Pay attention on this one, because there will be a short quiz at the end….
A short time ago, a County Commissioner right here in middle Tennessee posted a picture on his Facebook page that said, “How to wink at a Muslim” over a picture of a man looking down the sight of a shotgun. Now really, this sort of ignorance and idiocy is not that surprising to me. It should be, but it’s not–There are always going to be scared and spiteful and stupid people who do scared and spiteful and stupid things…. What IS surprising is what happened at a public meeting in Manchester, TN (of Bonnaroo fame, about 70 miles from Nashville) that was being held to address discrimination against Muslims in the area, as well as indirectly addressing the offensive post.
A local U.S. Attorney named Bill Killian organized the meeting, and what was meant to be a conversation turned into a spectacle of misplaced emotion by a largely anti-Muslim audience. When he told the crowd that speech calling for violence against people was not protected by the First Amendment, he was met with people yelling “Serpent,” “Traitor,” and “Go home!” There have been quite a few incidents of violence and hatred against Muslims in Middle Tennessee–Burned Mosques, vandalism, pickets and protests and whatnot–and when a Muslim advocate named Sabina Mohyuddin mentioned the Mosque that was burned down in nearby Columbia, TN, many in the crowd cheered. It was shameful. Or it should have been. They SHOULD have been ashamed of themselves. You can hear some of the disturbing highlights from the meeting HERE by listening to the NPR story. While you’re there, read the comments below the article, and notice which comments have gotten the most “likes.” It’s just so disappointing….And the most disappointing part (for me, anyway) is that the people who hating the loudest are all Christians.
I understand that when we see pictures like this one on the news a person might be inclined to think that all Muslims are waiting to chop up infidels with meat cleavers. It can be pretty scary! Pastors preaching hate, people passing along eMail stories of Christians being murdered by Muslims…. It might even seem like Muslims are the ENEMIES of Christians. It can leave a person feeling unsure of what to do! Well, luckily we have been given very clear instructions on how to respond to our enemies. Here it is (this is Jesus talking): “Love your enemies”. I know this can be confusing, so I have provided a short list of things that are NOT examples of “loving your enemies”–Posting pictures suggesting that we kill them, Protesting their arrival in the community or their attempt to build a place to worship, Spray Painting their stuff, Burning down their place of worship, or Cheering when someone mentions the burning of their place of worship (this list is not exhaustive).
The people who do these horrific acts in the name of Islam are no more representative of Islam than the Westboro Baptist people are representative of Baptists, or the “Christians” screaming at that meeting are representative of Christianity. Ironically, one of the things that Christians are most critical of when generalizing Muslims is that they accuse Islam of being “a religion of violence” and that they’re taught to hate people who aren’t Muslims. Is it that hard to see the hypocrisy in this criticism??? You are hating them because you believe they hate, and you are advocating violence because you believe them to be violent! That is, unless all the people making this criticism are really living out Jesus’ call to non-violence and love as a response to hate…. Which I highly doubt. But I’ve been wrong before.
So here’s this: If you are a Christian who hates Muslims, your “Christianity” isn’t worth a shit. Not one shit. I’m sorry, it’s not. I’d seriously rather you call yourself anything else–A Satanist, whatever you’d call someone who worships Paris Hilton as a deity (A Hiltonian I guess?), an Atheist…. ANYTHING, just don’t go around hating people in the name of Jesus. You know what? Don’t call yourself an Atheist either. If you are the sort of jack ass who would cheer when a Muslim woman mentions a Mosque that was burned down in an act of hatred, you’d be giving a bad name to Atheists…. So there you have it.
Alright, here’s the quiz. It’s just one little multiple choice question for you:
They will know we are Christians by our….
A) Hatred of Muslims
B) Patriotic bumper stickers
If you answered E, congratulations. You passed! Feel free to share this post….
If you answered A, B, C, or D (or, if you were hoping for some sort of “F) All of the above”), you got it wrong. As a punishment, you have to share this liberal blog post as penance. It’s not my rule–It says so in the Bible. But don’t give up! You can take this quiz a many times as it takes until you get it right….
And if you call yourself a follower of Jesus, it’s not your responsibility to stand against Islam. I believe it is a far more important responsibility for Christians to stand up against this sort of hatred in the name of Jesus, and let the world know that the people doing this hating under the guise of “Christianity” are NOT representative of what it means to follow Jesus–Just like the man with the bloody cleaver is not representative of what is means to be a Muslim. If Jesus is the truth, then it will be evident by the way we love each other–even our enemies (ESPECIALLY our enemies–even people who know nothing about Jesus are good to the people who are good to them, right?). No one ever got hated into following Jesus.
Now, please don’t fill my comment section up with “reasons” and “examples” of why Muslims should be feared and hated. You’ll just be proving my point. And you’ll probably also be providing a Muslim somewhere with yet another “reason” and “example” of why Christians should be feared and hated. And on and on it goes….
Also, if you’d like to give to Sojourners and help them raise money to put up billboards that say “Love Your Muslim Neighbor” in places around the country where Christians are giving Jesus a bad name by committing acts of hate in his name, you can do that HERE. I did. It’s a simple act, but it is an act of reconciliation. And that’s something.
I agree with you. I’m an atheist, but I don’t think anyone should be hated and shouted at on the basis of their religion. That said, I think the West has to recognise that islam can be a problem when transplanted. We can’t shut our eyes in the name of love, but we can be reasonable and decent to everyone in expectation of same in return.
