This is about me. It is about blogging. It is about politics and religion.
Now, you don’t have to read this if none of that interests you, but I found myself on a comments section being forced to confess to reaching my frustration limit. I don’t like to publicly address how close I am to reaching a limit. I prefer to just quietly move off the screen. but I am writing here because I know that my frustration is not with individuals, as much as it might seem that way…. my frustration is with the political situation and in reading and thinking about it, I am getting deeply distressed.
The unreasonable voices that pit against each other on both sides of partisan politics, on important issues, on the war, on how to treat what -sincerely and honestly- we can term “the Muslim problem”. I am distressed that I have to actually term it, and look at it in that way.
And one of my long held tenets is crumbling. I am moving in heart and mind more towards a more spiritualized Christianity. That is both good and bad. If I become blind to my culture and those around me, to the problems in society, it is bad, but if I turn away from my own ideas of how to respond, and rely more on Christ to give me wisdom and control, that is good. The balance is wildly swinging on that, for me -at this time.
I admit that I have something of a prejudice against Islam. That is something I did not have before, it is something I struggle with because my principles trump my feelings. It is not principled to have prejudice against any group. One should address difficulties as they arise, and keep to the platforms upon which they arise. I cannot abandon that… I won’t. But I am aghast at the inhumanity of man, and right now so much of that is played out by Muslims.
And it causes me deep distress. It colors my prayers:”Lord, move within the Islamic communities to open the hearts and minds of the women. To open their hearts to the freedom in Christ” and like that. Because the women of a society promulgate that society, they support it and give it the will and desire to continue. The men can lead all they want, but they cannot long continue without the warp and weft of their homes and of women giving the inner strength to the sails of their society.
Whether I would be watching news programs or whether I read the internet media, there is lots of bad news out there. Thinking people can’t get their jollies by jumping on bandwagons. They obsess, they cogitate, they formulate. All well and good, but for a Christian we get this perspective-giving monkey wrench: how to give out the Good News? How to have that single eye that cuts through the confusion and applies oneself to where one can do the most good?
I have held onto tattered ideas that public forum of ideas is helpful, useful, good. It is sort of like my own little ‘star-spangled banner”. Still waving, but filled with shot-holes.
And I really don’t like making forced confessions. Not even when it is I who have forced them……
I hope this to be the last for awhile.
2 thoughts on “Forced To Confess”
About that prejudice toward Muslims, I think you put yuour finger on an important point when you said my frustration is not with individuals, as much as it might seem that way…. my frustration is with the political situation and in reading and thinking about it
As a Southerner I grew up as what we now call “racist.” The antidote was experience more than education. What I read and was exposed to in the classrooms that de-provincialized me was important, but when I allowed myself to meet, know and interact with black people the racist thinking exploded. The reality of experience overcame the ignorance of my heritage.
Similarly, I have been present in a church or two as respected, well-meaning, learned voices excoriated Muslims from the pulpit or the front of the discussion group, invoking words like “demonic…evil…deceitful…violent…destructive.” But I have personally experienced knowing and working with a handful of Muslims from several countries. The reality of what I have experienced from knowing and meeting these people stands in sharp contrast to images being painted by others with a different agenda.
One man I know from Bangladesh has married with a Mexican woman. They have started a family, opened a business and are on their way to realizing the American dream. I could go on but you get the idea. It seems to me that most people are individuals first and confessors of faith afterward. Sad to say, many Christians I know are more interested in social and political expressions of their faith than exploring its spiritual side.
John, thank you so much for sharing those thoughts. I’ve really been concerned about this prejudice thing because it has developed in the last five years or so ( starting with the attempted accosting by a man at a store parking lot- long weird story), and has escalated.
I came from almost the opposite background. My Yankee family was very liberal politically and pro-active in the civil rights movement. I went to highschool in probably the only truly integrated school in the city ( we actually integrated socially, not just attending the same school).
But some of those liberal vestiges are what cause me the most struggle. I cannot express how much I hate what I see Islam does to women, the way human rights atrocities are cheered in the streets, and perpetrated in places like the Sudan.
but I do struggle…. and there are many good things in the cultures of many Muslims. That is the amazing thing about humanity. The potentials that go both ways.
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