According to the poster I discussed in the introduction to this series of essays, liberals demand that we love and respect all cultures and religions, except Christianity.
The poster would've been correct if they would have not added the “except Christianity” statement at the end. We live in a very diverse world and the United States contains perhaps the most diverse population in the world representing nearly every ethnic heritage and every religion. I do believe that it's in our best interest, and my own understanding of what the Bible says, to embrace and respect our neighbors regardless of the color of their skin or what church they go to.
It seems to me that since the horrors of 9/11, many in this country think it is right and proper to discriminate against anyone who may be a Muslim. Of course that attitude is ridiculous, not very many Muslims follow the same kind of ideology as the people who planned and carried out the attacks on the United States on that day. To cast each and every Muslim into the same pot is unfair just as it would be unfair to throw every Christian into the same pot is the few Catholic priests who engaged in pedophilia. I think most of the arguments that liberals respect all cultures and religions except Christianity are based on the fact that liberals and others accept Muslims as also being decent human beings.
Within Christianity itself there is much dissension. The current Republican primary reflects one of those Chasms was very clearly as Mitt Romney is constantly debased because of his Mormon religion. If one were to study Mormonism he or she would find that Mormons are Christians, they adhere to the same demands as other Christian denominations. As recently as a couple of decades ago, Baptists considered Mormonism to be a cult.
During the many religious events that took place after the 9/11 tragedy, rifts between the various Christian denominations were highlighted and were the topic of many conversations. I remember in particular one Lutheran minister who was nearly defrocked because he prayed on the same platform with members of other religions, including other Christian denominations. The Catholic Church, which was the first organized Christian church, is considered non-Christian by many of the fundamental Christian denominations. It's interesting that recently, due to some government actions, the Catholics and the fundamentalists suddenly joined hands in their efforts to reverse those actions they disagreed with.
I wonder how many of us who claim to be Christians would identify with the group from Iowa that disrupts funerals of American servicemen and who display signs that are degrading to other Americans and vilify those whose beliefs are different from those of that small group, and do it in the name of all Christians. There are many more examples of the differences and the difficulties between the various Christians denominations.
Over the years, in fact over the centuries, the Jews have probably been the most persecuted culture in recorded history. Only the Romans persecution of Christianity during the early years of the church could be considered worse. The Roman persecution of Christians, however, took place over a relatively short period of time when compared to the persecution of the Jews who have suffered over many centuries. It seems the persecution of the Jews has existed almost as long as the Jewish people themselves have existed. I fear that a new era of persecution of the Jews is not too far down the road.
During the years leading up to the World War II, Hitler and others had convinced the German people, and many others that every problem that existed the European continent was the fault of the Jews. They claimed that the Jews controlled the banking system, all of the corporations, basically that they had control over all of the money and wealth of Europe.
In order for dictators to rise to power they must give their followers someone to hate and to unite the population in that hatred. That hatred, created as a tool for a few to rise to power, led to the Holocaust.
The Jews have been the target of that same type action many times over the centuries. Even today you can read in newspapers and especially on the Internet that the problems in America are simply the fault of the Jews and if we would run all of the Jews out of America all of our problems would be solved. I have even read that there is an evil cabal of Jews that control everything in the world. Many people actually believe such rubbish without asking for proof or questioning the possibility that such a system could exist. It is interesting that after all that we have seen in recent decades and read about in books outlining the history of the human race, we still haven't begun to understand the Jewish culture.
It is somewhat unsafe to even begin to talk about Islam. We in America seem to believe that every follower of Islam is a mad bomber whose only purpose in life is to destroy America. Of course that isn't true. We seem to forget that all three of the mainstream religions Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share the same beginning. We are all the descendents of Abraham. We are all brothers and sisters.
So I take exceptions when someone indicates that because I am a liberal I disrespect Christianity and love all other religions. First of all there is no basis in fact that could be presented to me to indicate that I hate Christianity. I guess the years that I spent in the Christian ministry are evidence of how much I hate Christianity. Do I hate Judaism and Islam? No I don't. I embrace each person in the world as a brother or sister until they individually prove to be something different. I do not consider the people that flew airplanes into the world trade center towers to be my brothers. I consider them to be some of the most evil people that have lived. I don't consider anyone, Christian, Jew, or Muslim who harbors hatred against another to be my brother or my sister. I think the world has begun to revolve around the question of “who do we hate today?” Instead of developing a dialogue that would be lead to peace and understanding, it seems we look for differences that we can exploit and use as an excuse for us to exercise our desire to hate.
I would like for the person who made this poster that said liberals do not love or respect Christianity to come and tell me to my face that that's what they think of me, or of any other liberal person they might know. It just isn't true. For people to pass those lies on through the Internet and in many cases anonymously is to bring upon themselves the disgrace that is due to deceivers.
To respect other cultures and other religions does not mean that one does not respect Christianity. It simply means that one is trying to live a life based on those principles that Christ laid down for us. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said that the first was that we love God with all our hearts and with all our souls and that the second was like the first, that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. He didn't say that we love only our neighbors that think the same way that we do, he said to love our neighbors. Therefore as a Christian, and in my case a Christian and a liberal, I will continue to respect every man and woman of any culture or religion until and unless they do something to lose my respect. In this regard, I am trying to walk in the footsteps of Christ, are you?
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