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Letters to the Editor (Queen City News)


No peace sans God
by Paul Cohen
Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To the Editor:

Tom Huddleston writes of the Middle East conflict (QCN, Aug. 2, 2006): “All the while, the Koran, Torah, and the Bible show them all to be the children of Abraham.”

Tom displays gross ignorance, as do many, of the Bible and the Koran. The Koran denies the major truths of the Bible, supplanting it with the worship of a man, specifically the corrupt and vindictive Muhammad. This is not something Abraham did or taught his children to do. Anyone who reads the Koran can see for themselves how murder, lies, pillage, woman-beating and more are justified in the name of serving Muhammad and his god, which is made in Muhammad’s image.

What do you do with people like that? The God of Abraham told His people to completely wipe them out of the land that He gave them. He did not tell them to wipe out all such people in the world, but to cleanse the land that He gave them of the idolaters and evildoers inhabiting it. The Israelites failed to obey God in this matter and suffered greatly thereafter because of it. Here we are today, in fact, at this impasse, because they did not do it. But here we are also, now having the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who was sent to save us from our sins and our inability to get things right.

Everyone today is guilty of forbidden idolatry and rebellion against God, which is why there is no peace. All need to repent, to turn to the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. Can this happen? Not by man’s power. By God’s power, however, yes, it can, and so it will. When all misplaced confidence has been exhausted, He will turn and save.

Paul Cohen
413 1/2 N. Beattie
Helena

Replies:

Better paths to peace
by Laughing Water
Thursday, August 17, 2006

To the Editor:

I hope Paul Cohen (QCN, Aug. 9, 2006) will learn that there are more loving and intelligent ways to bring about peace than to make uncharitable statements about Islam and to advocate driving from their land the people who have occupied it since time immemorial.

He seems more interested in wallowing in self-righteousness than in bringing about reconciliation.

I would also suggest that arguments based on religious authority belong in forums other than those devoted to rational debate. Or am I assuming too much?

Laughing Water
808 N. Park Ave.
Helena

Fact from fallacy
by Tyler Evilsizer
Thursday, August 17, 2006

To the Editor:

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of issues before making a decision. Especially in light of the ongoing War on Terror, knowing fact from fallacy avoids falling into stereotypes.

Upon reading Paul Cohen’s letter, "No peace sans God" (QCN, Aug. 9, 2006), I wanted to clear up several misconceptions about the Qur’an. The Qur’an holds itself to be the message of the Prophet Mohammad containing additional revelations of God (almost like a third Testament).

Mr. Cohen states that the Qur’an "denies the major truths of the Bible, supplanting it with the worship of a man (Mohammed)…" On the contrary, it is very clear that only God deserves worship. Mohammad is a prophet much like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
Additionally, the Qur’an does not, as Mr. Cohen states, justify "murder, lies, pillage, and woman-beating." When I open my Qur’an, I see a gospel preaching religious toleration, charity and goodwill. When I open my Bible, I see the Gospels teaching very similar lessons of charity, kindness and goodwill. In fact, there are passages in the Bible that could justify violence. For example, the Book of Deuteronomy commands parents to stone their disobedient children to death.

The Bible and Qur’an do not necessarily contradict each other. For instance, in both books, it is Jesus who judges humanity at the end of the world.
I hope that people inform themselves before writing an editorial or judging another religion, rather than classifying all Muslims under the stereotype of the fanatical Islamic terrorist.

Tyler Evilsizer
2709 Gold Rush Ave.
Helena

Click here to read more correspondence between Paul and Tyler.

Christianity and fascism
by Michael Willing
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dear Editor,

Paul Cohen’s letter, “No peace sans God,” (QCN, Aug. 9, 2006) reminds me of our president’s recent comment that the foiled terrorists in the U.K. are “Islamic fascists.” Fascism is centralized government under the control of a dictator who enforces tight “socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.” Is President Bush a “Christian” fascist?

If we accept Mr. Cohen’s reading of the Koran, the actions of these terrorists could be considered fascist in the sense of “suppression of the opposition through terror.” One could also argue the actions of President Bush in Iraq are “suppression of the opposition through terror.”

President Bush claims to be a Christian. Mr. Cohen claims to be a Christian. Let’s examine their assertions.

Mr. Cohen asserts the Koran justifies “murder, lies, pillage, woman-beating and more.” Our “Christian” president has committed all these crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe that actually makes him an “Islamic” President. Perhaps President Bush is following the tenets of the Koran. He certainly isn’t following the teachings of Christ. The Bible implores us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to be peaceful, to turn the other cheek, to help those most in need, to tell the truth, not steal, not commit adultery, not covet our neighbor’s home. He continually ignores the Bible.

