My God is Better Than Yours (III): Yoel Natan, Author of Moon-O-Theism, Believes Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth with Humans

This is page III of My God is Better Than Yours.  (Read page I and II first.)

Yoel Natan is author of the cleverly titled book Moon-O-Theism: Religion of a War and Moon God Prophet.  His book is frequently cited by Islamophobes to prove the “Allah is the Moon-God” claim.  Indeed, Natan himself recognizes this, saying:

Evidently, my moon-god book is making the “Allah was a moon-god” theory more respectable, since before the issue was ignored or sneered at.

Is Yoel Natan a “respectable” scholar or academic whose book could give any respectability to the moon-god theory which was previously “ignored or sneered at?”  This is a legitimate question, and it is therefore licit to determine whether or not Yoel Natan is a credible source to cite, at least on an academic or scholarly level.

Our research indicates that Yoel Natan is an anonymous blogger operating under a pseudonym.  Although there is nothing wrong with this, we can gauge his level of seriousness and sophistication (or rather, lack thereof) by glancing at his blog.  We can tell much about Yoel Natan by what he has said over the years.  In fact, we can tell a whole lot from this.  All the evidence indicates that he not only lacks seriousness or sophistication but is in fact a kooky loon.

Yoel Natan is a fervent pro-Creationist anti-Evolutionist who seems to have delusions of grandeur that make Robert Morey’s fraudulent credentials seem tame in comparison.  Natan routinely speaks of himself in the third person on his blog, posting articles with such grandiose titles:

Yoel Natan Solves Another Longtime Creationist Mystery–Mammoths

Yoel Natan Solves Yet Another Ice Age Mystery: Mass Extinctions

Yoel Natan solves the mystery of deep sea guyots and reefs

Yoel Natan solves why C14 dates are older than young earth scientists might expect

Yoel Natan solves the mystery of the flood waters rising and receding

etc. etc.

You may think that these are titles made in jest.  They are not.  They are meant to be taken 100% seriously.  And to be clear: this is not a group blog.  It is his personal blog site, and Yoel Natan is referring to himself in the royal third person here.

To understand how great Yoel Natan’s delusions of grandeur are, one only needs to look at this article in which he seems to say that the publication of his two books (The Jewish Trinity and Moon-O-Theism) were responsible for the global drop in Christians converting to Judaism and the global drop in Jews converting to Islam.

Yoel Natan’s bloated sense of self is also indicated in his choice of pen name.  Natan himself explains on his website what his pseudonym means: “Yo-el means ‘Yah[veh] is God (El). Natan[ael or iel] means ‘Gift [of God (El)].”  So, Yoel Natan is a gift of God to humanity.  After all, he solved so many scientific mysteries!

No wonder then that such a delusional person could somehow blame mall and school shooting on Darwinism (or as he says, Darwinists).  Natan somehow imagines that the various mall and school shooters wore “T-shirts with evolution slogans”:

Most of the school shooters and mass-shooters are on the left, and even wear T-shirts with evolution slogans, proclaiming that their cull is a form of natural selection and supports the survival of the fittest (more like survival of the luckiest).

Natan is not an academic or scholar at all; in fact, he is anti-academicanti-science and certainly anti-scientist, complaining that “scientists [are] bound by their models and presumptions.”  Yoel Natan, on the other hand, is not bound by scientific method or facts.  He argues in another postthat the “Smithsonian natural history museum should be called a fiction museum.” Yoel Natan rejects global warming, and says “evolution is a hoax” and “evolution [is] one big straw man argument”.

Worse yet, Natan claims that carbon-dating would prove that dinosaurs were alive just a few thousand years ago (!!!) instead of millions of years ago as accepted by scientists, saying:

Evolutionists continue to refuse to C14 date fresh dinosaur tissues for fear that it will show young date–in the thousands of years before present (kilo-annum – ka BP).

Natan links back to AnswersInGenesis.org, which says that “the world is about 6,000 years old”, a view that he defends himself on his website. Yoel Natan seems to believe that “man and dinosaurs lived at the same time” just like in the Flintstones.  Natan’s blog has an entire section about dinosaurs, which makes for a good laugh.

In another kooky post, Yoel Natan explains “why evolutionists were largely responsible for the Holocaust”.  On that note, Yoel Natan is no exception to the rule that every kook needs to invoke Nazi references.  He links liberals to Nazis.  He also links evolutionists to Nazism, arguing that “Hitler said he fully supported the goals of evolution” and that World War II was in fact a war against “Darwinists” and “evolutionists”.

Likewise, the Cold War was not between capitalists and communists, but between “atheism versus religion”–against the atheistic evolutionists in the Soviet Union.  Then, in true Glenn Beck fashion, Natan links evolution to every form of fascism and communism he possibly can: “…Whenever evolutionist [sic] do have a semblance of absolute authority, evolution springs into action a al Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.”

Yoel Natan also dabbles in good old-fashioned Antisemitism, arguing that Jewish-American reluctance to accept government involvement in religion is “an example of US Jewish supremacist thinking”.  Natan also posted a random article that seems to imply that Jewish-Americans are irreligious and basically godless.  Worse, he links Jews to the evil of Communism, arguing that persecution of Jews could be partially explained by this.

And of course, the Holocaust was due to evolutionists (damn those evolutionists; they are always guilty of everything!); says Natan: “evolution was not a sufficient cause for the Holocaust, but it was a necessary cause.”

Natan says: “…Jewish support for abortion is the primary cause as to why the Jews never truly recovered from the Holocaust”.  (He prefaces his argument by saying that Richard Baehr, a Jewish-American, said this.  However, Baehr didn’t really say this, and it seems to be Natan’s own view.)

Yoel Natan’s book The Jewish Trinity: When Rabbis Believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a conspiracy-laden book.  Its basic thesis is that, contrary to scholarly consensus and the well-accepted historical narrative, Jews in fact believed in the Trinity (the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) and the divinity of the Messiah.  This is a conspiracy theory of the highest order, one that is not accepted even by Evangelical scholars.

