Thursday, August 10, 2006

Traffic Stops and Wake-Up Calls

Two weeks ago Mel Gibson was stopped for drunk driving and in the process of being arrested made several derogatory comments about Israel and Jews. Gibson’s mega-celebrity status, combined with his production of the blockbuster movie, “The Passion of the Christ” a few years ago, itself perceived by many Jews as anti-Semitic, made this a front-page news item. I’d like to look at it on several levels.

First, it is certainly disappointing that Gibson, by all accounts a devoted Catholic and dedicated family man, was driving drunk. He has since acknowledged a problem with alcohol and is seeking treatment. Sometimes incidents like this can be redemptive in forcing someone to confront a personal failing, and we can all wish him the best in this endeavor.

More disappointing are the comments he made, which raise an intriguing question: Does drunkenness cause someone to exaggerate his feelings or does it actually create new feelings? I recall a modern proverb I read once: “Words cannot come out of our mouth that have not had a home in our heart” (or something like that). Drunkenness doesn’t excuse things we say or do. Words and actions come from somewhere within us, even if some things (e.g., drunkenness, peer pressure) exaggerate their expression. Gibson was right to apologize profusely to Jews for his comments; he must take responsibility for them (Hey, here’s an idea for all of us: Don’t get drunk!).

But let’s look at still a different level of this episode, and that’s what happened on the very same day but which received comparatively little news attention. A 30-year old Muslim man named Naveed Afzal Haq brought a pistol to the Jewish Federation office in Seattle and shot six people, killing one woman and injuring five others. One writer described this incident as “one of the most gory anti-Jewish crimes in American history” (Zev Chafets, L.A. Times). And yet how many of you heard this story featured more than just in passing in the news or on the web?

Ready to go to the next level? Take a deep breath now. The reason we heard far more about Gibson’s arrest than about this attempted massacre of Jews by a Muslim man in Seattle is because Gibson is a Christian and the politically correct view in America holds that Christians (re: conservative Christians) are more of a threat to Jews (and to America in general) than are Muslim terrorists. But wait! This man wasn’t a member of Al Queda, Hezbollah, or another “official” terrorist group! He was just a Muslim angry at Jews.

Ready for the final level? Maybe Muslim anger at Jews isn’t limited to terrorist groups. Maybe Islamist leaders need to step up and publicly condemn this kind of incident. Maybe American media need to drop their double standard. Do you honestly believe that if a Christian or a Jew had walked into a “Muslim Federation Office” in a major city and attempted to massacre Muslims, we wouldn’t hear repeated news reports warning about a possible pernicious spread of Islamo-phobia in America? Of course we would.

Maybe it’s time for Americans to wake up. A Muslim American walks into an office building on American soil and guns down American Jews, and we’re preoccupied with what a drunken actor says during a traffic stop?

2 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

Thanks for that man. I really didnt have any idea about any of that, so thanks for the perspective!

7:22 PM  
Blogger Descendantofacrusader said...

Matt,
Bravo!! You are finally starting to get it and there are many, many, of the innocent flock out there who eagerly await your clear-headed teaching and enlightenment. A prime example of that which I speak is Megan's innocence expressed in her longing for 'PERSPECTIVE' comment. I urge you, brother, to fearlessly preach the Gospel of Christ crucified, His Resurrection, and Salvation for ALL who would believe. Most importunately: concentrate on the SUPREME PRIMACY of Christ (John 14:6, 3:16) in a world awash with doubt, self-loathing, and religious relativism.

Have no doubt about Islam’s chillingly stated goal for dominion in America when Omar Ahmad, the co-founder of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), unabashedly stated: "Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

With the Primacy of Christ clearly preached - with a ‘candle not hidden under a basket’ and ‘a house built upon a rock’ - this issue of fanatical Muslims and their maniacal reliance on the teachings of a false prophet and a demon spirit, blasphemed as the ‘God of Abraham’, will no longer need to be debated in these troubled times.

John Wesley, 18th C Christian theologian and the father of Methodism knew well the evil danger of this false religion of Islam when he said:
"Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it...have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind."

Just stick to the basics, Matt, and all will turn out well. Take courage, brother, and God’s blessings upon you.

6:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home