Town Hall Meeting: Leavenworth County Republicans present lecture on Islam

Tuesday, 3Nov09, I attended my first “town hall” meeting, which was a meeting of the Leavenworth County Republicans. The topic for the evening was a presentation on the religion of Islam titled “The Real Truth About Islam”, by Kirk Sours of Tonganoxie. Mr. Sours is a cattle rancher and a self described fundamentalist Christian, and the information on the local party website says that he is a published author on the subject of Islam. Another website stated that he has written numerous guides on religion. Yahoo!, Google and Amazon didn’t find me any of these writings in the two minutes or less that I searched, so I’m assuming they’re in-house writings, self published or were published in newspapers or magazines that didn’t archive them electronically.

I didn’t see anyone I recognized at the meeting when I got there, so I just found a seat toward the front and minded my own business. I expected I might see at least one person from my old parish from back when I was Catholic, but if they were there I didn’t recognize them. There were a handful of elected officials there, but no names I recognized, most of them being local ward representatives. I could have voted for one of them, for all I know. That’s one reason I want to get more involved in politics, because I want to be more informed about what’s going on and who’s doing it. Anyway, the chairman of the local party had folks who were attending their first meeting stand up and introduce themselves, and I was one of about a half a dozen or more folks who did so. There were a handful of people from out of the county, and I guess that surprised me. Most everybody there seemed to be in the “senior” category, and the only person I reckoned was younger than me was the chairman’s grandson, who he proudly (and rightly so) pointed out was the area’s newest Marine.

Mr. Sours was up front about the direction he was coming from with his presentation, declaring at the beginning that this was going to be a religious discussion, and since the majority of attendees were Christians he was going with the approach of one Christian to another. I only noted two overt displays of religious jewelry, one very large crucifix and one standard Star of David. But that’s just an observation, not a counter to his assumption. It was obvious to me that his assumption was safe, as it was my own upon walking into the place.

It is hard for me to imagine that this many years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that there are folks who don’t know the basic information Mr. Sours imparted to us, or at least the highlights of it. But then again, I knew a guy who thought that Islam predated Christianity who was educated in parochial schools, a miscalculation of just over six-hundred years. From what I’ve read on my own Mr. Sours presented a factual account of Islamic history, theory and practice.  Where he lost the plot for me was in his analysis, the end of the lecture coming near to being, despite his pre-emptive objections to the contrary, a Christian revival meeting. But I’m a cynical individual, that is my nature, and I’m not writing this blog as counter-point to his lecture or his religion, only reporting my attendance and thoughts. I’m certainly not writing an objective, academic paper on it, anyway.

My journey is of a stranger in a strange land. I feel I have to engage the world around me, but don’t really fit in anywhere. It was a little surreal sitting there, feeling as if I were in a Christian church and listening to a preacher. “Politics makes strange bedfellows”, as they say. I belong to a religion that is in the extreme minority, so much so that it was against every statistical odd for me to even be there in the first place. It’s not going to get easier to be Asatruar and Republican at the same time, and I’m trying to prepare myself for when it becomes an open issue. I have no political aspirations myself, but the trials of Republican Heathens like Dan Halloran haven’t proved comforting. But, even were I not a member of a crazy cult, being a libertarian would be enough to make it an uphill battle for me in the GOP. Even when I was a Libertarian (big L then, little l now…) I never felt like I fit in there, I guess because the hard-liners of any movement tend to be the ones that do the most defining of the atmosphere. But I feel that what is happening in this country right now is a critical, defining moment in this nation’s history, and I don’t want to be a spectator to it, but rather a participant in some capacity.

Politics is a confusing and frustrating world, and all I want to do is make sure that America stays great and Americans stay free.

Reviresco!

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8 Comments

Filed under Event, Learning, Right Living

8 responses to “Town Hall Meeting: Leavenworth County Republicans present lecture on Islam

  1. John bradford

    Interesting thoughts and a fair analysis of the evening. As the Party Chairman, I do hope you do attend many more meetings and that you do not assess the party only on what you glean from a single meeting.

    • Monty Maxwell

      Thanks for that. This was my first town hall, but definitely not my last. I attended a few more before going out of the country to study in England, but between that and a really busy semester last fall (one that had me in a class on Tuesday nights) I didn’t have much chance to get out to the meetings. I’m looking forward to attending some more. I don’t agree with every plank in the platform, most notably the “culture wars” of the politically religious, but I believe the underlying fundamentals such as individual liberty versus collectivism, personal responsibility versus entitlements, and the resistance to the expansion of Washington authoritarianism, are things that I can cooperate wholeheartedly with them on.

