Yesterday, a “friend” posted a picture on Facebook of our American flag in all its glory.  Superimposed over it were the words, “Liberals Say Muslims are Offended by the American Flag. Post if You Don’t Give a Damn.”  Scrolling through the numerous posts, it showed showed up on my feed and I became angry.

Why?

  • It was a lie and I don’t like lies. Neither Muslims nor Liberals say what the post declared, at least not the majority.
  • Falsehoods are exhausting and draining.
  • It was a generalization rooted in ignorance and Islamophobia.
  • It was purposefully designed to incite hatred and division.
  • It was posted by a Christian who claims to love Jesus, who reads the Bible, and who attends church a few times a week, the same church I used to attend.

If this person hadn’t claimed to be a Christian and love Jesus, I maybe would have granted her some latitude, chocked it up to political enmity, and scrolled past irritated by the ignorance but realizing it wasn’t worth the effort it required to subdue the hostility it provoked. I would have felt that way, but for the fact she is a Christian and there’s a standard us Christians need to hold dear and maintain its sanctity. That standard is Jesus Christ.

I love Jesus. I don’t know how to say this more clearly other than by trying to follow his example. Do I fail? Yes, many times miserably.  Although I love Jesus, I can’t tolerate what has become of the fundamentalist church any longer. I’m embarrassed by their lack of desire for the real truth and their complacency regarding the overabundance of lies delivered daily by the president, lies that can be easily investigated and confirmed with a only a minimal amount of work. No one is asking them to write a novel, just fact check. They’ve become so blindly partisan that they’ve lost the real Jesus and created something in the image of their own party, a Jesus who conforms to party lines instead of the Word of God, a sick bastardization of something beautiful.

And I’m tired of letting them get away with it.

For instance, take the above-mentioned meme. When I confronted her about it, she stated she didn’t mean all Muslims are like that and attempted to clarify it by saying “just like pit bulls” (@!#$%^&*(!!) there are “good Muslims” and “bad Muslims”.  Still she lied. The post didn’t bear witness to Truth. And in the name of reverence and respect for the Truth, she could have deleted the post. But she didn’t.

She doesn’t even know a single Muslim.

I have three Muslim friends who legally immigrated to this country because they love what America’s ideals were. They’re educated, they work hard, they pay taxes and they don’t try to shove Allah down anyone’s throats. They are not here to collect welfare, shoot up classrooms, or sell drugs. They are not here because of some diabolical plan to overthrow the government and institute Sharia Law. They love America and adore our flag and what it represents. Still, they have been continually harassed when I can assure you that they bleed like us and they cry like us. And yes, they are kinder in practice than many Christians I know and more forgiving.

What does the Word of God say? It says, “For God so loved the WORLD…” God doesn’t just love America, like some apparently think. Muslims are our brothers too and unless we see that and honor the blessed fact that Jesus died for them as well, we’ll remain ignorant and in darkness and suffer the consequences of that ignorance. We’re beginning to witness this now. How can we lead people to salvation at the same time we’re condemning and whole group because of the violence of a few? It just doesn’t work. What leads us to repentance and salvation? God’s KINDNESS (Romans 2:4).

Where is the forgiveness?

Where is God’s love?

So, my Muslim friends, Jesus loves you. And we’re sorry we don’t show it.

Please, forgive us.

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes

December 21, 2011


I was watching a televangelist on TV last month as my three-year- old grandson toddled into the room. “Is that a God show, Nana?” He asked me.

“Well, yes he is talking about God, Chaz,” I replied not quite sure what was going to come out of his mouth next. Was he going to ask me some weighty question about life, something profound which required an equally profound answer that I’d have to revise over and over in my mind in rapid succession before offering him something that had the potential to change his view of existence? Or would he toddle back in to his room, disinterested in anything other than his cars and trucks.

And then he asked it: “If he’s talking about God, how come he’s so angry Nana?” He stood there in front of me, patiently waiting for my answer.

I couldn’t answer him, not in a manner that gave his penetrating observation the corroboration it deserved. “I don’t know Chaz, some people are just angry and it has nothing to do with God,” I said. This seemed to satisfy him for the moment and he toddled back to his room.

I turned off the volume to the TV and watched. The non-verbal language of the preacher pacing the church, pounding the podium, veins pulsing within his neck, held little resemblance to the lowly carpenter that saved my soul and whose emergence into the world we are to celebrate in three days.

None.

I silently brewed a cup of tea and watched Chaz play with his trucks while words of Matthew 21:16 reverberated throughout my soul: “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

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