Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mosque in Murfreesboro, TN

You know, sometimes I'm almost embarrassed to be a Christian. I awoke this morning to a local NPR piece about a standoff at the Murfreesboro, TN courthouse yesterday. A large Islamic center is scheduled to be built in Murfreesboro in the next year, and folks were holding rallies to oppose it and to support it. In the end, it was one big shouting match. Some of the sound bytes coming from Christians opposing the mosque were utterly depressing. Most of them implied that the mosque will be a training ground for terrorists, and that we can't allow Islam to grow, because it will destroy our country. Right, because hatred and bigotry doesn't hurt our country. Anyway, I continue to be saddened by the intolerance and ignorance of some of my fellow Christians.


Amy said...

Amen! I heard a clip where a guy said "We don't want to hang 'em, we just don't want 'em here." Oh geez. I would be scared to attend the mosque if they do build it.

Drew said...

The intolerance and bigotry of these people is down right Un-American and obviously, EXTREMELY uneducated. This country was founded on freedom of religion, and any threat on another American's right to that should be appalling to all of us.

Craig Pope said...

I wish that news agencies would be required to indicate, instead of "Christians at the rally opposed..and said...", "People claiming to be Christians were present and said.."

Because I cringe every time Christ's name is mentioned in the same breath with actions that are often opposed to Jesus Christ's way.

I feel more called every day to lead Christians to Christ.

Anonymous said...

Well put, Alan. It's getting harder and harder to spread Christianity when this is what so many non-Christians end up thinking we are like.

Anonymous said...

I oppose building mosque in Tennessee,

Being from a moslem background, I DO know from close this fake religion, established by a sex-obsessed pathetic, blood-thirsty criminal and liar Mohamed, who tightened a third of the human kind on earth with a lie called Islam, making them middle age minded, hateful, pathetic, anti-civilizations, etc…
This fake religion, that wants to take the world back to the dark ages, and establish the Islamic supremacy where only radical Muslims rule, and no place for Christians, Jews, not even for moderate and free thinker Muslims....What makes me sick, very sad, is to see these western governments being toooooooo permissive with these criminals, tooooo cautious not to hurt their feeling, in order not to be judged as islamophobe or racists, to see mosques growing here and there like mushrooms on the European soils, while Christians are not allowed to congregate even in
Their house (I am taking the Algerian Christians as example, to see those pathetic creatures cursing the western values and ways of life, and endeavoring to spread their shari'a on a land that is not theirs, while the western government stands nearly cross handed in front of such an epidemic...those government are really putting the future of their citizens at a stake, by being too permissive with those " monsters"...Please don't look at Islam as any religion, beware of it, it is like cancer, there is no religion on earth that is as dangerous and menacing to you as Islam,...if I were a leader of one of these western countries, I would have banned the building of mosques, and limit the religious freedom to a far extent, I would have watched them from close, and would have chased them back to their countries for the least trial to spread their ideology of hate.

ISLAM is darkness. ISLAM is a dark chapter in human history. Resolutions and condemnations must be passed in UNITED NATIONS - outlawing this evil, criminal, murderous, hateful ideology , theology of ISLAM which was spread by force, rape, murder and destruction, slavery. All the free world, humanists.,

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CoffeyBean24 said...

Why are Americans fighting for the Islamic people when they are not Islamic??? I call them loud mouth liberals that love to hear themselves talk! If you feel that the mosque will affect you and flood the community with anti-Christians then speak out. But if you are a non-Christian liberal that doesn't practice a religion let alone Islamic religion then SHUT UP!

Anonymous said...

I can see that you are very young...and just do not know. You do not have the experience and education of world history, or else you would not make these remarks. The fact that you wake up listening to NPR speaks volumes.

Alan Bancroft said...

Coffeybean24-I seem to have struck a nerve with you for you to respond with so much apparent anger. I'd like to respond to your comment with some thoughts and see how you might respond.

First of all, you use the word "liberal" as if it's a bad thing or a derogatory term. At it's core, I see liberalism as a defense of liberty and equality for all people, even (and maybe especially) for those who are different than I am. I also wonder about your use of the term "loud mouthed." I'm not sure what you mean by that. It sounds like you are referring to folks who speak their minds in the public forum, and I see no problem with that. In fact, I think that is part of our responsibility as citizens of our country.

