ONTARIO, California. Worshippers said two women threw the three legs onto the driveway of the proposed Al-Nur Islamic Center in Ontario shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday and sped away in a white pickup.

NORTH SMITHFIELD, Rhode Island. Muslims from a North Smithfield mosque are asking for extra protection after a sign outside their place of worship was vandalized over the weekend. North Smithfield police confirmed they are studying surveillance video recorded around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. That’s when a person was seen driving into the mosque’s parking lot and smashing the sign with a hammer.

MORTON GROVE, Illinois. The shots were heard by worshipers who were outside the mosque and were powerful enough to damage the building’s brick wall.

LOMBARD, Illinois. The prepertrators hurled a 7-Up bottled filled with acid at the school during Ramadan prayers.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma. Authorities are investigating after vandals fired paintballs at an Oklahoma City mosque. ‘A car pulled here in front of the main entrance and started shooting paintball guns, but at the time, I didn’t know it was that. I thought it was bullets they were shooting into the building.’

JOPLIN, Missouri. A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center.

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee. They’d waited more than two years for the opening of their new Islamic center, delayed by legal wrangling and anti-Muslim sentiment that surfaced through protests, arson and vandalism.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey didn’t mince words.

‘You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult, whatever you want to call it,’ he said during his failed run for governor.

A sign announcing the new center was vandalized. The message said: ‘Not welcome.’

This is outright terrorism. Why aren’t media outlets and political figures discussing this like other crimes are discussed? If this had happened to a non-Muslim white body by a Muslim, the entire media would have gone insane with its coverage, politicians would have denounced constantly and clearly the danger of Islamic terrorism but now that Muslims communities are being attacked with vandalism, air rifle shootings and acid among other forms of violence, I don’t hear anyone except the communities themselves crying for help.

Why can’t I hear you, America?

and with the possibility of the next president having all the cultural tact of Pol Pot’s right leg I do feel sorry for all you guys stateside. Lord have mercy.

What could be more sinful than the assumption that our guilt might tell us something interesting about our sin?
Stanley Hauerwas, A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity
Christians understand that our lives are gifts, not achievements. By that we mean that we are completely vulnerable, dependent, creatures of a gracious God who has “storied” us prior to any choices we might make. We call rebellion against our giftedness”sin.” Sin is part of the story we must tell about our lives if we are to be truthful. Therefore we need friends in order to learn to tell the truth about our lives; otherwise we are tempted toward delusional stories about our righteousness.
Consequently, friendship for Christians in both a necessary activity for the discovery that we are less than we were meant to be and the resource to start us on the journey through which we become what we were created to be.
Stanley Hauerwas, A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity
I know how I’m voting in November!

I know how I’m voting in November!

Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into your head in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it’s a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly — who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the primacy of that love. We are made to be such people by our immersion in the material practices of Christian worship — through affective impact, over time, of sights and smell in water and wine.
James K.A. Smith (via mshedden)
The true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system.
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“The problem with debates about homosexuality is they have been devoid of any linguistic discipline that might give you some indication what is at stake. Methodism, for example, is more concerned with being inclusive than being the church. We do not have the slightest idea what we mean by being inclusive other than some vague idea that inclusivity has something to do with being accepting and loving. Inclusivity is, of course, a necessary strategy for survival in what is religiously a buyers’ market. Even worse, the inclusive church is captured by romantic notions of marriage. Combine inclusivity and romanticism and you have no reason to deny marriage between gay people.

When couples come to ministers to talk about their marriage ceremonies, ministers think it’s interesting to ask if they love one another. What a stupid question! How would they know? A Christian marriage isn’t about whether you’re in love. Christian marriage is giving you the practice of fidelity over a lifetime in which you can look back upon the marriage and call it love. It is a hard discipline over many years.

The difficulty, therefore, is that Christians, when they approach this issue, no longer know what marriage is. For centuries, Christians married people who didn’t know one another until the marriage ceremony, and we knew they were going to have sex that night. They didn’t know one another. Where does all this love stuff come from? They could have sex because they were married.

Now, when marriage becomes a mutually enhancing arrangement until something goes wrong, then it makes no sense at all to oppose homosexual marriages. If marriage is a calling that makes promises of lifelong monogamous fidelity in which children are welcomed, then we’ve got a problem. But we can’t even get to a discussion there, because Christians no longer practice Christian marriage.

What has made it particularly hard is that the divorce culture has made it impossible for us to talk about these matters–and many of you know, I’m divorced and remarried. It has made it impossible for us to talk about these matters with an honesty and candor that is required if you are not to indulge in self-deceptive, sentimental lies.

For gay Christians who I know and love, I wish we as Christians could come up with some way to help them, like we need to help one another, to avoid the sexual wilderness in which we live. That’s a worthy task. I probably sound like a conservative on these matters, not because I’ve got some deep animosity toward gay people, but because I don’t know how to go forward given the current marriage practices of our culture.”

Stanley Hauerwas


Ask yourself: If that is what Jesus is all about—getting us to love one another—why did everyone reject him? They did so, I think, because when Jesus was told by the devil he would be given the power to turn stones to bread, he refused; when Jesus was offered authority over all the kingdoms of this world, he refused; when he was offered the possibility he would not die, he refused. Note that Jesus was offered the means to feed the hungry, the authority to end war between peoples, and even the defeat of death itself. But he refused these goods. He did so because Jesus knows God’s kingdom cannot be forced into existence with the devil’s means.
Stanley Hauerwas, 


We are so concerned to say at once, if anyone even suggests such an idea, that we are imperfect, weak, frail, that we fail and sin and fear and fall. And of course all that is true. But read Paul again, read John again, and discover that we are cracked vessels full of glory, wounded healers. God forgive us that we have imagined true humanness, after the Enlightenment model, to mean being successful, having it all together, knowing all the answers, never making mistakes, striding through the world as though we owned it. The living God revealed his glory in Jesus and never more clearly than when he died on the cross, crying out that he had been forsaken. When we stand in pain and prayer, following Christ and reshaping our world, we are not only discovering what it means to be truly human, we are discovering the true meaning of what the Eastern Orthodox Church refers to as “divinization.”
N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Easter
There is no reason for fear because the worst thing imaginable already happened - God died. But overcame through resurrection. The gospels are full of apocalyptic language to describe the death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s because when Jesus was resurrected, the world itself fundamentally changed. The cosmos was altered. Our task at Easter is not to change the world, but to wake people up to see that resurrection has changed the world already.
Jonathan Martin