Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
There, I Said It. Your Turn
The entire world of Islam is not to blame for acts that extremists that practice Islam have done.
There. I've said it. A Christian American making a statement that too many think, but do not say aloud.
It wasn't hard at all. Acknowledging the truth can be easy, or hard depending on your motivation.
Just as the atrocities, and acts of terrorism attributed to the Ku Klux Klan, and other white extremist groups, do not speak for me as a white man, or the unrestricted killing of those different from the Aryan people seventy plus years ago, speak of me as a Christian. Those unspeakable acts performed by those that practice a particular faith, or hold a certain belief were not performed by the majority of the people in that religion, or belief. They were performed by extremists, and extremists, by consciously choosing their actions, also choose their fate as we all do.
These are simple things.
Simple things, but things that has been ignored for hundreds, and hundreds of years, by not speaking out, closing ones eyes, turning our head the other way, and not standing tall, and saying loudly, "I hate what has been done as much as you do".
Man has always associated an individuals actions with a group they may be part of. It happens.
Isn't it strange that there is no finger pointing at people like the "Craig's List Killer", and condemnation of all blond, white, med students as predator killers. We know the associations that would have been made if he wasn't blond, and white.
God knows that too many atrocities have been committed by white, Christian men, but we don't associate all of them with those that have committed the acts.
Over the next few days, remember those we have lost to extremism in any form, at any time, and continue to hate those murderous acts. You may also hate those that performed them as well; that is up to you, and your God. One thing you could also do is to take a step to end the perpetual, anonymous hate of a an entire people for what a few have done, and are still doing.
Speaking out, and beyond the rhetoric is long overdue.
Unless we step out of, and away from the circle of blame, and hate, the circle will go unbroken, and we all know what that has wrought.
Those lost to us by extreme acts of hate deserve to still be amongst us, and they also deserve to have the world changed in their name, and memory.
Big job, and a long overdue one.
Not only is this guy in Florida out of his mind and teaching hate, (Have you seen his road signs?) I'm afraid that this preacher's potential spiritual attack on Muslims by burning their holy book is not not the final step. What would he and his flock do next? If they continue on their current path, I think their next step will be to either engage in physical violence, drink their special recipe Kool-Aide, as others have done before them, or perhaps a combination of both.ReplyDelete
How do people get caught up in this hatred? One way is by indoctrination. If you haven't seen the movie "Jesus Camp," you might want to get your hands on a copy soon. Here's a link to a clip of a very frightening documentary:
Are we afraid to admit that as a super power we have in one way or another been part of keeping poor countries poor and ripe for the picking? We guzzle more resources than we could ever produce on our own and have found it in our national interest to make sure we get those resources one way or another.ReplyDelete
As our ancestors found a way to control the American Indians (who had no concept of ownership) and take their land, we have continued to get what we need or want from others by barter, or by plunder when "necessary."
To our great "surprise" some, who have been unable to get many of the things they need, even as they supply others, have known lives of despair and frustration. Some of them have twisted the meaning of their religion, giving themselves permission to attack those who they believe to be the greedy, great infidels.
In doing so they killed many innocent people who were just living their lives and were personally uninvolved with the problems of the world. Innocent victims? Yes?. Unintentional ignorance is innocence.
There are many innocents in both worlds. We were all born into these situations which were just part of our normal lives, and most of us never gave a thought to how we were getting the necessities of life. For us, they were there. We bought them. For the others life was more difficult.
And leaders on both sides demonized each other.
People have learned to hate, and often they have no idea why they hate. Young men, with the energy of youth, on both sides are often ready to “kick butt” or “kill the infidels” for their countries, for their families, for their beliefs.
On Sept. 11, a group of 19 young Muslim men on airplanes did just that a the World Trade Center in New York, and at the Pentagon, and brought others to their deaths in a field in Pennsylvania. And there was a great hurt and the earth shook for many years with war and still it shakes.
And still in Florida, a man who calls himself a man of God uses what he calls religion to indoctrinate his followers. He will burn the Holy book of the Muslims to teach them a lesson. Excuse me? If they, and we, haven’t learned anything from all these years of war and bloodshed, what will we learn from burning each other’s Holy books and condemning each other’s religion? Are such actions going to heal the wounds? Bring people closer with a greater appreciation for each other? Promote brotherhood, understanding, and hope for a better and more just world?
We must all speak out loud and clear. “No more hate, no more war, no more programmed fear!”