Maybe twenty years ago I invited a Jewish Rabbi to speak at Memorial on a Sunday evening; and yes, from the pulpit. He had a message I felt our people needed to hear. It was far ahead of 9/11, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His message was one: the Muslim world is comprised of only 1% radicals; but we better believe they are one mean batch. Ironically, 1% of Memorial’s membership got mad and left us because we had a Rabbi speak at our place.
When I saw Mike Huckabee’s recent interview with Bill Maher the “Few Percent” principle leaped out at me once again. He has built his argument and his movie upon the assumption that all religion is what just a few percent reflect. This is not only a big mistake for Mr. Maher, it’s a big mistake for us if we practice judging anything by the fewest percent who happen to be ridiculous or radical.
Do you struggle as I with suspicion toward the Muslims? Do you find yourself not trusting those who say they are peaceful? Do you believe that given enough rope they’ll hang us? I viewed all with great suspicion…until I watched Maher’s interview. I now must reevaluate.
I do to the Muslims what atheists do to Christianity. They (atheists) run to report the abuse, the immoral, the warring, and speak with apparent intelligence that this is what God does for you. Why can they not peruse the larger percent of the upright instead of the renegade? Why is this? Because they are not interested in truth, they build a defense to fit their preconceived ignorance. That trait is found in me….maybe in us.
Why is the Bible rejected? Partly because 1% pounded people over the head with it? Why is the topic of giving the laughing stock of unbelieving coffee shop patrons? Is it because 1% (possibly television evangelists) abuse it?
We keep our faith. We don’t melt any of God’s truth away. We don’t jump to all religions as being right with God. But it is always right to judge others upon truth rather than gage any by those few percent who make a mockery within every brand and tribe. Jesus, for me, will always be the only way, the truth, and the life. His call for loving our neighbors, though, needs to find expansion in places. I find I may have judged all by the antics of the few. We even do it among ourselves.