Terrorism is in the news again as seen in the tragic bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. This man-made disaster gives a time to reflect on terrorism---as we continue to pray for the victims of the bombing.
By now we have probably all heard about the infamous slide presented at a US Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on religious extremism. They had a slide with the title “Religious Extremism.” (The slide is reproduced below).
First on the list was Evangelical Christianity (U.S. Christians). Fifth on the list was Al Qaeda. Later on the list was Catholicism (U.S. Christians). At the end of the list was Islamophobia.
There are millions of evangelical Christians in this country, as well as Catholics. To label them as haters and as dangerous boggles the mind. Many of them pray daily, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Or “…where there is hatred, let me sow love…” Where’s the hate?
Some have said that the Army person putting this slide together traced her information back to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), based in Montgomery, Alabama.
One of the groups who sued former (and current) Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for having the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) on display at the state judiciary building in Montgomery was the SPLC. Prominent on their own building are words also carved in stone, attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Let justice roll down…” These are words of Amos 5, also in the Bible.
Dr. King’s church, Dexter Avenue Baptist, is just down the street from the judiciary building. It was in that church that the civil rights movement was born---when a group met there in the mid-1950s to deal with the injustice that had just been meted out to Rosa Parks.
The word “hate” is bandied about these days to the point that it may be losing its meaning. People who love are often called haters because they don’t hold to the latest politically correct view on what marriage is or on abortion. Real hate blows up people, total strangers no less.
Meanwhile, SPLC says on their website: “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.” Sounds great, until you look at their map of “hate.”
Click on any of the states, and you’ll see listed organizations branded as hate groups. I work at one of them, Truth in Action Ministries. We’re right there with “United Klans of America,” an offshoot of the KKK.