Just when you thought you couldn’t stand any more negativity, along comes a redemptive moment.
Christians, Muslims, and Jews are standing in solidarity against Lowe’s decision to pull their advertising from TLC’s “All American Muslim.” About 100 protesters showed up yesterday chanting “God Bless America and shame on Lowe’s!”
The Christian Post reported:
“We’ve seen Christian groups as well as Jewish and other interfaith groups come out and stand up against this bigotry. It’s been a very diverse show of support.”
The Rev. Charles Williams of Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit called FFA a “fringe group trying to spread hatred.”
Williams believes FFA is drumming up “Islamaphobia” as a way to reach their extreme political agenda.
The Detroit minister argues that FFA is spreading the “misperception that Christians are intolerant of Islam.” He went on to say that the Christian and Islamic communities in Dearborn have a very good relationship and that they frequently work together on certain issues. Actions like this, Williams said, serve just to drive a wedge between Christianity, the political left and right, and society as a whole.
“It does no good for anyone.”
Demonstrating the best in their respective faiths by supporting respect for all faiths, the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) in conjunction with the Highland Park NAACP and civil rights groups held a demonstration in Allen Park, Michigan calling on all people of “conscience” to join them in calling for religious tolerance against bigotry.
100 people showed up in Allen Park yesterday, chanting “God Bless America and shame on Lowe’s!” They were met with counter-protesters who defended Lowe’s rights as a business to do as it pleases with its money (corporations are people!), which was an ironic nod toward the professed Randian “values” of the conservative Christian group behind the move to get advertisers to pull their ads. Who’s going to tell them of Ayn Rand’s contempt for religion? Ah, this is not the place for logic. Move along, friends.
And by the way, it wasn’t just Lowe’s.
The Florida Family Association has said more than 60 companies it emailed, from Amazon to McDonalds, pulled their ads from the show, but Lowe’s is the only major company so far to confirm that it had done so.
The Right wing has repeatedly attacked Dearborn, Michigan as being under Sharia law (fear!) due to the large population of Muslims of many different ethnicities, demonstrating their ignorance in equal measure with their hatred. In the past they’ve been joined by Quran burning Terry Jones in this line of attack, if that gives you any idea just how far off the mark they are.
As Blackliberalboomer pointed out days ago on PoliticusUSA, “By the way, the popular current mayor of Dearborn, John “Jack” O’Reilly, is an Irish-Catholic, the son of another former Dearborn mayor, and has repeatedly stated that Dearborn is not ruled by “Sharia Law”—another one of the “red meat” lies perpetrated by some in the United States. As a matter of fact, Arab Muslims in Dearborn are only about 30% of the total population of Dearborn.”
Fox News and the self-identified “conservative Christian” FFA join together in a siren call of hate and fear-mongering whenever there is even a remote suggestion of religious tolerance, worriedly sniffing out the possibility of peace so they can stomp it out lest it be tasted (and desired) by the masses. The FFA claims that TLC was trying to mainline a dangerous religion. Of course, this wouldn’t be TLC’s first go around at that, what with the Duggar’s quiverfull “19 Kids and Counting” and Sarah Palin’s Alaska (funded in large portions by the American taxpayer, I might add).
But in reality, Geller and the FFA completely miss the point of the show.
Because people like Pamela Geller, Fox News and the FFA spend their energy whipping up Islamphobia for money, TLC realized that there was a niche doing a show of five All American Muslim families just going about their business like — gasp!– other human beings. Geller (devotee of Ayn Rand’s anti-Judeo-Christian worship of selfishness as a virtue) countered by saying that the show “doesn’t deal with the kind of Muslims who would ever have caused anyone any concern in the first place.”
In other words, Geller doesn’t want a show countering the propaganda she and Fox and the FFA work hard to produce. They don’t want Americans seeing the people who “wouldn’t cause concern” in the first place, which is the equivalent of letting Anders Breivik represent all Christians and objecting if someone made a TV show about Christians who weren’t terrorists.
Logic is not a strong force with these folks.
Not only are they incorrect about Sharia law running Dearborn, but they are missing the larger point that Dearborn is surrounded by communities with large Jewish populations as well as Christians. Here’s a shocking notion: these communities frequently work together, peacefully and with respect for one another, in order to bring about positive change. They also support one another’s right to practice their chosen faith, which speaks to their respect for one of the most important foundations of our country.
I would invite the alleged Christians from FFA to come up to Dearborn, Michigan before they spread hate and fear, but we realize that nothing will stop them from misusing fear in order to further their political agenda. Ironically, as Rev. Charles Williams pointed out, “There’s a misperception that these fringe groups represent the ideals and perspectives of conservatives and Christians. They are not the authority on Christianity and do not have the moral compass to be one.”
When the fruits of your tree are division, fear, rage and intolerance, you most certainly don’t have the moral compass to be claiming authority on Jesus Christ.
While I gave up organized religion a long time ago, nothing inspires me more than seeing faith leaders rise up in solidarity to uphold freedom of religion and tolerance for all faiths. It’s enough to make me want to stop by for a few gospel songs next Sunday.
And that is what a demonstration of real faith is supposed to do; it’s supposed to compel others to it through its deeds. Organizations like the FFA are nothing but political machines dressed up as a religion of hate. Unfortunately, they get all of the press for the Christian faith.
Today, we’re giving some press to those who walk their talk and lead the way for the lost; it is possible to live peacefully among each other, as our founders imagined. The Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Detroit suburbs have been doing it for a long time.
Image: KOMO News