Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
In these days of violence and fear, we too quickly lump/dump any perpetrator into one category: “ISLAMIST TERRORIST!” It is this type of fear-mongering which allows some of some of our political leaders to suggest a ban on all Muslims, and allows a religious leader to say, “If only more good people like me would carry guns we could do away with these Muslim people!”
The conviction and faith we need as we enter this New Year perhaps is spoken best by Jonathan Sacks, former chief Rabbi of the United Jewish Congregations of Great Britain: “Jews, Christians, Muslims, people of every faith, must stand together in defense of humanity, the sanctity of life, religious freedom, and the honor of God. To be a child of Abraham is to learn to respect the other children of Abraham, even if their way is not ours; their covenant is not ours; their understanding of God is different from ours. We must raise a generation of young Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others, to know that it is not piety, but sacrilege, to kill in the name of the God of life; hate in the name of the God of love; wage war in the name of the God of peace, and practice cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.”
Great God: unite the hearts of all your servants in this time of anxiety, fear, and violence. Remind us that it is only as we live in your love that fear is cast out, and all people can love and live in your peace.