Islamaphobic America?

Sunday, August 29, 2010 9:29 PM By crosswaysnet , In

This is just too fine a piece to not reprint:

Islamophobic America?
Gary M. Burge, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College.
Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding (EMEU) Advisory Board

Are we all becoming – as Time Magazine suggests (Aug 30, 2010) – Islamophobic? According to one of their recent polls, 46% of us believe that Islam is more likely than other faiths to inspire violence against nonbelievers. 34% of us don’t want a Mosque in the neighborhood. According to an August 19 Washington Post poll, 30% of conservative Republicans who dislike Obama claim that he is a Muslim. Is “Muslim” the new political slur?
I’ve just returned from two Muslim countries in the Middle East. And as exposure goes, I’ve probably worked alongside more Muslims than I ever expected I would. I’m in the Middle East at least once each year, usually visiting multiple countries. I belong to an “Evangelical-Muslim” discussion group which meets annually and hosts 30 scholars from each side for 3 days of interfaith discussion. These are pious, brilliant, generous Muslim scholars whom I count as my friends. And when a topic like “Islamophobic America” comes up, I share intense personal emails with them.

The Lovely Bones

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:15 PM By crosswaysnet , In ,

This movie has been savaged by the well-meaning and those who don't know well what they mean.

What are 'the Lovely Bones?' Ah, now the answer to that will take a fair viewing to sort out. And the closing paragraphs from the lips of Susie Salmon will mean nothing to the viewer without the story that precedes it.

What of all the talk of Heaven? There is no Heaven here - just the longing for one. We peek over the rim from Neverland at the very end, but since we're not supposed to go there, we're not allowed more than a glaring obscurity. Some criticize the imagination of Peter Jackson for bringing us a techno-color CandyLand, all sugary sweetness and no nourishment. But that complaint completely misses his genius. This is Susie Salmon's time of bright shadows, not Peter's. Ripped from a world of polyester, psychedelic daisies and David Cassidy posters, we're entering a very different inner world than our 'today.' It's one of a 14-year-old young lady of the 1970s. It is groovy and timeless. Yet the horrors that preceded it bust in with alarming rudeness proving this is no Nirvana. Just when we've grown accustomed to this playground and think it will resolve, it crumbles to dust. As it must. It was never meant to be something of substance. Susie's looking glass is the quick blog of a soul beginning a much larger adventure. A tweet from the unending song.