Can people justify actions by twisting the core teachings of their belief systems? Yes. It’s being done in the U.S. under a “Christian” president. Remember the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison? Or the reason for going to war, viz., weapons of mass destruction? Remember the stealing of national artifacts from Iraq? The destruction of people’s houses? The raping of Iraqi woman by Marine Corps troops? The systematic dismantling of Iraqi water supplies? The killing of children? The burning of crops?

Where is your Christ, Mr. Cohen and President Bush? Does your Bible justify “murder, lies, pillage, woman-beating and more?” Have you considered what a Christian fascist might be? I implore you to examine your own justifications. Why is your “Christian” president justifying murder, rape, lies and pillage?

Michael Willing
570 State St.
Helena

Muslim misconceptions
by Jeremy Simms
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

To the Editor:

For a man who blasts other people’s ignorance of Islam, Paul Cohen (QCN, Aug. 9) really must check up on some of his facts. I wonder if perhaps Mr. Cohen actually read some right-wing Christian propaganda about Islam and thought he was reading the Qur’an.

The Qur’an does not “deny the truths” of the Old Testament or the Gospels, but is intended to be the final, amended (since the time of the previous prophet, Jesus) word of God. Mr. Cohen’s assertion that Muslims actually worship the “corrupt and vindictive” Muhammad is simply wrong. Given the fact that this assertion of Mr. Cohen is one of the main misconceptions made by people ignorant of Islam, I am quite surprised he attacks the ignorance of others.

Muslims are commanded to honor the memory and name of Muhammad as a messenger of God, just as they are commanded to honor the memory of Jesus, Abraham, Noah and others. Unlike the relationship of Christians to Jesus, there is no worship of Muhammad in Islam. Finally, Mr. Cohen asserts that “murder, lies, pillage, woman-beating and more are justified” in the Qur’an. While it is indeed true that there are some unpleasant and violent regulations included in the Qur’an, one only needs to look back to the Old Testament to find their origin.

There are well over a billion Muslims in the world and it is the world’s fastest-growing religion. Between Muslim extremists and the growing chorus of anti-Muslim feeling in the U.S., it is sometimes easy to let simple ideas like Mr. Cohen’s dominate the discussion. Let’s give those billion worshippers and the religion itself some respect and learn a little bit about it before we attack it out of ignorance.

Jeremy Simms
415 N. Rodney
Helena

Paul’s reply:

Cohen responds
by Paul Cohen
Thursday, August 31, 2006

To the Editor:

Tyler Evilsizer (QCN, Aug. 16, 2006) says, "The Qur’an holds itself to be the message of the Prophet Mohammed containing additional revelations of God…."

However, because these revelations aren’t in harmony with the recorded revelations of God, Muhammad is proven to be a false prophet. Anyone following Muhammad as though of God is deceived. Those following the Koran follow a criminal with a rap sheet during "prophethood" that includes, but isn’t limited to, inciting men to murder, breaking of agreements, rape, grand larceny, torture and blasphemy. That’s why his followers do the same things today and no Muslim censures them. To do so, they would be censuring the "prophet.”

Laughing Water (QCN, Aug. 16, 2006) declares I have written about Islam uncharitably. The evidence, however, shows that it’s Islam that is uncharitable. LW states, "arguments based on religious authority" are not rational. He should heed his own advice and stay out of matters where he clearly fulfills the definition of irrationality, providing no credible evidence, yet opining and condemning nevertheless. The self-righteousness he sees is the reflection of his own unrighteous judgment.

Jeremy Simms (QCN, Aug. 23, 2006) skirts the fact that the Koran denies the central pillar of truth, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which proves Him to be the Son of God. No knowledgeable Muslim disputes that the Koran denies this. Therefore, one is a liar, either Christ and scripture or Muhammad and the Koran. The one who died for your sins or the one who kills you for your sins against him and his agenda. You choose.

Michael Willing (QCN, Aug. 23, 2006) blames others to avoid personal culpability. He cannot refute the core testimony, beliefs, and documented history of Islam, which demands Jihad and subjugation of infidels. True Christianity doesn’t advocate forcing anyone to adhere to or confess a religion, let alone use various forms of pressure, including destruction of property and threat of death, to make others submit.

A true Koranic Muslim resembles demonic mullahs, shouting for blood, while a true Biblical Christian resembles Jesus Christ, threatening no one, yet calling a snake a snake and rebuking Satan.

Paul Cohen
413 N. Beattie St.
Helena

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