A Letter to the Editor of the Dallas Morning News:
I read with interest Mr. Park’s article that appeared as the central story on the front page of the Dallas Morning News, Sunday morning, July 24th. I’m not sure just how to react.
If the intent was to celebrate the fact that a huge Dallas congregation owes its success to intolerance of those who are unlike them or see the world differently, I am appalled, frustrated and more than a little upset. If the intent is one of irony – an illustration of cause and effect of such judgments when literally placed side by side another article about the results of such a world view – I am more sympathetic.
But I also fear, if irony is the intent, most people didn’t and won’t get it.
The tragedies experienced by the nation of Norway were prompted by the right-wing Christian fundamentalism of one man. His anti-Muslim, as is all hatred and fear of those who are different, is not genetic but comes as the result of the rhetoric and actions of those perpetrating those emotions i.e. the message of the Rev. Robert Jeffress and others. Mr. Jeffress’ theological understandings are certainly not those of all, hopefully not of a majority, of those who follow the teaching of Christ.
So much for my being appalled and upset. My frustration rests in the fact that the congregation I serve spent over 18 months creating a “Perspective Against Religious Intolerance” that appeals to believers to stop using religion as a weapon against others. For too long scripture has been abused in supporting positions of bigotry, hate, fear against people of color, other religions, non-hetrosexual orientations, immigrants and women. ENOUGH.
Our perspective was sent to all area newspapers hoping for a little exposure to the options available to those who are seeking a loving faith journey. Little is what we got. Let’s see other religious viewpoints as central articles on the front page of the Dallas Morning News! Please.
Rev. Terry L. Zimmerman
Pastor, Midway Hills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)