayed with a stereotypical view of a Christian opinion, not really listening to her words.

I found the two most rational people trying to have a serious discussion where the Muslim and the Christian. I would have loved to just listen to them discuss the issue. I think it would have ended with an incredible amount of mutual reconcilliation.

I also got the impression that the Christian might have read Mere Discipleship.

Tony

Malia said...

Who's more sympathetic? - Reza Aslan (the Muslim)

How does the Christian woman come off? - typical, but at least not extremist. Sandy Rios seemed to have a hard time articulating what she meant because like Phil noted in his comment, she's used "Christian language" & vocabulary, a language & vocabulary only Christians really understand and it confuses and offends and turns off people like Maher and even Whitfield.

the Muslim? - He comes off as the only truly intelligent and tolerant person in the whole group. He really gets it. Like he said at the end. (paraphrased)"God doesn't make people bigots and misogynists, people are just bigot and misogynists. Religion provides a powerful language through which you can justify any ideology, whether it's ideologies of peace and tolerance or ideologies of fanaticism"

the actor? - IMO Bradley Whitfield just wanted camera time, he wasn't seriously part of the discussion, he threw a few zingers in there like the schizophrenic comment just to get a reaction

the host? - I think he should be disturbed by what he saw in "Jesus Camp". Those are fanatics and extremists who more often than not, their voices are heard over ours (like Aslan pointed out, btw, love his name!) But I think he really wanted to rail on the Christain guest, it seemed he really wanted to believe that all Christains are like that but seemed more willing to believe that not all Muslims are extreme and fanatic. And I don't think he really wanted an intelligent discussion of this documentary, I think he wanted to give his point of view and his reactions to it and then have a few people there who could prove his point and illustrate (Sandy Rios, the Christian) his point of view. He was dead on about his comment regarding the five-year old that "got saved", though.

Is Maher right when he says that to be a Christian and think that someone is not saved is to automatically consider him or her inferior? - He's right in that's how it makes people like him feel. A Christain may not necessarily think the "unsaved" (don't really like that term) are inferior but the Christain's language and assumptions will come off as being that way.

Thomas+ said...

I like what Malia said above. I agree the Muslim came across as the most sympathetic. The Christian was somewhat sympathetic, and getting drowned out. However, she was definitely having a hard time expressing herself, and using way too much in-language.

Maher's comments reminded me of an interesting talk I had with my father-in-law (who is Jewish). We were talking about my church. Here is how it went:

"What's the name of your church?"
"Church of the Redeemer."
"That's not a good name."
"Really, why not?"
"It assumes that people need to be redeemed. I don't. I'm fine the way I am."

I think my father-in-law and Bill would say the same thing: I'm OK, and I'm offended by your statement that I'm not OK the way I am.

Here is where the rubber hits the road. Jesus said he didn't come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. If you think you are righteous, then Jesus hasn't come for you (from your point of view).

That's fine with me. I've got no reason to convince someone they are sick. Life will convince them of their sickness. And, when that day comes, Jesus will be there for them in the Body of His Church (I hope), and then they will repent. Until they are ready, until they are broken, it ain't gonna happen.

jj said...

I think it would be incredibly hard to effectively communicate a healthy Christian perspective on Bill Mahr's show, but here are a few of my thoughts.

the 5-year old kid expressing his desire/need to be saved... I somewhat agree with Bill on this, "child evangelism" and young children making "conversion decisions" are a little too close to brainwashing for my tastes, and reflect the relatively novel idea of teaching kids that they should have an experience like the adult converts in Acts. Much better to baptise members of your Christian household as you receive them, and communicate to them that their Christian pilgrimage started at that point, due to God's grace and facilitated by their parents' faithful promises. But I digress...

Kids praying to a cardboard George Bush... I'm suspicious that this is Bill (or the documentary) exagerating or misconstruing a situation, but obviously there are plenty of nuts out there, so who knows.

"Muslims are winning the piety race...we are losing the fanaticism battle to the muslims" ... this is a Bill Mahr "interpreting" the fundamentalist Christian; interesting that he seems to equate "piety" with [violent] "fanatacism".

"As a Christian, you have to be willing to lay down your life" - a good point, but a hard one to make when the discussion is about suicide bombers, since (as the muslim said) martyrdom has nothing to do with "religious" war.

"I'm so uncomfortable... if religion is not a bridge instead of a wedge... it's going to separate us, and it's going to destroy us." - this was the actor's contribution; statements like this make me think that if Hollywood controlled Washington, "freedom of religion" would be limited to religions that don't hold to absolute truth. Anything else becomes "hate speech".

"Religion by its nature demands that there be no room for debate." This is where a Christian needs to explain that:

1.) while it is her duty to proclaim the Truth that she has received, the listener is free to debate it and/or reject it.

2.) while she believes it is God's Truth, part of that Truth is that she think may not think more highly of herself because she accepts it, nor may she think less of another who does not accept it.

We must hold the Truth that we receive with humility, and the proof must be in the effect of that Truth -- what it does for the adherent, and what it does for the community at large (including nonbelievers).

Daeros said...

"jj said...
I think it would be incredibly hard to effectively communicate a healthy Christian perspective on Bill Mahr's show, but here are a few of my thoughts.

the 5-year old kid expressing his desire/need to be saved... I somewhat agree with Bill on this, "child evangelism" and young children making "conversion decisions" are a little too close to brainwashing for my tastes, and reflect the relatively novel idea of teaching kids that they should have an experience like the adult converts in Acts. Much better to baptise members of your Christian household as you receive them, and communicate to them that their Christian pilgrimage started at that point, due to God's grace and facilitated by their parents' faithful promises. But I digress...

