"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Letter of Thanks to Southgate Baptist Church, Moore, OK for Hosting Colleene Hufford's Funeral

President Obama sent a White House official to Oklahoma City this past Saturday to read a letter of thanks to the Moslem Mosque where Alton Nolen worshipped. Nolen, the murderer who confessed to intentionally beheading non-Muslim co-worker Colleen Hufford at their place of employment, is now awaiting trial for first degree murder. OKC television station KFOR reported on the letter from the President being delivered to the mosque:

"Today, an official from Washington D.C. flew in to Oklahoma to present a special thank you to the Muslim congregation. He read a message from President Barrack [sic] Obama, extending warm greetings from the American people during the Muslim holiday.
“Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” President Barack Obama said.
 The Imam, the leader of the prayer service, stated during his sermon that the Muslim faith has been called a “cancer that needs to be cut off from the American society.” Now, with the recent praise, Oklahoma Muslims have been reassured that they are apart of the American society."
In light of the President's letter, I'd like to offer my own to Southgate Baptist Church, Moore, Oklahoma, the church who hosted Colleen's funeral last Friday and ministered to the Hufford family during their time of grief.
Dear Pastors and People of Southgate:  
Few Oklahomans know how you opened your facilities and hearts to the Colleen Hufford family after her tragic death at Vaughan Foods. Due to the proximity of your church to the cemetery where Colleen was buried, due to the size of your auditorium which was large enough to hold the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects and show their love to Colleen's husband, children, grandchildren and other family members, and most of all, due to your Oklahoma sized-hearts that care for people during their darkest hours, your church deserves a letter of praise and thanks.
Your service to the community of Moore and greater Oklahoma City is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Christian faith, particularly because you have modeled the love and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He taught us to love our enemies, to do good to those who persecute us, and to treat others, even strangers, the way we ourselves would desire to be treated.
Though your staff had never met the Hufford family until after the tragic events leading to her death in Moore, Oklahoma, your shining example of love and mercy toward complete strangers is something deserving of praise.
On behalf of all Oklahomans, thank you for modeling the kind of faith that formed the foundation of our great country.
May God continue to bless your congregation.

In Christ's love and grace,

Wade Burleson

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

There aren't enough words in the English language to cover what I feel about that letter from the White House. There is no end to their depravity.

RRR said...

So, Wade, what's the connection/relevance between President Obama's letter of praise to the mosque and your letter to the Baptist church?

Wade Burleson said...

I decided to let people draw their own conclusions rather than make any myself.

Jon L. Estes said...

A very nice and meaningful letter you sent Wade. I am sure it was well received. Personally, I do wish it would have preceded the President's instead of followed.

Christiane said...

Jon does have a point.

My concern is that, if there was sound proof that this mosque was teaching 'jihad', I think we would be hearing about it openly, not from the likes of the notorious Pamela Geller and the conservative writer Breitbart. The only other accusation I have heard is that there was a former member of the mosque who said that jihad was taught there.

so . . .
there are many good Muslim people in Oklahoma and many likely attend that mosque for prayer . . . are any forthcoming about hearing something like this preached there?

I'm not sure it is a good thing to place the whole congregation in the same basket with Nolen, no. So I would rather withhold judgement until I see some really concrete proof from sources other than we have so far.

My opinion only, but the way I see it, as Americans, we must be 'vigilant', but we also must refrain from the tactics seen in Nazi Germany when the Jews were targeted as 'enemies of the state'.

Our innocent Muslim American citizens deserve protection from our unproven fears concerning them.

We can be 'vigilant', but we must also do what is right for all of our American citizens of good will, and not rely on the likes of someone like Pamela Geller to call the shots in how we view those who are not exactly like we are.

BTW, there is a tremendous amount of money to be made by those in our country who work the 'fear' circuit.
Don't give them the power to harm our innocent minorities. We are better than this. As a people, we should never abandon the strength of character that keeps us free from the rule of fear.

RRR said...

I did see an anonymous interview guest on Fox News last night who says he was a member of this mosque and attended sessions where the Iman taught that non-Muslims were to be given the choice to either convert to Islam, will be denied all their rights and pay penance or be killed. He said, if I recall correctly, that the Iman said that Islam would overrule the world including the United States. I didn't find this to be extraordinary given that it is the teachings from Koran and Prophet Muhammad modeled this as he forced Islam into other lands aggressively using this same policy.

