“Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) M.E. wonders why more Muslim leaders aren’t speaking out against the radicals in their faith. This leads me to wonder why more of us aren’t speaking out against the bigotry, racism and classism that is being expressed so openly these days. We could say and do more, that’s for sure. Bonhoeffer risked/gave his life by speaking and acting as a Christian in Nazi Germany. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: I have been speaking out to my friends on FB....and have lost some friends as a result....the feelings in this country are pretty intense====JACK: Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." I tried to couch the message in such a way that readers could connect the dots.
====JOHN: The most frightening person out there is not Donald Trump....the real threat is Ted Cruz who is a ruthless seeker of power and a clever manipulator of both people and the truth.....he is potentially our Hitler.
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good words.====JACK: I like the old saying..."When you point a finger at someone (or issue), their are three fingers pointing back at you."
FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: I read a book about him – “Saints and Villains” - it was excellent although I think it was a fictional account of his life.====JACK: Yes, it was fiction, but, in reality, "truth is stranger than fiction." How many people would be willing to give up their life for a cause? There are some, but most of us tend to be cowards.
FROM LH: What a wise and brave man Bonhoeffer was. My dad had a lot of respect for him and taught his girls about Bonhoeffer's courage during WWII and how the world had lost a great man to execution so shortly before the war’s end. It is coincidental that there is mention in your "W.W.” today of Muslim leaders not speaking out against the radicals. Only a few days ago I queried my Muslim neighbor about this. He told me that there is a media coverage problem, at least in Detroit. For example, several weeks ago his imam and several others in S.E. Michigan hosted a large gathering, which many state senators and representatives, metro area county leaders (like L. Brooks Patterson), and other dignitaries attended. The imams spoke out strongly against the radicals. Despite all the dignitaries having been present there was absolutely no press coverage. He was extremely frustrated. As he said, good news doesn’t sell newspapers. I did suggest to him, that in the future the Muslim leaders ask they attending dignitaries to contact the media ahead of time and to request coverage. Perhaps the media would not ignore the politicians.====JACK: No coincidence! What is NEWS? Trump talking about Muslims, or Muslims talking about Muslims?
FROM DR JUDY: This is is a twist I hadn't heard before. WELL DONE!!!!====JACK: I like "twists." Maybe that's why I like the writings of O. Henry.
FROM TARMART REV: Trying to be Christ-like, loving God whole-heartedly and my neighbors as myself . . . so many of the Jews during His day were mistreated, cast into slavery, martyred and even had their babies killed by the government . . . I can only remember Jesus calling Herod a fox and jumping all over the "religiously pious" of his day--a couple of His disciples (weren't they known as Sons of Thunder) wanted to bring down fire on those who were mistreating them and He is found constraining them. He spent most of His time out with those enslaved, sick, outcast from society and in need of a loving God who loves all mankind and in turn trained and sent out His disciples to do likewise . . . hopefully I am found doing the same. Not finding too many ears to hear, but many more receiving my love and respect for them as a person created by God in His image.====JACK: You don't hear many of today's politicians talking about, "love." Why do suppose that is?====REV: I understand one's feeling that I am a doomsday prophet . . . but I honestly believe for the present time, God has turned the United States over to its desire to keep Him on the sidelines and their desire to be all-inclusive to everyone's own agenda. One gentleman from our church owns three Dairy Queen' stores in our area and has placed Merry CHRISTmas on his display sign out front. He told me he receives probably twenty positive reactions to a negative thrown in . . . one lady called and asked how he could afford to be so offensive to those driving by . . . his response was, "In America now days, no one can afford not to be offended about something or someone!" We live with constant complaints nowadays, whether politically, religiously, ethically, etc.--someone is offended and expresses it, demonstrates against it, and even acts out with displeasure in unlawful ways at times.====JACK: As the song goes..."What the world needs now is love." That lyric was written by Bacharach and David in 1965. Times change, but the need remains. Thanks for bringing love into the lives of some people. Thanks for allowing me to rant and rave-- I feel a relief of sorts and will now go out into out community giving away anonymous gifts of Christmas money to hopefully some families who can really appreciate it this Christmas-- received a total of $3700.00 and have broken the envelopes down with $50 and $100 increments. I'm really a teddy bear, Jack!
FROM LG: Bonhoeffer is a hero... One of my favorite role models of courage in the face of fear... ====JACK: Our heroes are generally those do and say the things we would do and say...if we had their courage. We tend to be like the lion in the Wizard of Oz.
