Moderates v. Radicals

Josh Marshall writes:

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper today that the conflict over the mosque/cultural center project controversy was “not between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between moderates of all the faith traditions and the radicals of all the faith traditions.”

I thought of that when I was reading Stephen Yeargin’s post. Three different people I talked to yesterday (and I probably only talked to five people yesterday) brought up how afraid the stuff going down in Murfreesboro made them. None of them are Muslim. All of them, though, know they don’t fit the definition of Christian that the anti-Mosque people seem to think should be the religion by which we guide our state.

And they all seemed to feel that, if Christian extremists in our state would cheer arson at a mosque site or commit arson at a mosque site or maybe shoot to frighten people at a mosque site, that the lesson they took from this was not “this is how we treat Muslims around here,” but “this is how we’d treat anyone we decide doesn’t fit our Christian community.”

Yeargin says, “Faith in small-town America is as deep as it is illogical at times. Even the protestant denominations have their own backbiting against one another, barely acknowledging their common bonds while focusing on their differences.”

It’s not just small-town America, but the point stands. It would behoove every Christian to think about which side of the fire they’d be on if these assholes had their way. Being Christian is not enough to protect you from what our Muslim neighbors are going through.

And I think it’s past time that folks know that.

3 thoughts on “Moderates v. Radicals

  1. I get overly tired of the repeated reminders that “well, you can’t build a Christian church in Mecca!”

    As if we should measure our standards for religious tolerance against that.

    Paraphrasing Lincoln yet once again: We defeat our enemies by making them our friends.

  2. Many years ago, here in Murfreesboro, two local ministers of different denominations, bought regular time on a local radio station. They were renowned for calling each other, their denominations, their religious practices and their members everything but purple in the guise of “preaching the Gospel.” One was a noxious old hypocrite who violated every single one of the commandments — except murder, that we know of — and the other was just a noxious old hypocrite.

    I believe we can trace this latest horror directly to those two and their ilk. If they don’t have somebody “diffrunt” to tear down, they’ll tear each other apart. Right now, since few ’round here go to church enough anymore to be led by a crazy preacher, they are happily letting their own ignorance and bigotry lead them to hell.

    I have remained mostly silent on this issue because it is so very close to me, but please be assured that I’m not quiet IRL. I will be making some personal appointments to speak with a certain “leader” and a certain “activist” if this escalates any more, and neither will like what I have to say to them, at all.

    Jesus turned over some tables once, so that’s my answer when folks ask “WWJD?” I think he’d be pulling out a whip right now.

  3. May I please add that I am still rolling that Kelly woman’s quote around in my head from Stephen’s post.

    I cannot quite articulate yet what I hope her future holds.

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