Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pastor reports prayers of Christians and Muslims together in Phoenix after Geller's contest

Today, at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, a guest pastor, Dr. Michael Catlett, from the McLean Baptist Church, in a sermon “A Matter of Expectations” (maybe inspired by the title of Charles Dickens’s novel “Great Expectations”) spoke about the event in Phoenix AZ recently, the “cartoon drawing contest” sponsored by Pamela Geller , reported by CNN here
Although protests were vocal on both sides and a heavy law enforcement presence was necessary, there were instances of Christians and Muslims praying together, which Dr. Catlett reported in the sermon.  Some Christians did visit the Mosque to experience Muslim prayers.  We need to see this more often.

I do think that Geller is right, that the cartoon controversy can lead to existential challenges to free speech, where it can be regulated (in real life) by hecklers and bullies. But that, in another area, is why we need anti-SLAPP laws.  
CNN also explains the Muslim ban on images of the prophet Muhammad here.  It is called a “reverse idol-worship”, predicated on the absence of an image.  The ban is not explicit in the Koran, but often stated by Islamic scholars, as even extending to Jesus and Moses, and in fact mosques normally don’t contain human images at all.
The whole idea of the headdress or burqa in Muslim culture seems to reinforce modesty, and keep sexual thoughts and fantasies reserved only for marriage (even if plural) and procreation – very much like Vatican theology. 
Back in the early 1950s, in third grade, we had religious classes in public school sometimes at the end of the day.  That is no longer possible, of course.  But I recall once, in third grade, writing down “I have idols.”  I did.


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