Loyalty to God and country

Over at The Jury Talks Back, Not Rhetorical asked an interesting question:

“I’m a Christian first and an American second.” If you heard someone say that, would you consider it divided loyalty? What if a soldier said it?

I responded that I would not be surprised at all, because if anyone claims to believe in God but doesn’t place him as the primary influence in his life then that person does not really believe in God. It doesn’t matter which god – the God of Israel, Allah, Zeus, you name it – if God exists, then your entire existence is shaped by that fact. Anything else you do must be in the context of what that all-powerful God wished you to do or to be. I think the US Armed Forces understand this, given that they’ve allowed soldiers whose faith prevents them from fighting to serve other roles so as not to force a showdown between God and country.

This quote, however, comes from Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. He apparently made it public knowledge that he considered himself a Muslim first and an American second – a fact which is being played up as another sign of his blind devotion and barbarism. This should surprise no one. No political entity can match the sheer clout of a deity. The fact that he considered his religion to be the primary motivator in his life is a perfectly rational response to his beliefs, and using this point as evidence of his insanity is at best intellectually dishonest and at worst outright anti-religious propaganda.

Now this is not to say that, knowing this to be true, the Army should have turned a blind eye to Hasan’s faith and his actions thereof; they should have looked closer, if anything, at his specific beliefs. His business card listed him as a Soldier of Allah, and he is quoted as telling many people that the US had no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan and that the locals should rise up against the American forces. He attended the same mosque as some of the 9/11 hijackers and he had made attempts to contact Al Qaeda directly – and this was known by the Feds before the shooting! He was such a radical that even the co-founder of the Mosque at Ft. Hood denied his request to become a lay leader. How many more warning signs were needed that this man’s faith collided rather violently not only with his employer, the Army, but with the West in general? Listen to the words of one of his favorite preachers, and understand that what he did was a perfectly logical response to his extreme beliefs:

Nidal Hassan [sic] is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal’s operation.The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.

If a Baptist minister stood in the pulpit and proclaimed that the US Army was violating God’s will and that all Christians should rise up violently against it, do you think that minister might face repercussions? Do you think he would be allowed to hold a position in the Army? This is a case of political favoritism and correctness winning out over common sense and general safety, and we can all see the tragic results.

But to act surprised that a man actually prioritized his faith? Come on, people. It’s not that he followed his faith that is surprising. It’s that a man openly following such an outrageous faith was allowed anywhere near a military base that should leave you outraged.

2 thoughts on “Loyalty to God and country”

  1. I just finished reading “Jesus for President” by Shane Claiborne on Sunday, which had a lot to say about loyalty to God and country. He said some things I agree with, some things I don’t, but definitely gave me a lot to think about. I’ve been thinking about it all week, especially in light of the Ft. Hood shooting.

    I do think in the midst of that diatribe by the Muslim leader is one interesting point that I’ll be honest that I didn’t give much thought to… and that is the conflict Muslims-Americans may feel. Of course I’m not at all saying this is an excuse for violent behavior. But that’s got to be a difficult moral spot to be in…

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