A few people have left very positive feedback of his book, possibly his friends but definitely Evangelical Christians (no surprise there); other, more neutral reviewers, have more accurate feedback, with one calling his book “a poor excuse for Bible scholarship” and another referring to it as “conspiracy theory pseudo-scholarship” and “not a serious piece of theology or Bible interpretation.”  The latter review summarizes his book and puts it in the proper light:

The author believes, incredibly, and against all Bible translators and historical theologians – Christian and not, trinitarian and not – that the ancient Jews were trinitarians, and that this important fact was deliberately hidden by a cabal of dastardly “unitarian” Jews in the inter-testamental period. This is literally a conspiracy theory book.

There is no end to the level of kookiness on Yoel Natan’s blog.  For example, in another article he argues that “very few Christians d[ied] in [the] tsunami and earthquake” that ravaged Indonesia: God killed the infidels and saved the God-fearing Christians, something which “the skeptics don’t believe.”  In fact, not only were the Christians saved but the Sharia-abiding Muslims were killed: “place where tsunami hit worst was 100 percent Sharia Law.” These atrocious comments are reminiscent of those made by Pat Robertson, another loony Evangelical, who claimed that Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake due to a pact made with the devil.

Of course, Yoel Natan’s most atrocious comments are reserved for Muslims.  He is a veritable Islamophobe.  Natan argues that Muslims are “the enemy”, a fact that evolutionists deny.  Natan subscribes to the Eurabia conspiracy theory, the fallacious claim that Muslims and Islam will soon reign supreme in Europe–and that eventually Muslim immigrants in Europe will subjugate Europeans to “dhimmitude”, a state of servitude.

Natan relies on Islamophobic loons such as Bat Ye’or, a pseudoscholar who believes in all sorts of fantastic conspiracy theories.  Natan routinely relies on anti-Muslim hatemongers and unreliable sources such as Robert Spencer and JihadWatchMichelle MalkinWorldNetDailyDaniel Pipes,Alan Keyes, etc. etc.  Clearly, Yoel Natan has a strong bias against Islam.  This is undeniable, and as such, can the anti-Muslim proponents of the “Allah is the moon-god theory” cite a real contemporary scholar and scholarly work that affirms the theory?

*  *  *  *  *

What is quite interesting and telling is this post here, which Yoel Natan entitles “Yoel Natan is mentioned in blog, book that are a focus of national news.” First, his usage of the third person to refer to himself is quite comical, especially since it is his personal blog and not a group blog with multiple contributors, editors, staff, etc.  Second, he seems very pleased with himself that he was mentioned in a “blog, book that are a focus of national news.”  Third (and most amusing), it is worthwhile to note in what context he was mentioned.  Natan quotes Alec Rawls in the Crescent of Betrayal:

In a blog comment, Yoel Natan tipped me off to the fact that every mosque is built around a Mecca-direction indicator, called a mihrab, which often has a crescent shape.

Yoel Natan is so beside himself that someone read a comment he made on a blog and then reproduced it!  It would be the equivalent of someone boasting that Glenn Greenwald mentioned one of the comments left under one of his Salon articles in one of his books!

Fourth, it is also amusing that Natan then emailed Alec Rawls asking him to change it to “author Yoel Nathan”:

In case your wondering, yes, I emailed him today asking him to change that to “author Yoel Natan (yoel.info),” and I told him very briefly about my books.

And no, I was not wondering.  This of course answers the question: Yoel Nathan is not a scholar or academic.  His greatest and proudest claim is to be an “author”, publishing two conspiracy-laden books.  Again, nothing wrong with that in and of itself (well, aside from the conspiracy-theorist part).

However, he is not a credible source to cite for a theory such as the moon-god theory.  Indeed, he is a Christian fundamentalist, Bible-thumper, and loony Creationist who believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs lived with humans like in the Flintstones, and that evolution and global warming are fake.  He is also at least a little bit Antisemitic and a whole lot Islamophobic.  All in all, Yoel Natan is a poor source to cite.

*  *  *  *  *

Having thus established that the source of the moon-god theory–including Robert Morey (originator of the theory) and Yoel Natan (responsible for giving the theory a second wind)–are wholly unreliable, we now turn our attention to the substance of the theory itself.

My God is Better Than Yours (II): Robert Morey, The Fake Doctor Behind the “Allah is the Moon-God” Theory

This is page II of My God is Better Than Yours.  (Read page I first.)

In recent times, a common claim furthered by anti-Muslim Christians is that Muslims worship the moon.  It is said that “Allah” refers to the moon-god.  Prof. Judith Mendelsohn Rood notes that this “theory” is slowly becoming “mainstream” in Evangelical circles:

Christian apologists are claiming that Allah is the “moon god” of a pagan religion–a pernicious idea that is making its way increasingly into mainstream evangelical culture.

This moon-god lie originated from “Dr.” Robert Morey, a Christian Evangelist and professional Islamophobe.  Says Morey:

Islam’s origins have been traced back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the worship of the moon god which was always the dominant religion of Arabia. The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrimage to the Kabah which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kabah seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kabah, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc.. These were pagan rites practised by the Arabs long before Muhammad was born.

He goes on:

What religion today practices the pagan rites of the moon god? Islam! This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. It is placed on top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amulets and even jewellery. Every time you see the Muslim symbol of a crescent moon, you are seeing the ancient symbol of the moon god.

Morey claims that to defeat Islam, the Judeo-Christian West must nuke the Kaaba in Mecca, saying:

First, as I wrote in my book, How to Win the War Against Radical Islam, the war against the Muslim Jihadists will be long and costly and will not be won until we bomb the Kabah in Mecca.  Islam is based on a brick and mortar building that can be destroyed. They pray to that building five times a day, make a pilgrimage to it, run around it, kiss a black rock on the wall, then run between two hills and finally throw rocks at a pillar. What if that building, the Kabah, was destroyed? They could not pray to it or make a pilgrimage to it. The old pagan temple of the moon-god, al-ilah, is the Achilles’ heel of Islam. Destroy it and you destroy Islam’s soul.

