Ok... so I have been getting emails for some time now telling me that I should hate the Muslims, that I should boycott the stamp to honor Muslim holidays, that I should do all I can and forward all I can to spread the word on how evil the Muslim people are.
Do people not realize that terrorists are not all Muslim? Do people not realize that just because you may not agree with their religion, doesn't mean it isn't OK for them to honor their holidays? And that it IS ok for US to honor their holidays? Isn't America supposed to be this wonderful "melting pot" of people? Aren't we supposed to celebrate differences and diversity?
If my neighbor and I disagree on what color is an acceptable color to paint our house... does that mean we should hate each other? Yes, I realize that is a petty comparison... but come ON people. Why do we all expect that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in America is going to be JUST LIKE US? My own FAMILY isn't just like me. I am not homophobic. My brother is. Should I hate him? I am not racist. My father was. Should I hate him? I grew up in a home where the "n" word was common to describe the "riff raff" in the neighborhood. I grew up with the belief that black people are lazy, good for nothing, theives. Is it true? Just because my parents believed it... is it true? I don't think so. And, I have worked VERY hard at dispelling these beliefs in my own life. If I talk to you about a friend, I will not pre-empt my story with, "My black friend so and so... " She is a friend. The color of her skin, her religion, her ancestry has nothing to do with it. She has a good heart. I love her. Just the way she is.
My nephew is married to a beautiful, lovely, sweet, talented woman. She has been the best thing that has happened to him in a LONG time. She has caused him to take his meds for bi-polar disorder and ADHD regularly. She has caused him to give up most of the drugs he was on. She has caused him to find a decent job, and to actually GO to work every day. She is Muslim. Should I hate her?
I saw a recent post about hate breeding fear, and fear breeding hate. Which comes first? The hate or the fear? Am I supposed to hate the Muslim people because I fear them? Or am I supposed to fear them because I hate them? Am I supposed to hate anyone? Or fear anyone?
Now, I do not know my bible well. I do believe in God and Jesus. But I cannot quote bible verses or tell you what certain people in the bible accomplished or preached or taught. But I can tell you that the bible does not say, "Hate your fellow man."
I don't understand why I should hate someone because of something another person who happens to be of the same faith or race did? That's just like african americans and native americans hating me because somewhere down the line of my ancestry... years and years and years ago, there were slaves or someone took their land. *I* did not have slaves... neither did my parents, or my grandparents. *I* did not kick people off their land and claim it for my own... neither did my parents, or my grandparents. So why should *I* be hated for that? Because they were white and so am I?
Just because the person who masterminded the awful tragedies happens to be of the Muslim faith, doesn't mean that ALL Muslims are evil minded terrorists.
I have to say that I agree that if people from other countries are going to make America their home that they should learn to speak English. Just as if I were going to make another country MY home I would learn to speak that language. But that is just a mere drip in this conversational bucket.
So, how are WE any better? The terrorists committed heinous crimes against America because they hate Americans. Then we retaliated. And now we are trying to spread the word to hate them all. To kill them all. To dishonor them all.
We have invaded Iraq and are currently working to bring them around to OUR way of thinking and living and being. We want the Iraqi people to believe what we believe... to live like we live... to have the same laws that we have... and to follow the same morals that we do. But these people have survived for years in the way that THEY live and believe. They have survived with their own laws in their own land. We may not LIKE it... but who are WE to say that it's not right? Or just?
We stormed into their country because we believed that someone from that country caused all the pain and suffering in America. Yet look at what we are doing to them. We are killing innocent people and children just because of where they live and the religion they believe.
We are sending American men and women to their graves. We are asking boys and girls to go and fight for our freedom... far away from that very freedom they are fighting for --- and far away from their families and friends. We are teaching our children that it is OK to hate and it is OK to kill because you hate.
So, I am going to be different. Instead of hating them... I am going to pray for them. Pray for the Muslim people that they will find Jesus, because He has already found them. God created all people... Muslims as well. Do you think that He is hating them? Do you think that He wants us to send our daughters, sons, fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews to die for that hatred? He sent his only son to die for us. Not because He hated us... but because He loves us. Not because He considered it "An eye for an eye". Jesus died for us, for our sins, so that we could go on living. I am going to pray that Americans do all that they can to spread the word and love of God, instead of spreading the word and hatred of our fellow man. I am going to pray that God will forgive us for feeling the hatred spewed forth by these emails that are circulating around our country. I am going to pray that God will not regret giving us Jesus.
If he were YOUR son, would you be proud of the way people have honored him? Would you be proud that your son died so that others could hate? And kill? And die?
Instead of asking, "What Would Jesus Do?" (We all know what Jesus would do.) How about asking... What will YOU Do?
What will you do?
*** I have decided to enter this in a writing contest . You can enter too :) The topic is "My life is different because...".