Do you hate people because of their religion?

Quick!  What religion was Timothy McVeigh?  How bout his co-conspirator Terry Nichols?  You know the guys.  There the ones who blew up that building in Oklahoma city a few years back.  Can you remember why they did it?  Why did they kill hundreds of people?  And what God did they worship?

How bout those kids at Columbine?  Do you know what religion they were?  Who did they worship come Sunday, or Saturday, of any day?  Do you remember why they killed all those kids in the library that day?

Oh, and don’t forget the Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski), the Anthrax mail sender and the DC Snipers, too.  What religion were all of them?  Can you remember?  Do you remember the reasons that all of these people did what they did – harm and kill innocent people they didn’t even personally know?

Maybe their all too small.  Okay.  How bout this one…when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, what God were they worshiping?  Seriously, do you know?  What religion did most Japanese people follow in 1940?  And, can you remember why they decided to bomb the United States, a country that had not attacked them in any way ever?

There is a good reason you probably can only, at best, make a guess to any of these questions of religion.  That’s because you probably just view these characters of history as brutal murderers, simple as that.  They had their reasons to do what they did.  Not one of them, though, decided to kill because they wanted to wage a religious genocide.

The reason I bring up all these acts of terrorism is to point out that religion didn’t really play into any of their decisions.  And I want to further point out that, when we look back on the 9/11 attacks, we should also not view it as the acts of a group of Muslims.  Recently protesters have gathered in lower Manhattan to vocalize their disgust that a Mosque is going to be built within sight of the former World trade Centers.  They say that this is disrespectful and tasteless.

While I cannot possibly argue that they shouldn’t feel offended, I can argue that they should not protest.  Have they forgotten that the same document that allows them to protest allows anyone to worship as they please?  Muslims own the land that they want to build on.  If the protesters are so offended, they can raise funds and buy the land and build whatever they want on it.  A church, a Starbucks, a school…whatever.  But the fact remains that they don’t own the land and a group of Muslims want to build a place of worship there.

To be afraid of Muslims because of 9/11 is ridiculous.  Nearly all Muslims are peaceful, well-adjusted people.  Just like nearly all Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and even Atheists are peaceful, well-adjusted people.  Being Muslims is just one of many characteristics that the terrorists of 9/11 shared.  What it all comes down to is that the thing the terrorists all shared, and what we should all fear, is deranged terrorists.  Not Muslims.  Not Men.  Not Saudi Arabians.  Not Pilots.  Not 30-50 year olds.  Not people with Black hair (yep, they all had black hair!).  We need to be afraid of radical extremists who are willing to kill for their own, twisted reasons.

The terrorists that participated in the 9/11 attacks weren’t bred to be that way.  Many of them were raised in normal, middle to upper class families, and were well educated and well adjusted. At some point, they became ensnared in rhetoric and were convinced that Americans were evil.  They hated America, capitalism, freedom.  They did not target Christianity.  If they had wanted to wage war on Christianity, they could have flown a plane into the Vatican.  They did not.  They flew it into a financial center, and the Pentagon, two institutions that have nothing to do with religion.  To further point out that they did not target Christianity, I remind you that the victims of the September 11 attacks were from all religions, from over 70 countries, young and old, dark and light skinned.  And, if you’d like to see some evidence of some ridiculously crazy people who raise their children to wage a religious war, watch Jesus Camp.

To think that Muslims should not be allowed to build a Mosque anywhere they want is simply ridiculous.  Christians of various sects bomb abortion clinics.  Does that mean we should protest church’s if they anywhere close to a Family Planning Center?

Both groups are right and both are wrong.  Muslims have every right to express their religious freedom just as the protester have every right to legally and peacefully assemble.  And both are wrong.  The Muslims should have had the forethought to imagine that their chosen location may have raised more than a few eyebrows.  The protesters have clearly forgotten the foundations on which our country was formed.  However, there is one huge difference.  Only one of the two groups has taken the acts of an insane few and assumed that ALL members of that group will act in the  same way and manner.  That is called bigotry.

By the way…Timothey McVeigh and Terry Nichols were both Christians, Ted Kacznski detested religion, the kids at Columbine were both raised Catholic (Christian), the Japanese are a sort of mix of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, among others, the DC Snipers were John Allen Muhammad, a Muslim, and Lee Boyd Malvo, a Christian, actually aProtestant,  actually a Seventh Day Adventist,… not that it matters.  And for the record, Muslims love Jesus.

One Response to “Do you hate people because of their religion?”

  1. Jenny Perry Says:

    Agree!!! I thought I seemed to be the only one.

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