Initially, we had decided that it was not worth our time to refute this silly “Allah is the moon-god” canard: Robert Morey is clearly a loon, and who would take him seriously?  Unfortunately, as we found out, a lot of people.  Indeed, anti-Muslim Christians regularly invoke the moon-god theory, such that it makes it impossible not to deal with this issue.

It would behoove us to first question the source of this moon-god theory: who is Robert Morey?  Is he a credible scholar?  The answer is an emphatic no.  He is a Christian Evangelist and anti-Muslim polemicist: it seems fairly obvious that he has a strong bias.  As is the case with other pro-Christian anti-Muslim ideologues who claim to be “scholars on Islam” (such as Robert Spencer), Morey possesses absolutely no credible academic qualifications on the subject of Islam.

Worse than this, Morey is a quack, claiming credentials that are outright fake: on his website, he claims that he has an honorary doctor of divinity (D.D.) in Islamic Studies from the Faith Theological Seminary located in Pakistan.  Firstly, it should be noted that an “honorary degree” would mean that he never actually attended the school at all.

But if this wasn’t bad enough, the degree itself is fraudulent.  When the Faith Theological Seminary found out Morey was claiming to have a degree from their school, they categorically denied that they had ever issued such a degree to him and ordered him to remove the claim from his site or face criminal charges.  The school referred to Morey’s “degree” as an “illegal and fake degree”.  (Morey did not remove it from his site and continues to claim the degree.)

Robert Morey also claims a PhD in Islamic Studies from the Louisiana Baptist University (LBU).  This is an unaccredited institution that is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  LBU is a “distance learning program” (teaching via the internet), with one alumnus boasting that “the LBU program may be completed 100% via distance learning”, while noting that “I did spend one week on campus”.  In other words, the PhD is “earned” over the internet, not the classroom.

LBU is listed in Steve Levicoff’s Name It and Frame It?: New Opportunities in Adult Education and How to Avoid Being Ripped Off by “Christian” Degree Mills as a “degree mill”, a term used to refer to groups that issue bogus degrees for a fee.  Outside his book, Levicoff put it bluntly: “LBU is a joke.”  Perhaps LBU’s website words it best: “LBU has both the experience and reliability to provide an efficient quality degree program tailored to your needs.”  Indeed!  This is a case of “Phd-for-a-fee or your money back.”

In 1998, the Louisiana Board of Regents (a government agency responsible for overseeing higher education) issued a unanimous ruling to deny LBU an operating license for its business education programs, and ordered the school to cease admitting students and cease advertising.  LBU was later exempted based on the religious institution exemption and was allowed to operate as a religious institution.

Once again, things go from bad to worse for Morey when the matter is investigated further.  Morey claims on his bio that he has obtained a PhD degree in “Islamic Studies”.  The only problem?  LBU does not offer any such degree.  As the OC Weekly noted:

Morey also claims to have received a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist University. Two problems: LBU is unaccredited by the United States government, which means no serious academy would recognize it. Then there’s this: LBU doesn’t offer a Ph.D. in Islamic studies.

The paper is absolutely correct: LBU does not offer any such degree.  When OC Weekly asked him to comment on this “fib”, he altered his story:

When told LBU offers no program in Islamic studies, Morrey corrected himself and said his doctorate is in theology, with an emphasis on Islam.

Yet, Morey’s website and bio to this day continue to claim that he obtained a PhD in Islamic studies. Worse yet, LBU doesn’t even offer a doctorate in theology with an emphasis on Islam.  Graduate degrees that the school does offer include “degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies, Psychology and Christian Counseling, and Christian Education.” As the OC Weekly sarcastically quipped about Morey’s imaginary degree: “He’s the first and only student to receive such a degree from the school.”

To put the nail in the coffin, there is no way Robert Morey could have studied any degree at LBU with an “emphasis on Islam” because a look at the school’s course catalog reveals that it does not offer a single course having anything to do with Islam.  It is a school that offers courses about Christianity, not Islam.

The fact that Morey had to lie about having an “honorary degree” on the one hand and an online degree from a degree mill on the other hand shows how desperate Robert Morey is that people call him “doctor”. The only other degree Robert Morey could hang his hat on for the title of “doctor” is the “D.Min.” (Doctor of Ministry) in Apologetics that he claims he earned from the Westminster Theological Seminary.

However, it should be noted that the degree of “Doctor of Ministry” can be considered  a “fluff” degreethat is no way, shape, or form equivalent to or even comparable to a real PhD.  As one astute bloggerworded it:

It’s a match made in heaven.

On one side: a pastor who…needs respect and money and position.

On the other side: floundering seminaries struggling to stay financially afloat in a world of tight budgets and harsher spreadsheets.  These seminaries accept (almost indiscriminately) anyone willing to put down the tuition money, no matter what their moral or intellectual character…

Welcome to the Doctor of Ministry degree. After three quick, easy, study-lite years, the pastor has attained his Doctor of Ministry degree. His doctorate degree.  That degree gives the pastor a tremendous amount of respect now.  He is Dr. Pastor now, a real somebody.  More importantly, there is tremendous upside attached to his new title, and the ceiling on his earning potential has just been lifted.  Dr. Pastor has clout now, or Dr. Rev. Pastor, if you will.   Suffix Suffice it to say, he has respect, money, and position.

Following a familiar pattern, we find that the situation gets worse for “Dr.” Robert Morey when we find out that the Westminster Theological Seminary does not seem to offer a D.Min. in “Apologetics”. It is difficult to determine which of his “credentials” is more impressive: an “illegal or fake degree” from a real university or a fake degree from a fake university or a fake degree from a real university offering fluff degrees?

In any case, Morey quickly transitioned from being the receiver of fake degrees to the one giving them out, and founded the California Biblical University and Seminary, another unaccredited money-making “university”and degree mill.  The “school’s” faculty page listed him as the only faculty member.  Due to reasons that are unclear to us now (legal action?), the school has now disappeared…no doubt after Morey fleeced enough students of their hard-earned cash.

