Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm a little confused

So apparently it's ok for (mostly Christian) Americans to complain about Islamic insensitivity in building a mosque near the WTC (or, apparently, anywhere). Ok, I get the cultural sensitivity tack.

But then what about this?

Christians Gather in D.C. to 'Submit' America to God
WASHINGTON – A small but energetic crowd gathered at Lafayette Park across from the White House Friday to pray for America to return to God.
The passionate prayers, which many times appeared more like preaching, drew “Hallelujah's,” “Yes, Lord's,” and hand waving from the crowd. Participants of the D.C. pray-for-America gathering, organized by, came from as far away as California and as close as Maryland.
“We are doing this because America is in desperate need of prayer,” said Wenda Royster, co-founder of “We have such disrespect for God in this nation today. We are praying 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are coming back to God. A place where we know we can get results. We can’t get results anywhere else but looking to God. That is why we are here.”
More than a dozen pastors and intercessors led prayers at the gathering. A theme that ran across several different prayers was bringing prayer back to school. Several of the prayer leaders called on God to bless America’s children and raise up an “excellent” new generation.
They also prayed for God to give wisdom to Members of Congress and the president.
“In your mighty name, release your strategies to our president and our Congress men and women so they would lead this country faithfully,” prayed the Rev. Jacqueline Reeves of Spoken Word Ministry in New Jersey. “Give our leaders wisdom to lead this nation for the glory of God, hallelujah.”
“I submit this country into your hands,” she declared. “We give America to you, Lord. And I pray that your people will seek your face 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
So, Islamic submission to Allah, bad. Christian submission to "the Big Guy," cool? Why, exactly?

Ok, but that was just one protest (granted, one led by people who don't mind a little cultural appropriation). Surely there are plenty of folks with better taste out there. I mean, this whole thing has been over taste, right?

Christians to Utilize Prayers, TV to Reach Muslims During Ramadan
Open Doors USA, a ministry that supports persecuted believers, is launching a campaign in which Christians will pray for Muslims throughout Ramadan, from Aug. 11 to Sept. 9.
David, whose real name was withheld for security reasons, shared with the ministry how he heard the voice of Jesus during Ramadan through the prayers of an elderly Christian woman. According to experts on Muslim-to-Christian conversions, it is not uncommon for Muslims in the countries hostile to Christianity to report being led to Jesus Christ through dreams and visions.
“She (the elderly woman) said, ‘I have been praying for you every time you walked into that mosque. It’s just amazing to see that God has answered my prayer,’” recalled David. “She was very surprised because she never thought that I could actually become a believer in Christ. In her eyes, I looked very hard to convince. That will always stay on my heart; to know that my prayers can make a difference to somebody.”
Open Doors USA is offering a Ramadan Prayer Calendar on its website to help Christians pray for Muslims during the 30-day period. The calendar also contains prayer requests for Christians who face persecution in Muslim countries.

Oh yeah, nothing disrespectful here. And I like how it's only indirectly stated that the Christian groups are "praying for Muslims" to convert. This more recent version on the same site isn't even that specific, just saying that Christians are "going to pray" during Ramadan (for what, cheese?)

But wait, there's more. What other fun can we look forward to during Ramadan?

While Open Doors is focusing on reaching Muslims through prayers, SAT-7 – a Christian satellite television service to the Middle East and North Africa – plans to do the same through programs that explain who Christ is.
“It’s a religious time, but it’s also a family time. And it’s also a time when many people in the Arab world are truly seeking God,” said David Harder, SAT-7’s communications manager, to Mission Network News. “We have many stories of people who, during Ramadan, have been crying out for God to reveal Himself and they have dreams of Jesus.”

So we're agreed then: the next person that complains about Muslims' bad taste gets their tongue dipped in liquid nitrogen.


Garnel Ironheart said...

There are 2 factors you've missed
1) Chrisianity and Islam have been competing with each other since the latter burst onto the scene 1400 years ago and burned Byzantium to ashes. Thank God today all they seem to be doing in America is praying for each other, not going at one another with live ammunition.
2) However, in other parts of the world it's not quite that simple. In fact, while I am not aware of a single country with a Chrisian majority that officially persecutes its Muslim population, I can name a dozen Muslim-majority countries (at least) where official persecution of Chrisians is standard operating procedure. In short, Chrisians look at places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and say "Well if they can persecute us in their countries, why do we have to be so nice to them over here?"

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...


1- No question that having dueling prayer circles beats holy wars. But to hear some of the American media these days, you'd think that "mosque" was code-word for "child prostitution ring, now with 20% more voodoo sacrifices". It's just funny to be hearing all this hyperbole about respect and then come across this stuff.

2- As you point out, respect is a two-way street. However, the arguments I'm hearing that invoke this point don't seem to follow that kind of logical quid-pro-quo. Rather, they seem to be coming from an extremely emotional, verging on anti-Islamic, viewpoint, and when they run out of rhetoric to explain why it's just so inappropriate to build that mosque in Manhattan, they remember that, "Oh yeah, and Muslims aren't that tolerant to Christians, either." Fine, but not all that relevant to this particular situation, particularly since it's a local issue, not a national referendum. Not to mention the fact that this argument essentially reduces morality and tolerance down to the lowest common denominator. There are plenty of Islamic practices that most Americans/Westerners find distasteful. Why would we want to allow their values to dictate ours?