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Bashing Baptists, Ignoring Castro By: Myles Kantor
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, June 18, 2002

REVEREND JERRY VINES is the PC police’s enemy du jour.

Vines is a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. In a June 10 address at a pastors’ conference in St. Louis, he described Muhammad as a "demon-possessed pedophile."

This description is theologically and historically grounded. From a Baptist perspective, Muhammad was a false prophet; the revelations he proclaimed derived not from divine guidance but satanic manipulation, hence "demon-possessed." Muhammad also considered possession as the cause of revelation in the Hadith, a collection of his sayings.

Regarding the charge of pedophilia, one of Muhammad’s wives was betrothed to him at six years old. The marriage was consummated when she was nine. Enough said.

Islamic organizations predictably condemned Vines—"hate-filled and bigoted language," according to Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR’s activities have included fundraising for the murderer Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown.

More significantly, the Anti-Defamation League released a condemnation of Vines on June 12. National Director Abraham H. Foxman called Vines’s remarks "offensive, demeaning, and damaging to the American ideals of religious diversity and intergroup civility."

Of course, Islam isn’t big on inter-faith friendship. Sura 5:51 of the Quran enjoins, "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers."

Foxman didn’t stop at condemning Vines, though, adding this smear against the Southern Baptist Convention:

Unfortunately, such deplorable, divisive rhetoric is not surprising coming from the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has a track record of denigrating and delegitimizing other religions. In 1996, at their annual meeting, the Convention adopted a resolution to direct their "energies and resources" to the conversion of Jews. The group has published proselytizing guides, including one in 1999 targeting Jews on their High Holy Days.

Notice how Foxman conflates evangelism with aggression ("targeting Jews").

As a Jew, I don’t feel "targeted" by a Baptist who seeks to convert me. He’s simply acting on Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

For Baptists to satisfy Foxman’s notion of religious decorum, all they have to do is stop being Baptists.

Ironically Baptists such as Reverend Vines are among the staunchest defenders of Israel. One of the resolutions passed at the St. Louis conference affirmed support for Israel.

Instead of bashing Reverend Vines and the Southern Baptist Convention, the Anti-Defamation League should speak out against the most anti-Zionist regime in the Western hemisphere: Cuba.

The Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t equated Zionism with racism. Cuba has.

The Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t equated Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with Adolf Hitler. Cuba has.

The Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t accused Israel of perpetrating a holocaust against Palestinians. Cuba has.

The Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t glorified Yasser Arafat and trained Palestinian terrorists. Cuba has.

The Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t euphemized suicide massacres as "attacks of Palestinian resistance activists in Israeli territory." Cuba has.

And the Anti-Defamation League hasn’t issued so much as a press release condemning Cuban anti-Zionism. Mr. Foxman has plenty of criticism for Reverend Vines but zero for Fidel Castro’s efforts to Nazify the Jewish homeland and delegitimize it.

When regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt Nazify Israel, the Anti-Defamation League promptly condemns the vulgar material. Why is it silent when Cuba is the source of vulgarity?

If you would like to ask the Anti-Defamation League to explain its silence, please contact the regional office nearest you.

Myles Kantor is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and editor-at-large for Pureplay Press, which publishes books about Cuban history and culture. His e-mail address is myles.kantor@gmail.com.

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