Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


July 10, 2012

LION AND THE LAMB: Muslims are humans, too

CROSSVILLE — Overheard in a Crossville store, clerk to customer: "You know that Obama is a Muslim." Overheard in a Crossville restaurant: "I've been told that Mitt Romney, being a Mormon, has two other wives living in Utah."

Friends, the trouble is not in "River City," but in Crossville, Tennessee. Do I need to state in a loud voice, "Those obnoxious comments are false"? Of course they are.

As we watch the TV news and read newspapers and magazines, we see and hear comments and actions which are more than out-of-hand or rude. They are vicious and damaging to life on our/God's planet.

We have been been reading about the ongoing dispute over the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro. It seems that some folks feel that the only persons who may come to our shores and become citizens are white Christian Europeans.

With a quick review of religious belief systems we find that Christians, Jews and Muslims are all a part of the Abrahamic tradition. Yes, that same Abraham found in Genesis in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). He is the "exalted father" of all three religious traditions. That realized relationship might make us cousins a couple of thousand times removed.

What we do need to do is to stop generalizing and get rid of the belief that all American Muslims are related to terrorist activity. Violence is a human problem, not a religious one.

Many months back, five members of a Rotary Club in Pakistan—two women and three men, all Muslims—visited the Crossville Noon Rotary Club of which my wife and I are members. I was asked to give the prayer before lunch. After much meditation I came up with the following:

"God of compassion and hope for all humankind, we thank you for creating us and guiding us in all situations that come our way. Receive our prayer for our Rotary friends from Pakistan, and may they be guided safely back to their homes. Wherever we go, may truth, fairness, good will, and friendship continue to be a part of our living every day. O God, wherever we live in your world, may that community be a good place to live because as individuals and clubs we have placed service above self. Amen." (A similar prayer could be given at a Kiwanis, Lions, or other service club meeting.)

I believe I can safely say that no one went away with changed religious beliefs. We simply met and enjoyed getting to know other humans in our/God's world.

Last year at New York's Chautauqua Institution I heard Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf speak. (Imam is the title used for Muslim clergy.) Rauf noted: "For Muslims, what Islam means is an act of submission to the transcendent, the personal relationship of every human being to the ultimate truth of the universe. The Islamic tradition teaches that when God created Adam, he breathed a breath of the divine spirit into Adam. That's where the image of God lives within us, in our soul. The primary objective of the human soul is to know God. Within every human being—Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.—there is the constant search for the face of God, for contact with God, even if we are not conscious of it."

As we shop and dine in Crossville, I hope we are careful about what we think, say, and do.

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice