Christians and Mosque ProtestsBy Steve | August 19th, 2010 | Category: Culture | 3 comments
Perhaps against my better judgment, I’m going to wade into some political waters briefly. That’s dangerous business, but to add stupidity to danger, I’m going to offer a perspective on a political debate I haven’t spent very much time researching or trying to get a grip on.
It goes a little something like this: there’s a major debate roaring on and on about the building of a mosque near the site where the 9/11 tragedy took place. Lots of politicians and sensationalist talk show hosts have been talking on all sides of the debate, stirring up a frenzy. And the USAmerican viewing audience appears to be convinced of the critical importance of either definitely not building it, or definitely building it.
From the number of Facebook links I’ve seen in my News Feed, many Christians are pretty fired up about this issue, too. I’ve talked to several friends who lament having gotten sucked into Facebook discussions around this topic.
Like I said, I’ve not studied the issue, and frankly, there are plenty of other more interesting opinions than mine on whether the mosque should be built. I get that 3,000 people died needlessly on 9/11, and that’s hard to get over. But when it comes to the commentary I’ve seen coming from Christians . . . those who supposedly follow Jesus, I’m really troubled. Not exactly the “love your neighbor as you love yourself” kind of stuff that Jesus said was on his top two list when it comes to pleasing God. I am NOT of the opinion that Muslims are the enemy . . . but for the sake of argument, let me pretend for a moment that they are. Jesus’ most famous sermon tells us to LOVE our enemies, and pray for them.
May I humbly suggest that instead of buying into the false, ratings-driven, and irrelevant media hype over all this, Christians would go a lot farther in loving their “enemies” in some way other than protesting the construction of a mosque? For example, last month, flooding in Pakistan killed 2,000 people and displaced millions . . . the majority of whom are Muslims. What kind of impact would Christians have on our “enemies” if, instead of fighting them tooth and nail over the location of a place of worship, we joined with them in grieving their losses, and giving ourselves toward the alleviation of their suffering? What kind of impact would that have on us?
How much media hype have you seen about Pakistan’s floods? Yeah, me either. More to the point, how many Facebook story links have you seen from Christians organizing prayer vigils or fundraising efforts for relief work? How many news stories have you seen of Christians lining up at the doors of the Muslim organization wanting to build the mosque, not for the purpose of protest, but for the purpose of support?
If any Christian insists on calling these people enemies, then they’ve got their marching orders, don’t they?
That is all.