At least two things need to be said about the Army's decision to withdraw an invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham to pray at an "inclusive" religious event because Muslim lobbyists inside and outside the Army managed to have their way. First, when will invitations to Muslim speakers be withdrawn? Self-styled spokesmen (and they are always men) for their religion have demonized Christians, Jews and other "infidels" for years. Many of their imams regularly preach sermons throughout the world referring to Jews as "pigs" and the cause of AIDS. They label Christians "cross-worshippers." Many Muslim countries -- most notably Saudi Arabia -- ban the importation of Bibles and even forbid an individual from bringing a Bible for personal use. No synagogues or churches may be built in most of those countries and the few Jews and Christians who are there are persecuted and discriminated against. Some Muslims with those attitudes and/or affiliations with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood organization, are teaching and preaching in America and have engaged in public prayers, sometimes at events organized by a government entity.
The second point to be made is that Christians with a strong and unapologetic faith in Jesus Christ ought to exempt themselves from these "inclusive" events. It is they who are almost always required not to pray in the name of Jesus and to make other acommodations to other faiths with no reciprocity expected from those other faiths.
The Gospel of Christ is not inclusive, but exclusive. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me."
If the Army wants to submit itself to the censorship efforts of Islam, that's the business of the Army. Christians are members of a very different army and don't need to be participating in these dubious ceremonies organized by government for purposes that have little to do with the Kingdom of God. They would be better holding their own prayer services where they can pray for the military in the name of the One Whom they worship.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.
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