“It Was Never Intended To Hurt Feelings Or To Offend Anybody”

Famous last words.

These words were spoken by Pastor Roger Byrd regarding the message on the sign outside of the Jonesville Church of God. What was put up there that he didn’t intend to be offensive?

“Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?”

“It’s simply to cause people to realize and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in Jesus Christ,” he said.

Church and politics, I tell you, church and politics.

There are times when my fellow Americans can disgust me, and ridiculous crap like this is just such an example. To his critics, Obama has been all things to all people. For those who suffer from Islamophobia, he’s an undercover Muslim agent, but at the same time, he’s a member of a racist Christian church.

And he still manages to find time to be a godless commie.

In many ways, Obama has become something of a political Rorschach test. Those who support him, find differing aspects about his person to admire; be it an ability to inspire, or a pragmatism lacking in polarized politics, or a keen intellect that manages to succeed in a political culture where dumbing it down has become an art form.

But he has also become a blank slate for some of the uglier sides of Americana, from race baiting to demonizing the Islamic faith. What has irritated me the most about the whole Obama-as-a-Muslim meme, however, has not been that it’s inaccurate, but that it is misguided.

So what if he is a Muslim? Is Islam no longer a sanctioned religion in this nation? If it is I totally missed the memo on the destruction of the First Amendment. Does someone have to believe in Jesus Christ to be a good person or a good leader?

No, don’t answer that, I’m afraid the answers I’m likely to get will only depress me.

Not that I worry about Obama’s feelings much. You don’t get into politics if you don’t have a very thick skin. What I do worry about is the message that this sends to the Muslims in our country, the decent every day citizens who, believe it or not, don’t hijack airplanes or strap bombs on their chests.

I know, it’s a shocker, Muslim is not the antonym of decent American citizen. But it’s true.

Now, I’m sure that there are some out there who may think it, or may even be tactless enough to say it, but there are folks out there right now who are reading this and thinking, “See, maybe it’s not such a good idea to nominate this guy. We’re totally ready to elect a black, possibly Muslim, candidate, but middle America isn’t.”

To which I preemptively say, “Bullshit.”

This has become a much more prominent theme in my writing in that we have to quit backing down on this stuff. Whether it’s an alternative approach to foreign policy, or it’s confronting the racial and religious divides in this country, if we keep turning our backs on these issues, we’ll never make any headway.

This isn’t a warning sign that we need to pick someone safer; it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge to fight the ignorance of some who believe that this country is only big enough for one God. It’s a challenge to fight the ignorance of those who are bound by the ugly divisions of race.

This isn’t something you run from because if you run from it, the ignorance is passed down, eyes stay closed, and the divisions persist. Instead, you stand and you fight, and you’re going to lose sometimes, but if you don’t take the risk of losing, you’ll never win.

Oh, I’m not offended, I’m pissed off that in the year 2008, asinine crap like this still goes on in my country. That’s not the America I know and love.

Edited by Kathy

7 Responses to ““It Was Never Intended To Hurt Feelings Or To Offend Anybody””

  1. Cee says:

    The Bible warns about people like Byrd:

    Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

    Jer 14:16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

  2. Wow, that’s impressive. One of these days I’m going to have to sit down and read that book.

    Thank you very much Cee.

  3. Chris says:

    If you want people to think, then put on your sign “pray and seek God about who to vote for”! You do not personally malign someone to provoke people to think, you appeal to their conscience and the best way to do that is to ask them to pray! The bible says, “they’ll know we are christians by our love”!!!! The sign is wrong, I’m as pentecostal as they come, born, bred and raised, but this is wrong!!! I apologize to the american people, to Mr. Obama and to other churches for the words of hurt placed on the sign of a church who have resorted to fanaticism rather than reason!

  4. Wow – The proprietor of the site linked above it most certainly a sociopath.

  5. rlp-politcal says:

    White folks… for years your parents and grandparents have treated an entire race like 2nd class citizens – now you are in 2008 doint the samething.

    These are white church folks… religion is scary ! thise are the clowns that put Bush in office

  6. DM Metzger says:

    Speak for yourself rlp-politcal. Pastor Roger Byrd may be a bigot, but placing blame on all white people is no better.

  7. Brad G says:

    “Just what was on his mind…” I don’t think thought had anything to do with it… Goes to show what happens when you have a little church and a lot of ignorance all in one place. No doubt what party he is voting for…
    I place blame on the pastor and his voting congregation. Unfortunately for all of us these little places still exist, no matter what color or background a person is.
    Humans tend to hate what they fear and do not understand, then call it religion or beliefs.
    This is just another example of the skeletons in too many religion’s closets where ‘believing’ has made hating acceptable.
    Religious extremism is dangerous in all it’s forms. Small church in SC or Terrorist cult in the Middle East… No difference.

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