Thursday, September 09, 2010

Is Terry Jones a Terrorist?

The thought came to me this morning as I read the Gospel for the day. Isn't Rev. Jones engaging in his own version of jihad? And with very little concern for the lives his action (and even his mere threat) would endanger? This is just how the Muslim ideologues of September 11 acted. He obviously doesn't know the Gospels. Maybe Jones is an  uncover Taliban agent, sent to stoke the passions of war under the cover of American civic religion! (Just kidding. Kind of.)
I have to say, though,the antics of this Pistol-Packing-Pastor helped me to hear today's Gospel like never before:
To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well. your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.
Thanks to Rev. Jones and his irresponsible proposal, I am more aware than ever of how much the Gospel would change the whole world--if we Christians would let it first change us. To the extent that Jesus' words remain suspended in mid-air while we put them on hold, the world and history (exemplified by Rev. Jones' attitude and convictions) will continue as always, responding to insult with insult; declaring war on entire populations whose fringe members have done us wrong.
St. Paul (in the first reading) issues much the same challenge as Jesus, though applied in a very specific setting.  He points out that the more scrupulous members of the Corinthian community were being scandalized by the thoughtless expressions of "freedom" taken by the bolder members. In the nitty-gritty of a community's life, those who consider themselves strong have to bow before the weakness of the fragile ones; they have to bear that weakness, even though it means not exercising all possible freedom. They must "be merciful, just as the Heavenly Father is merciful" toward "that brother for whom Christ died." This is to see the other as the Heavenly Father sees all of his children.


harv681 said...

I agree. This whole "burning the Quoran" thing is not of God. It is grandstanding and confrontational and bound to lead to more violence.

Anonymous said...

Yes...I can see your point...but what about the Church Militant? At what point do we stand for what we believe? If Christianity is the "true" faith--how do we react to other religions? I know human history is rampant with examples of the Christian faith as a instrument of violence and oppression...but when I hear of Christian churches being blown up...or Christian medical missionaries summarily executed...or a mosque within the shadows of ground zero...burning a book I don't consider holy pales in comparison.

Carol said...

I totally agree with Anonymous. Pastor Jones asked a very important question. "When do we stop backing down?" The Muslim faith has its roots in Islam. Islam is what throws acid on Christians in India. There are many mosques in NYC. Besides, this wasn't to be a mosque, because they'd never allow any infidels into what they consider a sacred building. It was to be a trophy building, and a prep center for greater proselytization, after which comes fatwa if the infidel is still reluctant, after which comes jihad. What a perfect spot to make another jihad. But it won't happen. Well, nevermind, there's more and more about it all. I'm not in favour of burning books, but Islam's burning, raping and hacking Christians is what the *moderate* Muslims need to be all upset about.

Anonymous said...

hi..uhm i think you should understand what jihad really means...then use it :)