I have spent the better part of my adult life overseas as a Christian missionary. During that time I have lived on several continents and worked among Orthodox & Catholic Christians, Jews & Muslims, Hindus and Animist. While sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, I have made many friends among people of different religions and come to appreciate their commitment to their faith.
This is why former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s call for peaceful Muslims to "refudiate" the building of a Muslim Mosque and Cultural Center a few blocks away from the site of the Twin Towers in NYC is especially troubling. [Note: "Refudiate" does not seem to be a real word but likely a confusion of two words: "repudiate" and "refute."] Without becoming too preachy, it seems to me that the real words of Jesus to love our enemies are however clear.
Christians and especially Christian missionaries are often appalled at the opposition of national and local governments to allow them to build Christian churches and other institutions in foreign lands. If we here in America—the original land of religious liberty—will not allow other faith groups to do the same, then are we not also abrogating religious liberty? [Note to Sarah: "abrogate" is a real word which means to "abolish or treat as non-existent."]
My prayer is that the long tradition of real religious freedom in America will continue to be the standard for the world!
Rev. T Thomas
Coordinator, Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma