September 8, 2010

Groundswell of Hate In Christendom

Yesterday General David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, expressed concern that the upcoming well-publicized burning of copies of the Quran by a "Christian" pastor might endanger U.S. troops depoloyed in Muslim countries. Lately I have been much more concerned about the danger I am sensing here, in the U.S., that a groundswell of hate threatens to discredit and despoil the faith of Christians; Christians who profess to be adherents of the God of Love; Christians who profess to believe in a Jesus who calls us to forgive, and even to love our enemies.

I find it ironic that the Quran-burning pastor, Terry Jones, runs a church called the "Dove World Outreach Center." The images of doves reaching out to the world and burning Qurans are, to my way of thinking, contradictory.

On August 26, 2010, about a week ago, the Madera Tribune had an article on page one sub-titled "Local Mosque Vandalized" under the bold caption "Hate Crime Suspected." Ya think? Almost every major newspaper around the country has had similar recent stories of hate crimes against Muslims. The Madera Tribune article featured a picture of a sign which was affixed to the Madera Mosque by hoodlums -- presumably "Christian" hoodlums -- which read: "No temple for the god of terrorism at Ground Zero." How ironic; Christian terrorists intimidating alleged Muslim terrorists whose terrorism allegedly derives from their belief in God. We are talking God, the God of Abraham here. We are talking God, the God of Love.

This vandalism of the Madera Masjid has been but one of dozens of recent hate crimes against Muslims throughout the U.S. As the 9th anniversary of 9-11 looms, we are experiencing, in our so-called "Christian nation," a palpable groundswell of hate which, although it is not state-sponsored, has vague and disturbingly similar themes to the hatred Christians exhibited against Jews and outcasts in Nazi Germany. Where was the collective Christian voice of love then? Who was standing against the violence? Who was speaking up for their persecuted neighbors?

Where is the collective Christian voice of love now? These Muslim people in America are our neighbors, and our fellow citizens. The God they worship is the God of Abraham, just as it is for both Jews and Christians. If that God is the god of terrorism, so is the Christian God. Of the millions of Muslims living in the U.S., only a handful are misguided toward violence and terrorism. This is presumably not statistically different than Christianity, where misguided Christians stab Muslim taxi drivers in New York and misguided Christian pastors stage Quran burnings. We need look no further than the Klu Klux Klan for sad examples of "Christian" terrorism in the U.S., and frankly, there are many more unpleasant and current examples of terrorism perpetrated by "Christians" which we could discuss.

I, for one, will resist the current groundswell of hate. I will speak up for my Muslim friends and neighbors. I will love them, and I will respect them. I will help them, and protect them if I can. I will no longer tolerate the climate of hate, nor the language of hate, which both offend me and sicken me, and which I believe offend and sicken the God of Love.


  1. Amen! - thanks for your reflection & attention to this.

    I think I feel a sermon coming on for Sunday -

    peace to you George


  2. Well said. Thank you for this reminder!

  3. There have been too many murders and hateful acts done in the name of God. I am sure He is not pleased, or as was recently suggested in the news, She is not pleased. I would not be happy to have any crime done in my name. I would consider it a slander against my good name. Why don't the so-called Christians see that?