Monday, June 30, 2008

"The Most Beautiful Sound" ?

In the musical "West Side Story" the most beautiful sound is a single word "Maria." In the 2008 presidential race one of the presumptive nominees thinks the most beautiful sound in the world is "the Muslim call to prayer."* I can think of lots of other candidates (pun intended) for "most beautiful sound in the world." BUT I can state with absolute certainty that the "most beautiful sound in the world" isn't and never will be the Muslim call to prayer. What I'm really wondering is how a person who thinks the Muslim call to prayer is the most beautiful sound in the world ever got so far down the presumptive presidential path in these United States of America.

The Muslim call to prayer rings out five times a day: at dawn, midday, middle of the afternoon, just after sunset and two hours after sunset in the evening from the minaret of the mosque by the muezzin calling Muslims near and far to "hasten to prayer."

Responding to this call (especially on Friday afternoon) along with going to the mosque to pray and pledging allegiance to Allah are the essential aspects to become a Muslim. By following the Muslim call to prayer the pagan (infidel) can cross over into the house of Islam. The religion of Islam is based on performance: not making a mistake in the word sequence of prayers in the mosque and responding to the call. When the devotee to Islam travels (even into infidel territory), he is to observe these five times of daily prayer to Allah on his prayer rug (which is an essential item to carry in his luggage) facing in the direction of Mecca.

I learned and was challenged by a Mormon friend in college about their two-year missionary assignment for all Mormon youth. (Those are the guys in white shirts, black trousers walking or riding bicycles to contact people and initiate them to the Mormon faith.) Now I am learning some of the dedication of those who follow the Muslim faith - some of which clearly crosses the line into passionate fanaticism. Be it Mormon or Muslim - neither follows the principles upon which our republic was founded. And neither is Biblical Christianity!

To be a real Christian (a member of God's forever family) requires allegiance to Jesus alone as the "Way, the Truth and the Life." Jesus followed those words with: "No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

Believers (those of the restored heart) MUST see these days and these times as colossal opportunities to be both salt and light in a world gone wild! It is the only hope! We can be salt and light with our living, with our loving and even with how we vote. It's not just important. It's absolutely critical!

*Source: Obama: Man of the World written by Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, March 6, 2007.

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