I'm having a little trouble reconciling all the bitter rhetoric and debate over the 9/11 observances and the possible building of a mosque near ground zero.
A part of it is politics, and I get that. Political rhetoric usually gets negative and ugly, and we can show our disgust for that when we go to the polls.
But this nation was founded largely on the basis of securing religious freedoms, and I believe that most, if not all, of our nation's founders were Christians.
Here's where I'm having difficulty. Christianity is largely based on love. Love God. Love your neighbor. And love your enemy. So where is the love in all this?
I'm reminded of the WWJD motto. That's a good question for us today. Just what would Jesus do? He is creative. In the Bible, Jesus was great at having surprising answers for debates like this. He made the best of a controversial issue by sharing a parable and turning the situation into an enlightening teachable moment.
We don't really know what Jesus would do with this debate today, but my guess is He would not engage in nasty actions or hateful rhetoric. There would be a huge dose of love in there somewhere, and that's something we're not seeing a lot of today.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments from viewers:
Thank you for your comments on Christianity. This is the major point that Jesus made in his teachings but many "Christians" "forget" to practice love and act out in evil ways. It's like we're living in two different worlds now. (In fact, I think this is prophesied in the Book of Revelations.) We must do everything we can do to bring this planet back to a planet of love.
I listened with interest your point of view regarding the right to build a mosque in New York City. I think the parable or teaching opportunity that Jesus would employ for this situation is, if something you are doing causes another to stumble or be pained, you shouldn't do it. The building of the mosque in the proposed location
will cause pain to a large segment of the population, therefore it should be moved, period. I think you and others are probably correct in the observation it should be allowed by law or the constitution, but from a human point of view, it is morally wrong. On another note, the "creative" way that Jesus dealt with the money changers in the Temple is comparable to the bitter rhetoric you appear to have a problem with, sometimes a situation requires people to be forceful and I hope people are praying about that.
I think your remarks on the burning of the Quran were well stated.
I firmly endorse your philosophy about the rhetoric and actions regarding the so-called Christian minister in Florida and the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York. Christianity is, of course, based on the teaching of Jesus. One thing, for darned sure, is that he preached love and forgiveness. As I remember, the only time he showed anger was when he drove the money-changers from the temple.
I will admit that I do not always find it easy to "forgive" but I do try to remember to adhere, as much as I can, to the teachings of Christ about caring for those less fortunate, for children, and to spread love as much as one can. Jesus was about goodness.
I admit that I know little about the religion of Islam. But I do NOT believe that all Muslims are evil.