Sunday, August 21, 2005

 

Why does Rod Parsley hate the GOP?

Whether genuine or a PR stunt, GOP chair Bob Bennett tried to make nice with Ohio Muslims back in July:
Columbus - Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett met Thursday with thirteen representatives of Ohio’s Muslim community at state party headquarters as part of an ongoing outreach effort to various ethnic coalitions throughout the state.

“Ohio Republicans are committed to expanding minority community involvement in our party, and I look forward to more of these meetings,” said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett. “We welcome and support the Muslim community’s efforts to become more politically active and assertive in local and state politics.”
On the other hand, we have Rod Parsley who back in May had a fundamentally different and ignorant take on the followers of Islam:
Americans need to wake up.

I will give you some basics about Islam, then I will let you go.

Out the outset I must state three important truths that I will provide support for later.

Here they are.

Number one. The god of Christianity and the god of Islam are two separate beings. Excuse me, Mr. Bush – I support you. You need to stop saying that the god of Islam and the god of Christianity are the same god. They are not the same god. They are not the same entity. And I will prove that to you.

Number two. Mohammad received revelations from demon spirits, not from the living god.

Number three. Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends, through violence, to conquer the world.
This isn't exactly "breaking news" except for the fact that the Dispatch today has a long, but ultimately disappointing profile of Parsley in today's paper.

We had heard writer Dennis Mahoney had been thinking about a piece on Parsley. We have talked to at least two people who claim they had talked to Dispatch religion editors about doing a story about Parsley's extreme views on gays and Muslims, and the politicians who like to share a podium with him.

But Mahoney only wades knee-deep into these controversies:
‘‘No one wants to talk about that because we hide behind this thin veil of political correctness," Parsley said during an interview. ‘‘I love homosexuals and lesbians, and I love them enough to tell them the truth."

In his book, he also condemns Islam as being responsible for ‘‘more pain, more bloodshed and more devastation than nearly any other force on Earth."

Yet Parsley said that he loves Muslims, too, and that it is his duty to try to convert them to Christianity.

He added that many Muslims want to destroy the United States, an objective he said is driven by some leaders within their faith.

‘‘There are clerics who will espouse love and teach their people that that’s what the Quran teaches," he said.

‘‘But unless Islam is confronted from without and reformed from within, we are going to continue to have the kinds of difficulties we’re seeing played out around the world today."
Now, Mr. Mahoney, since Parsley is on record as believing "that the god of Islam and the god of Christianity . . . are not the same god," and that "Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends, through violence, to conquer the world," shouldn't you have some follow-up questions about what exactly he means by having Islam be "confronted from without and reformed from within"? Aren't those code words among the more extreme sectors of the evangelical movement for something a little more, uh, extreme?

And what about the question we keep asking? When is a reporter or an editor going to have the balls to demand that politicians who want to benefit from Parsley's blessing (like Ken Blackwell and Pat Tiberi) say whether they agree with Parsley's views on gays and Muslims?

We asked that same question back in May and, to our knowledge, only one reporter has taken up the challenge. Although she isn't "mainstream," Cleveland Free Times writer Anastasia Pantsios, at least showed that she had more moxie than the entire Statehouse Steno Pool:
The Free Times asked Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo to comment on Parsley's writings. LoParo responded by forwarding the text of a speech that Blackwell made to the American Muslim Council three years ago.

Among general thoughts on freedom and fighting terrorism, he said: "Already I have seen many instances of our shared moral code overshadowing our differences, as citizens of all races, religions, and ethnicities form alliances to make sure our national security is preserved within the framework of the Constitution ... and to fight bigotry."

Asked again for a response to Parsley's words, LoParo did not reply.
Thank you, Anastasia.

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