Christiane, I don't get it when people continually defend Islam as being a religion promoting peace, tolerance and acceptance when all the basic premises teach otherwise. I too "wish" that Islam was a religion that accepted that people have the right to choose what they believe and practice but the reality is that Islam just does not promote or practice this accept when they are in the minority and promoting that facade until they grow (through reproduction and immigration) to be of a number significant enough to force their agenda.

I don't mean to say, "You're wrong!" but at the same time can't understand your position. Maybe you could explain the basis of your premise?

Anonymous said...

Islam isn't a religion that promotes peace and everyone knows it. We just happen to live in such a politically correct country that people are afraid to tell the truth. The saddest part is that this will prove to be the undoing of our nation.

Christiane said...

Hi RRR,

my premise is that there are people of the Islamic faith among our American citizens who are people of good will, who obey the laws, and work hard, and send their children to public schools. . .

these CHILDREN will be the victims of abusive treatment from other children who have overheard their own parents in conversation denouncing ALL people of the Islamic faith . . .

my role as a loyal American is to want for all of our citizens to be able to practice their faith without intimidation or retribution from people who do not share that faith, so long as said people are of good will and are law-abiding citizens.

I am very interested in seeing freedom of religion continue in this country. I am very interested in seeing minority children treated fairly and not abused in public schools (heavens knows, there is enough of bullying going on, we don't need parents re-inforcing it by labeling innocent folks who are not like themselves)

if there is PROOF that the Islamic mosque is teaching and promoting terrorism, I should like to see it outright.

If there is no actual proof, the 'fear' game is not in my DNA, sir. It is not in the DNA of my son in the Coast Guard, or my nephew who is a Navy doctor, or my niece who is a Navy nurse.

I want to see people of the Islamic faith, or any faith, who are law-abiding people of good will respected in THIS country. There is no reason that I know of why that must cease, as it has always been a part of our heritage as Americans. I can't abide the 'fear culture' . . . it leads to somethings unspeakable, just look at ISIS as an example.

Victorious said...

Wade mentioned he has many Muslim friends in an earlier post. He also said he has spoken at Muslim gatherings. Perhaps he is more familiar with the basic tenants of their faith and whether or not it are a peace-loving religion.




RRR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

My friends are peace loving.

They interpret Sura 8:12 "I shall put terror into the hearts of the disbelievers. Strike above their necks..." figuratively.

The radical Islamicists take the violence verses literally.

So, to ask me "Is Islam a peace loving religion?" requires a willingness to receive an answer like:

"It depends. It depends on the people who adhere to the Koran and how the interpret verses that call for the beheading of those who will not convert. If the people take the verses literally (a radical Islamic fundamentalist) then it is not a peace loving religion. If the people don't take it literally then they can be some of the most peace loving people you will meet."

Victorious said...

Thank you, Wade. Makes perfect sense: differences in interpretation account for differences in belief and therefore in conduct.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Your answer to Victorious is as I have come to understand the matter.

Interestingly, I know a few, claiming to be Christian, whose ungracious responses to some of their brethren reveal that they don't know the difference between "figurative" and "literal".

Sarah said...

Wade,

Amen! And good on you for writing that letter! As for the White House... well, I only wish that that their eyes might be opened to see that it wasn't just the Muslim community that was hurt by all of this...

Anonymous said...

The U.S. is going to have to decide for itself whether Islam is an actual religion or a political-military movement designed to leave wanton, cowardly murder and slavery behind in its wake.

I know that monitoring self-titled religious group meetings can get out of hand, but the enemy is HERE already.

RRR said...

Wade,

Not to say who is right or wrong, but can I express my perspective?

I agree with you totally about good Muslims and bad Muslims, as there are good "Christians" and bad "Christians, and appreciate your wise perspective which we need to keep in mind.

I too have a number of personal friends from a Muslim background, some "moderate" Muslims and some MBBs (Muslim Background Believers). They have taught me and inspired me and when I think of the Muslim community I see their faces. Most of those who are my friends are either seeking asylum in other countries due to persecution and oppression from their own government (both my Muslim and MBB friends) and some have gone missing after returning home to their country and continuing to be active in underground church.

