No to extremism

(Please excuse some of the language used in this post. Anything offensive is a direct quote from others.)

So, back to Halal meat.

It turns out that, on top of Subway’s recent announcement,  Pizza Express put Halal meat into all of their restaurants without telling anyone!!! (Despite the fact that they actually did tell everyone!)

The media reporting of this has, of course, been totally fair and balanced. I wouldn’t normally link to a story in the Sun, but that is worth reading due to its brilliantly brief deconstructing of their bile.

As part of the ongoing debate,  Premier Christianity on Facebook posed the question “is it ok for us [as Christians] to eat Halal meat?”. A fair question, really. As food which has been ritually slaughtered according to the laws of another religion, is this something we should eat? (The answer, by the way, is why not?)

I have no problem with this sort of debate from a religious perspective. It’s a pretty healthy and understandable debate to have.

Or, at least, it should be…

” I do not want halal meat  there taking away all out rights and trying to control is.  B ger  off and leave us alone this is our country bet they would not let it happen on there’s”

” England is still a christain country … just! unless we soon get some  politicians with the will to  to keep it christain then it will be lost forever, you  try going  to an Islamic country and telling them Halal meat offends you and will they change it … no chance,”

” yes it does matter if they dont like way we live fuck off were they came from.”

” would i eat a muslim,,,,,,only if i had red meat with,but i would have to slit the muslims throat first no problem”

Seriously! And this is just a snapshot!

Of course there were reasonable posts on both sides of the argument, but these were not a small minority of comments. On a Christian Facebook page.

This is what happens when we allow extremists to grab the mainstream political and media agenda. This is what happens when we allow extremist views to creep into Christian broadcasting around the world (not a pop at Premier, whose work I love and respect). This is what happens when we lose sight of Christ and focus on our own prejudices and the World’s selfish wants.

It goes without saying that I disagree with Islam as a religion. I believe that Jesus is the way to God and all other paths are false. I do not, however, believe it or its adherents are evil, just wrong. I love them as God’s creations and I respect their rights to hold the beliefs they hold. If businesses are willing to help them adhere to their beliefs,  without harming others, then fair enough.

But for people to profess faith in Christ on one hand, but then to spout hate and bigotry,  is wrong. It is unChristlike and goes against his teachings,

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’     “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’     “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'” (Matthew 25:41-45 NIV)

Treat people with love and respect, regardless of background. As Christians it is our responsibility to rid the Church and society of hatred and replace it with love. If we listen to the extremists and say or do nothing then we are as guilty. We must stand up to it and beat it in all its forms; Christian or Muslim, left or right,  black or white. That is where evil lives.

No more.

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