Watching or reading the mainstream media, one might never know that Christianity historically has been the basis for American civilization. If someone completely unfamiliar with America’s history were to go by what he learns from the media today, he would probably believe:
- Christians are the most intolerant individuals in society, seeking to impose their values on everyone else
- Christianity is the source of all societal ills
- The “Religious Right” is the bane of politics
When it comes to Islam, however, that same person would come away with a different perception. In spite of the fact that radical Islamists were responsible for 9/11, and that terrorist acts continue to be perpetrated by those same radicals, the main problem, he will be told, is that we are too quick to place blame on anyone associated with the Islamic faith. Much of this worldview comes from the education our young people are receiving.
We are constantly being warned against profiling or connecting the dots. Sometimes, though, those dots are rather connected from the start.
Is there hope that this may change?
The truth is that this skewed worldview has become imbedded into modern journalism. I don’t wish to convey the impression that it can’t change, but we need to see the situation for what it really is. Keep in mind that God never promised fair treatment from those who reject His message. We have to maintain a Christian character in the midst of unfairness, and not descend into constant complaining. Yet at the same time, it is appropriate to point out the inconsistencies. We should never be cowed into abject submission.
The balance is hard to find at times. We have to avoid being whiny while simultaneously working for the truth to prevail. This calls for wisdom. We have a challenge and a promise from the New Testament book of James:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
We need to embrace both the challenge and the promise.