Hope or fear?By Brian D. Stucky Goessel, Kan.
It is good for Mennonites to recall their own persecutions when thinking about Muslims today (Editorial, Sept. 20). Now may be the time to resurrect those stories. Many of our persecution stories tend to be known only regionally. I know little of such stories from the east or west coast. We need to hear these persecution stories and nonviolent responses as examples.
It is true, as the editorial states, that “the peddlers of fear have achieved great influence.” In a political roundtable discussion, I recently heard a participant say, “Our whole political climate today can be summed up in two things: People are either selling fear or selling hope.”
Many people in both politics and religion make millions of dollars off selling fear, hate and anger. The reason is simple. That seems to be what motivates people to action and to get out to vote. If you are happy and content, you won’t go out to vote.
As Christians we must ask which side we are on — selling fear or selling hope. If we believe 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casts out fear,” then we need to recognize the selling of fear for what it is: a cousin to terrorism. Surely Jesus did not intend for us to live in fear, anger and hate, as those are the world’s values. Jesus taught the revolutionary value of love. That’s what created his upside-down kingdom.
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