While the nation continues to mourn over the senseless Fort Hood tragedy last week,

While the nation continues to mourn over the senseless Fort Hood tragedy last week, let us be cautious about jumping to at least one conclusion. Thirteen families grieve the deaths of their soldier loved ones tragically killed on homeland soil, and one family grieves the yet inexplicable actions of a loved soldier who “snapped” into that killer. But exacerbating the post-mortem analysis is the fact that the alleged killer was not only an Army psychiatrist, but a Muslim, soon to be deployed to Afghanistan. Was it Nidal Hasan’s faith that prompted his actions?

Some say Yes. Why else would the killer reportedly have been shouting, “Allahu Akbar” (God is great!), as he sprayed his deadly fire? While I am not defending this American Muslim soldier’s betrayal and actions, I am, as a member of a minority faith community myself, concerned with how quickly elements of the public and press can raise insinuations against a misunderstood minority religion. How quickly those who share the same minority faith convictions can become suspect in the eyes of the larger community. President Obama, in his eulogy this week at the Fort Hood memorial service for the victims, carefully threaded the needle upon which public opinion seems to teeter: “‘No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts. No just and loving god looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice—in this world, and in the next’” (South Bend Tribune 11-11-09).

And what would be our just response to Muslims, whether neighbors or strangers to us? To live by Jesus’ Golden Rule, whereby we treat them with the same fairness and understanding we would want to be treated with were another David Koresh of Waco infamy to rise up and claim kinship with our own community of faith. I.e., the vast majority of any community of faith is a God-devoted, faith-filled part of our human family. And while our faith understandings differ and our perspectives about God/Allah are not always alike, nevertheless we can and must affirm the common ties of faith in God, compassion to all, and hope born of the belief that the Holy Book of God promises a better day for his earth children. If tragedies such as this one could become the catalyst for our own intentional (though halting) efforts to reach out to the Muslims we may yet meet and come to know, imagine the good that God himself might yet bring.

“For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15) It’s that “how much more” that will yet “overflow to the many” that must spur us on to love even as God does, no matter which grieving family we belong to.

Comments

This world is full of such actions, devasating the lives of those innocently involved; as you alluded to the similar tragedy of those affected by the course of action of David Koresh, both bringing shame and tragedy to not only the close families of the misguided individuals, but also to those fellow believers of the faith they espouse. The presumption on the part of Karesh to call himself the Christ, and the miss-guided finaticism on the part of Hasan, to a Christian believer in the One True God, reveals a glaring lack, the presence and sweet guiding influence in the mind and heart of the loving Holy Spirit, without whom, none of us would be very much better. Our prayers should go out to all those devastated by this latest tragedy,that through it, they might be brought to a knowledge and a relationship with the One and Only soon coming Savior Jesus Christ

Isn't it remarkable that the Abomination of Desolation has a half brother who continually opposes him? From his first incarnation in the 6th century, along came Islam in the 7th (a faith which also subscribes to the dogma of religion over state) as a torn in his side and against which he waged an endless series of crusades to recapture Jerusalem. As well, in a topsy turvy way, just as the Papacy imagines himself to be "Isaac" so Islam imagines himself to be "Ishmael"! Didn't the Papacy die in 1798, was buried in 1799 and resurrected in 1801? Didn't he declare herself the infallible Vicar of the Son of God in 1869, the shepherd of the kings of the whole world? Now something strange indeed has happened since then. Freed of the body of Europe, he travels the whole world! All of a sudden, he finds a home in the United States of America and as sure as night follows day, in much the same way as he did Europe, Islam again pummels the USA relentlessly as the Great Satan. Woe be unto those who are consumed by a hatred of the Muslims, for they are as those who love the Papacy and would join in any crusade to recapture what they imagine is “Jerusalem.” Then when they open their eyes and see their error, pride for many would be their stumbling block. But who really are the “Jews, the children of Israel”? I wonder. And why are they so blinded by the exploits of the detractors away from he who masquerades himself as the representative of Christ on earth? I wonder.

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