If It’s Broke, It’s Because We Broke It

by Cord Culver on April 23, 2014

I love my mom. She’s a good lady, she always means well, but she suffers from that same thing that a lot of us do: we tend to believe what’s been sent to us, especially if a peer sent it.  Let me highlight an example. Late last year I was shopping for Christmas gifts and I told her I was shopping at Target. She sent me a message that said, “You know Target is owned by Muslims.” Well, a quick Google search shows you that Target is a publicly traded company so no one single group or religion owns it. Beyond that her response was the symptom of something worse: assigning blame unjustly to a belief based on their perception in the media.

Really quickly, let me tell you another story. A while back I was at a family Thanksgiving dinner and we went around the table to say what we were thankful for. Mind you, the bulk of my relatives are conservative Christians. An extended-extended family member, an educator, said the following, “I’m thankful that I’m free to pray to any God I choose and I don’t have to have a rug and face East to do it.” It broke my brain. I’m pretty sure I got a nosebleed when he finished his sentence.

Somewhere along the line being Muslim meant you were a terrorist, and not just on a physical front, but apparently on a religious front. The problem is, when uneducated people attempt to tackle an issue, they tend to assign the blame on everyone, as opposed to the relatively small percentage of people responsible for the actions. Just because you’re a Catholic priest doesn’t mean you’re a pederast and just because you’re a Muslim doesn’t mean you’re an extremist.

One more example: Earlier in the year I saw a post on my Facebook page, from a relative, directing my attention to a stamp that President Obama asked be created to commemorate some Muslim holidays. The post asked that we band together, to fight against Obama and his evil ways and to keep Christ in Christmas. First things first, a quick Google search shows you that A) Obama had nothing to do with the creation of that stamp; it was created in 2001. It literally took me less than 60 seconds to discover that. B) So what if it’s a stamp celebrating Muslim holidays!?  We celebrate all of the varieties of life in the United States; that’s what made us so celebrated as a melting pot. We honor Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas. People tend to forget men and women who escaped from religious persecution founded this country and just because there’s Christianity built into our framework doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate and acknowledge the other religions of the world. And C) let’s be honest, Christ isn’t in Christmas anymore anyway. He’s been replaced by Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R’ Us and Black Friday deals.

I could be mistaken but it feels like all these little call to arms are more political than religious, which, if I’m not mistaken, is why we separated Church and State.

So, if you really want to make the world a better place, teach your elders how to Google and introduce them to Snopes. Don’t forget we’re a race of people on a rock floating in the middle of space. God or no god, we’re it. There’s no one else out there (that we know of) and we should be more accepting of who our neighbors are… even if they own stocks in Target, or have a really nice stamp collection from 2001.



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