Whether or not one classifies it as a "peace-loving" religion, it is an undeniable fact; Islam is taking over the planet, country by country. It is very effectively accomplishing its goal of global domination, not through conversion of willing converts into the Islam ideology but primarily by the ingenious strategy of reproduction and immigration into targeted areas until followers of Islam become the "dominating" segment of the population at which time it imposes its ideology upon non-Muslims. It doesn't have to be the "majority" of population to "dominate" but does so through the aggressiveness of those followers who are intent on implementing the tenants of Islam upon the entire population. This is consistent with the basic premises of Islamic teachings and the model of the founder, "their" Prophet Muhammad.

The threat of Islam is not a question of whether all of its followers are radical or passive. There are certainly some Muslims who are not radical. They were born into it and simply desire to live out their lives within the culture and traditions from which they come. They seem to be tolerant and inclusive of those practicing other religions.

But the expansion of Islam is being driven by those who are more aggressive in pursuing the Islamic agenda and they are in control. My friends from one country practicing Sharia Law say that 90% of those in their country are opposed to the oppressive aspects of Islam but the 10% who are fundamentalists have the power and are in control thus their ideology is imposed. This is typical throughout the world.

My thoughts are not written or motivated by "fear" as one of the earlier commentators proposed. I love Muslims and pray for them and seek every opportunity to minister to them. At the same time, I strive, as I know you do, to not function in ignorance and hope to be diligent and aware of the reality of this movement which is a threat to democratic governments and free societies. They can call such concern "fear" if they must. I choose to call it being informed and a realist. I don't know if it's forced implementation can be stopped but surely our passive non-resistance falls into the hands of the aggressors.

Thanks a lot for your post and for your compassionate heart for the victims of the murder.

Christiane said...

Hi RRR,

to clarify: my comments about 'fear' center around what I know to be true, this:

people seeking power will sometimes use 'fear' as a way to get it, because engendering fearfulness in others makes them vulnerable to manipulation

for those in our country who understand this, the response is to be vigilant . . . the 'red-light' must come on when fear-mongering targets whole groups of minorities, including those who are innocent of wrong-doing and are not extremists . . .

Americans have fallen into the fear-trap before in the case of our own Japanese-American citizens who were targeted as possible enemy collaborators and placed into camps forcefully . . . so we know we ARE vulnerable to treating the innocent poorly when our fear overcomes our core values to protect and defend our innocent citizens against abuse.

Now we faced with the great evil of ISIS. The ISIS group is even killing other Islamic people. They are butchers and bullies and murderers, and we have a duty to stop them, together with our allies in the rest of the world who oppose terrorism.

But we must remember not to treat our own citizens who are Muslims poorly, when they have done no wrong, have obeyed our laws, and lived here in peace with their families. They ARE Americans also.
Their rights are a part of what we defend when we attack ISIS.

Our children are listening. What are they hearing from their parents, their ministers? Does it mirror right-wing extremist radio talk show hosts? Or are they hearing our honorable response to evil, in the way that makes our country resolved to protect and to defend against wrong-doing?

some thoughts . . . you may use my name, and also know that you asked what I thought, and I shared it;
and yes, I caution all against letting the wrong people frighten us into hurting those among us who are easily 'labeled' and vulnerable to being 'targeted'. As a Christian people, we must be on the side of the innocent and the vulnerable. That is also core to our strength as a nation. That it is also a Christian value is unquestionably a sign to the nations that we oppose evil, and will not adopt its ways against the innocent.

Hope this helps the discussion.

RRR said...

Dear Christiane,

Thank you for your response and I agree with everything that you said. It's good to say it as you have to make us all sensitive to the value of each individual and our obligation to protect one another and respect one another. I will surely try to practice that too.

Curious Thinker said...

I have to agree with with those who say no all Muslims are bad people. I don't think the Islam religion is the problem itself, but many more radical extremists will misinterpet the religion to justify committing terror acts and oppression on others who don't share the faith. However, there are plenty Muslins who are good law-abiding citizens who don't wish to force their faith on others. I think it would be wrong to use the bad actions of many Muslims to condemn the entire religon altogether. Besides, in the past there have been some Christians who committed atrocious acts justifying it in the name of the Lord. There always good and bad in many faiths.