Christians Who Aren't Afraid

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Just when I am about to swear off all Christians, even the liberal ones, I hear about this event.

All Saints Episcopal Church of East Lansing, Michigan will be holding an open reading from the Qur'an in their sanctuary on Saturday. They have invited members of a local Islamic Center to attend.

This might actually get me to church.

For those in the area who are interested:

All Saints Episcopal Church
800 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI
7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 11

By the way:

For those that compare the burning of the Qur'an to the building of the Islamic Center in New York City, (both protected by the first amendment) I should remind you that the building of the Islamic Center was planned to bring people of multiple religions together, but burning the Qur'an is being done out of hate.


Mr Furious 11:29 PM  

That rocks. I approve.

Smitty 7:54 AM  

Yeah, I wish this post had a "like" button.

Monk-in-Training 12:32 PM  

This is what it means to be a Christian, to welcome the stranger, to show the love of Christ.

Evangelicals are doing it also in Memphis.

Check out Pastor Steve Stone and Heartsong Church. A new Islamic center was going to open across the street, and rather than attack and try to burn it, they put up a sign (1.5 years ago) that says "Heartsong Church welcomes Memphis Islamic Center to the neighborhood."

They eventually even let the Muslims use part of their building.

What a wonderful witness to the love of Christ.

Smitty 1:10 PM  

This is what it means to be a Christian, to welcome the stranger, to show the love of Christ...What a wonderful witness to the love of Christ.

It is powerfully moving when you see these glimpses of love amidst a storm of negative media hits. Love may not sell ad space, but then again, that's not what love's about. Thanks, Monk.

Jay 3:15 PM  

Not to be negative (anything but) about Monk's story and Smitty's interpretation, but I suspect that instances of openness and understanding towards other faiths far outnumber instances of acrimony and recriminations. The problem, of course, is that love and understanding does not sell, conflict sells. So we hear a lot more about the acrimony and not as much about the positive interactions. And those who watch this stuff with their brains turned off get angry because that is how they are being told they should feel.

And now we are back to complaining about media outlets whose primary motivation is to make money. And conflict sells.

Jay 3:18 PM  

Which, of course, is pretty much what smitty said. I just said it with more words. Oh well.

steves 7:13 PM  

Jay, I am afraid you are correct, which is why people like the Florida pastor and Phelps get all sorts of coverage and the missionaries and volunteers of a variety of faiths that toil in all sorts of places don't get any press.

Streak 8:29 AM  

I would like to note that when you guys post something like this, you don't get the stupid trolls that I do. What gives? :)

I would also like to ask Jay and Steve that if the open and tolerant are the norm, then why are 70% of Americans convinced so easily about a supposed "mosque" at "Ground Zero?"

Monk-in-Training 9:37 AM  

I would assume it has to do with this is a beer blog. As Fundamentalists don't go to liquor stores, or drink in front of one another, perhaps they also wont comment on a 'beer' blog?

Just a theory.

Streak 9:44 AM  

Monk, that is as good of an explanation as I can think of. :)

Jay 10:40 PM  

I would not say that "open and tolerant" are the norm. I would say that non-critical thinking when faced with news and analysis that is biased towards conflict is the norm.

People are convinced that a mosque is being built at ground zero because so many "respected news organizations" are saying just that and only a small percentage of people are checking the facts.

Streak 7:58 AM  

I see your point Jay. No doubt that the media will always emphasize the "conflict" part of news, and I would add that they tend to love the more simplistic stories v. taking the time to explain complexity.

I guess my point was, as I am rather frustrated with religious institutions, is what seems to be a lack of religious leadership on these kinds of moral issues. But that is really for another thread.

Your point about a small number of people who fact-check things like this is also very well taken.

Jay 9:49 AM  

I cannot really comment on what type of leadership is and is not present in religious institutions, as I do not belong to any (I live rather deep in atheist territory). But I have a feeling that the problem you are perceiving has as much to do with the way the media handles/reports comments made by religious leaders, as well as the manner in which religious leaders do or do not interact with the press. My sense is that most religious leaders are more interested in (or focused upon) interactions with their congregations/followers than they are in communicating with the general public. I may be wrong about that (I am hardly an expert on such things), but that is my suspicion.

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