All the World – tout le monde, kl alealam

Christian Theological Seminary‘s “Statement on Attacks on Beirut and Paris” (11.16.15) is one for the ages.

“Friends,

“All the world – tout le monde – grieves and stands with France in the midst of these harrowing days. All the world – kl alealam – grieves and stands with Lebanon. As people of faith, our hearts can only break when God’s children turn against each other in the name of God. And the most elemental, effective way to counter such “turning against” is to reverse the gesture, turning toward one other in solidarity, compassion, and hope.

“On Friday night, I attended the student-organized vigil against racism, a gathering powerfully proclaiming that Black Lives Matter. CTS student body president Whittney Murphy spoke eloquently that we are like the candles we held that night: sometimes flickering in the wind, or even going out, but then rekindled by the lights of others. The shadows may fall and the winds threaten, but together we can walk in the promise that God is with us, and that God is a light the world’s shadows cannot and will not overcome.

“As we stood together in the vigil that night along Michigan Road, the attacks in Lebanon were only a day old, and the news was just beginning to come in about the attacks in Paris. On one level, these various events – the vigil and the attacks – seem separate and distinct. But on a deeper level, they are profoundly connected. The same dehumanizing act of dividing the world into “us” on the one hand and “our enemies” on the other is the root of both racism and religious intolerance. The peace and equality for which the vigil called here at home is the same peace and equality we need in France, Lebanon, and beyond. And what’s more (and more troubling), while France has received a public outpouring of support and solidarity from around the world, Lebanon has not. For many, this has understandably raised the question: When it comes to the world’s solidarity and concern, don’t Lebanese lives matter as much as French ones? If our hearts (or Facebook pages) now bear the French flag’s blue, white, and red, shouldn’t they also bear Lebanon’s red, white, and green?

“In the New Testament Gospels, Jesus’ signature move is to stand with outsiders, with the forgotten or marginalized, and to reach across religious and ethnic lines of hostility. Following Jesus as best we can, we can only heed the call to do the same. Jesus is in Lebanon. Jesus is standing along Michigan Road. Jesus is in France, and in so many other places around the world, mending the brokenhearted, calling for justice, calling for love. Wherever the shadows fall, there Jesus goes, the flickering, quickening light of the world.

“And so we give thanks for student leaders, their voices clear, their faces illuminated by candles of hope. We give thanks for all of those committed to helping to turn these horrifying attacks into renewed resolve to work toward reconciliation. For as we approach the coming Season of Advent, those four weeks of lament and prayer that lead to a once-forgotten backwater not far from Lebanon, we know our lives depend on the love that binds us together. So much depends on that love. All the world – tout le monde, kl alealam – depends on it.

“God’s shalom,

Matthew Myer Boulton

Matthew Myer Boulton

Matthew Myer Boulton
President and Professor of Theology
Christian Theological Seminary
1000 W. 42nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208″

 

Paris, ISIL, a poem, and a hymn

ISIL has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

We publish its statement here, followed by Steve’s  verse “Doing only what we’re told” (published by Views from the Edge moments ago) and a video of the hymn “O God of Every Nation”.  In times like this, it’s easy to forget that ISIL’s “soldiers of the Caliphate” do not represent the Islamic world any more than the Florida preacher who hanged Muhammed in effigy and burned the Quran represents Christianity.

ISIL Statement of Responsibility

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent

Allah (ta’ala) said, {They thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah but Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision} [Al-Hashr:2].

In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah, a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe-Paris. This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him), and His allies. They did so in spite of His enemies. Thus, they were truthful with Allah – we consider them so – and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland.

And so eight brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France. These targets included the Stade de France stadium during a soccer match – between the teams of Germany and France, both of which are crusader nations – attended by the imbecile of France (Francois Hollande). The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous attacks on other targets in the tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth districts, and elsewhere. Paris was thereby shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets. The result of the attacks was the deaths of no less than two hundred crusaders and the wounding of even more. All praise, grace, and favor belong to Allah.

Allah blessed our brothers and granted them what they desired. They detonated their explosive belts in the masses of the disbelievers after finishing all their ammunition. We ask Allah to accept them amongst the martyrs and to allow us to follow them.

Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris. Indeed, this is just the beginning. It is also a warning for any who wish to take heed.

Allah is the greatest.

(And to Allah belongs all honor, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know) [Al-Munafiqun: 8].

Doing only what we’re told

Not all sects are cults, it’s clear,
But each cult is too a sect:
All others are seen with fear,
Only those inside respect.

If we tell ourselves a lie
And repeat it night and day
Soon it is all right to kill
Any that our leaders say
Go against our own god’s will…

Steven Shoemaker
Urbana, Illinois

[Friday, November 13, 2015, Paris]