Terrorism

Pop-Up Sermon: Don’t Exploit the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Tragedy

Pulse Nightclub Victims

(Photo Credit: New York Daily News)

The proper response from the Church is to show the Orlando Pulse Nightclub victims, their families, friends and associates love as they confront tragedy. Yes, it’s always the right time to offer salvation but never the right time to spew condemnation, shame, guilt, and hate (all forms of venom). When one condemns another, he or she condemns himself or herself: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Romans 2:1). This isn’t the time for you to advance your anti-LGBTQ agendas; it’s the time for you to demonstrate to members of the LGBTQ community and those affected by the Orlando mass shooting how much God loves them.

We will never be effective in winning souls for Christ by coming from a place of hate, emerging from a toxic spirit of self-righteousness. As a minister of the Gospel of Grace, I have a righteous indignation toward those members of the clergy and professing Christians whom pervert the Gospel with their prejudices and hateful and violent rhetoric, making the propagating of the Gospel troubling and ineffective for many.

I have heard a preacher attempt to camouflage his attack on the LGBTQ people involved in the Orlando massacre. He posited that they were responsible for their own deaths because of how they were living and what they were doing. Hmm…was he in this nightclub too? How does he know what they were doing? Was he in the bedroom with these folks also? Hmm… To be fair (insert sarcasm), he did add, “We are to show them love.” Sorry, sir, those folks didn’t walk into that gay nightclub to be killed. How ignorant of you! For the record, on the night of the heinous mass shooting, heterosexual people were in attendance also.

Did those Christians at the Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina go to Bible Study to be murdered by Dylann Roof? Exactly. No. Victims in both tragedies went to enjoy life, the pursuit of happiness.

Pastor Bobby Wright of The Back to the Bible Holiness Church (sorry, the name of this church makes me chuckle for several reasons—but, I digress) in Buford, Georgia posted a sign outside of his church, stating, “God created man and woman. Satan made gays & transgender.” First, this epitomizes postmodern cooning. Umm…I thought Scripture teaches that God created everyone and everything (Genesis Chapter 1; Colossians 1:16-20). The blind leading the blind. Smh. Although people have already spray-painted the sign, it wouldn’t surprise me to see folks burn down the sign and the church. I, of course, don’t support such criminal acts. We must, however, understand how mean-spirited expressions can incite undesirable responses.

Regardless of a person’s race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation, Jesus has called us to love him or her: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). Do what pleases God: love people! Get your theology right; get your call right; get your witness right; get your message right. Love everyone. True love, God’s love, does no harm.

Again, don’t let your personal agendas cause you to be a useless witness for and follower of Christ. Love is what brings people to Jesus—not hate, condemnation, self-righteousness, shame, guilt, and sin-imputing: “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Let love and peace abound all over the world!

#PopUpSermon

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Donald Trump’s Dangerous Proposed Ban on Muslims Entering America

Donald Trump

(Photo Credit: CNBC)

Donald Trump has proposed a ban on all Muslims entering America, and this couldn’t be a more dangerous threat to religious liberty in the land of the free and home of the brave. From its inception, America has been a nation of immigrants. All people living in this country are immigrants except Native Americans. Trump’s proposal would impose a religious litmus test on those seeking to become citizens and on those desiring to travel to our country. How can Republicans, passionate champions of religious freedom, continue to approve a man undermining this important freedom like no one ever in American history? Although Trump has provided the 2016 presidential campaign with entertainment, it’s time to end his reality television version of a presidential campaign.

We face serious threats from terrorists foreign and domestic. This isn’t the time for a comedy show; it’s time for authentic leadership. While Mr. Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans, he’s receiving the highest percentage of support in this crowded field. Even in a crowded field, Trump’s reckless policies and positions should prevent him from being the Republican frontrunner. Will the Republican Party be comfortable with being labeled “the anti-religious liberty Party”? Well, that’s exactly the message it will send by keeping Trump as its frontrunner and making him the Republican presidential nominee.

