Ordinarily I hate proclaiming to the world my views on religion but as this is my blog I’ll make an exception for myself.
I just read a Newsweek article in a waiting room that really pissed me off.
Yes I understand that there are a lot of terrorist attacks by people of Muslim or Islamic beliefs and yes the attacks make me extremely angry but since when are Christians so squeaky clean and pure that they can point the finger like that?!?! Hello!!! Witch hunts? The crusades??? How many innocent people have been killed by Christians due to their religious differences? How dare we say that a mosque can't be built where we would allow a church? How dare we say that Christianity is better than any other faith? What happened to religious freedom?
I am so pissed at all these people who act like their shit don't stink, that their religion is better than others. Who is walking this earth that has met God to say "yes God wants us to worship him this way". Every single major belief system believes that their faith is the "one true faith". You wanna know something...in the Bible itself it says that the Jews are God's chosen people. So even Christians can't say that theirs is the one true faith. Yes there are many many similarities between Christians and Jews and Christianity began with Judaism but the Jewish faith has a completely different set of rules beyond the 10 commandments. So if they are the chosen people and Christians don't follow even most of their rules does that make the Christians damned?
I was raised to be a Christian. There was no other faith in our household but that of the Lutheran church and Lutherans like many others believe that a man we now call Jesus came to Earth because of the miracle of his birth by a virgin woman. This man who was a Jew was born and raised according to the Jewish traditions and beliefs. He was loved by his mother and step father and I’m sure many others of his time. As an adult he went around preaching and leading by example how to love and care for each other. How to love your fellow humans damn near unconditionally. He loved all, the poor, the wealthy, the sick, the elderly, the prostitute and the house wife. He loved the tax collector and the tax payer. A whole religion was founded upon the teachings and lifestyles of this loving, caring, compassionate man. And now his followers condemn others. A man who preached love and forgiveness, I believe, would cry tears of bitter grief for all the hatred his followers now spew without a second thought.
In the name of this holy man, the son of God himself, who died a brutal painful death on a cross to prove God’s love and devotion to us imperfect humans we go around condemning others, slaughtering others, and just being the exact and total opposite of everything Jesus would want us to be.
Aside from what Jesus taught his followers and what Christians believe, we are Americans. A country founded because a bunch of people decided that they didn’t want to be persecuted for their religious beliefs risked life and limb to sail on a boat over to an unfamiliar and dangerous new land for freedom. In 1886 we accepted a gift from France that was inspired by the Roman Goddess Libertas, a goddess of freedom. A gift that has become the ultimate icon of America: The Statue of Liberty. This is the poem inscribed and placed on the base of our beautiful lady of freedom:
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883
Every single schoolchild in this country knows at least the phrase: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
Notice nowhere in this poem does it say “But only if you are a Christian”, it does not say “Except if you are Muslim” or Jewish or Japanese or Irish or Italian or Mexican or black or a woman or gay or any other of the countless people that the people of this beautiful country has decided is unworthy of our rights and freedoms.
So they want to build a mosque in Manhattan, so it happens to be near Ground Zero. Would the people of this country be up in arms if it was a Catholic cathedral? What if it was synagogue for the members of the Jewish community? Would you protest then? Would there be countless articles in magazines and on the internet if this were a YMCA? Would you post on your Facebook how wrong this is if it were an African-American Baptist church?
Here’s a better question for you…would you even care if a group of people decided to build a Shinto or Buddhist temple at Pearl Harbor? Or if an anti-Semitism group decided to gather for weekly meetings in Pearl Harbor? Would you care then or was the bombing on Pearl Harbor too long ago for you? When is the cutoff date for hate? Is it 9 years? Maybe 15? How about 30 or 50 or 100? When you reach the gates of heaven and Saint Peter asks your name can you enter the pearly gates saying you lived a life God and Jesus would approve of? Or will Peter turn you away for being like the fallen angel Lucifer in your blind hate?
Is a mosque near Ground Zero really so wrong or do you just need a reason to spew the nastiest part of your soul without fear of repercussion?