Kids praying to a cardboard George Bush... I'm suspicious that this is Bill (or the documentary) exagerating or misconstruing a situation, but obviously there are plenty of nuts out there, so who knows.

"Muslims are winning the piety race...we are losing the fanaticism battle to the muslims" ... this is a Bill Mahr "interpreting" the fundamentalist Christian; interesting that he seems to equate "piety" with [violent] "fanatacism".

"As a Christian, you have to be willing to lay down your life" - a good point, but a hard one to make when the discussion is about suicide bombers, since (as the muslim said) martyrdom has nothing to do with "religious" war.

"I'm so uncomfortable... if religion is not a bridge instead of a wedge... it's going to separate us, and it's going to destroy us." - this was the actor's contribution; statements like this make me think that if Hollywood controlled Washington, "freedom of religion" would be limited to religions that don't hold to absolute truth. Anything else becomes "hate speech".

"Religion by its nature demands that there be no room for debate." This is where a Christian needs to explain that:

1.) while it is her duty to proclaim the Truth that she has received, the listener is free to debate it and/or reject it.

2.) while she believes it is God's Truth, part of that Truth is that she think may not think more highly of herself because she accepts it, nor may she think less of another who does not accept it.

We must hold the Truth that we receive with humility, and the proof must be in the effect of that Truth -- what it does for the adherent, and what it does for the community at large (including nonbelievers)."


I think where I begin to have a problem with your take on it is when you point out that it's personally interesting that Bill maher has equated Piety wtih Violent fanaticism.

I take isssue with your view because to the extent that Bill maher "interepeted" that into what we watch he was Guided.

I mean what part of "had harry potter been in the old testament he would have been put to death?"

and "Go out and be a warrior for jesus" is not Violent rhetoric?

I don't think bill maher is necessarily Poisoning this discussion wtih his "atheistic" take on it, although I have to say I'm not always a fan of the anti-theistiic Slant of Maher, In fact I've always disliked his Absolutism almost as much as I do Religious absolutism

the problem IS that Bill maher isn't always "wrong"

and it isn't always bill mahers "slant" on things.

I mean to the extent that Bill maher might be reaching if you had watched jesus camp you know that he was guided to the point where he would not be wrong to feel that these kids were being trained to quiet litterally ATTACK anyone who wasn't christian, The fact that the bible says blessed are the peace makers be damned, these are the end times after all...

or so they believe..

Daeros said...

"jj said...
I think it would be incredibly hard to effectively communicate a healthy Christian perspective on Bill Mahr's show, but here are a few of my thoughts.

the 5-year old kid expressing his desire/need to be saved... I somewhat agree with Bill on this, "child evangelism" and young children making "conversion decisions" are a little too close to brainwashing for my tastes, and reflect the relatively novel idea of teaching kids that they should have an experience like the adult converts in Acts. Much better to baptise members of your Christian household as you receive them, and communicate to them that their Christian pilgrimage started at that point, due to God's grace and facilitated by their parents' faithful promises. But I digress...

Kids praying to a cardboard George Bush... I'm suspicious that this is Bill (or the documentary) exagerating or misconstruing a situation, but obviously there are plenty of nuts out there, so who knows.

"Muslims are winning the piety race...we are losing the fanaticism battle to the muslims" ... this is a Bill Mahr "interpreting" the fundamentalist Christian; interesting that he seems to equate "piety" with [violent] "fanatacism".

"As a Christian, you have to be willing to lay down your life" - a good point, but a hard one to make when the discussion is about suicide bombers, since (as the muslim said) martyrdom has nothing to do with "religious" war.

"I'm so uncomfortable... if religion is not a bridge instead of a wedge... it's going to separate us, and it's going to destroy us." - this was the actor's contribution; statements like this make me think that if Hollywood controlled Washington, "freedom of religion" would be limited to religions that don't hold to absolute truth. Anything else becomes "hate speech".

"Religion by its nature demands that there be no room for debate." This is where a Christian needs to explain that:

1.) while it is her duty to proclaim the Truth that she has received, the listener is free to debate it and/or reject it.

2.) while she believes it is God's Truth, part of that Truth is that she think may not think more highly of herself because she accepts it, nor may she think less of another who does not accept it.

We must hold the Truth that we receive with humility, and the proof must be in the effect of that Truth -- what it does for the adherent, and what it does for the community at large (including nonbelievers)."


I think where I begin to have a problem with your take on it is when you point out that it's personally interesting that Bill maher has equated Piety wtih Violent fanaticism.

I take isssue with your view because to the extent that Bill maher "interepeted" that into what we watch he was Guided.

I mean what part of "had harry potter been in the old testament he would have been put to death?"

and "Go out and be a warrior for jesus" is not Violent rhetoric?

I don't think bill maher is necessarily Poisoning this discussion wtih his "atheistic" take on it, although I have to say I'm not always a fan of the anti-theistiic Slant of Maher, In fact I've always disliked his Absolutism almost as much as I do Religious absolutism

the problem IS that Bill maher isn't always "wrong"

and it isn't always bill mahers "slant" on things.

I mean to the extent that Bill maher might be reaching if you had watched jesus camp you know that he was guided to the point where he would not be wrong to feel that these kids were being trained to quiet litterally ATTACK anyone who wasn't christian, The fact that the bible says blessed are the peace makers be damned, these are the end times after all...

or so they believe..

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro