My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breaking the Chain of Hatred

Just did something for which I suppose I should feel some sense of pride about. Only I don't.

I was forwarded an email this morning. Didn't pay attention to who originated it. I only concerned myself with the person who passed it on to me.

The email references an alleged email sent by an engineering professor at Michigan State University to the Muslim Students' Association. In it, the professor complains about the protests against a Danish cartoon which portrayed the Prophet Muhammed as a terrorist. He goes on to complain about beheadings, suicide bombings, rapes, and other atrocities. He concludes by telling the Muslims to leave the country.

Now, my personal opinion is that ALL protests are stupid and useless. They're events designed to make people feel good about something, and bad about something else. They're for the powerless to feel like they're powerful. They can also turn into riots, in which the powerless become dangerously powerful.

That Muslims protested the cartoon means nothing to me. Neither do protests against nuclear power, taxes, gay rights, abortion rights, something stupid somebody said, or anything mean anything to me. I am not impressed with protests. A waste of time.

I was concerned, however, with the email's hateful sentiment. In the past I should have ignored it, filing it away with other emails. This time I felt obliged to speak out and sent a return email explaining why I believed the email was not only hateful, but went against everything Jesus taught. God does not want his creation fighting with itself. And as to complaining about the behavior of Muslims, I found myself complaining about the behavior of fellow Christians. For every atrocity committed in the name of Islam there has been an atrocity committed in the name of Christianity. We are not without our own guilt.

I sent the email and soon received a response. The person was thankful for being reminded of what is true and what is right. Perhaps they are through forwarding such hatred. I hope so. Perhaps one day they will respond to whoever sends them the emails and another link in the chain of hatred will be broken. But I am not pleased with myself.

The world is so full of hatred and strife. It spills out like water being poured from a bucket. When it strikes the hard pavement it splashes, reaching even those who want nothing to do with it. Without realizing it, we who wish to be like God find ourselves sullied by petty jealousies, hatreds, and the like. We begin to criticize those who do no worse than ourselves. Our eyes go blind to our own sins and we worsen ourselves by embracing powerful emotions of violence and hatred.

I can pretend to others, and perhaps they may even be fooled. But I cannot truly fool myself. In my heart of hearts I know I am no better than those I try to correct. And certainly God knows the truth.

Romans (chapter seven) Revised Standard Version

[7] When then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. I should not have knwn what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

[8] But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead.

[9] I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died;

[10] the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me.

[11] For sink, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and by it killed me.

[12] So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

[13] Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

[14] We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

[15] I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

[16] Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.

[17] So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

[18] For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.

[19] For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.

[20] Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

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