National Prayer Breakfast 2015
The national press covered the reaction of right-wing Christians to President Obama’s remarks about the Crusades. I have studied the issue enough to know that many Islamic believers regard the atrocities as having happened “yesterday”. Many Christians do not understand this. One act of the Crusaders was to kill everyone in a village that just happened to be a Christian village. So they were killed for being Arabs, not for being of the Islamic faith. The memory lingers.
Now a newspaper clipping in the Skagit Valley Herald (Feb. 14, 2015) informs me of the sharp contrast in the two speakers on the program: NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip (I had never heard of him) and President Barack Obama.
Bear in mind that Waltrip and Obama made their remarks in front of the Dalai Lama.
Quoting Waltrip: “If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you don’t have a relationship, if he’s not the master of your life, if you’ve never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, if you are just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal, you’re going to go to hell.”
Let’s use the word “poppycock” today. The Dalai Lama has more spirituality in his little toe than do some individuals who hold Waltrip’s current viewpoint and you can quote me on that. Is Gandhi in hell? Not a chance.
President Obama, on the other hand, said (and I quote) “Beware, because faith can be twisted and distorted, used as a wedge or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it….
“Lest we get on our high horse (he could have said low horse) and think, this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, People committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
“We have to speak up against those who would misuse his name to justify oppression, or violence or hatred with that fierce certainty.”
AMEN and AMEN
Makes me wish that I did believe in the traditional hell. I have some candidates and some of them are self-professed “super” Christians. For those who don’t know, one of my favorite quotes is: “There is a hell and it is empty”. So there would be room for lots of souls.