Archives For Islam

Last Friday afternoon, my city was thrown into a scare..4a6ca284f450271f82e6588ff03d665c

…Apparently, by the world’s most unwitting terrorist.

As I drove toward downtown Kansas City on my way home, I saw the news choppers hovering over the skyscrapers.  I was listening to news radio.  The report was that the bomb squad was investigating a threat at the downtown federal building.  Streets were closed.  People were evacuated.

Strangely enough, there were simultaneous scares in Austin and in North Dakota, creating a geographical straight line of bomb threats through the center of the country.

As I neared downtown, heading straight past the mess, I wondered how strange it would be if the supposed bomb went off right there in front of me.  And with two other threats happening, for a couple of hours, it looked like it might be a coordinated effort…to strike America’s flyover land.

But as the day unfolded, and the story of our hometown terrorist unraveled, it made me think of just how we deal with people who we consider threatening.

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The Real War on Women

April 18, 2012

It seems that some people think we are at war.

Against whom?  Why all different people!

The most notable is, of course, the war on women.  There are all kinds of grenades being lobbed around that.  Ever since the whole contraception thing a few months ago, some women seem to think that someone wants to take their birth control away.  Or you’ve got Hilary Rosen attacking Ann Romney on the air.  Just a few days ago, comedienne Sarah Silverman tweeted a satirical update with a photo, claiming she got a “quickie aborsh” before “Roe v. Wade gets overturned.”

Of course, there’s a war going on, against women, blacks, white men, the middle class, the poor, the rich, the Christians, the atheists…

…Or is there?

There is a real war.  It’s a war that no one is interested in fighting.

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What is the power of a word?

That’s been all anyone has talked about this week.  All week, people have been spewing blame and vitriol and rhetoric (there’s three words I’m sick of already), trying to blame our political conversations for the actions of one crazed, satanic, lunatic.

Speaking of vitriolic and offensive language, last week, Professor Alan Gribben announced he was preparing a new version of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” cleansed of all two-hundred plus uses of the “N-word,” a word so apparently powerful when used by a white man over a century ago, that no one should ever lay eyes upon it today.

Seems like priority number one is sanitizing our language.

To close out the week, I’ve got some of my own thoughts on the power of words, the danger of trying to be “civil,” and yes, why Huck Finn needs to remain as is.

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Wednesday, I asked and you answered, who has better PR, Jesus or Allah.

An unusually timely story popped up on my radar since Wednesday.  While Christians like Terry Jones threaten a Koran burning event, and other Christians (and just plain old Americans) protest mosque constructions all over the country (not just in New York), a few churches are actually opening their doors and allowing Muslims to conduct worship services inside their sanctuaries.

Take Pastor Steve Stone of Heartsong Church in Tennessee.  His church invited Muslims to use their church as a makeshift mosque during Ramadan while their mosque was under construction.  They even topped off the month with a joint Thanksgiving event.  To Stone and other similar pastors, it’s about “what would Jesus do?”  You can read a bit about it here.

But as lovely as the idea is of reaching out to our Muslim neighbors, I have to ask, is this really what Jesus would do?

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Do you know what the world’s fastest growing religion is?

This year, American churches will pour millions of dollars into new programs and services, designed to attract new people to God.  They’ll built more extravagant buildings.  They will buy radio ads and billboards and build giant sparkly crosses to tell everyone about God.  Pastors will try to be more relevant with their messages.  They’ll create a better show, broadcast it to more people, collect more money, get more cards signed.

And Christianity in America will continue to lose influence, while Islam continues to be the world’s fastest growing faith.  Europe will be 50% Muslim in the coming decades.  Islam is fighting with Christianity for supremacy in Africa.  Even in America, where anti-Islamic hyperbole flows freely, many are turning to the Islamic faith.

A simple question: why?

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Brave New World

December 29, 2010

It’s kind of hard to believe.  The twenty-first century is 10% over with.  Just ten years ago, we were panicking over computers not knowing what year it was.  Crazy.

When we reach landmarks like this, it always makes me think about where the world will be, and where I hope I’ll be in ten more years.  In ten years, I’ll be nearly done with my thirties, and I hope I’ll have done a lot with those years. 

It’s fun to make predictions about what will happen in the future, so that’s what I’m doing today.  For better or worse, here are a few things I think will take place in the church, politics, and culture.  Chime in with you predictions for the next decade too.

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