Robert Morey also served as a pastor at the Faith Community Church in California, where members of his church accused him of illegal and immoral behavior, including using church money for his personal expenses.  Consequently, the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.) had “Robert Morey Thrown Out Of His Denomination” and forcibly resigned him in a unanimous vote by board officials, declaring that he had “abused his pastoral authority.”

Moriel Ministries stated that Morey was guilty of “gross and habitual financial impropriety” and “academic fraud with a bogus doctorate in Islam”, and mocked him for his outrageous claim that he has “read everything in the US Library of Congress on Islam”, which Moriel astutely points out would mean “over 7,000 volumes, monograms etc. to say nothing of the fact he cannot read Arabic.”  His claim that he has read all of the books on Islam in the U.S. Library of Congress is reminiscent of Sarah Palin’s remark that she “reads all of them”, referring to newspapers.

After closing down his degree mill “university” and being thrown out of his ministry, Robert Morey seems to have in recent years fled the limelight to live away from the public eye.  Nonetheless, his moon-god theory lives on, and has in fact been given a “second wind” thanks to the surge of Islamophobia in the last decade and due to the tireless efforts of a dedicated anti-Muslim contingent trolling the internet.  All of them repeat the same lie that originates from Robert Morey, a fake doctor and quack.

Questioning Robert Morey’s credentials is not mere muckraking; rather, it is important for us to ascertain the unreliable originator of the moon-god theory.  He is not just academically defunct and wholly unreliable; he is an intellectual huckster and fraudster of the highest order.

None of this is to say that Robert Morey is not considered a well-respected author, scholar, and authority in right-wing circles.  Like other self-proclaimed “experts on Islam” used by the right-wing, Morey has no actual academic qualifications or credentials.  This fact, however, does not stop the anti-Muslim bigots from relying on him and others like him.  It is hoped, however, that more neutral minds will not be fooled.

*  *  *  *  *

Before we begin dissecting Morey’s theory, a word might also be said of Yoel Natan, author of the cleverly titled book Moon-O-Theism. Natan’s book helped give the moon-god theory a second wind.  It is on page III that we will turn to this topic.

The “But That’s Just the Old Testament!” Cop-Out (II): How the Christian Right Interprets the Bible

The “But That’s Just the Old Testament!” Cop-Out (II): How the Christian Right Interprets the Bible

Refer to page I of this article.

Any and all violence in the Quran “counts”.  Nothing violent in the Bible ever “counts”.

This is the axiom closely adhered to by anti-Muslim pro-Christian elements.  We are told that the Old Testament, which is clearly far more violent and warlike than the Quran (see 1234, and 6), simply “doesn’t count”.  The double-standards used to single out the Quran–and exonerate the Bible–have been exposed on page I of this article.

We proved that the most straightforward, intuitive, and obvious reading of the Bible would support the enduring and even eternal applicability of the Old Testament’s violence.  This does not mean that peaceful interpretations do not exist.  They most certainly do.  But if the anti-Muslim pro-Christian bigots will apply a standard of “well, your text clearly says XYZ” to the Quran, then this applies even more so to the Bible.

Some critics reassured us that we simply did not understand Christian theology–that we are just too ignorant or too stupid to interpret the Bible.  What we have provided, however, is not simply our own interpretation: right-wing Christians themselves interpret the Bible in this way.  They look to the Old Testament for guidance when it comes to matters of war and peace, quite the opposite of what is claimed in debates with Muslims (i.e. “but that’s just the Old Testament” and “the Old Testament doesn’t count!”)

The Christian Right, which singles out the Quran as being “uniquely violent”, is the same group that most often looks to the wars of the Old Testament for inspiration.  Case in point: professional Islamophobe Dr. Robert Morey, a Christian theologian and pastor.  A self-proclaimed “professional apologist” Morey runs a right-wing Christian group called Faith Defenders.  He is a highly regarded figure amongst the religious right, and “is recognized internationally as a professional philosopher and theologian whose careful scholarship and apologetic abilities establish him as one of Christianity’s top defenders.” According to his bio, his works were included in the Christian Booksellers Association list of The Best of the Good Books and he won Christianity Today’s Significant Books of the Year.

Dr. Morey’s Islamophobic works include Islam Unveiled (1991), The Islamic Invasion (1992), andWinning the War Against Radical Islam (2002).  Morey is one of the most recognizable faces in the in Christian vs. Muslim debates.  The influential far right-wing website WorldNetDaily, which is aligned with the religious right and in fact founded by Christian Evangelist Joseph Farah, published a plea requesting $1.2 million to fund Morey’s “crusade” against Islam.  (Robert Spencer also writes forWorldNetDaily.)

Morey’s site, FaithDefenders.com, supports Act for America, the hate organization run by Bridget Gabriel and associated with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Morey’s books are sold on Ali Sina’s website, the anti-Muslim Faith Freedom International, the same Ali Sina whose work is reproduced by Robert Spencer on JihadWatch.  Daniel Pipes, another one of their comrade-in-arms, also reviewed Morey’s book The Islamic Invasion.  The point is: Robert Morey is a well-known figure in anti-Muslim circles.

More importantly, Robert Morey’s book When Is It Right to Fight?–which has as its fundamental argument that wars of aggression are Biblically justified by the Old Testament–was met with acclaim by the religious right.  For example, John M. Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, effusively praised When Is It Right to Fight? as “one of the best books on the subject.”  Church pastor and famous Christian broadcaster  (“Hall-of-Famer” at the National Religious Broadcasters) D. James Kennedy strongly recommended Morey’s book to “all who love and defend liberty” (if, on the other hand, you don’t love liberty, this book may not be for you).

The Dallas Theological Seminary, a notable Evangelical seminry, called Morey’s book “stimulating, thought provoking and helpful.”  The Biblical Evangelist, a bi-monthly Evangelist magazine, not only loved the book (boasting that “Morey totally annihilates the position of pacifism”) but in fact raved about his books and scholarship in general (“[we have] been extremely pleased with all of them” and “Morey is a very scholarly writer”).  [All quotes above appear on the back of Morey’s book.]

