Home / Opinions / Don’t be small-minded

Don’t be small-minded

 Sept. 11 tainted America’s acceptance of Muslims.

 Last year, people fought the idea of building an Islamic mosque near Ground Zero.  Now, there is an issue of Christians and Muslims worshipping in the same building.

 Both Heartsong Christian Fellowship in Cordova, Tenn., and Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va., have opened their doors to the Islamic community. Last September, Heartsong allowed members of the Memphis Islamic Center to hold Ramadan prayers at their church; regularly on Fridays, the Islamic Circle of North America holds prayers at Aldersgate while their mosque is being built. 

By allowing others to worship in their sanctuary, these churches demonstrate a value so many people seem to forget: acceptance. America is upheld for its diversity but lacks a foundation in tolerance. The actions of Heartsong and Aldersgate represent both.

 Staying firm to their core values, the churches are not promoting the Islamic religion. They are simply doing what they feel is their Christian responsibility.

 “We are offering a people a space, and we believe that people should have the free exercise of religion, and this is part of that opportunity,” Diane Bechtol of Aldersgate said to Fox News.

 Accepting other’s beliefs is not a betrayal to your own. Neither party is taking advantage of the situation to “educate” the other. They are simply cohabitating the same building. We should never turn others away because of their culture. 

 A strong opponent to the two churches’ actions is Alex McFarland, a Christian theologian and radio talk show host.

 “(By allowing this) I think we do a disservice to Scripture,…to church history,…to our predecessors…(and) to people around us that really need the truth,” Dr. McFarland said. “But more than anything, Christians that compromise do a disservice to the Lord who gave his life for us and the one who has called and commissioned us to proclaim truth.”

 The Muslims do not want to force their religion in their aids’ faces; they needed a place to gather and worship. Christians who allow the freedom of other’s faith is not “a disservice” to their own.

 If you strongly believe in something, you will stand by it no matter what. No one will change my beliefs, nor will I try to correct his or hers. I was raised to accept and embrace differences, not reject and stifle them. It is not my place to challenge someone’s morals.

 Whether people like it or not, the Islamic religion is growing. Last September, there were 1,897 mosques in the U.S., a 57 percent increase since 2000, according to Lauren Green of Fox News. We can either fight that fact or accept it.

 You cannot change who you are to fit with everyone else. The world would be dull and gray if everyone was the same; diversity animates and brightens life. We should respect and learn from each other.

 “The church is a people, not a building,” Steve Stone, Heartsong’s senior pastor, said in Christianity Today. “The church is the faithful who spend life with Jesus together, according to his teachings and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit…(A space) is sacred in the memories of the people who encountered God there, but not in itself.”

The occurrences of Sept. 11 were tragic, but we should not punish the whole for the act of a few.  

 Let mosques be built. Let others worship as they please, they let you. Do not be threatened or feel insecure by others. Simply be mature when it comes to contrasting backgrounds.
They will not affect your own unless you let them.

Check Also

Levitt Amp Music Series Continues in Valdosta

Ending on May 17, the Turner Center for the Arts will be hosting the free ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *