Maybe I should have held my tongue (or put my fingers back in their cases, as it were), but it struck a nerve with me. So I responded to the email, which was the following message that was forwarded to me by a woman who is involved with a club to which I belong:
Tonight, on the Bill O’Reilly TV show, we heard Dr. Robert Jeffries (Pastor, First Baptist Church-Dallas), Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son) and a Catholic Priest say: “It is time for a public outcry about the atrocities that are happening in many countries by Muslim terrorists”. Women and children are being buried alive; Whole families slaughtered; Many have been beheaded; Then this week, 21 men from Eygpt – -beheaded because they were CHRISTIAN; Yesterday we learned that 45 men were burned alive! These are only a few of the atrocities done in the name of Allah.
We are a moral nation! We are a Christian Nation! IT IS TIME WE LET THE WORLD KNOW, WE WILL NOT BE SILENT ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Dr. Jeffries asked all who were listening to write or call President Obama; Write and call our Senators and Representatives; Contact our friends asking them to join in too; Call our Pastors, asking them to make their congregations aware that we will pray, and stand together. At the close of O’Reilly’s program, he said that we should each do something to let the world know we stand together. WE MUST STOP THIS EVIL THAT IS SPREADING.
Here are the Whitehouse phone numbers: Daytime only 202 456 1111
Whitehouse Switchboard 202 456 1414
Whitehouse email: www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
You can ‘Google’ your Senators and Representatives for their emails and phone numbers.
My response to her, which follows, garnered a terse, ALL CAPS reply, essentially saying “Let’s just say everyone is entitled to their own opinion.” Yes, they are, as long as it doesn’t draw me into an idiotic religious war. My reply:
“There already is a public outcry against the atrocities of fundamentalist Muslims who twist their ideologies into insanity. What this country does NOT need is a bunch of equally twisted Christian fundamentalists and religious zealots pounding their chests in an effort to create a holy war between Christians and Muslims.
Decent Muslims and decent Christians and decent agnostics and decent Buddhists and decent atheists and decent Hindus and decent Sikhs and many other decent people already condemn the atrocities committed by twisted fanatics. But public outcry will not persuade these religious fanatics to cease their butchery. I am convinced only a multinational response, like what is happening now, will ultimately win out. That, plus rational policies and actions by western countries that do not appear to be based on hatred of Muslim religious philosophies nor on oppression or control of large swaths of the world.
People who appear on Bill O’Reilly’s program tend to be people with personal agendas, often twisted religious agendas. Instead of rational conversations about solutions to problems, they seek to create emotional responses to world events. Instead of intelligent exchanges between thinking people, they seek to rant and rave and beat their chests in the hope they can generate irrational fervor about issues that deserve much deeper thought.
This nation is, and should be, a secular nation in which people have the right to choose whether to be Christian or Islam or Hindu or Sikh or atheist or agnostic or, if they like, devotees of pagan faierie worship, or any combination thereof. If public outcry continues to invoke the name of Christianity and continues to treat Islam as the enemy; if public figures like O’Reilly and those who appear on his show continue to fan the flames of hatred; if, instead, controlled conversations and reasonable debate are overwhelmed by fear and mass hysteria, then figures like O’Reilly and his guests can take the blame for a turning the atrocious religious zealotry of a tiny, twisted fraction of a world religious into a religious conflagration of epic proportions, a religion-based conflict that never should have erupted in the first place.”
Ach! I must try to be a better person than I’m feeling I am at this moment. I really must.