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J.P.'s moment of common sense - Too much lamb, not enough lion

September 10, 2011

[7th weekly oratorial exposition on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM Reno. Click on the microphone to listen.]

Tomorrow, the city of New York will have a ceremony at Ground Zero to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And you may have heard that Mayor Bloomberg has not invited any clergy to the ceremony.

That’s right, there’ll be no prayers at a memorial service, which says more about the state of the nation than anything the politicians can possibly say in their boring speeches tomorrow.

Depending on your attitude toward religion, you may or may not agree with Bloomberg’s decision. The mayor says it’s not appropriate for government to be picking one religion over another, but my answer to the mayor is that we already did the picking. This is a Christian nation founded by Christians and we shouldn’t have to apologize for that, because since the very beginning of this country we’ve allowed other religions complete freedom to worship.

Most importantly, on September 11, 2001, nineteen Muslim fanatics hijacked four airplanes with the intention of using them as missiles against civilian and military targets, and did so in the name of Islam and because we are a Christian nation.

So refusing to allow clergy at the official 10th anniversary ceremony, Christian clergy specifically, seems like moral and spiritual defeat to me. Somehow, in spite of everything we did to fight Al Queda in the Middle East, we lost and they won. If Osama bin Laden was still alive, he’d be pretty darn happy to see us afraid to offer a prayer at a memorial service, don’t you think?

This cowering subservience to the inimical forces of secular political correctness is nothing new for Christians. Sometimes I think we forget that Jesus Christ was not only a lamb, but a lion. And while I’m certainly not the Pope and probably have no business interpreting Scripture, I think the lion part comes into play when we’re involved in situations where the world asks us to turn our backs on God. In other words, situations exactly like Mayor Bloomberg’s memorial service tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s service in New York is exactly when we need to wear the lion aspect of our faith instead of the lamb aspect.

Ten years ago, five days after the Twin Towers fell, New York had a service in Yankee Stadium that was called “Prayer for America” for which different religions were invited to participate. I have no problem with that. I firmly believe that interfaith prayer services strongly favor the Christian message, because it’s the true message... and yes, I know that the Muslim standing next to me probably feels the same way. That’s cool. Let the messages compete.

That day at Yankee Stadium there were thirty seven individuals who spoke. Ten of them were secular speakers, politicians and such, because, let’s face it, when it comes to memorial ceremonies politicians are like flies at a picnic. That left twenty seven people who were clergy or members of religious groups offering prayers. Twelve of those twenty seven were Christian, five were Jewish, eight were Muslim, and there was one Sikh and one Hindu. The numbers don’t matter. What matters is how the Christian clergymen forgot to be lions. One after another they stood and prayed and failed to mention the two most important words in the Christian religion: “Jesus Christ.”

Except for one man. An archbishop of the Armenian Church in America named Anania Arapajian, fresh off the boat from Azerbaijan where Armenian Christians were persecuted and massacred by the Muslim majority, stood when it was his turn, walked to the podium, and immediately named his Lord:
“Lord Jesus Christ our God, in this time of fear and turmoil we turn to you.”
That was his first sentence. I wish I had video of the ceremony so I could see the faces on the other attendees, to see if they looked like somebody just farted in the elevator.

There was fallout after the “Prayer for America” directly related to the failure by eleven Christian clergymen to say the words “Jesus Christ.” Shortly after Archbishop Arapajian’s prayer, Reverend David Benke of the Lutheran Church offered a prayer in which he took political correctness too far. He referred to Jesus as “a son of God” instead of “the Son of God.” That’s taking political correctness to the point of heresy and it’s completely unacceptable for a clergyman. Like a lamb, he tried to avoid offending anybody, when he should have been a lion and proclaimed the truth. Reverend Benke was suspended from his position with the Lutheran Church and asked to apologize to the members of his denomination.

Almost 80% of Americans consider themselves Christian. Only about 4% identify with other religions. As we remember what happened ten years ago, let’s keep in mind the naked awkward fact that 9/11 was done in the name of religion, and not shy away from the consequences of what that means simply because we’re afraid we might offend somebody. We can quibble about who exactly the enemy is, whether it be Islam in general or merely a handful of fanatics, but to forget that religion is involved neglects the opportunity for religion to be the answer.

Let’s remember to be lions as well as lambs when it comes to our faith.

"Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." – Revelation 5:5

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

September 12, 2011 - Thanks. - Don Surber, West Virginia

September 12, 2011 - Excellent article. I still to this day get tears for what happened on 911. I will never close my eyes or look the other way just because a muslim isn't having a good day. I'll never trust any of them either, like they don't trust infidels. If the good ones want to practice their religeon, fine, as long as it doesn't interfere with my freedom and peacefulness. And yes building a mosque in eye's view of ground zero interferes with my peacefulness. Our president could just say 'Bad idea and it's not going to happen.' But, that would stretch that elastic spine of his a little too much. Thanks IHTM for the article. - likwidlizard, IHTM

September 11, 2011 - I've never been more proud. Well said. - Bree, Seattle
J.P. replies: Is this a Michelle Obama thing? As in this is the first time in your life you've been proud of me?

September 11, 2011 - Excellent article JP. You have hit the nail on the head. These unsaved folks are afraid of the name of Jesus. Could be scary, but I've read the ending. God Bless. - Flnative, Alabama

September 11, 2011 - That was one good article and I commend IHTM for allowing it. - KimmyQueen, IHTM

September 11, 2011 - Wow. You nailed it! This is exactly I how I feel! And Eddie, it is exactly that attitude that assures us we will be hit again! Get your head out of your Azz! - Rob, Georgia

September 11, 2011 - Did y'all know the very word "genocide" was coined to describe the fate that Armenians suffered at the hands of the Religion of Peace? - PsychoDad, IHTM

September 11, 2011 - I think it's a mistake to indict Islam for something done by a few fanatics. - Eddie D., San Francisco

September 11, 2011 - Excellent article, J.P. Travis. Excellent! - Babydoll102187, IHTM

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