I was saddened (and angered) to read this disturbing news: that recently a group of approximately 20 "Christian" Texans called the "Patriot Defense Foundation, Inc" decided to harass another group of Texans who are Muslim. The Muslim group traveled to the Texas capitol (Austin) for a Texas Muslim Capitol Day legislative advocacy event coordinated by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Many different groups host similar events; there are advocacy days sponsored by several different groups nearly every week during the Texas legislative session. This particular group consisted of a number of university students as well as families with young children and faith leaders.
It is hurtful to rehash the events that occurred that day, as they were cruel, bigoted, and completely unprovoked. The highlights include comparing the Muslim participants to Nazis, insulting the group during prayer, and uttering loud shouts and insults to interrupt a group of children who were singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" (the US National Anthem)!
While I'm sure that any Christian - any HUMAN - reading this is as horrified about this as I am, apparently at least one notable person seemingly agrees with this hate group masquerading as a Christian patriotic group...none other than Texas Representative Molly White. The Republican official left a message on her Facebook page that though she would not be in attendance at the protest, she intended to “leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws.”
I am glad that the Texas Speaker of the House and the Texas Governor voiced their support for ALL Texans and condemned the protesters. But that is not enough. Representative White's words and actions were unacceptable and need to be formally addressed and corrected through the proper channels built into our system. There is no room for anti-Islamic views in our state leadership, none. I am a woman of color; I know what it's like to be discriminated against. I will not implicitly support someone else doing the same. And I believe that she needs to publicly apologize to the group for her remarks as well, as she was very insulting and discriminatory.
But beyond that, it is not just Representative White who has a responsibility to right these wrongs. I am calling on my fellow Christian brothers and sisters too. We cannot be silent while such loathsome hate is committed under the name of "Christianity." That crap is NOT Christianity. Silence = acceptance; that's how it is perceived even if that is not what you feel about it. In the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 4:1 we need to act. We need to reach out and correct this wrong. And now.
I am providing the contact info for CAIR Texas, which is based in Houston. They organized the trip and would know how to forward messages to the attendees. Let's show these individuals - our fellow Texans - some REAL Christian fellowship and support. Send a brief message of encouragement and some words demonstrating solidarity with them, and support. Denounce the hateful acts of the protesters. Help to heal the wound that they created. It only takes a moment to send an email! (Of course, you could send a snail mail letter too; that would be nice. But an email will suffice!)
The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The address is:
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Texas Chapter, Houston Office
5445 Almeda Rd, Suite 301
Houston, TX 77004
And if you're on FB, you can leave a message of goodwill on the CAIR Texas page here.
I'm about to draft a short message of support now, before I drift off to sleep. You can do the same! Please give it a thought (or several thoughts); it's the loving, ethical, and Christian thing to do!