Look No Further Than This

Yesterday was “Muslim Day” at the State Capital. Hundreds of Muslims gathered peacefully and exercised their constitutional right of speech and assembly. But, right in the middle of their peaceful gathering, this happened:

A question, a comment, and a request…

First, a question: Why was this woman not arrested?!!

Second, a comment: If you want to know why we had our gathering in support of Muslim friends and the Muslim community last Sunday at Northaven, look no further than this video. Here’s an album of pictures. And here is our statement for the day.

Peace-loving Muslim neighbors who live down your street are genuinely afraid of the vitriol being spewed against them. I read this in the faces of those who thanks us last Sunday.

After the gathering Sunday, dozens and dozens of grateful Muslims vigorously shook my hand, and expressed sincere gratitude to know that  some Christians support their constitutional right to worship and assemble as they wish. Some Christians understand that they are decent and good people of faith, fine neighbors and citizens. And some of us are willing to say so publicly. This shouldn’t be controversial in any way. This should be what all Christians are doing.

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Gathering to Support Muslims at Northaven UMC

Finally, a request: If you expect Muslims to stand up against those you believe are Muslim terrorists (and many do, btw…) then you as a Christian must stand against this.
I, for one, repudiate the actions of this woman as both un-Christian and un-Constitutional. Let me say it this way: If you’re screaming the love of Jesus at people with that kind of vitriol, nobody– not even your Christian friends– should come to your defense.

So you, Christians who demand that Muslims demand this of other Muslim are YOU willing to repudiate this?

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

One thought on “Look No Further Than This

  1. It should be apparent that the United States is NOT, and was NOT setup to be a Christian nation. Founded on the idea of freedom of religion, our nation only works properly when there is no one, preferred religion at the helm. Freedom of religion was put into the Constitution to protect all religious expressions. Apparently right-wing conservative Christians think it means that as Americans we’re free to be whatever Christian denomination we may choose. Of course this is silly, it also includes Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, members of the Bahai Faith and Scientology or whatever religious expression is chosen.

    As a “Christian,” she apparently has no understanding of how to walk by the Spirit. That, of course, is why she is acting out according to the flesh. Her actions, though perhaps motivated by jealousy for God (if we give her the benefit of the doubt), do NOT represent the character, work and ministry of Jesus Christ. Not unlike the terrorists, who westerners confuse to be representative of all Muslims, my hope is that non-Christians will realize that this women does not represent the vast majority of Christendom.

    Yes, she should have been arrested.

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