Robert Morey’s book When Is It Right to Fight? can be considered a compendium of the Christian Right’s justifications for waging wars.  In this book, Morey justifies America’s many wars of aggression using none other than the Bible.  He responds to Christian pacifists who claim that we shouldn’t base our lives on the Old Testament, saying:

The unity of the Scriptures should not be broken simply because we don’t like what they say.  The New Testament authors did not hesitate to derive doctrine and ethics from principles contained in the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:16-17) (p.136)

Far from rejecting the wars and warlike prophets of the Old Testament, Morey claims that “the patriarchs and prophets” are “models for us to follow today”:

Throughout the Old Testament, the patriarchs and prophets are pictured as real people struggling with the same kinds of problems we face today.  This is why they are listed in Hebrews 11 as models for us to follow today. In this biblical spirit, let us examine their lives and history for answers to our questions. (p.12)

Morey goes on (emphasis is ours):

Perhaps the best place to begin is with the book of beginnings, Genesis…Genesis opens with the revelation that warfare is going on between God and Satan…This cosmic war between God and Satan now involves the inhabitants of the earth as well as those of heaven.  God is called the “Lord of Hosts”, i.e. “the Lord of armies.”  He is the Lord of the armies of the heaven and on earth.

Throughout Scripture, earthly wars, where the conflict is clearly between good and evil, are viewed as manifestations of the spiritual conflict taking place in heaven.  For example, in Job 1:6-17, the Sabeans and the Chaldeans, as agents of Satan in his conflict with God, raided Job’s flocks and killed his servants.  The violence against Job was a reflection of the war between God and Satan.  Other Old Testament examples can be cited: 1 Chron. 21:1; 2 Kings 6:8-18; Dan. 10:7-14. (p.12)

Not only does Morey support using the Old Testament wars as “models for us to follow today” but notice also that he condones the concept of “holy war”: earthly wars are between “good and evil”, or more specifically, between the “agents of God” and the “agents of Satan”.  Assigning one side to God and the other to Satan almost ensures the idea of holy war.  Morey takes the concept to its logical conclusion, and permits the “agents of God” to use the same methods as God (“utter destruction”) against the “agents of Satan” on earth.

Morey says further:

The New Testament continues the tradition of depicting the course of human history as warfare between God and Satan, viewing it in terms of conflict between two kingdoms (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13). (p.13)

Christian pacifists point out that Jesus will return to rid the world of wars.  Morey counters this by arguing that (1) Jesus will only accomplish this task through the use of force, conquering his opponents in war.  This, as we argued in a previous article in the Series, is a conquerer’s “peace”.  (2) The fact that Jesus said he will come back to end wars, instead of simply forbidding his followers from participating in the military or to wage wars, is an indication that wars will continue until the End Times.  Wars will end only after Jesus destroys the forces of evil altogether, and until then the “agents of God” must continue to wage war against the “agents of Satan” in order that the “tyranny of Satan” not reign supreme.  Says Morey (emphasis is ours):

Heavenly and earthly warfare will never be halted until Christ returns to earth to judge the wicked and establish his eternal kingdom (Isa. 65:17-25; Matt. 24:6-8)

The last battle which shall end wars will involve both heavenly and earthly armies(Rev. 12:7-9; 19:11-21).  This last battle is what the Bible calls Armageddon (Rev. 16:15, 16). (p.13)

This quote also refutes the earlier counter-argument raised by our opponents: when we argued that Jesus was not “peaceful” as portrayed by them and that he would wage brutal war when he returns to earth, they argued that during his Second Coming it would be “heavenly” and “celestial” beings that would do the killing–therefore, we couldn’t possibly use this example to compare to Muhammad’s wars which involved humans and “earthly” beings.  Yet, as Morey notes, the wars of Christ’s Second Coming will involve “both heavenly and earthly armies”, which the Bible itself attests to.  The killing will be inflicted by “celestial beings” and men.

Christian pacifists often cite Isaiah 2:4, in which it is said that Jesus will bring an end to wars.  Morey says:

But Isaiah is only saying that wars will cease after Christ returns and judges the wicked (Isa. 2:10-21).  Isaiah is describing the new earth where righteousness reigns (vs. 1-3).

In the New Testament, Jesus clearly indicated that wars will continue until the end of history (Matt. 24:6, 7) (p.13)

The argument goes: If Jesus will fight Evil when he returns, and we should follow his example, then shouldn’t we fight Evil as well?  Christian pacifists often ask “What Would Jesus Do?”, arguing that Jesus would love his enemies.  But in reality, he kills them.  Jesus will only stop fighting them when his enemies are killed or conquered.  So shouldn’t we kill or fight our enemies until they are dead or conquered?

Instead of merely indicating that he would bring an end to wars, why wouldn’t Jesus simply have forbidden war upon his followers?  Writes Morey:

In Matt. 24:6, Jesus clearly stated that wars would remain part of human experience until the end of the age.  If He were a pacifist, then this would have been a perfect opportunity to condemn all wars.  Jesus did not do so in this passage. (p.40)

Morey goes on:

God’s angelic armies do not use the techniques of nonresistance in their fight against Satan.  Instead, God’s army will forcefully cast them out of heaven at the final battle.  If pacifism does not work in heaven, neither will it work on earth. (pp.17-18)

The fact that Jesus promised to use force, violence, and war means that these cannot be viewed as something unchristianlike, for Jesus would never call for something unchristianlike.  Reasons Morey:

If the sinless Son of God is going to use force to destroy His enemies, then it is not possible to view the use of force as intrinsically wrong or immoral. (p.42)

Robert Morey argues:

If the Scriptures taught that the use of force is intrinsically wrong and immoral, how could it describe the return of Christ as Jesus waging a righteous war?

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war (Rev. 19:11, NASB).

