11 August 2012

Murder in Wisconsin

I live about 100 miles from Milwaukee. So this mass killing is in my neighborhood. But beyond that, I and the victims are neighbors at a different level: we are Americans. Americans whose belief in an inclusive country of immigrants is tested by the murderous actions of another murderous, male, white, failure. We seem to have a lot of these guys appearing lately.

For too long, we have had a mythology taught by manipulative people, that makes one particular group of people, Evangelical, ostensibly straight, and definitely white people, think they are entitled to success. When some of them, on merit, do not achieve success; they react badly. One does not see a black group like Westboro Baptist, or Focus on the Family!

So, I have and will continue to pray for the Sikh dead and wounded, and for their caregivers. I will also pray for forgiveness. Not forgiveness for the violence, I had no hand in that, but for my participation no matter how small, in the mythology.

I do not think I directly contribute to the idiot idea of a White, Protestant, Male - led, exclusive America. But I probably have not spoken against that myth every time I could, and for that I do indeed crave forgiveness. When was the last time you spoke up?


Anonymous said...

You need to celebrate your diversity.
It's unusual that you celebrate diversity while worshipping in a church that's over 95% White and Middle/upper middle class.
I'd call the Nation of Islam a reasonable facsimile of the Westboro Baptists-better, because they don't picket funerals; worse, because people voluntarily call Farrakhan a role model.

JimB said...

One of my favorite one-liners is, "86% of all statistics are made up." Which leads me to ask about the "95%" number in your post -- do you have a source?

I ask because our largest, in terms of population, diocese is Haiti; and I just saw a map that showed the majority of counties in which we have a substantial population as a streak running from roughly Canada to central Oklahoma. The counties with high numbers of Episcopalians had reservations in them. Yup, we have a lot of Native American members. So I am curious where you got you 95%?

Living in the Chicago area, I see a lot of the Nation of Islam. I think your comparison flawed. I am not a fan, but the "Black Muslims" are a for real community and do substantial work in their community. I should much rather find myself among them that the Westboro people.

Please do let me know about that 95%.



Anonymous said...

Absolutely-read the Episcopal church's own statistics for 50 states church membership.
You're not as overwhelmingly White as the Lutherans or so blatantly replaced solely by "refugees" from other churches (and so have a less glaringly self-selected and self-segregated profile politically and educationally and racially)like the Unitarians and non-programmed meeting Quakers, but it's odd that for a church that's been preaching "Celebrate our diversity!" you have, in the US's 50 states, a lower percentage of African Americans than the Southern Baptist convention.

Anonymous said...

The Nation also gets many more invites to political events; hard to imagine even the nuttiest Fundiegelicals inviting Westoboro anywhere for anything.

JimB said...

After the murder of Malcolm X, I think the Nation purged itself of a lot of its less savory problems (if not its reputation among some Whites) and has been working on being a serious part of the Islamic community. My areas of study do not include inter-segment Islamic relationships so I do not know how the Shia, for instance, look at them. My observation is soley that of a white Christian guy noticing his neighborhood. ( I actually live on the South Side and am among other things a White Sox fan.)


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