Oct. 24, 2010 -Success breeds amnesia

Deut. 8:11-14
Take care that you do not foget the LORD your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statues, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your heards and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. . .

History fascinates me. Not in that rose colored revisionism that seems to be fashionable these days. History, as in the stories that shape us, should guide us and help to guard us from being too self-absorbed and self-righteous. An excellent example of this is the current fad of Islamaphobia. So many of my Christian brothers and sisters have fallen under the impression that Islam is a more violent religion than Christianity and that Muslims are a more violent people than Christians. We have forgotten that we Christians and supposed Christian nations and cultures have been responsible for our fair share of violence even upon innocents. If the Inquisition, or slavery, or the genocide of the first peoples of the Americas seem too distant in the past, it should be harder for us to forget the Holocaust. These acts of terror were done by folks who were Christian, and often used their faith to support either the actual killing or the “turning a blind eye”.
I do not write this to negate the very real threat of terrorism we face today. However, we can not forget that Islam does not have a monopoly on violent religious fanatics. Terrorism and violence of all kinds needs to be taken seriously. It is a dangerous distraction to paint an entire people, to paint an entire faith as the culprit. That is in fact the tactic of those who hate, and again we who follow Jesus are not called to hate. Let us not loose sight of our own deadly inclinations, our past. Let us not think that our success as a people or a nation is because we are somehow better, or even that we are somehow more deserving, holy, or sacred. God alone is holy, and God still lifts up the lowly and casts down the proud.


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