Longtime readers know that one of my favorite book series is C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. In the Narnia series, my favorite book has come to be The Last Battle — which is the Biblical end of the world, Narnia style. Within that book, my favorite scenes take place after the Apocalypse, when the saved are in the Narnia version of Heaven.
When the heroes and heroines of past books arrive in their Heaven, they find there a Calormene. Caloremenes are Narnian’s arch enemies (and, interesting, given that the book was written in the 1950s, are clearly modeled on Muslims out of the Arabian nights). They reject Aslan (the Jesus figure) and instead worship Tash, an evil figure who is clearly meant to be the equivalent of Satan.
The Calormene’s presence in Heaven is, therefore, unexpected. It turns out, however, that the Calormene is an exceptionally honorable character who believes in Tash because he was raised to, but whose values are clearly in line with Aslan’s. Accordingly, when he arrives in Heaven, Aslan welcomes him, assuring him that all of his good acts by-passed Tash and were accorded directly to Aslan — hence his place in Heaven.
Lewis’ point, of course, is that God focuses on man’s acts and is readily able to separate the wheat from the chaff. True religions encourage good behavior, but it is up to God in the afterlife to determine whether any individual actually “got it right” in terms of moral choices. God also has sufficient self-assurance to accept that some might not appear to accord him the proper respect on earth, because God looks at deep acts and beliefs, not superficial behaviors.
This is a long warm up for a story out of Saudi Arabia, in which the Saudi religious courts have once again taken it upon themselves, in the most brutal fashion, to do the sorting on God’s behalf (h/t LGF):
A Saudi Arabian court on Thursday ratified the conviction of Turkish barber Sabri Bogday, who was sentenced to beheading in Saudi Arabia on charges of “cursing the name of God.”
Bogday has been in jail for 13 months in Saudi Arabia after a quarrel with a neighbor near his barber shop. Bogday was accused of cursing the name of God.
Every time I read articles such as this one, I can’t help but think that Muslims hold their God in very low esteem. If there is an Allah, I don’t intend this to be an insult of what Allah actually is. Instead, I’m just looking at human activities relative to their belief in Allah’s existence.
Amongst serious Islamists, while they pay lip service to Allah’s overwhelming power and beneficence, their behavior speaks of a divine being that has a very low insult threshold (they treat Allah as very insecure), and who demands that man enact the most heinous punishments on other men in this life (imply that, in their eyes, Allah is pretty powerless in the next life, since he must rely on man to do the sorting in this one). This kind of radical Islamic behavior really seems inconsistent with an omniscient, powerful God. Instead, Islamists, by their acts, paint Allah as a hypersensitive, low-intellect wimp — which must be, I think, the most heinous act of disrespect it’s possible to render unto God.