Monday, September 8, 2014

On Hijacking a Peoples' History for Your Own Bigotry

(I've got several posts down the pipeline, including a couple that I have ended up sitting on for a couple of weeks now, but this is something that simply could not, and cannot, wait.  Armenians and Christians alike need to be able to say "Not in my name" to bigotry and Islamophobia. -E.A.)

This is personal.

It is personal because I went to both college and seminary with Muslim classmates.  They taught me much about living with faith (albeit not a faith I identify with) and about being proud of that faith and who it has made me.

I keep a Qur'an on my shelf in my office.  I don't consider it the word of God, but its stories about Jesus are really quite profound and amazing, and if I'm going to engage in any discussion with or about Muslims, I owe it to God and to everybody involved to be informed about what their sacred texts actually do and do not say.

But it is also personal because the history of my ancestors who lived and died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War in what was the first of several genocides throughout the 20th century...that history is precisely that: mine.

It is not yours.  And I don't care if that sounds selfish.  That history of my family is mine, and it belongs to me and my family.

And when you, or anyone, use it to justify your own violent bigotry against literally one and a half billion people, that's a problem.

It's a problem because you are taking one of the worst things humanity has ever done to one another, and the worst thing ever done to my own people, and using it to advocate doing the exact same thing to more people.

It's a problem because that means you do not have any grasp at all of what the tragedy of the Armenian Holocaust actually means to its us Armenians and their progeny.  You are using this terrible thing done against us for your own twisted ends, not for our own advocacy and healing.

And those twisted ends, when they include the advocacy of genocide as well, are an offense to us.  They are an offense to the Christian faith you purport to share with me.  They are an offense to humanity.

And they are an offense to God.  Of this I am certain.

What I am talking about--a post entitled "Why I Absolutely Am Islamaphobic" (sic) written by one Gary Cass and posted on the Charisma News website--was taken down after a concerted #takedownthatpost Twitter campaign.  But the comments section to that post is still very much live, and as of this writing, Charisma News has neither commented or apologized for running the piece in the first place.

That is also a problem.  It implies you don't get why the post was so fundamentally, morally wrong.

Now, even though the post itself is down off the net, I have the post still in its browser window on my old computer, and these are just a few of the quotes found therein, verbatim (all grammatical, factual, and syntax errors, of which there are many, are faithfully replicated here in the interest of putting the fullest possible dimension of this idiocy on display):

"Fourteen years of history, both ancient and modern (i.e. the 1 to 1.5 million dead Armenians at the hands of the Muslim Turks in 1915) tell us that Muslims are deadly serious about their infernal goals."

"Here's three possible solutions, but really there's only one.  1) Conversion. 2) D.A.M.N. (Deport All Muslims Now) 3. Violence."

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to see Muslims turn from Satan (Allah) to Christ?  But, I agree with Phil Robertson: This is not biblically doable."

"Muslims in America are procreating at twice the rate of other groups.  So either we force them all to get sterilized, or we wait for the "Army of Islam" to arise in our midst and do what Muslims always do, resort to violence."

"The only thing that is biblical and that 1,400 years of history has shown to work is overwhelming Christian just war and overwhelming self defense."

"ISIS has done us all a favor.   The true face of Islam is on full display even as Muhammad burns in hell."

"First trust in God, then obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down." 

Okay, that's enough.  I will say this: if Christians militantly rise up against Muslims the way that the most extreme fringe of Islam has risen up against, well, pretty much everyone, then that would be the "civil society melting down" part.  We would be guilty of that ourselves.

Which is why I say, as vehemently and unkindly as possible to Gary Cass and his like minded ilk who are a-okay with hijacking my history to support their own barbaric agenda: BUGGER THE HELL OFF.  YOU SICKEN ME.  YOU SICKEN CHRIST.  AND YOU SICKEN GOD.

God may not make mistakes, but you sure as hell are trying to make them in His name.  Stop.  For the love of all that is good, right, moral, holy, and sacred about God's work, stop and repent.

And to my fellow Christians, a word of warning: if you ever take mainstream Islam to task because you want them to (rightfully) condemn the acts of Islamic extremists like ISIS and al-Qaeda (which, by the way, they do unequivocally condemn), then it is equally incumbent upon you to likewise condemn the extremists of our own religion, the advocates of cleansing and, dare I say it, genocide of an entire religion.

Otherwise, we are naught but hypocrites.  And Christ had some pretty strong words for the hypocrites amongst His presence.

And Charisma News, for God's sake, apologize already for peddling that piece of pure hate speech.

Yours in Christ,

No comments:

Post a Comment