The fact that Jesus will return to punish the wicked with flaming fire reveals that the use of force is not intrinsically incompatible with love, justice, righteousness, or truth.  As long as the war to end all wars is righteous and true, lesser wars fought for the same reasons will always be righteous and true.  Once the righteousness of Armageddon is accepted, the principle of the just war is established. (pp.20-21)

Morey uses the term “just war”, but be not mistaken: his version of “just war” does not restrict warfare to self-defense only.  Once again, he uses the Old Testament to prove his case and argues that restricting war to self-defense runs contrary to the Bible:

It is assumed by some that only wars fought in self-defense are just.  It would be immoral for one nation to attack another nation unless that nation was attacked first.

The problem with the above theory is that Abraham’s use of force was not in self-defense.  Chedorlaomer was not attacking him.  Abraham was initiating the conflict by pursuing and attacking a tyrannical enemy.

In this light, it is clear that wars of aggression in which one strikes the first blow against tyrants can sometimes be viewed as perfectly just and righteous. (p.22)

Morey’s frightening justification for “wars of aggression” gives religious legitimization to an extremely right-wing, neoconservative foreign policy.  He writes (emphasis is ours):

It can also be legitimately deduced from Abraham’s example that it is perfectly just for the Free World to use force when necessary and practical to deliver captive nations everywhere (Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, East Germany, Angola, Cuba, Central America, etc.). (pp.22-23)

Morey’s book was first published in 1985, near the end of the Cold War.  If it could be argued that it is justified for the Free World (the Judeo-Christian West) to attack any country under the sway of ungodly Communism, then it is even more justified to wage war against the even more evil moon-god religion of Islam.  Surely, a government under Sharia Law is worse than one under Communism.

Indeed, not only has Morey since republished his book, he has smoothly transfered his wrath from Communism to Islam (a good right-wing Christian needs something to hate).  Not only should Muslim countries be attacked and occupied, but the war “will not be won until we bomb the Kabah in Mecca” and other Islamic holy sites, as he writes on his website:

First, as I wrote in my book, How to Win the War Against Radical Islam, the war against the Muslim Jihadists will be long and costly and will not be won until we bomb the Kabah in Mecca.  Islam is based on a brick and mortar building that can be destroyed. They pray to that building five times a day, make a pilgrimage to it, run around it, kiss a black rock on the wall, then run between two hills and finally throw rocks at a pillar. What if that building, the Kabah, was destroyed? They could not pray to it or make a pilgrimage to it. The old pagan temple of the moon-god, al-ilah, is the Achilles’ heel of Islam. Destroy it and you destroy Islam’s soul.

In fact, Morey wants to nuke Mecca (and Medina?), which seems to be somewhat of a common fantasy for right-wing Christians and neoconservatives.  (He also supports nuking Iran.)  Posted onMorey’s blog site was this gem:

In the end, just as it happened with Japan (Hirohsima/Nagasaki), Muslim holy sites will have to be destroyed…The qur’an promises Muslims that Allah will never allow these sites to be destroyed by the infidels. Without Mecca, Muslims will not be able to hold their ritualistic prayers on Fridays or anytime for that matter.

It may surprise Robert Morey to know that the Kaaba has been severely damaged and even destroyed numerous times in history, even in the time of the Prophet Muhammad himself.  Muslims believe that the Kaaba was destroyed in the time of Noah and rebuilt by Abraham.  From the time of Abraham to the time of Muhammad, it is said that the Kaaba sustained significant wear-and-tear and damage, periodically being repaired and restored.  Thereafter, the Kaaba sustained fire damage, flooding, and was even completely destroyed during a time of civil war.

To Morey’s complete amazement no doubt, the Kaaba was even demolished by one of the disciples of the Prophet Muhammad himself, in order to be reconstructed and expanded.  And another Caliph after this demolished the Kaaba yet again, rebuilding it to his desire.

Is it not a bit dangerous to offer such a solution–nuking Mecca to destroy the Kaaba–without actuallyknowing the religious views of Muslims?  Robert Morey seems to be under the impression that Muslims will simply throw in the towel should the Kaaba be destroyed: “Ok you guys got us, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.”  Contrary to what Morey posits, Muslims will most definitely still be able to pray the five ritualistic prayers.  Islam won’t come to an end if the Kaaba is destroyed: Muslims will just rebuild it.  Perhaps Morey, the self-proclaimed “scholar on Islam”, should do some basic research first?  Even Wikipedia would be a good enough place to start for him.

Going back to the subject at hand, Morey finds nothing in the Bible that contradicts the use of nuclear weaponry.  And why should he, when the damage from a nuclear weapon would result in no more deaths than the genocidal wars waged by Moses,  Joshua,  Samson,  SaulDavid, etc. found in the Old Testament of the Bible–in which men, women, children, babies, animals, and “all that breathed” were killed?

But what about the the issue of Mutually Assured Destruction?  Shouldn’t we avoid nuclear war if not for our enemies but for ourselves?  Won’t the enemy retaliate with nuclear bombs and then there would be no life left on earth?  Morey assures us:

Christians need to understand that there is not conclusive evidence that all life would be destroyed on this planet if nuclear war broke out…Many scientists believe that nuclear war is not only survivable but winnable. (pp.130-131)

Furthermore, we should throw caution and restraint to the wind, since God has promised us that we can’t kill all life on earth, no matter how hard we try.  Therefore, feel free to nuke and kill all you want.  Writes Morey:

Another vital point, God’s Word guarantees that humanity will not be annihilated by wars of its own making.  Jesus said that the earth would continue to experience wars until He returned to judge the wicked.  (Matt. 24:6) (pp.131-132)

One suspects that a similarly callous attitude towards global warming can be taken, based on the same reasoning.

In any case, after Morey approves of “wars of aggression” based on Abraham’s example, he says:

If the West could only follow Abraham’s godly example, the Communists would soon abandon their program for world conquest. (p.23)

So, the Free World (the Judeo-Christian West) is to wage a war “everywhere”, but it’s the Communists who have the “program for world conquest”.  It would be interesting to note the Soviet Union’s own “fear” that the United States and the “Free World” had a desire to spread their ideology worldwide (“world conquest”) and would thus have a similar justification to conquer the world first.

Naturally, Robert Morey feels the same way about Muslims, who according to him want to conquer the world and impose Sharia on everyone.  Therefore, it is imperative for the “Free World” (the Judeo-Christian West) to occupy the lands of Islam in order to stop this from happening.  World conquest to prevent world conquest.

