Jan Brewer speaking at an event in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Practice your own religion, but don’t persecute others

Jan Brewer speaking at an event in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore
Jan Brewer speaking at an event in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore

It is wrong to use scripture (ANY scripture) to discriminate against others and it is wrong to declare oneself the victim when one has been caught doing such a thing. An elementary school bully is still guilty, even if they claim their victim “made them do it.” The point of religion is to bring people together. Are we furthering that goal by passing judgment over others?

It’s been almost two weeks since I sat in a church pew to listen to Pastor Roosenberg of Sealing Time Ministries speak in Spokane. Jan Shannon has pointed out in her moving reflection, Roosenberg stood in public and echoed the sentiments of Breivik—the mass-murderer who slaughtered 77 innocent people in Norway three years ago. His message: Islam is in on the rise, it threatens Christians worldwide and it will bring forth the end of days.

I recall last year when I was doing research about Roosenberg, due to virtually no information about his formal education or seminarian training being listed anywhere on the websites that promote his lectures. After being put on hold and being transferred three times on the phone, I was told by an associate of his “We don’t like to give out this information, because of the nature of his topics. People might use it against him… [People] who say he’s not politically correct.” Of course. This argument is of course not new, though it is telling that the information is not readily available for those who inquire. Perhaps we’re using the wrong phrase: is the notion of berating others in our community not politically correct, or is it not an American value?

His message—and by extension, his agreement with a known criminally-insane terrorist—is sadly not the only disappointing example of people claiming religious persecution or victimization while persecuting others. One need not look further than Arizona’s SB1062, or Anderson Cooper’s interview with one of the sponsors of the state bill to see one of two things: a modern Jim Crow law, or incredible incompetence on the part of Arizona legislature. The bill shows the thinly veiled discrimination behind those in the state, with potential unintended consequences. I wonder how many respectable companies would cancel their corporate retreats or conventions in Phoenix or Scottsdale if the bill was able to stand. As Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post pointed out, perhaps they’ll find a more receptive electorate in Uganda.

In light of Jan Brewer doing the right thing late yesterday (for economic reasons over ending discrimination)and with Roosenberg beginning his lecture series in Spokane Valley this week, I take pause to meditate on the notions of political correctness, religious objectivity and, for lack of a better phrase, common sense.

Americans all have the right to practice their own religion—and not being forced to adhere to another. Americans also believe in the free market, and the rule of law. Political correctness is not designed to destroy the American way of life. But bigotry, persecution, discrimination and the disenfranchisement of others will destroy it undoubtedly.

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  1. As a Christian business owner, I would never turn away a customer based on religion, gender, orientation, etc. but I have rights too, don’t I? If so, what are they?

    Obviously laws should exist to protect an individual’s right to his own life and the product of his own mind, but aren’t business owners individual’s too? What laws exist to protect my rights as a private business owner?

    Political correctness may not be purposefully designed to “destroy” the American way of life, but can it not also grow into its own form of bigotry, presection, discrimination, and disenfranchisement?

    I don’t believe if the law was put into effect, it would actually solve anything anway, as with many proposed laws. I’m also unsure about the first sentence in this article. I don’t actually quite get it. Is it a quiestion or a declaration?

  2. Oops, Brian, that first sentence was an editing mistake, not Skyler’s. Fixed now.

  3. Historically Islam has always severely persecuted people of any other religion as soon as there was a majority of Muslims in a country. Check out the Worthy Christian News website for daily updates on Muslims murdering Christians worldwide. They don’t do it much in the US because there aren’t enough of them, yet.

  4. Skyler,
    Did I miss your rewind of that talk or is this it?
    I thought his statement about Breivik were related to a slide at the end, what’s your thoughts on the content of his talk?

    I’d also take issue with your statement:
    “The point of religion is to bring people together.”

    Jesus himself said in Matthew 10:34
    “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”

    Now we know he wasn’t talking about hacking and slashing anyone, he rebuked his own disciple from trying that path. But obviously he meant that truth doesn’t always “bring everyone together.” He himself was crucified as a result of his life and teachings. So what do you mean?

  5. Skyler, does Rosenberg start tomorrow night??
    Eric, the slide with the Breivik quote on it was the last slide in that evening’s talk, which was the teaser slide to get people to come to the next night’s talk. It’s a 8 session presentation. I’m curious to see if Rosenberg removed the slide or if he, as he promised me he would, at least mention that Breivik is a maniac (his words) and is in jail for what he did. My question to Rosenberg that night still stands: if you admit that Breivik is a maniac, and you are against the actions he took, then why would you use his name in any positive sense at all. There are hundreds of sane, responsible, morally upright politicians in America and all over Europe who Rosenberg could quote re the upsurge in Muslim in their country. Why not use a quote from them?
    If the first talk in the series IS tomorrow night, I may go, if only to see if Rosenberg, a minister, is a man of his word and will explain more about who Andreas Breivik is when/if he uses that slide.

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