not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dumbass or Representative Cry for Help?

In order to persuade a good and moral man to do evil, then, it is not necessary first to persuade him to become evil. It is only necessary to teach him that his is doing good. No one, in the words of a legendary newspaperman, thinks of himself as a son of a bitch.

-William Ryan, from The Art of Savage Discovery: How to Blame the Victim (an excerpt from one of many readings in preparation for my first class)

That makes me think of that Florida minister who plans to burn a holy book tomorrow. It troubles me so much. I am hoping that the Christian community and the government as a whole denounces this person's plans and rhetoric so that he can stand as an individual rather than as a representative of the Christian faith or of the United States or the West. As a Westerner, as an American, as someone raised in the Christian faith, I wish to state loud and clear that I see the Muslim faith as a sacred tradition, the Qur'an as a holy book and I deplore and denounce this Floridian minister's rhetoric, his plan for tomorrow, the shortsighted, ignorant, bigoted, unholy, unChristian place from which he stands and speaks. I do ask myself he just a misguided individual, or is this a sign of systemic ignorance and intolerance (of the Christian religious community at large, of the United States at large, of the West at large, of which I am a part)? It would be much more convenient and palatable if it were the first alternative. Perhaps it would be wiser to consider both. I see it as a cry for help and I think whole communities of individuals, including me, not just this one man, could stand to benefit.


Alexia said...

I totally agree. This is such a disturbing incident from one crazy person using the term Christianity as a mask for hate. It's really unfortunate that he has gotten so much attention, because I want to believe that he is just an individual and not the sign of underlying hatred in our country. But my heart says that he is more representative of people that don't understand or respect other faiths because they are 'foreign' or 'different'. It hurts to think this because I have so many kind, loving and amazing friends who just happen to be Muslim. What do we do put teach our children and the people in our lives tolerance and acceptance? How can we heal our country? Very thoughtful post Sara...

della said...

Thank you Sara, for such a thoughtful post.

Bennett and Graves said...

Sara, Thank You for expressing so well the thoughts I share. It is frustrating to witness such ignorance. Where is this man's God?

Eva Schoon said...

The Christian's in my circles deplore this man's action. In fact, my pastor wrote a letter that was read at our local Mosque on Friday by the imaman. Here it is -

Peace be with you.
Nine years ago on the Friday following that fateful Tuesday, your imam and my friend, Dr. Sahibzada, kindly gave me permission to address the Muslim community with three brief statements on behalf of our congregation.
• We do not hold you responsible for what occurred on Tuesday
• Our congregation will pray for your safety and protection from reprisals
• Extended an invitation to dinner that coming Sunday to which you so responded. Not only was the food you brought outstanding. The conversations around the tables were filled with joy as new friendships were formed.
On this ninth anniversary, I want to go on record condemning the action calling for the desecration of the book that Muslims hold sacred. I do so because:
• It is belligerent.
• It addresses authentic differences between Muslim and Christian beliefs in a way that provokes rather than explores, agitates rather than promotes goodwill.
• Most importantly, it does not reflect Christ, neither in spirit nor in precept. The Bible clearly tells us, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing.” I know of no pastor or Christian in Grand Rapids who supports this action.
So I come today to:
o Apologize on behalf of this church for not reflecting the actions of a follower of Christ.

• Commit to pray for three things:
o God would cause the cancellation of “Burn the Koran Day.”

o God will protect Muslims, both you and your families.

o God will use the tragedy of 9/11 to bring glory to His name
Peace be on you all.

Perhaps what is most disturbing is the role of the stage to this person - leader of a very, very small congregation....and one that does not reflect the attitudes of most Christians and certainly not Christ.

Just as this very misguided man casts an ugly shadow on Christianity, I wonder about the shadow cast by the press. They chose to elavate this man - and give him a platform to the entire world. I think some reflection is in order here.

Perceptions are formed and conclusions drawn by people who do not know one Christian or American as people view CNN in their cities, little villages and in remote locations across the globe.

Freedom of press is a cherished right...however, with it comes responsiblity and good judgment.

In my opinion, Commentator David Gergen on CNN provided a thoughtful and good prespective on the presses role in this craziness.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Eva for that encouraging statement from your pastor. Dikke