In Tennessee, it’s not all bigots trying to keep Muslims out of their towns with bizarrely abusive lawsuits. In Cordova, Tennessee (that’s not far from Memphis), a Christian church is allowing a startup Muslim community to use its facilities for worship until it can get its mosque built. The church put up a big sign saying “Welcome to the neighborhood.” The pastor explains it thus: “What would Jesus do if He were us? He would welcome the neighbor.” Damn right he would have.
Likewise, in Egypt, many Muslims have reacted with horror with attacks by terrorists on Christian worshipers. So some of them formed a human shield around their Christian neighbors going to celebrate Christmas Eve services.* This is as clear a message as I can think of — if you nutjobs think you’re doing Allah’s work by killing Christians, you’re not, and we Muslims will not allow you to pretend that you’re only killing infidels. Take your Koran seriously, especially the prohibition against murder.
I am frequently critical of religion for being used as a justification for acts of outright evil. But these are selfless, challenging, and truly moral behaviors. They are done by people of good intent, good faith, and strong religious convictions, taking the best and most noble dictates of their religions truly to heart. They lead their respective coreligionists by sterling example. These people deserve to be recognized and praised; I offer that praise and appreciation here freely, and with a glad heart.
* Christmas for Coptic Christians does not take place at the same time as it is for Orthodox or Occidental Christians because the Coptic church never adopted the Gregorian calendar.