Making Fun of God

William Saletan of Slate.com posted some helpful thoughts the other day about the wave of religious-based violence now sweeping the Muslim world.  He says this:

Dear Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Jews,

You’re living in the age of the Internet. Your religion will be mocked, and the mockery will find its way to you. Get over it.

If you don’t, what’s happening this week will happen again and again. A couple of idiots with a video camera and an Internet connection will trigger riots across the globe. They’ll bait you into killing one another.

Stop it. Stop following their script.

Bingo, I say.  Yet I’d go further than that.  While murder in the name of faith is utter reprehensible nonsense, there are a lot of other things that angry people do in the name of religion that just need to stop as well.   Some “idiots” that ought to consider their foolish actions, no matter the faith.  Since I’m a Christian minister and a Church historian, let me remind my fellow co-religionists: we are called to be servants, to be humble, to turn the other cheek…not bring reproach upon our faith and our Lord by any of our actions (murder, violence, assininity, or just plain ignorant actions and incomprehensible boorishness).

The earliest believers, when faced with a hostile empire around them that mocked and misunderstood them, chose to offer themselves up as witnesses.  Except they called them martyrs in those days…and by their actions gave the word the meaning we ascribe it today.

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