Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taking a Stand

Here's the deal, folks: indidivduals, in the name of their religion, do something. If we deny those individuals certain rights that we might grant others, that is intollerance. If we tell those individuals that we disagree with what they did, that's not intollerance, that's merely disagreement.

In this instance, Group A flew some planes into the World Trade Center in the name of Islam. Group B responds to that by non-violently expressing its disagreement against this action and other actions of violent extremism. Group C responds, not to the first act, by Group A, but to the second act, by Group B - saying that it is intollerant, and hateful.

I don't get it. The Church in Flordia is objecting to violent acts carried out by extremist Muslims. They are doing so in a non-violent fashion without breaking any laws and, frankly, in the tradition of many who protest by burning representative things (flags, efegies, etc.) This is not intollerance. They are not saying that Muslim's shouldn't be allowed to build certain places (like the Ground Zero Mosque - for which the CofC did not "denounce"). I thought we all denounced the acts of violent extremists in general and 9/11 specifically?

So why does the CofC (Group C) publicly denounce this legal and non-violent denunciation (oh the irony)? Probably because it's easy. Because everyone is opposed to it. And, because we all claim to be "christian" so it's ok to criticize other christians. I doubt we'd get the same lecture from the CofC leadership of Muslim clerics calling for the killing of Christians. Now that sounds intollerant.


  1. I will grant that Muslims treat their Scripture with the same reference with which Hews treat the Torah, and with considerably more reference than the CofChrist treats their D&C. So burning Muslim scripture IS violence to the people receiving it. It is right to condemn it.

    The problem, of course, is that Group A in your post went to violence years ago. Building the mosque near ground zero is also perceived as violence proclaiming the nobility of the previous violence (as flying a Confederate flag is seen by many African Americans). The irony of today's news is that the Iman of the mosque is now saying that we must let him build the mosque or there will be violence against America. Such violence we will probably NOT condemn. (Our daily prayer for peace for Iran would not even take sides between the Iranian government and the Iranian citizens when that country came up in the alphabetical schedule.)

    I am reminded of an abusive parent or spouse who says, "If the child or spouse did not provoke the abuser, they would not be abused." The existence of more than a billion peaceful Allah-serving Muslims in the world proves the corruption of the crazies and their enablers.

    We need to stop granting the latter people the legitimacy to speak for the billion Muslims, let alone for all of the other peoples of the world. In that will lie merely a new form of our complicity in the suffering of others.


  2. "Muslims" don't treat their scripture in a united way. All Muslims do not think or act alike.

    Just because people consider or perceive something to be "violent" doesn't make it so.

    I prefer to deal in facts.

  3. "Muslims do not think or act alike".

    I agree, which is a very good reason for treating them as individually as possible..

    One fact is that some of those Muslims perceive burning the Koran as violent, do not embrace non-violence as a principle of response, and are going to react accordingly. The perception of reality will create the future reality in this case. Other people don't play by the rules you and I might follow.


  4. Oh I agree - as Ghandi and MLK both well knew. But we can't live in fear.

  5. And I don't think the CofC is denouncing the act due to the fear or threat of violence. They are denouncing the act because they think this church's statement is against the wrong thing. My exact feeling about the CofC's statement.

  6. OK. I certainly think that the CofChrist is NOT speaking out against a lot of things because of how a statement impacts the church rather than how the acts themselves impact the world.

    I think decisions in which impact on the church is the dominant decision criteria raise questions of the prophetic relevance of the institution to any larger arena. What's the line from Spartacus as the Romasn general exiles his nephew? "The problem with being a Patrician is that somerimes one must act like a Patrician."