I AM A CHRISTIAN TOO
I resent simplistic stereo-type. In the Globe and Mail on Saturday, November 3, Jian Ghomeshi writes that “Argo” is an excellent movie but doesn’t like it because all Iranians are depicted negatively. My 10 year old daughter was often asked by her schoolmates, “How come you are not good in Math?” She wasn’t. The stereo type in Switzerland was all Koreans and Japanese are good in Math. Wrong!
Before her name was in the mud for plagiarism, the Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente accused the United Church of Canada of being too much social activist. She said that was why membership is declining. She must have forgotten that churches have always been activist throughout history. It’s called prophetic ministry. Religion is not only for personal salvation. It also is very concerned about justice. Read Prophet Amos.
Many Christians do not reject evolution and are not Pro-Life. Then how come the adjective “Christian” is often applied only to one type of Christians. Muslims suffer the stereo-type characterization of “extremists.” Most of them are not. Members of the LDS Church are often labelled “cult” despite their best Christmas pageant and nativity scene. They are Christians too as the name “the Church of Jesus Christ” indicates. When I lived in Jerusalem in 2003, I met many patriotic Zionist Israelis who were against the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. Read an Israeli daily “Ha’aretz.” The First Nations suffer from the stereo-type the most. Stereo-typing people is not fair and is wrong. Democracy can be destroyed by bigoted xenophobia and racism.
The recent United Church policy statement about the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories, was branded as a political action not fitting to be called a Christian Church. Those critics forget that there is always a strong belief in Social Gospel. 19th Century Bishop William Temple was a recent pioneer. Salvation Army was another. Stanley Knowles (United Church), Tommy Douglas (Baptist) were both ministers who believed that the Gospel must be the good news in society. In fact, the CCF party (the current NDP) was the only one who opposed the War Measures Act imposed on Japanese-Canadians during the World War II.
All religions have personal and social applications. Hebrews called them priestly and prophetic functions. One size does not fit all. People are different.