In response to Mr. Trump’s radical Muslim policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney stated the following: “Well I think this whole notion of that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in. I mean religious freedom’s been a very important part of our, our history.” I couldn’t agree more with Vice President Cheney. Cheney’s remarks underscore my argument about Trump’s assault on religious liberty, and they emphasize how Trump’s Muslim policy threaten the fundamental values and principles responsible for America being an exceptional nation.

How can you believe in the idea of American exceptionalism and bar all Muslims from entering America?

Our efforts to aggressively combat terrorism shouldn’t ever come at the cost of erasing core American liberties, values and principles. I love America and believe we should employ all responsible measures to protect the homeland. Imposing a ban on all Muslims wishing to enter America will only embolden extant terrorists and buttress the campaign to recruit new terrorists. Trump’s policy gives radical Islamic terrorists the false evidence of America’s hatred of Islam they need to proliferate their malevolent propaganda through various mediums.

What a sophomoric and discriminatory homeland and national security strategy: ban all Muslims from America to keep the nation safe. Seriously? True evidence that Trump is a joke of a presidential candidate. The joke, unfortunately, is being maliciously played on our country.

Republican voters have the power to end this cruel joke today.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death Isn’t Characteristic of “Small Minds”

In the immediate moments after President Obama promulgated that our great military killed Osama Bin Laden, people across the nation started celebrating in the streets, at bars, through social media, and etc. The majority of the American people are proud that the American military killed Osama Bin Laden, according to the majority of scientific polls. Most scientific polls show that at least 85% of the American people agree with President Obama’s decision to kill Osama Bin Laden. Most Americans agree that Osama Bin Laden was an evil man who orchestrated the tragic and abhorrent attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001.

All Americans are not proud and in a celebratory mood about Osama Bin Laden being brought to justice, however. On Facebook and Twitter, I had an opportunity to witness some great disrespect for the brave men and women who serve in uniform. Although I do everything within my power to respond to attacks on our military, Americans have the freedom to attack those who service in uniform. The courageous men and women in uniform have fought and died for the right of all Americans to enjoy the freedom of speech, which is one of the bedrock principles of America.

One University of Wisconsin-Madison female law student argued on Facebook that people who celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden have “small minds.” The following is one comment that she made: “while it may be a ‘happy moment,’ it is hardly an occasion for public celebration. Small minds celebrate the death of Bin Laden, while greater minds can see beyond that. What saddens me is knowing that we have come to a point, as human beings, where we feel comfortable putting our humanity aside to celebrate a man’s death (even if our enemy). Too bad we’re not better than that…” She kept arguing that all people celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden have small minds. This young woman is, therefore, calling me a “small mind” when she is not even qualified to tote water for me or hold my jockstrap. She would never directly address me because she knows she’s an intellectual lightweight and I’m an intellectual heavyweight.

On Facebook and Twitter, there were the usual people on there saying ridiculous stuff and attacking our troops, and they were contending that we should not be happy about this moment and should not be celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death. On Twitter, I observed some people on the Left challenging how contradictory and wrong it is for Americans to be celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden.

I would just like to say that people don’t have small minds just because they celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden. Many Americans lost family members and friends on September 11, 2011 because of what this evil man orchestrated. I guess some people will continue to think that the victims’ family and friends have small minds because they celebrate Bin Laden’s death.

Bin Laden was successful in disrupting and altering crucial aspects of the American way of life. We have lost numerous lives because of this man. He has had a tremendously negative impact on our economy. Americans have a right to feel angry with this man. A way for us to express our anger and to appreciate the successful mission of our troops is to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden. Osama Bin Laden’s death symbolizes much more than the death of a single man, but the death of the man responsible for beginning this War on Terrorism.

It’s too unfortunate that some skinny and long neck female law student at University of Wisconsin-Madison and others would think that people like me who celebrate Osama Bin Laden’s death have small minds. Those who have small minds are not open to opposing positions from the ones they hold. If you ever want to be successful, you are going to have to be willing to be open to engaging the viewpoints of others without trying to attack them for having viewpoints that differ from your own.

If passionately celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death means I have a small mind, then I’m proud to have a small mind because the killing of this evil man is an outstanding achievement for America’s national security interests. I support our military and congratulate the men and women who serve in uniform for doing a stellar job of defending our nation and protecting our liberties.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison