Yes, I’m Gonna be a “Homer” About This

I’m gonna get accused of being a homer with this, but so be it…
I’ve been thinking more about the shooting Sunday night, and the mind-blowing truth that none of this involved local people directly, in any way.

Today, a friend pointed me to a New York Times piece which says: “Dallas in particular has been accommodating of bigotry”

I’m not linking to the story, because I’m so annoyed by that line.

And here’s my reaction to it…
Look. I’m not gonna pretend we don’t have our share of bigots.
But….consider the truth that I would not be writing this blog…we would not be having this conversation…if not for the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). They are the most visible and clear common link behind all this trouble.

To wit…

Who organized the thousands of protestors at the January peaceful Muslim event in Garland?
The AFDI. Folks came from all over to protest. A Biker gang came all the way from Houston. Others came from California.

Where is the AFDI located?
New York City.

“New York City?!!!”
Attention, New York Times…

Who organized the event this weekend in Garland?
The AFDI!!

Where were the shooters from?
They were from Phoenix.
(And nothing justifies what they did, of course…)

Remember, people, the tens of thousands of Muslims who actually live here avoided this event.

They had no comment about it. They were all “Jackie Robinson” about the whole thing. They did not allow themselves to get drawn “offsides” by the AFDI’s baiting tactics.

And now, these local Muslim friends are being asked the same stupid questions again…they’re being asked to defend people who aren’t even a part of their communities, who did things they do not personally condone.

Want more evidence of Dallas’ non-bigoted response to all this? As I noted in my blog the other day, three separate United Methodist Churches had events Sunday night either with their Muslim neighbors, or to learn more about the Muslim faith. (One of them was in Garland!)

Add to this the final demographic truth that Dallas County, where all this went down, has the highest number of progressive/Democratic leaning voters in the state.

Again, I’m not saying we don’t have bigots. I’m not even saying progressives can’t have their own bigotry. But we have folks involved in Garland city politics in our church. We have a whole cluster of members who come here from the Garland/Sachse area.

They don’t deserve to get blamed for this event.

And, as you all know, I am privileged to call a growing number of local Muslims, lay and clergy, my friends.

They don’t deserve to get blamed for it either.

So, given all this? With respect to this event?

The statement, “Dallas in particular has been accommodating of bigotry”

Is enough to make your head explode.

You can do better than that, New York Times.

iWKad22

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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...)

4 thoughts on “Yes, I’m Gonna be a “Homer” About This

  1. new York Times have undeserved reputation of neutrality, sometimes, of being liberal. But they have been caught so many times with their hands in the cookie jar. I don’t trust the New York Times anymore. Not even Washington Post.

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