VP Pence Praises Indonesia’s Islamic Culture, Tours Mosque with His Shoes Off
Pence’s wife and daughters cover their heads with Islamic scarves at mosque
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised Indonesia’s Islamic culture last week alongside the president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, reinforcing his message with a visit to the region’s largest mosque.
“As the second- and third-largest democracies in the world, our two countries share many common values including freedom, the rule of law, human rights and religious diversity,” Pence said. “The United States is proud to partner with Indonesia. It promotes and protects these values.”
Pence added: “Indonesia’s tradition of moderate Islam frankly is an inspiration to the world and we commend you and your people. In your nation as in mine, religion unifies, it doesn’t divide.”
Even though these words seem to be Obama’s, they are not. Different from Obama, Pence presents himself as a solid evangelical.
Was Pence correct and fair in equalizing religion in the United States (the largest Protestant nation in the world) and religion in Indonesia (the largest Islamic nation in the world)? Was he correct and fair in saying that Islam in Indonesia unifies?
Was he correct and fair in saying that Islamic Indonesia and Christian America share many common values including freedom, the rule of law and human rights? Was he correct and fair in saying that Islamic Indonesia promotes and protects these values?
In his book “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians” (Thomas Nelson), Paul Marshall said:
On May 2, 2008, a mob from the predominantly Muslim village of Saleman attacked the mainly Christian village of Horale. They burned one hundred and twenty houses, three churches, and the village school, and injured fifty-six Christians and killed four. Three of the four murdered had their throats slit.
The Indonesian Protestant Church Union reports that religious violence against Christians almost doubled between 2010 and 2011.
For the 10 to 13 percent of the Indonesian population that is Christian, the greatest challenges to religious freedom come from social pressure, vigilantes, militias, and local government.
Indonesia has recently been plagued by attacks on churches. It is impossible even to recap them all, so here are some examples from just the first part of 2010, as summarized by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. On January 22, 2010, local residents joined with members of radical groups to torch both the Batak Protestant Church building (HKBP) and the pastor’s residence in Sibuhuan, North Sumatra. Also that day, the Pentecostal Church (Gereja Pantekosta di Indonesia) of Sibuhun, Tapanuli Selatan, North Sumatra Province, was also set afire.
So if Indonesia and the United States are equal in religious terms, why are not Protestant churches torching mosques and killing Muslims in the United States?
Yet, the fanciful comparison made by Pence was motivated by flattery, not reality. It was flattery just, as Pence said at a joint news conference with Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo, to strengthen U.S. commercial partnership with Indonesia.
Pence’s flattery surpassed all the limits of his evangelical faith. According to a DailyMail report:
“He and his family later visited the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia. The Pences removed their shoes at the entrance and his wife, Karen, and two daughters covered their heads with scarves.”
The Istiqlal Mosque can accommodate up to 200,000 Muslims.
To take off the shoes is a demonstration of deep respect. Only God, not Islam, deserves such respect. God told Moses:
“Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5 ESV)
A mosque is not a holy ground and God’s presence is not in that place. A mosque is a place of Islam, and Islam is a religious ideology of violence.
You can take off your shoes where God is. But to take off your shoes in a place where God is offended is an insult to God. A Christian should never take off his shoes in a place where Islam is worshipped.
Daniel in Babylon kept a high government post without “taking off his shoes” to other gods. Islam is another god, and if Pence thinks that Islam in Indonesia and evangelicalism in the United States are the same, he is doing what Daniel did not: he is selling his Jesus for the sake of U.S. commercial interests.
Daniel never sold his God for the sake of Babylon’s commercial interests.
Adding insult to injury, Pence said his trip to Indonesia was to “strengthen economic ties and security cooperation in combating terrorism.” To fight terrorism?
Today, Islamic terrorism is the biggest global threat. How can Pence want the U.S. in a partnership with Islamic Indonesia to fight terrorism? Comparatively, how could the United States want a partnership with Nazi Germany to fight Nazism? How could the United States want a partnership with the Soviet Union to fight Soviet Marxism?
In the early days of his administration, U.S. President Donald Trump committed the same absurdity: He sent his CIA director to reward Saudi Arabia for fighting Islamic terror. In contrast, a CBN report said that Saudi Arabia spreads Islamic terror around the world, including ISIS, the biggest Islamic machine of genocide against Christians today.
Not surprisingly, Obama, who was so respectful of Islam as Pence has been in Indonesia, was credited, by Trump himself, as founder of ISIS.
To show deep respect for Islam is to help Islamic terror.
Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited Indonesia to accelerate the expansion of Islam. Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam in Indonesia.
Saudi Arabia has built more than 150 mosques in Indonesia, a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers; brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia. All this adds up to a deep network of Saudi influence in Indonesia.
“As the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia will always have a special bond with Saudi Arabia,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo told King Salman.
Indonesia has a special bond with the terrorist state of Saudi Arabia. The United States has, for the sake of commercial interests, the same bond with Saudi Arabia. And the United States, previously under Obama and now under Trump, is strengthening Islam, which kills about 100,000 Christians a year. With a future Islam strengthened by Pence, Obama, Trump and other American “Christians,” many more Christians will be slaughtered. America is feeding a powerful anti-Christian monster.
Indonesia has a special bond with the United States, through Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama lived in Indonesia, in the late 1960s, because his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, after divorcing Barack Obama Sr. (a Marxist Muslim), moved to Indonesia after marrying another Muslim: Indonesian Lolo Soetoro.
In Indonesia, Obama studied in an Islamic school.
According to Wayne Madsen, not only Dunham worked to CIA, including in a cover operation in Indonesia through the population control agency USAID, but her son Obama was a CIA creation.
U.S. conservatives voted for Trump-Pence ticket because they were tired of Obama taking his shoes off for Islam. What has changed? When the neocon’s agenda is followed, pro-Islamic speeches and partnerships are common, regardless if the follower is Democratic or Republican, left-wing or right-wing.
Saudi Arabia is spreading its violent religion through government efforts. If Pence actually thinks that Jesus Christ is important, why does not he behave as Daniel did, spreading His Gospel and taking off his shoes only for Jesus, never for Islam?
For the sake of commercial interests, a godless American can hypocritically partner with Islam to fight Islamic terror. But for the sake of Jesus, a Christian cannot behave hypocritically. Daniel did not so in his high government post and he was honored by God.
Partnership with Islam, especially against Russia, is a persistent objective of neocons, who are unable to see the future. Some decades ago, a group of Indonesians said, “Back in the fifties he [Arnold Toynbee] predicted that the real war in the next century would not be between Communists and capitalists, but between Christians and Muslims.”
For this future war, neocons are strengthening Muslim interests, not Christian interests.
Does Pence want honor from neocons and Islamic leaders or from God?
If Daniel could honor God in his high government post in the Babylonian Empire, why cannot Pence honor Jesus in his high government post in the American Empire?
If anti-evangelical left-wing Obama deserved to be rebuked for praising Islam, what does evangelical right-wing Pence deserve?
With information from DailyMail, The Atlantic and Associated Press.
Portuguese version of this article: Mike Pence louva a cultura islâmica da Indonésia dizendo que deveria inspirar outros países muçulmanos enquanto ele visita mesquita descalço
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