Disturbing: United Church of Christ Advancing Islam?

This is disturbing.  A St. Louis area “Christian” church, Parkway United Church of Christ, on N. Ballas is promoting Islam on its sign. 


This photo was snapped today, June 7, 2010 by Marcia Behr of St. Louis.

While it’s understandable that a Christian church would treat Muslims as children of God, we are obliged to do so in the context of their prayerful conversion to Christ.  Tolerance does not require submission. Yet.

As Ms. Behr points out, there are three options for conversion to Islam:
1. Conversion
2. Subjugation (be a slave to "the faithful")
3. Execution

Have the people of Parkway UCC chosen number two?

Most likely this is another example of liberal mania and not a call to conversion to Islam.  As Chesterton said, some people are so open-minded that all their brains fall out.

Let’s hope that the Koran quote represents a temporary lapse of judgment.  We look forward to reporting that the congregation has replaced the Koran verse with holy scripture.  

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

14 Comments on “Disturbing: United Church of Christ Advancing Islam?

  1. I had a philosophy teacher at Mizzou who used to say: “There isn’t anything mankind can’t mess up, especially theology and philosophy.” Theology and philosophy are disciplines for us to use to be more ethical in our actions toward ourselves and others. To use theology or philosophy as an excuse to hate others is the ultimate form of religious malpractice and/or religious irony. I would hope Marcia Behr soon learns to respect other theologies and philosophies to the same degree she expects from them in our pluralistic society. Marcia Behr obviously knows little of the Muslim faith and is demonizing them as an excuse to remain willfully ignorant of the Muslim theology. Marcia Behr’s creed is obviously not making her a knowledgeable, informed person of good intentions, may I humbly suggest trying a little deed before creed?

  2. Why are Christians so mean to each other? If that is what the Bible teaches, I’ll have nothing of it. I happen to believe in the teachings of Christ, not the teachings of Christians. They all seem to hate each other.

  3. What this discussion thread (and the shock! and outrage!) seems to be about is the question of whether it is legitimate for a Christian church to put up a quote from the Koran on their sign. Why the hell wouldn’t it be? For one thing, apart from scriptures, I’ve seen jokes, sermon titles, inside references (i.e. “Welcome Pastor Sally”), and social statements on church signs. Whoever said that the only appropriate content for a church sign is scripture from the particular holy book of that community?

    But the real issue is what Hennessy et al are trying to get to by reading between the lines: there is tolerance for another religion being promoted here. By a Christian church. Clearly, we can’t have that, since Christianity is the only true religion according to this paradigm.

    But Christian exclusivism is only one view, and it is one which seeks to limit God’s sovereignty and make an idol out of its own understanding of God. Those of us who are Christian pluralists acknowledge that, as humans, our view of God is fundamentally limited, because we are human and God is God. We can never assume that our view of God is fully perfect, because we are imperfect. Accordingly, when we are confronted with those who claim to experience God differently, we can either react with arrogance or hostility, or we can hold fast to our Savior, whom we know is our way, truth and life, while affirming that God is sovereign enough to speak to others differently if God so chooses.

    In peace,

    P.S. Marcia, you are probably aware that there are many disturbing passages in our holy book that likewise would never make it to a church sign. From my vantage point, a pissing contest a la “your religion has worse soundbytes!” is not at all constructive, and is hypocritical unless you are willing to hold yourself to the same standard, and apply every last verse in the Bible literally to your life.

  4. Wow. You certainly have a penchant for certainty. You also seem overly consumed with the source of the message rather than the substance.

    Rest assured, Richard Feynman would not pick from some false choice that you present. I doubt that Chesterton would either. That makes three of us.

    If you will pardon me now, some Muslims have arrived on the front lawn. I need to go determine if they are here to subjugate me or just have lunch. I am betting on a picnic and will bring some hummus.

  5. To Carmen, Perhaps the Parkway UCC would be interested in posting this “tolerant and loving” quote:
    “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle, smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.” -Koran 47:4

    Another complilation of Koran quotes referencing Christians can be found at

    I repeat, the “lord” referred to in the quote displayed by the Parkway UCC is NOT the Lord, Jesus Christ. Each time the UCC preaches the gospel of “tolerance” and social / economic / ecological “justice” rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, loving and knowing Christians walk OUT the doors.

  6. Gilbert K. Chesterton was a prolific English writer in the early 20th Century. He was also an Anglican who converted to Catholicism. While he said many clever things during his life, I am confident that he did not say what you attribute to him.

    The “open-minded” quote you used in your column is often attributed to Richard Feynman, a noted physicist (and incidentally Jewish). As a young man, Feynman was denied admission to Columbia University under the “Jewish Quota” practices of that day.
    Feynman went on to study at MIT and later served on the Manhattan Project. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965.

    While I have some lingering doubts as to whether Feynman is the original source for your quote, I have found something that he said for sure which appears to be on point:

    “I can live with doubt and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.”

    Here is the link if you doubt me:

    Richard Feynman (1918-1988) is not around to ask today, but my belief is that he would be “open” to Parkway’s message of inclusion. I further believe that if he were alive today, the congregation of Parkway would welcome him (or G.K. Chesterton) to worship with them anytime. The sign out front says so.

    1. I stand corrected. Thank you. Turns out that Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the NYT, gets credit for my favorite Chesterton quote. The Chesterton quote that belongs to Chesterton was,
      “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” (Autobiography. Collected Works Vol. 16, p. 212)

      Would Mr. Feynman, were he alive, convert to Islam, submit to enslavement, or die? Posting sweet nothings on his bulletin board isn’t an option in the Koran. What bothers me is not so much Parkway’s submission to slavery, but their telegraphing that intent even before the barbarian rattles their gate.

  7. To Doree, I’d say that the Lord who spoke to Moses cannot be the lord who spoke to Mohammed; therefore, a Christian church ought not to quote a heretical passage.

    To Bill Schwartz I must say that I don’t consider Buddhism a religion for the same reason that Mortimer Adler did not. Therefore I’m free to borrow my favorite pieces from Zen without acknowledging its place as a religion. Nice try, though. I really enjoyed the sophistic emotionalism.

  8. How is “receiving guidance of our Lord” disturbing? I simply cannot understand that statement. Isn’t this our call as Christians? Not only to strive to be “Christlike” but to seek the guidance of our Lord and hope that all of our actions are guided by His will?

  9. Thanks for the free publicity Marcia Behr and Hennessy! Promoting tolerance and love for all of God’s people is exactly what the UCC is all about! Though we are a whole-heartedly Christian church, we are open to great quotes that support seeking “guidance from the Lord.”
    Again, thanks for the publicity! Each time the intolerant scream foul at our open door policy, more loving Christians walk through our doors!
    Have a blessed day!

  10. I’m a little confused here – are you saying Christians are the only religion in the world? What about the Jews and all the other religions like ZEN BUDDHISM????

    WHY do you choose to put the word ZEN in your book title? Why didn’t you use Jesus’s Conservatism as your title. Nope, you choose another religion besides christianity to make your point, just like the United Church of Christ did.

    ZEN Buddhism? Are you serious???? What an idiot

  11. I figure I’ll start believing in the promise of religious tolerance when I see the local mosques putting up Christmas decorations and teaching their children how wise and wonderful the Torah is.

  12. Once I saw the word “United” in the churches name, the rest was not a surprise. Sorry…that’s a religio-political reference.

Comments are closed.