I had the great pleasure of seeing Pope John Paul II in 1993 during the World Youth Day events held in Denver, Colorado. I have fond memories of that time, for it was a very moving and influential experience.
But, it was also punctuated by debate. On many street corners anti-Catholic groups were handing out literature to the throngs of Catholic pilgrims who were making their way from event to event. The anti-Catholic groups were actively proselytizing by engaging World Youth Day participants in conversations both civil and not so civil.
No one in authority stopped the non-Catholic groups from their efforts to proselytize the Catholic pilgrims (many of which were high school and college age). And, speaking as a Catholic who was at the event, I’m glad for that. I took the literature, read it, and engaged in conversations. For goodness sake, they were handing me a pamphlet, not pointing a gun at me. They told me I was going to hell by virtue of being Catholic. I disagreed and stated my case as to why. There was freedom here. There were spirited conversations. There were challenges and questions proposed, some fair and some patently unfair. You could choose to engage in debate or you could choose not to. There was no, as far as I could tell, disorderly conduct. We, both the Catholics and the anti-Catholics, were Americans exercising our rights to free expression and freedom of religion.
Fast forward now to 2010, to Dearborn, Michigan, where an Arab Cultural Festival was recently held … a group of 3 Christians stood outside of the festival grounds and peacefully handed out the Gospel of John presented in both English and Arabic. They did not harass. They did not throw about epithets. They simply handed out a book for anyone willing to take one.
A picture is worth a thousand words and a video can be worth exponentially more. Watch below, via Powerline Blog:
In about 3 minutes’ time … yes, just a scant 3 minutes … they were descended upon by no less than 8 Dearborn Police Officers. They were arrested and their video camera was confiscated. They were brought to a temporary booking station where they were cited for disorderly conduct and photographed. They were eventually released and told that they could not legally hand out the Gospel of John within a 5 city block perimeter of the festival grounds … which essentially put their proselytizing out of business.
Do you see the difference between the World Youth Day event in 1993 and the Dearborn Arab Cultural Festival?! What country is this … China? Or, even more pointedly: Saudi Arabia?
Sharia law forbids the proselytizing of Muslims and the conversion of Muslims. Creeping Sharia is a term used to describe a slow indoctrination and institutionalization of Sharia law. If this doesn’t fit the bill for creeping Sharia, then I simply don’t know what does. And, if this isn’t alarming, then we might as well go back to sleep, but don’t be surprised if you wake up in a very different America.
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