PHA: Our Muslim community is not to blame for extremists’ actions

iStock_000015974322_Large-1024x681As a person of faith, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the anger and vitriol being shown toward Muslims who live in the Dallas community. You may have heard of the protesters that gathered outside a Muslim conference in Garland.

Partly as a response to this, Northaven United Methodist Church recently hosted an event inviting clergy of all faiths to come together and support Muslims’ right to assemble peacefully and to worship God as they wish. More than 400 people attended, including rabbis, imams and dozens of Christian ministers.

The gathered clergy and religious leaders all read a joint statement that, among other things, said this:
“Our common message today is to stand united as neighbors and citizens, and to bear witness to the values of this nation; values that make no room for bigotry based on race and religion. We recall that many of the founders of this nation came here to avoid religious persecution. They founded a nation where all faiths would be free to worship and serve their God freely.”

These protests paint all Muslims as murderous, evil terrorists. The truth is that most Muslims are good neighbors and peaceful members of our community.

(An excerpt from my March Preston Hollow Advocate column. Read the whole essay here)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) 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, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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