Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crazy Hysterical Christians


I received this email yesterday from a true believer. It was accompanied by several photos. According to the e-mail they were photos of Muslims at prayer in New York City.

Here is the text of the e-mail:

A Christian Nation cannot put up a Christmas scene of the baby Jesus in a public place, but the Muslims can stop normal traffic every Friday afternoon by worshiping in the streets. Something is happening in America that is reminiscent of what is happening in Europe. This is Political Correctness gone crazy. Scary! Isn't it?

This is NYC on Madison Ave


This is an accurate picture of every Friday afternoon in several locations throughout NYC where there are mosques with a large number of Muslims that cannot fit into the mosque - They fill the surrounding streets, facing east for a couple of hours between about 2 & 4 p.m. - Besides this one at 42nd St & Madison Ave, there is another, even larger group, at 94th St & 3rd Ave, etc., etc. - Also, I presume, you are aware of the dispute over building another "high rise" Mosque a few blocks from "ground zero" - With regard to that one, the "Imam" refuses to disclose where the $110 million dollars to build it is coming from and there is a lawsuit filed to force disclosure of that information - November can't come soon enough.

This is in New York City on Madison Avenue, not in France or the Middle East or Yemen or Kenya.

Is there a message here???? Yes, there is, and they are claiming America for Allah. If we don't wake up soon, we are going to "politically correct" ourselves right out of our own country!

PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERY CHRISTIAN AMERICAN YOU KNOW!!!!

"For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
There you have it.

Christian hysteria.

When people send me these e-mails, I respond by asking them if they have checked their facts. Usually they haven't (or they don't believe in facts). For the rest of us who still think facts are a good thing, check Snopes:
  • These photos are of an annual event, The Muslim Day Parade, not a weekly one.
  • They have a permit from the city.
  • They have held this annual event long before Obama ever was around (1985)
The hysteria by fundamentalist Christians is reaching a fevered pitch. What do you think rational, sane people can do about this?

23 comments:

  1. What can rational, sane people do about others' hysteria? Not a heck of a lot beyond point to it.

    Example: mosque at ground zero. A basic American belief that goes beyond religion: I own the property, it fits within local zoning laws, I can do what I want with it. And if that upsets my neighbors I may show concern but I don't have to change my plans. I should add that a lot of zoning laws upset Americans particularly when they interfere with their plans for their property.

    When you put aside the rhetoric this is a profoundly conservative statement if conservative means keeping the government out of my business.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bob, you nailed it, in all ways, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Snad I think naming the place "Cordoba" doesn't help to anyone who remembers Spanish history. But I doubt most of those complaining actually know Spanish history unless told about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In what part of Spanish history is Cordoba upsetting? In the 700s, when the Muslims conquered the city and then paid for the church land upon which they later erected the Grand Mosque? In the 900s, when Muslims, Christians and Jews coexisted peacefully in one of the most flourishing cities in Europe? In the 1200s, when Spanish Christian kings wrested the city from the Muslims, kicked them out and summarily built a church over the mosque? They could do a lot worse than "Cordoba."

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a Christian, my faith summons me to celebrate the mosque that is being constructed in NYC near the site of the WTC disaster. We need to stand for and make peace.

    Personally, I think that the hijackers, Dick Cheney and all the other murderers and all those who profited by this disaster should be kept far away from ground zero. But again, my faith summons me to welcome them too to this mosque and inter-faith center. Maybe we can find forgiveness.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christine

    I was suggesting that those on the Spanish side might hear the name of the Cordoba center as the beginning of an attempt to take Spain back.

    Nevertheless I reiterate: their property, they can do with it and name it whatever they want. And people can get all upset but if they look at their own feelings (those who own property) they will quickly discover that they believe they themselves should be able to do what they want with their property and to retain their rights they must grant that others have the same rights.

    Having said that I don't expect people to be that sane.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Christine I think you have also raised a significant distinction between early Islam and Islam as found in too many places around the world today. As early Muslims were busy conquering the world they weren't in a real hurry to convert everyone. As you say, for centuries Muslims - I'm not sure if the right word is tolerated or co existed - with Christians and Jews. There were some differences of class according to Shaira, but no forced conversions. Christianity continued for centuries to be the majority religion in large areas.

    Now in some parts of the Muslim world there are riots against Christians, forced conversions, threats against those who will not convert and the use of blasphemy laws to win property disputes. This is fairly widespread from Indonesia to Nigeria. In many countries it is supported by civil law.

    I'm trying to figure out what changed. What I want to say is that this is not the Islam of the first few centuries.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Bob,

    This is a fascinating topic for the raw emotions it invokes. Islam will present a serious challenge to the religious freedom ideals that are America's cornerstone. Historically what our freedom was all about was to allow Christians to worship in peace. Away from the evils of State Religion. In our case, State Christianity.

    Now the whole Christian world has gone down that path. But not Islam. Islam still holds as a high standard the marriage of Islam and State. A Muslim America would probably re-write the US Constitution. So should Islam be allowed to prosper under the protection of Secularism? Even though it may not return the favor? I suppose the answer should be yes if our religious freedom is really for every everyone, but let's admit it's a tough call.

    And a potentially dangerous one.

    Cordoba is Islam's first foothold in Spain. It's kinda bold to name a mosque next door to where the events of 911 took place after Islam's first foothold in Spain.

    I don't think it's a coincidence.

    OTH, John is right to call foul against Fundamentalism's cheating. If Christianity is to prevail against Islam, this time round it's going to have to be in the free marketplace of ideas, not with lies, and not on the battlefield. And Islam is going to give Christianity a run for its money.

