It’s Time!

   I am angry. I am heartsick. I am baffled. I am embarrassed. As I watched the news last night I heard and then read of the latest attacks on a Muslim community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Construction equipment at the site of a new Muslim Worship Center and Mosque were set on fire this last Saturday. Coupled with the rancor over the Muslim Center in New York it has almost seemed too much as I ponder this issue. The hate and bigotry has gone on and, in my opinion, has continued to escalate since 9/11. I believe it is a sad commentary not only on our Nation and culture but on the church as well, and I believe it has gone on long enough!
   I am angry because of persons who identify themselves as Christians would continue to support this kind of violence and the venomous words directed at the Muslim community for any reason.
   I am heartsick because I see good and faithful, peace loving, people of God who work hard, worship often, contribute to our country, defend our country, continually identified with extremist groups who do not speak for Islam.
   I am baffled that those who would claim relationship with Christ, who would claim to follow Christ, who would call themselves Christian, can have such disregard for another of God’s child and their sacred and safe place of worship; a Christ who said love all, even those you may perceive as your enemy; A Christ who became angry, not at those of another faith or understanding, but at a few of those within his own faith who seemed to have lost sight of justice, humility, and kindness.
   I am embarrassed because I call myself a Christian, and when I see and hear of these acts on the news I find myself at times wishing another name. As I reflect on this issue I am drawn to Anne Rice’s comments about her giving up her “Christian” identity and choosing rather to follow Christ. As I reflect on this issue I am drawn to the words of Ghandi regarding his love of Christ but his dislike of Christians. I am drawn to the words of Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission when he said in reference to the suspected arson in Tennessee, “It is time for this nonsense to end.”
   To continue to identify a group of people with those who distort and destroy a faith in order to further their violent agenda is unjust and simply wrong. It is and would be no different than identifying all Christians with Fred Phelps, with the KKK, or other Christian Identity Movements. I, for one, will continue to stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters as we continue to speak for what is right and just, you are welcome at our table, may we find peace again one day!
   We are a Nation built on the freedom of religion. We are a church, we are Christians and I refuse to let the extremists who would distort and destroy the Christian faith have the name! We are followers of Christ, Christians, people who claim to follow a God of love, mercy, grace, and justice. I think it is time we start acting like it!

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6 Responses to “It’s Time!”

  1. Tweets that mention It’s Time! « LittleRev's Blog -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by George Dran and George Dran, Kent H Little. Kent H Little said: A few words of frustration https://littlerev.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/its-time/ […]

  2. Ali Says:

    Your words are so powerful. I find myself waiting everyday for you to post a new blog.
    I wondered if you would post about the incident in TN- I am so glad that you did. I couldn’t have said any of it better myself.
    My minister preached about acceptance of others on Sunday and had such a powerful message. She like you is very outspoken on these issues and truly preaches what it is to be Christian. We need more people like the 2 of you in this world.
    God Bless

  3. pilgrim Says:

    my daddy used to say that most christians have just enough religion to make them mean.

  4. Donna Says:

    Dear Rev. Little,

    I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean. As an American Muslim mother of four children, elementary to college age, I have never experienced the level of hate and bigotry that we are seeing now. While I am aware that racism and prejudice still exists, it seems that it is not only politically correct but even commendable to announce your hate of Muslims in the loudest and most public way possible. It is heartbreaking to watch my children struggle with the daily denigration of their faith and ethnicity that seems to be everywhere . They have been fortunate to have been raised with experiences incorporating a variety of ethnic, cultural and religious groups, and are having difficulty reconciling the vile lies and mistrust being deliberately and strategically perpetuated by those who will gain from it. Many of my friends are seriously considering the fact that they might need to be prepared to leave the country if this continues on its downward spiral, for those of us whose parents were born and raised in America, we are not sure where we would go.
    It means a lot to know that there are those who do not hate or despise us. I am saddened that there are many fail to see the love and peace that is an essential part of our faith.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Donna

  5. Janet Shepherd Says:

    Kent, I have long jettisoned my Christian title and persona, because i cannot continue to indentify with a religion that is so exclusionary and judgemental. I do not wish to worship a god that began as (probably) a crudely carved statue in Abraham’s tent, one who is so often characterized as holy and loving but seems more petulant and hateful than not, is used indescriminately to support whatever agenda is desired, and to engender fear.
    I also stand with you and my Muslim and Mexican brothers, with the girls in Asia sold into slavery, and those who cannot speak for themselves, i.e. all creation.
    I want more. I want a religion that speaks to my creaturehood yet points the way to more than what I am now. We are all becoming, and the time has come to realize that we are all connected, and what is good for all, is good for us individually as well. We need to ask: How much is enough?
    Thank you for your comments. We need a voice that points to a different, radical reality that satisfies the god-ness that is in each of us.

  6. Judy Castor Says:

    Thanks for your article Kent. I agree with you and appreciate your words.

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