[Rev. Jerry] Hillenburg, who plans to preach a sermon Sunday titled "Stop Caving in to Islam," sent a letter to the mayor seeking a face-to-face meeting to discuss his concerns.Two problems I have with the last statement:
In a press release, Hillenburg said he opposes the use of taxpayer funds for the support of a single religion.
"We also oppose the fraternization with our open enemies during a time of war," he stated in a news release.
- The US is not at war with Islam.
- Everyone who is middle-eastern is not 'the enemy'.
Sigh. Years into this war, why has this not gotten through to people?
Islam is not the problem. Muslims are people with stories and passions and beliefs- that differ from mine, perhaps- but, people, loved by God. When I hear about 'those Muslims' that are blowing things up in Iraq, I think, 'No, those terrorists and insurgents are the ones that are blowing things up.', not the Indianapolis taxi drivers just trying to get by. They are certainly not 'the enemy'. Using taxpayer funds to make special allowances for a certain religious tradition is an entirely separate debate, but in no way should be construed as 'open fraternization with the enemy'.
Anyone remember who were the major terrorists in the US, before 9/11? White American men named Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. Were White American Men 'the enemy' back then? No, the terrorists were.
My youth pastor in high school was Assyrian- and definitely middle-eastern looking. He is a youth pastor that gets stopped at airport security checkpoints every time he travels. Just last Wednesday, I overheard a church member ask him out of the blue, "Are you involved in ministry to Muslims?" Because he looks to be middle-eastern, he must be a converted Muslim. Of course. In fact, he's from Wheaton, IL. Sigh.
I was excited to hear that Taylor has started a World Religions Week. Perhaps the next generation of church leaders will be less ignorant and close-minded about world religions, and world events in general. We must be able to engage in intelligent discourse with those outside the church for them to see us as worth listening to. Whether it is a splinter or a plank, if it's in our eye, wood blinds us from loving others. This pastor seems to be blinded by unforgiveness. Calling our innocent neighbors 'enemies' is not the best first step in loving them toward a relationship with Jesus.