In our article entitled Jesus Loves His Enemies…And Then Kills Them All, we argued that the Bible merely prohibits “personal vengeance” by individual citizens and not war waged by governments against other nations.  We wrote then:

How then do we reconcile the seemingly peaceful and pacifist sayings of Jesus with the violent and warlike Second Coming of Christ?  There are numerous ways to do this, but perhaps the most convincing is that Jesus’ peaceful and pacifist sayings were directed towards a resident’s personal and local enemies–usually (but not always) referring to fellow co-religionists.  It did not refer to a government’s foreign adversaries, certainly not to heathen nations…

This is consistent with the ruling given by the Evangelical site GotQuestions.org, which permits governments to wage war whilst forbidding individuals from “personal vendettas”.

Morey agrees, saying:

The Scriptures recognize a fundamental difference between the use of just force and the exercise of personal violence. (p.24)

The peaceful verses in the New Testament are with regard to “personal violence” and have nothing to do with how governments behave, so argues Morey:

When the New Testament condemns acts of personal violence in such places as Rom. 12:19, it is merely quoting the Old Testament’s condemnation.  The Old Testament’s censure of personal violence in such places as Deut. 32:35 is not viewed as a condemnation of the just use of force elsewhere in the Old Testament.  It is clear that while acts of vindictive personal violence are never justified, the proper use of force [by governments] is justifiable. (p.25)

Robert Morey then moves from Genesis to Exodus, arguing that “If God wanted his people to be pacifists, this would have been an ideal time to establish this” (p.27). Instead, “Israel developed an army at God’s command” (p.27) and waged an aggressive war against the native inhabitants of Canaan.

From Numbers Morey goes to Joshua: “Joshua led his people to victory over the enemies of God and Israel” (p.28).  As we detailed in our article entitled Who was the Most Violent Prophet in History?, Joshua engaged in genocide and ethnic cleansing.  Far from seeing this as something despicable (“unlike Muslims who can never see anything wrong with Muhammad!”), Morey says that “Joshua’s leadership in military” matters is “a shining example” (p.28).

Morey then says that Joshua obtained peace through war: “peace was won and maintained by the use of force” (Josh. 21:44-45).  This is more proof that the Second Coming of Jesus will bring peace only in the sense that any conquerer brings “peace” once all resistance is put down.

Morey then discusses Judges, condoning the violent tactics of the Israelites (emphasis is ours):

These brave men and women used assassinations, terrorist acts, sabotage, guerrilla warfare, and open revolt by armed resistance, all under the blessing of God.  At no point in Judges are these freedom fighters condemned because they used force to destroy tyranny.  Let it also be noted that the authors of the New Testament do not hesitate to hold up these freedom fighters as examples of faith and courage for modern-day Christians to follow (Heb. 11:32-40).

If the New Testament taught pacifism, as some imagine, the freedom fighters described in Judges would never have been praised by the New Testament writers as examples to follow today. (pp.28-29)

Not only should “modern-day Christians” use “terroristic acts”–which would be “under the blessing of God”–but so too is the art of assassination to be embraced:

It should also be noted that use of assassination to remove tyrants is viewed in Scripture as thoroughly just and commendatory. Ehud’s assassination of Eglon or the other assassinations committed by freedom fighters to overthrow tyrants throughout biblical history are always praised in Scripture as legitimate and just means of force.  If one takes the biblical record seriously, assassination to remove a tyrant is not murder. (p.31)

Robert Morey then condones assassination of all the Soviet leaders (p.31), and even says that “the same is true for the oppressed peoples in all captive nations” (p.32)–and as he notes elsewhere, “captive nations” means “everywhere” except the Free World (the Judeo-Christian West).  Certainly this applies to the lands of Islam today, which are ruled by the worst tyrants of all.  Thus does Morey give Biblical justification for Ann Coulter’s statement:

We should invade their [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Morey eventually transitions to the “imprecatory Psalms” [imprecatory: invoking evil upon].  Far from claiming “they are just songs!” as some of our opponents did, Morey uses them as a source for war doctrine.  He points out:

There is not a single psalm which teaches nonresistance to tyranny. (p.33)

Wrapping up his survey of the Old Testament, Robert Morey concludes:

In our survey of the Old Testament, we have found that from Genesis to Malachi, God views the use of force to deal with tyranny and crime as just, holy, and true. (p.34)

Morey reasons, quite reasonably, that the New Testament cannot view something (in this case, the “use of force”) as morally wrong if it was viewed as something morally right in the Old Testament.  He rhetorically asks:

Could the New Testament view something as morally wrong if it was viewed as morally right in the Old Testament? (pp.34-35)

Morey argues further that Jesus and his apostles almost never addressed the idea of war in the New Testament (p.37), and that the condemnations of violence here should be seen as only forbidding individuals from personal vengeance, not nation-states from going to war.  In fact, points out Morey (emphasis is ours):

At no point in Jesus’ ministry did He ever tell Israel or Rome that governments should disarm.  He never condemned the just use of force as taught in the Scriptures, nor did He ever condemn the police for using force to punish criminals.  Despite the clarity of the Old Testament in its divine approval of the use of force, Jesus never once preached against a nation having an army or the state maintaining a police force.

Logically, this can lead us to only one possible inference.  Jesus’ silence meant that He approved of and accepted Old Testament precedent of the valid use of force.  Whenever we study the Scriptures, a biblical and historical precedent stands until directly removed by divine revelation. (p.39)

The bolded part above is important: Morey is saying that it cannot be claimed that one part of the Bible “doesn’t count” unless another Biblical passage clearly proves this.  In the absence of a clear and unequivocal verse in the New Testament that condemns or at least abrogates the wars of the Old Testament, one simply cannot claim that these “don’t count”.  For example, circumcision is condoned in the Old Testament, but rejected in the New Testament.  Had the New Testament been silent on the issue of circumcision, no believer could say this is not necessary.  Morey argues:

The apostles sought to carry on the teaching of the law and the prophets as well as the teachings of Christ.  For them, the gospel was just as much an Old Testament truth as it was a New Testament revelation (Rom. 1:1-3, 1 Cor. 15:3, 4).  They looked to the Old Testament Scriptures for basic principles of doctrine and ethics.