Islam is NOT a religion. If you think it is, you are an idiot. It is a barbaric political establishment hiding behind the ruse of a religion, based on the teaching of a drunken, goat fucking, child molesting psychopath insane from syphillis.
Bob–The only reason I’m letting this garbage stay up is in the hopes that people can look at a comment like this and a person like you (I have a better idea of who you are after I clicked on your name to see some truly sad, shameful and hateful stuff on your facebook page) and see where hate leads. I have enough faith in people to believe that there are three basic reactions that people will have when they read something like this: 1) They will read it and think “Yes! This is what I believe too!” and those people were already beyond help. 2) They will read it and think “What a dick this guy is!” and let the hatred you spew all over the internet get them angry–A reaction which probably has the same effect on you as most people have when they see chocolate or pornography or chocolate covered pornography. Or 3) What I believe is the better reaction–They will see your comment for what it is: A tragic symptom of a life free of love and mercy and peace. And they will feel pity. Like I do right now. No one is going to read something like what you wrote and change their mind about Muslims.
I doubt “Bob Claybowl” is your actual name, because the kind of stuff you put on your page would probably get you fired from most jobs. Though I can’t imagine what kind of person dedicates time to having a fake page just to spread hate…. A sad one. It seems clear to me (after perusing your Facebook page) that hate is the motor that drives you, and I’ve been around enough to know that someone who is as far gone as you is not going to get any sort of enlightenment from a stranger on a blog comment. I can only hope that someone in your life (whom you respect) can show you love when you don’t deserve it and your heart can soften enough to love and forgive and show mercy to someone who is different than you. I hope this the most.
But also, I hope that you are not speaking this way and spreading this sort of hate while calling yourself a Christian. We’ve got a bad enough reputation already–We don’t need you going around hating people in the name of Jesus. Like I said–No one is going to read something like what you wrote and change their mind about Muslims. Unfortunately, someone might read what you wrote and change their mind about Jesus. And that would be truly tragic….
But honestly, I hope that you truly discover what it means to love and be loved. I wish you the best, Bob.
“The people who do these horrific acts in the name of Islam are no more representative of Islam than the Westboro Baptist people are representative of Baptists”
They always use this one. The Westboro Baptist church is a tiny group of people compared to thousands/millions of violent Muslims. How many car bombs has the WBC driven into market places? How many Westboro women have strapped bombs to themselves? I could go on but you get the point.
I don’t condone any type of violence but the “let’s all get along” attitude simply isn’t realistic.
Are you playing the naive עוט?
it’s not an “let’s all get along” attitude. It’s the idea of to stop and think of how one is responding to Jesus’s call of loving your enemy. Ask yourself, who is the real enemy? how does this occur? What can we do, in the name of Jesus and our faith, to dissuade violence and not perpetuate stereotypes.
I was talking with a Muslim mom from my son’s school after the Boston bombing… she shared how much she worried for her kids if the bombers were found out to be Muslim. It’s such a shame that we naturally make such unfair assumptions about an entire religion because of one person’s actions. But, then we always turn on the thing that seems the most obviously responsible right? Guns, a religion, a way of life… all so we can pass judgment on something. God forbid we just acknowledge the brokenness for what it is and spend our time looking for ways to bring the restorative power of the Good News to our world.
Your response saddened me to no end, especially the phrase “millions of violent Muslims”. If you want to start counting bodies, we can talk about the 100,000 Iraqis killed by “Christian” America compared to the 5,900 Americans killed by mainly Muslim Iraqis. We can talk about the violence perpetrated against Muslims by their own leaders who were supported by the Christian U.S.A. (such as Saddam Hussein, a veritable ally with us against Iran until Dick Cheney decided to take the Iraqi oil fields). Or how about those dear friends of the Bush family who run Saudi Arabia and finance the Wahabi movement? We support them with our Christian tax-payer dollars while they oppress their people. And we have our share of “Christian” terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph and all of those good people of the Ku Klux Klan who have lynched Blacks and Jews in the name of Christ. The list of genocidal acts by “Christians” in America goes on and on and we tend to ignore it and justify it in the name of patriotism. And don’t get me started about the treatment of gay people and women in America by “Christians”.
The concept of “let’s just get along” is actually at the very heart of Christ’s teaching, but it certainly isn’t in practice by much of “Christian” society in the U.S. and your perpetuating of a negative stereotype contributes to that. Sorry, but your comment IS part of the problem.
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Thanks for this article. I have lived in Muslim countries for over 8 years and was only ever treated kindly, fairly, and with respect. I am a devoted Christian and have been giving my life to help and serve others for nearly 40 years, and I have many Muslim friends, If you have never sat down to dinner as guest in a bedouin tent, you don’t know anything about Islam. This is too big a subject to get into in a blog comment. I only want to thank The Boeskool for writing something — ANYTHING, favorable to Muslims. A true rarity in today’s world. And THAT is sad.
Thanks for your great example, Anne!
To be totally honest with you, I don’t care what you think of me or my post, or if you leave it up or not. It is my real name, FYI, and yes, I am a REAL American. As a bonus, I’ve been involved in a 35 year relationship and am quite happy and hate nobody, just in touch with reality. Given your post, it is quite obvious however, that you are not very well acquainted with reality and infrequently get away from your keyboard. I do find it quite entertaining that you have resorted to a personal attack on me, revealing the fact that your thought process (or lack of) meet the definition of a “libretard” who is obviously not capable of constructing an argument based on fact, only feeble attempts to make oneself look good by making another look bad. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you do some traveling to muslim countries (as I do frequently), and try spreading your joy, happiness and liberal ideas. They love your kind.
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