White House Issues Statement on Iranian Pastor Condemned to death

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people. That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations. A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities' utter disregard for religious freedom, and highlight Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. We call upon the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion.
Update: I also see a USCIRF statement there.

Marco Rubio has a piece here as well.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIran

12 Comments
Posted September 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

We must pray for him.

September 29, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
2. A Senior Priest wrote:

In Islam his crime is converting to a religion other than Islam, which mandates the death penalty. Additionally, since the Lord Jesus Christ is one with the Father, it’s interpreted as ‘shrk’, which is equally unforgivable and a mandatory death penalty. If people don’t understand that this is what Islam teaches and requires in any country which takes the Quran seriously, they are naive.

September 29, 10:53 pm | [comment link]
3. Drew wrote:

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, have often disagreed with him, and no doubt will again.  For this, however, I thank him.

September 30, 12:10 am | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I am thankful to see that the WH has issued a supportive statement, but it is a seriously flawed statement and first and foremost crafted for impeccable political correctness.

As #2 stated above, people need to realize what Islam is about.  Islam is a theocracy; ie, those who mediate divine guidance also govern.  And divine guidance includes the Sharia, the law of Islam and part of the law of Islam is death for apostates.

From the Islamic mindset, they are doing nothing wrong, they are obeying the law, and the WH statement will not make much sense to them.

It is possible world political pressure will force them to back down, but appeals to religous convictions will not.

This is instructive, I hope, for those who so anxious that America move from a position of religous freedom (allowing muslims freedom to worship here), to a position of religous equivalence in American life and government.

September 30, 8:35 am | [comment link]
5. NoVA Scout wrote:

If Muslims are free to worship here, No. 4, is that not exactly the same status as other religions, or, in your terms, “equivalence”?  What is the distinction you see between equivalence and freedom to worship in the context of the United States?

October 2, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
6. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

#5, we are a Christian nation; founded that way and our heritage and our moral ways continue that way (despite progressive efforts to eliminate Christian presence in the public affairs of the country).  While muslims should be free to worship in America, America will not become another part of the Islamic dream of the global Caliphate.

October 2, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
7. NoVA Scout wrote:

My point is that all (“all”, but still a huge step forward) that our founding documents grant to any religion is the right of free exercise.  If you grant (as you have) that that right applies to Muslims as much as to any others, that’s “equivalence.”  No religion gets more than that. 

I would think it more accurate, CDW, to say that we are a nation that was predominantly populated by Christians at our founding.

October 2, 10:27 pm | [comment link]
8. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I would think it more accurate…....we are a nation that was
predominantly populated by Christians at our founding.

Who had no special influence, through the work of the Holy Spirit, on the actual founding of this country and how it was to be goverened?

You might want to read the early history, the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and some of the early prayers offered in Congress for this country, its people, and its Christian Founding.

And then you might look at some of the early missionary work of all the Christian denominations, in particular James Breck, the founder of Nashotah House, among other accomplishments.

October 2, 10:38 pm | [comment link]
9. NoVA Scout wrote:

I live and work with those documents every day,CDW.  The Christians among our founders did, of course, have immense influence on our early history.  They created a constitutional government (that in itself was a radical step for the times) in which all religions have the same, “equivalent” right to free exercise.  None has more or less than another.  That is the only right (tremendous as it is) that any religion is granted by our Constitution.  So the “equivalence” you grant to Muslims in your earlier comment is accurate and the end of the discussion of equivalence under the law.  Several of our influential founding leaders went out of their way to disavow the idea that the new Republic was a particularly religious institution in a governmental or political sense.  My own view is that, because many were Christians, they took pains not to create a favoured, exceptional status for Christianity.  They were very familiar with the adverse effects of that kind of exceptionalism in Europe and wanted nothing to do with it.

October 3, 6:25 am | [comment link]
10. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I live and work with those documents every day

Most excellent.  Then you know the Founders did not want an established national church, which we do not have.  They certainly did not want a theocracy, which we do not have.  But, they were most nearly all Christians, and wrote much about their faith and allowed God’s hand to guide them in the critical formative times of this nation.  They wrote about how Christian formation and moral character for all the people of this nation would be critical toward the successful maintenance of the democratic republic ideals of this nation.  Their guidance by their Christian faith was so pervasive and natural that it did not have to codified into Federal law.

And so today, this country is still a majority Christian country.  And as long as it stays that way, we have a fighting chance to maintain the ideals and essence which the Founders laid down for us.  And we have the opportunity to maintain this country as part of God’s providential plan for mankind.  And we should never come to the point where we would take an official person from a religion other than Christianity and threaten to execute him/her for not being Christian.

October 3, 6:50 am | [comment link]
11. NoVA Scout wrote:

I think we are in general agreement, at least through 9 and 10.  The beauty of the system the founders left us is that it doesn’t require a particular religion for its maintenance.  Even if the demographics shift significantly (as they constantly have and will continue to do) the Constitution’s worth and vitality won’t depend on which religion has majority status.

October 3, 7:34 am | [comment link]
12. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

The beauty of the system the founders left us is that it doesn’t require a particular religion for its maintenance

Hmmmmmm, I suggest all folks who believe the above go search the internet for “the Khilafa Conference” in Chicago this year [and previous years].

Just a little look at the future IF another religion becomes the majority in America [by whatever means].  Couple that with the original story Fr. Kendall posted.  Still want to believe in that?

October 3, 8:06 am | [comment link]
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