Matthew Fox (the theologian, not the actor) said that while there is a time for calm meditation, there is also a time for action and that in his opinion, we were quickly approaching a time for moral outrage.
That time came for me yesterday when I turned on CNN and watched a Christian preacher bully a Muslim Imam, decrying Allah and trying to convert him to Christianity. Despite the Imam’s calm presence and suggestion that he only wanted to be good neighbors, The “Christian” was rude, argumentative and aggressive. I was appalled. And outraged.
“The fundamentalist Christian mind-set has hijacked the name Jesus and the term Christ and the word Christianity,” says Fox in his book A New Reformation. “Fundamentalism has become a religion unto itself…based on control, dominant and domineering patriarchy, on the notion that it is in the right while everyone else is wrong, that those who follow it will be saved while everyone else is damned. But what is the origin of this certainty?”
Really. What is the origin of that pervasive and despicable certainty?
The instigating incident, of course, was the Muslim community center proposed for six blocks from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. That controversy in itself is ridiculous. If not six blocks, then how about seven? Eight? The local officials have determined that the proposal is within the law, so that should have been the end of that. No national politician needed to weigh in, but once someone did, the firestorm ignited.
All those protestors need a little history lesson in why America became America. We have religious freedom here, and that is no small thing.
Matthew Fox writes: “Isn’t it time to stop trying to convert one another and start delving into one another’s spiritual riches?”
Riches are everywhere, but spiritual riches will not be had by resting on a static belief. True religion is dynamic, loving, active, and filled with truth, beauty and goodness. True religious living emulates the actions of a loving and merciful God, no matter what we call him.