Home > Uncategorized > Jihad, Burning Police Cars, and Coffee

Jihad, Burning Police Cars, and Coffee

Bill is a regular at the Way Cup Cafe.  We’ve talked about various things…sometimes faith, sometimes sports, sometimes shoes (he likes his shoes shiny).  He’s from the South and has the accent and respectful manner that usually accompanies a man from the South.  We certainly see most things differently, but we are still friends.  Here’s a conversation that happened just this morning:

“You’re a man of the cloth, mind if I ask you a few questions about this jihad stuff?”

“Sure…I don’t know how much I’ll be able to help.”

“Here in this magazine there’s a picture of little children throwing rocks because of that movie they made in California.  Doesn’t that go against all that their religion tells ’em?  This just don’t make no sense to me.”

Now, I should mention that I have a bit of a relationship with this fellow.  He’s pretty average on the thoughtful scale – for an American…so…not the most impressive.  I know what he’s looking for me to say, pretty sure he would like for me to reaffirm his feelings about Islam – which are not positive to say the least.

“These people are teaching their kids to hate and to be violent.  The Bible would never teach that kind of thing.  I jist don’t get it.”

I choose my words judiciously and we have a conversation about extremism and we talk about children being raised to act like their parents – whether Christian or Muslim.  Unfortunately, I get a chance to list off a bunch of extremist acts by Christians as examples.  We even talk about the Koran and how some people feel about the Koran how he feels about Jesus.  Well, to say the least he was unimpressed by my response.  He said I must be one of them “political preachers who pick just he right words and don’t talk plain.”  I guess the “right words” were the wrong words for him.

He proceeded to sit back down at the counter and chat with some other folks.  Here’s what I overheard (and I didn’t have to strain to hear him):

“Did you hear about this police (His accent makes him say PO-lease) car thing?  Somebody went and burned two POlease cars right in the POlease station lot.  Wish I knew who done it.”

I think to myself, ‘Me too, I’d turn them in.’  This isn’t what he was thinking…and saying.

“I’d like to shake their hands!  Proud as can be of whoever did that, nobody deserves it more than them guys.”

I’m dumbfounded.  If I had a picture in a magazine of burning POlease cars, I would probably ask the same questions he was asking about them “Mooslems” (his pronunciation, not mine).  The irony just flabbergasted me.  There wasn’t a 45 second turn around from him angry about violence and then condoning it.

Here’s what I have to say about this whole interaction: My Kingdom for a Mirror.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Stephanie Thomsen
    September 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    WORD!! Beautiful word picture to tell of something I think of all the time. We all need to examine our own prejudices. Are they bigotry? Are they how Jesus told us to behave? Are we casting the first stone? Should the stone bounce back and hit us right between the eyes? Look at the whole picture. Then look at yourself. That mirror might be showing something we won’t like so much.

    Thanks James! You have provided just the right story for a conversation I’m having with a family member. Way to go!

    Stephanie Thomsen
    Registrar
    Warm Beach Christian Camps & Conference Center
    20800 Marine Drive
    Stanwood, WA, 98292
    360-652-7575 ext. 2250
    1-800-228-6724
    sthomsen@warmbeach.com

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