The poll last week, conducted by telephone among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of 4 points, found that only 33 percent of respondents believe that the Islamic religion encourages violence more so than other religions.
There was a sharp partisan split in the responses, as with a number of other questions in the poll, as 63 percent of Republicans argued that Islam is more violent — while only 14 percent of Democrats agreed. The majority, or 66 percent of Democrats, said that Islam encourages violence “the same amount” as other faiths.
Sam Rohrer, who serves as president of both the Pennsylvania and American Pastors Networks, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday that such a view is reflective of a “purposeful denial of facts.”
He accused Democrats and others who do not recognize that Islam is more prone to terrorism and violence of either “not having done their homework,” or of ignoring the truth.
Rohrer also said such views are down to the “secular humanist mentality that is occupying the West generally, in thinking that all people worship the same God, or there is no God, or all gods are equal.”
He warned that if someone does not find a difference between the God of Islam and the God of Christianity, for instance, then they are going to “interpret facts and reality totally different from the way it really is.”
Rohrer acknowledged that when it comes to the Middle East especially, most victims of Islamic terror are other Muslims, but pushed back against those who believe that only a very small number of Muslims actually engage in jihad.
“The view for a long time has been that jihadists, wherever they are, are not at all reflective of Islam, and these are only a small number, who don’t speak for Islam,” he said.
“The unfortunate thing about that is that those involved in jihad are the only ones who are really practicing what the Quran says,” the minister continued.
“It’s violent all the away around, the total opposite of Christianity, the opposite of what the Bible speaks about. Yet, because there are many who either don’t want to know, or don’t do their own homework,” they come to believe that “well, ‘everybody is equal,’ when the reality is these various systems of belief are totally different.”
Rohrer told CP it is a “great mistake” to believe that Islam is primarily a religion, just like Christianity, Buddhism, and others.
“That is totally wrong, because Islam is primarily a political, legal system. It has religious tenets, but it is a political system accompanied by Sharia law, which by its very commandments,” he said, prohibits Islam from coexisting in peace with others.
The CBS poll exposed sharp division over President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban for refugees, which has since been suspended by the U.S. courts.
As much as 81 percent of Republicans said that they agree with a temporary ban on refugees coming to America, while only 12 percent of Democrats agreed.
A number of Christian megachurch pastors have also spoken out against Trump’s ban, such as pastor Jason Webb, who leads the 6,000-member Elmbrook Church just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“If you just open Scripture, you just begin to see that God’s love for them is undeniable. In the Old Testament alone, the term for foreigner residing in the land is mentioned 92 times,” Webb told CP about welcoming refugees.
“You read in Leviticus 19 that we are to love the foreigner or the refugee as we are to love ourselves.”
Pastor Dan Scott of Christ Church Nashville, 30 percent of whose congregation is made up of immigrants, separately told CP that the travel ban is “at odds with the Gospel.”
“As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we ought to see all human beings as created in the image and the likeness of God. As Christians, we believe that Christ died for all, and we are to give witness to all, and kindness and consideration to all. We risk harm to ourselves in order to show care to others,” Scott said earlier in February.
Rohrer had plenty to say on that subject matter, however, and first explained that he supports Trump’s policies, describing them “in every way a fulfillment of his duty to the American people, and his God-given duty to enact justice, which includes the protection of the citizens of this nation.”
The APN leader said that the executive order is “absolutely appropriate,” and that it is in compliance with both the American Constitution, as well as with biblical and moral truth.
And while Roher agreed that Christians “have an obligation to the stranger and the foreigner, “to “reach out, bind up their wounds, make them whole” – the problem is the “confusion of the application of this principle.”
“There is a difference of jurisdiction that must be understood to understand this principle. God gives authority to four institutions He has created: the individual, the family, the civil government, an then the church at large.”
He insisted that while it is the role of the individual and the church to communicate “the Good News of Jesus Christ,” the government’s responsibility is not “primarily compassion,” but enacting justice.
Roher noted that a number of Christians are pointing to the parable of the Good Samaritan, as told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, as well as Old Testament accounts of Israel openings its doors to foreigners, as an example for why people should welcome refugees.
He highlighted, however, that in those accounts, the immigrant seeking refuge is someone who says “I want to be a Jew,” and wants to assimilate into that culture and follow its laws – something which he suggested people who truly follow the Islamic faith, and the rules of Sharia law, cannot do when coming to America.