SOME THOUGHTS ON MUSLIMS IN AMERICA

I am pretty sure if Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan today, in the United States, it would be told as the Parable of the Good Muslim.

Jesus and his family were political and religious refugees in Egypt in his early years.

Baptists were persecuted in Colonial America, and in Europe they were martyred for their beliefs.

When any one faith group is singled out, it is not long before all faith communities will be viewed suspiciously.

The inability to differentiate between Muslim terrorists (Jihadis, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc…)  and the other 1.6 billion Muslims is as ridiculous as blaming all Catholics for the Irish terrorists (IRA) in the 80s, or even all Irish for it.

I remember how people pointed fingers at conservatives after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Can anyone imagine all white conservative males being blamed for that?

We Christ-followers rightly scream ‘foul!’ whenever someone uses the instances of people killing abortion providers or blowing up abortion clinics to paint all us as violent extremists. That is probably how many Muslims feel right now.

Pluralism is beautiful. For the love of all that is good and decent, don’t let demagogues set the agenda, and refuse to let xenophobic racists take a place of leadership.

 

 

A NOT SO FRIENDLY GAME OF CHESS

Have you ever wondered what terrorists do when they’re not beheading journalists, blowing up shopping malls, or hijacking airplanes?  I suspect some of their free time is spent studying the Koran and listening to podcasts explaining the whole 72-virgins for martyrs thing.  But other than that, what do they do with their time?

I’ve decided that I think they play chess.  Here’s why.

Chess Anyone?
Chess Anyone?

Saturday I played chess with one of the sprouts.  Chess is a great teacher of logic, problem solving, and strategy.  She is still working on strategy.

After some initial feigning moves, I sacrificed several pieces (a knight, a bishop, and two pawns) in order to get part of the board cleared out with my rooks and queen in place.  My daughter was giddy at the prospect of winning, because she was up several pieces.  She was already gloating that she was ahead and might actually win this time.  Three moves later she was in check, and six moves later, checkmate.

I then explained to her that I wanted her to take my pieces.  She was amazed that I would want to lose pieces.  I told her that sometimes you make sacrifices in order to get your opponent into a position where they become vulnerable, and to do that you have to make it look like you made a mistake, were careless, or just didn’t know what you’re doing.

Several weeks ago I wrote about (click here) how Vladimir Putin was playing poker with the Ukraine. By the way, he still is.  ISIS, though, is playing chess.   That is the only conclusion I can come to.  Why else would they taunt the United States by beheading journalists in such a public way.  They want us to attack.  It is a trap.

I don’t know what their reasoning is, but I am quite certain that we are falling right into their hands.

TERRORIST–A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (THE MORE YOU KNOW)

I should be working right now.  I am about 30k words into a new novel that is, IMHO, awesome.

But before I get to work today, I wish to perform a public service.  I need to help the various news agencies with a bit of editing.  As a writer, and before that as a pastor/theologian, I learned that putting the right label on a thing is vital to comprehension about what is really happening.  If I label something as hate, it communicates something different from labeling it as misplaced emotions.  One word hardens the situation into a very well know feeling, while the other phrase softens it into something almost incomprehensible.  What exactly is a misplaced emotion?  Likewise, labeling something as crazy means one thing, labeling it as extreme is something else.

Now to the point at hand.  Many of you, like myself, were no doubt horrified at the recent news of the American journalist named James Foley being beheaded yesterday by ISIS (Or is it ISIL now, or just Islamic State? it seems like it keeps changing) and then the video was posted on Youtube.  I refuse to watch the video, and will certainly not post it here, but I have heard video outtakes and seen the photograph of Foley kneeling, wearing orange beside a man dressed in black.

I have read several news reports, television reports, and radio bulletins on the incident, and I have found a mistake.  In each of these, the media continues to use the words militant, jihadist, or fighter to describe the man standing beside Foley.  One report (BBC) indicated that the ‘fighter’ was British and spoke with a ‘London’ accent.

Please be advised, the correct word is not militant.  If the individual was militant, he would be a part of a military and therefore would properly be called a soldier.  Jihadist is a better word, but still not quite right for this situation.  A Jihadist does what he or she does for religious reasons.  ISIS, though Muslim in the extreme, is operating as a political endeavor.  I believe the first S in ISIS stands for state.  Nation-states, though sometimes motivated by religion, are usually understood as political entities seeking to exert control of geography and resources.  Fighter is even a worse label.  Fighter is so ambiguous it could also be used to describe someone in a MMA event or a brawler on the school playground.

No, the correct word you are looking for is terrorist.  Please use the correct word, even if our political leaders don’t want the world thinking that terrorists are still a threat.

This has been a public service provided by Pastor Greenbean.  The More You know.