Tuesday, May 7, 2013

They'll Know Us By Our Actions

We all wish to be judged by our good intentions. But the way people know us is through our actions.

So ... what do people in the Muslim world know about us here in the United States?

On Easter Eve this year I listened to soaring preaching about the Christian idea of a world in which no one is consigned to doom, no one is blotted out, no one is without hope:
He says to her immediately, take this sign to everyone else. “Tell them: I am the resurrection and the life so that even though you die, you will live. I am the sign placed over this world a limit and an end to its suffering. A sign that hope is not to be abandoned.”

This is the sign that stands against and triumphs over the gates of hell, which the Holy Spirit cries into our hearts, each by name. This is the sign that occurred in the saving ark, in the deliverance of the Israelites through the Red Sea, in the saving presence within the fiery furnace. This is the sign to which Mary Magdalene was the first witness along with the apostles, the sign to which the church has given testimony to throughout the centuries by its proclamation and its action, by the blood of its martyrs and the works of its saints, by the confessions its has spoken and the hymns it has sung, through its art and writings, through its scriptures and acts of charity, by the immersion of ever new generations in the waters of baptism and the offering of our Lord’s presence in the wine and bread. Throughout our history the Holy Spirit has not ceased to cry until its voice has grown hoarse with this message: Christ is risen!

(Full sermon at: The Messenger)
Contrast these words with the situation of the 100 men on hunger strike at Guantanamo. They have used the only means left to them to call out for attention to the world: "Hope? You speak of hope? There is no hope left to us."

Lest anyone forget, these are people who have been held without charge for eleven years ... many/most of whom have been cleared for release ... but for whom, in fact, NO ONE in the United States (or anywhere else) can point to any possible outcome other than that they will die there.

How will the Muslim word know us? They'll know us by Guantanamo.

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Make no mistake: the powers that be have know that they have cowed most of the public into being afraid to talk about Guantanamo, and that suits them just fine. Our power to act starts with talking widely -- beyond just our usual circles -- about the way in which we're being scared ... and why a government would possibly want to scare its own people.

(See Pentecost, Guantanamo, and the Moment When Talk Becomes Priceless)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Angle Computer (NASDAQ: AGL) today announced the launch of their new iPhobe offering.

The iPhobe is a humanoid robot that spouts anti-Islamic rhetoric and encourages fear and hatred in an unprecedented variety of ways.

(See Like your iPhone? You'll LOVE the new iPhobe!)

I believe when Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine and said "Remember me this way," he was much more interested in encouraging us to keep having conversations -- conversations that really matter -- with others . . . and finding ways to be in relationship with our neighbors  . . . all the while reminding us "never underestimate the power of food"  . . .

(See Get Outside Your Comfort Zone and Have A Conversation Today (Welcome to the Ministry))