Tag Archives: church

You aren’t responsible for Quran burners. Don’t hold Muslims responsible for 9/11.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  I hope you find this essay thought-provoking and informative during this day of remembrance.  Let’s hope we can finally learn from 9/11  and work toward resolution and peace.

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William Saletan for Slate, link to article here.  Embedded links from original article.

Two days ago, hundreds of Afghans gathered in Kabul to denounce the United States for burning the Quran. They torched American flags, chanted “Death to America,” and carried signs calling for the death of President Obama. Some of them hurled rocks at U.S. troops. A student in the crowd said of the planned Quran burning: “We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States.”

He’s wrong, of course. The Quran burning is the brainchild of a Florida minister and his tiny fundamentalist church. It has been condemned by the White House, the State Department, the commanding U.S. general in Afghanistan, Christian organizations, and countless Americans. But when clerics in Egypt denounce the incendiary plan, we feel the heat. When thousands of Muslims rally against it in Indonesia, they do so outside our embassy. When an imam in Kabul threatens retaliation, he casts a shadow on all of us: “If they decide to burn the holy Quran, I will announce jihad against these Christians and infidels.”

This is how it feels to be judged by the sins of others who destroy in the name of your faith. You’re no more responsible for 30 Christian extremists in Florida than Muslims are for the 19 hijackers of 9/11. Yet most of us, when polled, say that no Muslim house of worship should be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks. In saying this, we implicitly hold all Muslims accountable for the crime of those 19 people.

Now you know how it feels to be judged that way. It’s inaccurate, and it’s wrong.

Of course the two situations are different. The hijackers killed 3,000 people; the Quran burners would destroy only their own property. The hijackers were organized by a global terrorist network; the Quran burners are acting alone. But the Quran burners claim to speak for Christianity, just as the hijackers claimed to speak for Islam. And the Quran burners have many open supporters on Facebook in addition to others who are quietly cheering them on.

You, your country, and your faith are being held accountable for the deeds of these people. A widely viewed YouTube video combines “International Burn-the-Quran Day” shirts proclaiming “ISLAM IS OF THE DEVIL” (marketed by the same Florida church), satirical cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed, European criticism of Islamic veils, and myths about U.S. troops flushing a Quran down a toilet. The video says these “attacks on Muslims,” including U.S. invasions of Muslim countries, expose the “hatred of the disbelievers.” It calls on Muslims to “rise up and do something.”

The video also features a sign at a rally: “No More Mosques.” Our indiscriminate, collective-responsibility campaign against mosques is being used in an indiscriminate, collective-responsibility campaign against us and our troops.

A pastor who preaches at a nearby Florida church is aghast at the global outrage the Quran-burning minister has provoked. “He represents only 30 people in this town,” the pastor tells the New York Times. “It needs to get out somehow to the rest of the world that this isn’t the face of Christianity.”

It will, Reverend. Right after it gets out to the rest of the world that we don’t think the 9/11 hijackers are the face of Islam.

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Happy Mother’s Day – Teaching Birth Control in Nigeria

Taken from an NPR story by The Kitchen Sisters.

With her 8-year-old son, Chris, who spoke Igbo, serving as interpreter, Daphne Mae Hunt taught Nigerian women a method of birth control that was in keeping with her Catholic faith.

In the 1950s there was a big push for birth control within the local government. The average woman in rural Nigeria was having eight or nine children. The Catholic Church wanted to be seen as a leader in the community, but wouldn’t support condoms. So the church endorsed the Billings Ovulation Method, a form of birth control that involves a woman monitoring her monthly menstrual cycles to determine when she’s fertile and when she’s not.

When Chris Abani was a boy, he toured the Nigerian countryside as an interpreter for his mother, Daphne Mae Hunt, who wanted to teach women about their menstrual cycles as a form of birth control. Courtesy Chris Abani

With a backpack full of pictures and charts, Abani and his mother would set off and go from door to door. It was Abani’s job to begin the conversation in Igbo.

“Everything starts with a greeting,” Abani explains. “I would say, ‘Good afternoon, mothers.’ You greeted a woman who had children in the plural. It would be followed by an apology from me because I was about to discuss something sacred, taboo.

“I am greeting you and saying that what I am about to tell you could be offensive because I’m about to break taboo. But this is what my mother wants me to tell you. What my mother’s bringing to you, she says, is a thing of glory, a thing of goodness, a thing of independence. And I hope you can listen.’ ”

“And here I am, this 8-year-old boy who they’re having to ask questions in Igbo for me to ask in English. But my mother didn’t think twice about it, because this is what women needed,” Abani says. “If the Catholic Church was going to ban condoms, she was determined that they would find this birth control information somehow.”

“It never struck my mother as odd that a young boy would discuss a woman’s menstrual cycle. She would always say, ‘Every good man needs a little bit of woman in them.’ “

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