Sunday, August 22, 2010

Are Muslims to Blame for Our Transgressions?

I got an email from a friend. It was addressed to multiple recipients, and the email addresses were exposed to everyone on the email—including any spammers our there hoping to harvest a few email addresses (I wish people would use blind copy feature [bcc] of their email program). The email had sequential photos (so we didn't miss any of the agony) of some adults Muslims punishing an 8-year-old Iranian boy who was caught stealing bread. He was being held down while the tire of a car slowly rolled over and crushed his arm—perhaps leaving him unable to use his arm for the rest of his life. His punishment was said to be done in the name of Islam.

There was an added quote in addition to the photos: "This is truly what Muslims stand for...don't let them fool you! Their Koran demands it.....If we don't stop being politically correct, they will soon have us under their laws....and America will look like the Middle East...."

It’s truly sad that this type of thing goes on in Iran, but unfortunately child abuse is just as prevalent here in the US as it is anywhere else. However, I feel it is unnecessary to call attention to one crime and stereotype an entire race or religion by that event. After reading about forgiveness in Lesson 121 of A Course in Miracles earlier this week, I learned that forgiveness offers me everything I want. I want world peace. Therefore, I will try to see the Light in everyone and picture him or her as being healed and whole.

I replied bcc (without exposing the email addresses to any further spam) and wrote the response below. I pray that my message of love and forgiveness will inspire a new direction of thought in this group rather than trigger animosity among those who read it.

Christians are to be known by their love—to love our neighbors as much as ourselves—we are not to be known by our judgment or fear-based thinking.

Albert Einstein said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

So, folks, let me invite you to consider doing these two things:
  1. Rather than holding trespasses against others, let’s hold space in our hearts and minds by praying that the love and light of Americans/Christians will change the behavior of the Muslims (and others who abuse children or harm others) rather than thinking that they will ruin our country. When we forgive others, we ourselves are forgiven.
  2. Let’s think on higher things as Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

So I ask, “Is Christianity the religion of peace?” I pray it is so. Perhaps 1 Corinthians 13 is a good passage for today’s devotional reading. What do you think?

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1 comment:

Yvonne Perry said...

A reader named Tanja emailed to let me know that this particular incident was a setup performance/act and had nothing to do with punishing this boy. Thankfully, the boy was not harmed. See
http://www.snopes.com/photos/gruesome/crushboy.asp