The apostles were careful to point out when various aspects of the Old Testament ceremonial laws, for instance, were superseded by the finished work of Christ.  The book of Hebrews is a prime example of this.

Therefore, it is significant that nowhere in the Acts or the Epistles do the apostles ever deal with such issues as whether or not the state can maintain a military force or a national police force.  Why did the apostles never deal with such issues?

The Old Testament clearly taught that God leads armies and has established penal justice.  Christ never disapproved of that position in the Gospels.  If the apostles rejected the Old Testament position on war and now taught pacifism, this would have stirred as much controversy as the laying aside of circumcision. (p.51)

He goes on:

If the apostles had condemned the Old Testament teaching on the use of force, they would have generated a great deal of controversy with the Jews…The silence of the New Testament in this regard, coupled with the silence of the Mishnah and Talmud, clearly indicates that the apostolic church was not teaching pacifism in opposition to the teaching of the Old Testament.

When we survey the Epistles, we do not find a single place where the apostles exhorted Israel or Rome to disarm their military forces or where the apostles condemned war or a Christian’s participation in the military.  There is no indication that they taught anything different than what is found in the [Old Testament] law. (p.52)

Morey raises several arguments as to why it cannot be said that Jesus disapproved of the Old Testament war doctrine, including the fact that

when dealing with Roman or Jewish soldiers, Jesus never told them to leave the military or that it was morally wrong to be soldiers (Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 6:15)…If He were a pacifist and opposed in principle any violence by anyone, He would not have failed to rebuke those who were in the military.  Jesus was not known for overlooking sin in the lives of those who sat under His teaching.  He denounced sin wherever and whomever He saw it. (p.40)

Morey is referring to several verses in the New Testament in which Christian soldiers are referred to, and there is no condemnation of them for being in the military profession.  This, even though the Roman Empire waged wars of aggression and imperial conquest.  This lends further credibility to the idea that nothing in the New Testament contradicts the Old Testament’s approval of wars of conquest.

Furthermore, the evidences used to prove the pacifism of Jesus are misinterpretations, reasons Robert Morey.  For example, “You have heard that it was said to people long ago…but I tell you…” was not a case of Jesus “rejecting the Old Testament, but the warped and twisted interpretation of the [Jewish] Pharisees…” (p.45)

Whenever Jesus is discussing peaceful coexistence, it is between neighbors, not nations:

Second, Jesus is clearly discussing personal ethics.  He is describing vital inner qualities of piety and the ways in which we should respond to our neighbors when they become sources of irritation.

That is why Jesus could talk about loving one’s neighbor, turning the other cheek and giving ones’ coat to someone.  At no point in the passage does Jesus discuss national or international ethics. (pp.45-46)

We dealt with the “turning the other cheek” issue in our earlier article:

As for the “turning the other cheek” passage, it is known that the slap on the cheek that was being referred to here was in that particular culture understood as an insult, not as assault.  The passage itself has to do with a person responding to a personal insult, and has nothing to do with pacifism.  In any case, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary clarifies:  “Of course, He applied this to personal insults, not to groups or nations.” [14]

Robert Morey agrees and points out that

the slap of the right cheek by the back of the left hand was a personal insult and not an act of violence done in the context of war…It was a personal insult, like spitting in someone’s face. (p.47)

As for the verse “blessed are the peacemakers”, Morey notes:

“Blessed are the peacemakers” (v 9).  The Greek word “peacemaker” was one of Caesar’s titles.  He was called “the peacemaker” because he won and maintained peace by the use of force.  The word does not mean “peaceable” or “pacifistic” or “peace at any price.”  The word meant “peace through strength.”  As such, it named the head of the Roman army without contradiction. (pp.47-48)

This, as we mentioned several times before in this Series, is the “peace” that the Bible speaks of: the conqueror’s “peace”.  It is the “peace” that Joshua brought: the Book of Joshua documents in great detail a lifetime of leading genocidal wars, and then–once the enemies are killed, run off, or subdued in the land–“the land had rest from war” (Joshua 11:23).  There was peace because nobody was left to fight.

The same is the case with Jesus during his Second Coming, as we noted before in Jesus Loves His Enemies…And Then Kills Them All.  Indeed, Robert Morey concludes that Jesus “was not in any way uncomfortable with the Old Testament teaching in this regard [i.e. war]” (p.48).

* * * *

What we are trying to prove–and have succeeded in doing so–is that the Bible can certainly and quite easily be interpreted by Christians to affirm the violence in the Old Testament.  Robert Morey, one of the leading anti-Muslim pro-Christian theologians in the nation, does exactly that.  The Christian Right interprets the Bible in this violent and warlike way.  And this is the most straightforward, intuitive, and obvious meaning of the Bible.

This certainly does not mean that all Christians, or even a majority, read the Bible in this manner.  What is clear, however, is that just as Christians can point to violent texts in the Quran, so too can Muslims point to (even more) violent texts in the Bible.  When Christians say the Quran can be (or even must be) interpreted in a violent way, then using the exact same logic Muslims can say the same of the Bible.

Lastly, it should be noted again that Robert Morey’s understanding of “just war” does not at all conform to the Just War Theory, and the reason it doesn’t is that the Bible itself does not.  The Bible is thus flawed with regard to jus ad bellum (the right to wage war) as it sanctions the right to wage “wars of aggression” (as Morey says on p.22: “In this light, it is clear that wars of aggression in which one strikes the first blow against tyrants can sometimes be viewed as perfectly just and righteous”); it is also flawed with regard to jus in bello (conduct in war) for it permits the killing of non-combatants, even “utter destruction” (which is why Morey does not find nuking Mecca to be problematic).  As we shall see in a future part in the Series, proper principles with regard to jus ad bellum and jus in bello are much easier to find in the Quran.