A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Like Drama

The sad events in which a small church in Florida is threatening to burn Korans and the accusation from the church that a Muslim leader lied to them regarding a deal to not proceed with the burning if the proposed Ground Zero mosque is located elsewhere, just goes to show how much we like drama.

Don't get me wrong. Drama can be a good thing. Plays, a good story, a moving book, or movie, can help us see things from new perspectives. But the drama that is going on now with this church in Florida is a sad commentary on serious issues that are facing our world.

The media knows that we like drama or why bother to cover a story several weeks ago about a small church wanting to burn Korans on the 9/11 anniversary. To add to the drama, now we have troops in danger, the inciting of violence, and dirty laundry being aired of a pastor's miscommunication with a Muslim leader.

And all of this on the eve of the 9th anniversary of 9/11. I honestly thought this was the kind of drama we were going to have next year on the 10th anniversary. But remember, we like drama so why not start early.

I don't think we would have this level of drama on the eve of 9/11 if this one basic truth would be embraced: "Extreme Muslim terrorists were responsible for the acts of 9/11, not the Islamic faith in general." When a peace loving and observant Muslim reads about extreme Muslim terrorists hijacking his/her faith through terrorist acts, this doesn't mean that the peace loving and observant Muslim is a terrorist as well or that Islam is a terrorist based religion.

Or if a dishonest used car salesperson continually cheats his/her customers, this does not mean that all car salespeople are dishonest or that all car dealerships are unethical.

Or if a professed Christian abuses family members in the name of his/her religion, this does not mean that all Christians are abusers or that Christianity promotes abuse.

Or if a small church in Kansas protests at military funerals by spewing hate language at those who are grieving and those who have a particular sexual orientation, this does not mean that all churches have a propensity toward this kind of behavior.

Quietly and with no fanfare, a dear friend sends me an e-mail this morning which I receive while I'm watching this Florida pastor being interviewed on the Today Show. The e-mail says that she will be attending a Christian/Muslim gathering at a nearby mosque today as a display of how different faiths can coexist in peace and promote peace throughout our communities and world.

This peace gathering won't make CNN or Fox News. No, today we'll get a steady diet of segments about a certain church in Florida that has not embraced the basic truth mentioned earlier in this post, that "extreme Muslim terrorists were responsible for the acts of 9/11, NOT the Islamic faith in general."

Why won't we hear anything about my friend's inter-faith gathering today?

It's sad, but true. We like drama.


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