Second, why is it that only those who are opposed the Mosque being built have the right to speak out? And, I don't grant your premise that only Muslim people have a right to speak on behalf of the Islamic Center. I would refer you to the "First they came..." poem. I truly believe that we are called to live in community and to stand up on behalf of those who are oppressed or whose rights are being threatened or taken away.

I welcome your continued engagement on this topic. Help me understand your objections.

Alan Bancroft said...

Anonymous-First of all, I prefer folks to at least provide a name or some sort of identifying information when commenting on my blog. It just seems unfair for you to know about me, but for me to have no context for understanding you.

In response to your comment, I refuse to grant the basic premise of your argument that being young precludes someone from having a decent understanding of world history or having anything valid to say. Many great religious leaders and historical figures were in their late twenties or thirties when they made huge impacts on the world. Who is to say that, at 33, I'm not a professor of history? I'm not, but it would be entirely possible.

Also, are we really going to play the world history card? In that case, I'd be pretty wary of allowing Christian centers to be built. The Crusades were awful. The Nazis viewed themselves and Christians. Contemporary Christians bomb abortion clinics.

Now, I'm not one to generally quote the constitution, but in this case, I think it's apropos:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Our nation was founded with an emphasis on equality, liberty (although not for everyone at the time), and an opportunity for everyone to practice his/her religion without interference from the government. When we begin to take away those rights, I think we begin to become the very antithesis to what makes our country great and unique.

Finally, why the disrespect for NPR. I've spent time listening to various radio news programs and watching various TV news channels. When it comes down to it, I find NPR to be the most "fair and balanced" (yes I went there) news source. I much prefer their coverage to either the Democrat-obsessed coverage of MSNBC or the Fear and Anxiety promotion of Fox News. So, yes, I listen to NPR, and I wish more people did so.

As always, I welcome additional comments and conversation. Please do include a name or other identifying information.

Andy said...

Good post Alan and you responded to the critical comments with a lot of integrity. I'm having some of the same tense conversations too. It's a difficult subject and time.

Craig Pope - couldn't remember my name/password said...

Alan, Whoa!

NIce work with your respectful replies to your conversation partners. That more than anything is evidence that you wake up listening to NPR - the ability to have rational discourse and to see the human story at the heart of news headlines.

Couple of things caught my attention in the comments:
1. "Why are Americans fighting for the Islamic people when they are not Islamic???" Because many Americans ARE the "islamic people." And some of the 'Christian people' have apparently been affected by Jesus' "love your neighbor as yourself" command. Just thought that might be a helpful bit of information to add.

2. I want to meet the guy who has lived "world history." This guy must be, what, 5000, 6000 years old. He should start his own blog about what it was like when world history happened. Aware of my own embarrasingly young age, I usually begin any remark I make with the comment, "Now, I haven't lived world history, but..."

3. I can be less graceful than you because this isn't my blog.

4. Arranging comments with numbers is a fun way to learn numbers and make the logical progression of one's response evident.

5. This post brought to you by the number 5.

Debra said...

Since Christians get to hate gays, other religions, blacks, Democrats, pro choicers, reason, I get to hate Christians, especially southern ones. shame on them. God will have a special place in he'll for hateful Christians. It will be crowded.

msdoriewilliams said...


Interested in learning what you understand of Islamic teaching?

Also, have you been exposed to the belief that Islam is a political movement with a religious motivation?

Further, why do you think thoes who peacfully follow Islam stay silent about the deeds of their terrorizing bretheren execept to, in modern methods, advertize allegance to organizations known for global terrorizm?

And finally, have you been presented with the following theory (based on verses straight from the Qu'ran) that all who do not follow Allah are the enemy of thoes who do and are to be converted or eliminated?

I realize it has been a while since your original mention and quite honestly, I without intention stumbled on to your blog...and while I do not agree with screaming matches anymore than I agree with present day murder in the name of a political belief system or somebody named Allah...who really deserves the experience of embarrassment or the peacful followers of Islam?


Dorie Williams
Murfreesboro Resident since 1996