Thursday, February 09, 2006

Super Bowl For The Homeless

Sunday night was by far one of the coolest events I've ever been associated with in my ministry tenure. Our Community Outreach Team spent the past couple of months preparing to host clients from three area homeless shelters for a roll-out-the-red-carpet Super Bowl party. We had the giant screen (9 x 12), 25 XL pizzas, and enough nachos, shrimp & misc. snack foods to feed an army. We sent our vans downtown to transport everyone out to our place. It was a very, very cool moment when 80 or so of our guests came streaming in to join us for the game. I enjoyed it. The only thing that would have made it better would have been the Colts playing in the game. But that really didn't matter, either. Amazing how so often we can't get folks involved to serve, volunteer, donate time or money for a variety of program ideas. But for something real, involving real people? We had more volunteers than we knew what to do with, and more baked goods & food than could possibly be eaten. Hard to describe how special those few hours were.

Not Sure I Get It

The uproar over the Danish political cartoons is puzzling. The logic behind the riots is this:
Cartoons were drawn, one of which depticts Muhammed with a bomb in his turban. Apparently, this is a slap in the face to the tenets of "peace" in the Islamic faith & culture. So how do they respond? More death, riots, and burning down foreign embassys. I'm not sure the cartoons themselves are a slap in the face to Islam. The real slap in the face is the reaction of many Muslims (most are extremists, or at least incited by radical groups...see Condy Rice and her thoughts for more there).

Funny how Christians have been ridiculed, mocked & written off for centuries, both in print (including cartoons), Hollywood, and academia. Have there been "radicals" who cast us in a negative light? Sure. But many of us in the trenches dig in our heels even further and choose to just be Jesus. To love others, even those who don't love us. My hope is that the millions of Muslims in the world will be influenced by the voices of tolerance & peace in their midst, and will ignore the voices of militant hate working to entice them to violence. It wouldn't be a bad thing if the teachings of Jesus began to penetrate and bring the truth into clearer view.

OK, if you really want to see the cartoons in question, you don't have to look far. However, here are some cartoonist responses to the issue. Many are thought-provoking in their own right. And here's one that stuck out to me. Seems like these images would provoke disgust in the minds of Muslims.