  2. Kirk Sours

    I like Jefferson! Do not get the impression I favor a theocratic government. Quite the contrary. Madison’s point is simply that the man who exersizes the self control that is inspired by those principles found in the 10 Commandments makes him easier to live with, as opposed to the one who fails to respect life, liberty, and property. It is simply the “Golden Rule” as summed up by Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

    I value your right to believe what you want as much as I value mine. We can exchange ideas, disagree, heck we can even get into a heated argument over these things; in the end, we may part company. I’m good with that; as long as we can do it with respect. Perhaps we may even learn something from one another. I’m good with that as well.

    However, if one’s actions inspired by contrary ideals encroach upon anothers rights (to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness) then that is not good for a civil society and he must be controlled for the good of society. Jefferson nor I have a problem with my neighbor saying there are 20 gods or no God; but if one of those 20 inspires him to sacrifice an infant on the alter of Baal, then we have a problem. Likewise if the Atheist helps himself to my properties then we have a problem as well. Jefferson would not disagree.

    This is my problem with Islam. At the very core it cannot abide persons who fail to submit to it.

    • Monty Maxwell

      Indeed sir, it would be a boring and oppressive world if either everyone agreed on everything or no one was allowed to disagree on anything. I think America has a pretty good thing going here, in that respect. And you’re right, of course, about all of the above. I’m new to politics and the Republican party, and I hope more of my fellow patriots will be as fair minded when they find out I’m of a different faith. I admit that it occasionally concerns me how some people might react.

  3. Monty Maxwell

    Hello Mr. Sours! Thanks for checking out my blog! I’m glad we agree on keeping America great and free. I’m pretty comfortable being a minority in this country, it only gets “odd” every now and again. Being an “unexpected patriot” like being a “pagan” Republican is one of those things. The Democrats would LOVE to have people like me believe that my status as a “religious minority” means I NEED to give up my other political concepts and enlist in their Entitlement Army, but I don’t feel their road to serfdom really IS in my best interest.

    As far as “what is an Asatruar”, it’s important to understand that it is not a well defined thing like a Christian denomination, as there is no universally authoritative governing body or standard accepted creed. Having said that, the simplest, most fundamental starting point is that it is a reconstructed understanding of the religious and spiritual beliefs of pre-Christian indigenous Europeans. For a point of reference, it shares many similarities with Indian Hinduism, Japanese Shinto and some Native American spiritual practices and beliefs, all beliefs that are also hard or outright impossible to simply and definitively explain.

    What it is NOT is a counter-point to any other religion, such as Satanism, or an offshoot of Gardnerian “lodge magicians” like Wiccans and other “witch” religions. And while it’s centered around European “tribal” culture, it is also NOT a front for any sort of “racist” activity. It’s also not focused on “magic”, but rather a loose cosmology and set of ethics that are, more than anything else, practical.

    • Kirk Sours

      Hey Max!
      I have done some cursery study on paganism in general and have found the “tribalism” that you mentioned as well. Particularly concerning the Europeans.

      Your reference to denominational definition leads me to want to clarify my personal belief. I do not have any use for denominations, creeds, or organized hierarchy. As I stated, I am a fundamentalist: all the governance I trust in is what is in the Bible. Denominations are not Biblical, neither are popes, priests, beads or icons, and I really have a problem with preachers in robes! All these trappings are Religion. I can show you passage after passage of Scripture to back this. God hates religion: Religion oppresses; Jesus empowers.

      My reference in my talk to most of the folks relating to Christianity did have some to do with the religious aspect of “Christendom”, but more generally that our American/Western ideology, and culture is based in Judeo/Christian beliefs. Perhaps I need to revise that portion of my intro.

      As you can probably tell, I am somewhat of a “Religio-Rebel” and I figure you are as well. I am more into reality: real answers for real questions; real solutions to real problems. I suspect we share that premise.

      My foundation is the same as that of James Madison who said, “The future of America lies not in the constitution, or anything but our ability to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” He goes on to say, “…[Americans] will be governed by the Bible or the bayonet.” This is what the Founders meant by “self governence”.

      Sir, I regret to say the “Church” has failed America. Organized religion usurped the authority of priesthood from the believer, and just as it had when Jesus walked the Earth, placed bonds upon the people in order to control them. He stuck His finger in their faces and said “You make me sick! You look so clean on the outside but I know your hearts. You are so full of rot, every time you open your mouth the stench of death escapes your putrid corpses!” (Ok, so I paraphrased a bit)
      Oh yes! I have more!

      • Monty Maxwell

        My foundation is more along the lines of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.”

  4. Kirk Sours

    Hi Max!
    Just wanted to let you know I checked you out! You are an interesting fellow and perhaps we may become aquainted if you are so inclined. I appreciated your honest and candid remarks in your review of my talk on Islam. I felt like you gave me a “good review”. You are correct in assuming I am self published so no, there is probably not much of an electronic “hit” out there. I do agree with you on your closing comment about politics and wanting “America to stay great, and Americans to stay free.” So tell me a bit about Asatruar. (Yep, that’s definitely a minority religion!)

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