We hear it from Ward Churchill proteges and our most-progressive friends and colleagues. White male American Christian capitalists are intolerant of other cultures and religions, and they must stop trying to boorishly dominate the world.
It’s a drum beat that never stops.
Christianity may be the most openly blasphemed religion in the world today, yet it’s American Christians who walk on eggshells in a valiant effort to respect other cultures and religions of the world.
When the Rev. Terry Jones planned to burn Qurans, American Christians begged him not to. New Jersey car dealer Brad Benson will give Jones a 2011 Hyundai Accent for deciding against burning the Quran. Jones has said he will donate the car to an organization that helps abused Muslim women.
And this country is evil? No, this country is great.
In other parts of the world, religious tensions play out differently. Ten months ago, Muslims in Pakistan killed six Christians, including a child, because a baseless rumor told of desecrated Qurans in a Pakistani village. Dozens were wounded, 40 houses burned, and a church was destroyed.
Back in the United States, about the same time, crosses belonging to a Christian group at the private George Washington University in Washington were desecrated. One was stuffed into a condom and hung upsidedown. A vandal used a permanent marker to write “take a condom” on another cross. “Darwin” was written on another. A marker-drawn Jesus was portrayed disrespectfully on another vandalized cross. The desecration incited no hint of violence.
As a Catholic organization assembled peacefully at the New Hampshire capitol building in 2009, defending their views about traditional marriage, a man who didn’t like their message walked up and said “(expletive) your Bible.” He tore up the Bible and threw pages of it in the faces of the protesters. Pages blew through the streets, and Catholics responded with nothing more than “you’re littering.” Another man confronted the Catholics and said “I smoked a joint with pages of the Bible.”
The U.S. military burned Bibles last year after the books were sent to Afghanistan by a church in the United States. Our government officials burned the sacred texts because they were concerned the Bibles might circulate, which “could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Write, as quoted by CNN. Christians didn’t revolt, and generally understood the decision.
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has made a routine of burning the Bible during rock concerts, often in government-owned arenas. If Manson had made millions with Quran-burning concerts, he would almost certainly be dead.
The burning of Bibles and desecrations of Christian symbols are all over YouTube; Quran desecrations are not.
Christians even put up with routine episodes in which their tax dollars pay for government-funded assaults on Christianity.
Christians deserve respect for remaining cool when their most sacred images come under attack. They deserve respect for refusing to tolerate the desecration of sacred symbols belonging to other religions. They deserve respect for standing behind the president of the United States and the secretary of state, each a Christian, in condemning plans for a Quran burning. They should give thanks that one man’s decision to not to burn a Quran will result in a donation to help abused Muslim women.
Christian American capitalists, though routinely maligned, have set some positive examples for the rest of the world.