FROM TRIHARDER: No decision is a decision.====JACK: If one believes in a "final judgment," there is a decision. I believe in a "final decision" that is not what we would expect...harsh or lenient. The wrong will fail; the right will prevail.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: We were talking about this kind of thing last night in Bible study. Specifically, we were talking about Noah and what was his thinking as God was telling him to build an ark and that all the people around him, except for his family, were going to be destroyed. A couple of years ago, in Bible study, we read a book about "Love Wins All" --I believe was the title--NY Times bestseller in the reviews--something to the effect that all were going to be eventually in heaven or something. I believe we are living in a very pluralistic culture and have a real fear of "demonizing" others or thinking in terms of "black and white", deep down believing it's more rational to think in terms of "gray" I think maybe, if we were Noah, we would have had an extremely hard time believing--and further acting upon--the mindset that so many people should--in God's plan--be destroyed. We're hamstrung by our spirituality of loving and not being judgmental, that we're also having trouble discerning the motivations and intentions of others to harm and destroy. But that seems to be the way that everything that is really brutal and traumatic starts--with the banality of not being able to see evil until the evil gets so big it's impossible to miss seeing it. And then a big flood happens. God's hands in the mix.====JACK: Given enough time, Love wins! I believe that book was written by Rob Bell. Another book of his that I recommend is, "What We Talk About When We Talk About God." Good and evil are in the eye of the beholder. God knows! Maybe that's why sometimes he's pictured as a gigantic eye.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: where have you been for nearly eight years? that is ALL that has been talked about! where did the confederate flag go, overnight? if anyone disagrees w/obama they are racist. the police are racist. christians are homophobes. gender equality... blah, blah, blah... while our country is in the worst shape ever. more importantly, why don't muslim countries help their own? ====JACK: "Us" in the WW comment is meant to be you...and me.====LIZ: i speak out every day against injustice via my fb page/blog. injustice such as black lives matter thinking they can shut down the mall of america w/their racial hatred. injustice such as thai slaves held captive to peel shrimp sold in US supermarkets. injustice such as jobs going overseas bc other countries have slave labor /which we can't compete. sooo ... pls don't lecture me.====JACK: I didn't mean it to be a lecture. If indeed it was a lecture, it would be a lecture to myself, because I find that I am not speaking out enough about the injustices that are going on around us...like the ones you described, and more.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: Amen! You raise a wonderful, thought provoking question.====JACK: It seems to have been a "provoking" WWs today with far more blog responses than usual. Use the word, Muslim, and you will usually get attention. One of the kindest persons I know is an Islamic
Imam. Yes, there are bad Muslims, but there are some Christians who are an embarrassment, too.
FROM FLYIN' CHUCK: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..... Rush (the band). Not Limbaugh!!====JACK: One of the great gifts of God is Free-Will....which means that we are responsible for the choices we make. I YouTubed Rush to hear "your" music.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: A life taken too soon, when you consider the impact he could have had on the post war world; We definitely need the Bonhoeffer's of the world who will lead in speaking out, and lay life on the line in so doing. His influence on the world remains extensive, even post-death. Thank goodness he did write things down! I was told by a fellow (Muslim) teacher that most American Muslims have relatives in the "old" country, and they fear retaliation on them, if they openly criticize the fanatic Muslims, and become a known name to Isis or earlier fanatical sects. They are known to be ruthless in tracking enemies down. As the person in your blog pointed out, too, Muslims speaking out against Muslims, doesn't garner news time, although our Springfield Muslims just had a big gathering, inviting non-Muslims to join them, and get to know your Muslim neighbors, and it seemed to be a success...with hundreds participating. The newspaper here gave it full page cover.====JACK: The possible retaliation against Muslim relatives could be a justification for not speaking out openly. If the shoe were on the other foot (our foot), I think that we might be careful with what we were to say. Every problem does not necessarily have black or white answers.
FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: Your daily thought is very helpful.====JACK: When the preacher preaches, he/she tries to make the words helpful.
FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: That does not surprise me. Hard questions are seldom completely answered. I am not a big reader and should read more about such hard questions. Thank you for what you have provided. I am certainly not as politically correct as I should be. Personally, I think our world has become so politically correct, many, if not most, are afraid to confront others with unpleasant truths. However, I remain troubled by the silence of the Muslim masses, particularly the Islamic clergy as a whole, and of our political and religious leaders as well for the same reason, as well as the other excellent reasons you mentioned earlier today. My fundamental problem with religion in general is that in practice, it historically becomes exclusive, rather than inclusive as the “golden rule” would have it. That same intolerance and exclusiveness is at least one of the driving forces behind the radical Islamic extremists. With that heavy comment on the deafening silence, I turn to the season and again wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for continuing to be a very important moral compass in my life.====JACK: There's not enough face to face contact and discussion these days. Too often the discussion is between people hiding behind computer-generated words. The next time I see him, I'm going to ask my Imam friend that question you have raised. Stay tuned!