    But the Fundamentalists got one thing right:

    "For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    So the joke is on them. Good for you, John.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bob,

    I suspect the Crusades, the Reconquista and several centuries of Western colonialism had a lot to do with the radicalization of some Muslims. Christianity has seldom shown to Islam its most benign face.

    Islamic fundamentalisms like Wahhabism, much like their Christian counterparts, are mostly a nineteenth-century reaction against modernity. Add that to the history of colonialism, to say nothing of the whole Israel/Palestine conundrum, and you've got a pretty volatile mix.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Christine,

    Actually, the Crusades came as a reaction to Islam's military spread. By and large they were unsuccessful, but they did teach the Europeans how to build castles.

    Even the word "reconquista" should be a clue. It means the "taking back". As in taking back something that was taken way.

    The reaction against modernity is a good point. Christian Fundamentalists and Muslim Fundamentalists have much more in common than either want to believe.

    And European Colonialism did leave a mess in its wake. The sad thing is that America was once considered the world's champion against Colonialism and Imperialism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What do you think rational, sane people can do about this?

    It is important for us all to realize that such e-mail campaigns are not merely the fearful rumblings of an uneducated populace. This is by design. There is -- pardon the expression -- a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy at work behind these things. Conspiracy is not the correct word, but it an organized, well-funded, network.

    Viral e-mail campaigns such as this one are, 90% of the time, sent from a conservative marketing firm. There are several, but a very popular one is Patriot Depot. There is a a wealthy establishment which invariably sees the status quo threatened by liberal policies, and every time Democrats are ascendent politically they start churning out what I call "fear porn," but the idea is to promote conservative views, spread fear, and politicize every tiny thing.

    You know, back in 2009 Laura Ingraham interviewed the "Ground Zero Mosque" Imam on Fox News when she was subbing for Bill O'Reilly. She said at the time:

    “I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it,” she said. “I like what you’re trying to do.”

    Suddenly this Islamic center is a problem for the nation? Gee I wonder why. Just more evidence that this controversy is indeed "ginned up."

    Whenever we start seeing this kind of intolerance bubbling into the national dialogue I always ask myself, "who stands to benefit"? And, "where the money coming from"?

    Nothing is ever what it seems in American politics. It's all Kabuki Theater.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Christine

    Although the NT doesn't call for it (I would argue that it opposes it) The Church fell into Christendom for way too long with way too much sin involved. God gave Christianity in the west a gift: the Enlightenment, which began the separation of Church and state.

    Islam never had such a gift. Further, unlike early Christianity, Islamic tradition unites Religion and State. Moderates are just trying to do so now (and curiously the Turks, the Shah of Iran and the Ba'ath party in Iraq and Syria tried to do the same.) How Muslims make this separation, if they do, will be an interesting future to watch.

    BTW Christian Fundamentalism in the USA did not participate in politics from the late 1920s until the early 1980s. Remember the Moral Majority? That was Fundamentalism's return the politics.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "The hysteria by fundamentalist Christians is reaching a fevered pitch. What do you think rational, sane people can do about this?"

    You can't save everyone. Just try not to be around when they go off.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bob,
    I would not paint Islam (which is about as monolithic as Christianity) with too broad a brush. There are millions of observant Muslims who live perfectly happily within the US's secular constitutional republic.

    As for an Islamic Enlightenment, that strikes me as idle "why can't they be more like us" thinking. No doubt, during the high Middle Ages, when Islamic culture (in places like Cordoba) surpassed Christian culture in all manner of scholarship and science, there probably were Muslims wondering why the Christians were so ignorant and backward.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Christine

    I'm not suggesting that Islam is backward. It is rather that, at least in the Middle East (except Turkey and to a lesser extent Lebanon and Syria) and across most of North Africa there is still a vital connection between the religion and the state. In some places like Egypt the government actively suppresses the more radical forms like the Muslim Brotherhood.

    I was not referring to individuals but rather to the state/religion connection. This creates problems, particularly for religious minorities. Further this has become more of a problem over the last 60 years.


    Don't we want Islamic states to go back to their tolerance shown in the early centuries?

    ReplyDelete
  16. It seems to me that the Cordoba House project is precisely what you're looking for, Bob.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Christine

    I suppose maybe I should have stuck with my first statement: it doesn't matter what may happen in other countries, this is America. Others' feelings do not need to be taken into account when an individual or an organization obey the law in their use of property.

    One has to wonder though if the haters and the complainers may produce what they worry about not because that was the original intention but because their actions have produced other results.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Indeed. One thing that both Bin Laden and the hysterical Christians agree on is their rejection of Cordoba House. Once again we're not showing our friendliest face to the Muslim world.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Once again we're not showing our friendliest face to the Muslim world.

    I keep thinking about what Southern Beale said and I think we are being set up. Christianity and Islam is being set up as pit bull dog fight.

    I wonder whose interest is being served and who is betting on the outcome?

    ReplyDelete
  20. "I suppose maybe I should have stuck with my first statement: it doesn't matter what may happen in other countries, this is America. Others' feelings do not need to be taken into account when an individual or an organization obey the law in their use of property."

    Agreed, Bob.

    This is just another example of the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds refusing to mind their own business.

    Notice how many of these whiners are exactly the same people who complain that New York is full of liberal socialists living in a veritable modern-day Sodom. They wouldn't go to NYC if their lives depended on it.

    On the off chance that they actually went to NYC and actually dared to go to Ground Zero, the chances of them walking anywhere else and even running into this mosque are zero. They'll get off their tour bus, see Ground Zero, get back on the tour bus and hit the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.

    Hypocrites and busybodies, that's all they are.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "They'll get off their tour bus, see Ground Zero, get back on the tour bus and hit the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch."

    Well they might go around the corner to the strip clubs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. "I wonder whose interest is being served and who is betting on the outcome?"

    China? :)

    ReplyDelete