Love is the Final Fight

From the Switchfoot YouTube video of The Sound (John Perkins’s Blues)

I have been struggling for the right words since I learned of the Charlottesville tragedy. Of course, I denounce the hate-filled act that took a life and put others in the hospital. I denounce racism in all its ugly forms. I joined in with other voices to acknowledge that this was an act of terrorism. Plain and simple.

But, when the dust settles and the loud cries for justice fade to a simmering  fury, it isn’t that plain and simple.

How did we get here? More importantly, how do we escape this rat trap that seems to have perpetually bound us to the doom of repeated history?

I listen to the clamor of voices, and I just want to weep – so much heat and very little light. More knee-jerk reactions are not sufficient to counter the forces that have lead us to this place and have entangled people in their grip since the first man clubbed his brother to death. We desperately need something more!

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Don’t Confuse Racists with Christians

Depositphotos Vector ID: 155015578 Copyright: robzs

I was on vacation in the north woods last week, disconnected from the world at large and from the urgency of current events for the most part. Bits and pieces of the tragic violence that occurred in Charlottesville filtered through, and I came back to be confronted with the full on force of those events this week.

I still don’t know all the details, but I know that what happened is a product of racism at its worst. It is nothing short of domestic terrorism. I am left with a dull ache, a heavy sadness and a lot of pessimism about our future as a country.

These events aren’t as raw for me as they likely are for others. I was away when the full brunt of the violence took place. I am also a white man.

But, I am human. All people are brothers and sisters. I believe we were all made, male and female, Jew and Gentile, black and white, in God’s image. Therefore, we are one.[1] I believe every individual, therefore, of every tribe, nation and tongue has intrinsic value. Racism is not only senseless; it flies defiantly in the face of our Creator.

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Raheel Raza on Islam by the Numbers

Raheel Raza by Gage Skidmore

Raheel Raza by Gage Skidmore

The video at the end of this piece addresses the claims that we hear from our President and other leaders in the US that Islam does not have anything to do with terrorism in the word. According to Barack Obama, 99.9% of the Muslims in the world do not support radical Islam. But is he right? Raheel Raza, a Sunni Muslim herself, gives us the facts and figures.

Raheel Raza says she does not need Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or any celebrity, like Ben Affleck, to defend her and her religion. She says she needs to be defended from the radicals in her own religion. She needs to be defended from radical Islamists who behead people, throwh battery acid on people and murder people in the name of her God. She says these radicals seek to take over the world in the name of her religion.

A Muslim herself, Raheel Raza has dedicated her life to speaking out against the rising threat of radical Islam, which threatens to swallow up the Islam she knows. She urges that we can not treat an illness without identifying what the problem is. We cannot address the cancer of radical Islam without accurately identifying what it is.

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Extremists and Terrorists Miss the Mark

ISIS Killing Christians - Reuters

During the Bush years, the United States waged a “war on terrorism”. President Obama ended the war on terrorism, and we have taken a more or less spectator’s position watching “extremists” devour the land we left behind like a plague of locusts hellbent on leaving the barren crags of the Middle East to swarm the fertile fields of Western Civilization. Continue reading