Most people want things to happen without much work. Especially the American public. Including you and me. We want things fast. Fast food. Quick fixes. Just add water techniques.
And we want others to do the dirty work for us. Let the gardeners and plumbers and car washes do it for us.
We hate to struggle. And why struggle, when you can just hire it out?
September 11, 2001. A barbaric attack made in the name of a religion. Thousands murdered. Men and women. Children and seniors. Christians, Muslims, atheists, Jews, Hindus. All innocent. All in the name of a religion with 1.5 billion. And a religion of which 99% of Americans could tell you precisely nothing.
So what did we do to make things better?
Hired it out.
Let others do the work. The diplomats. The government. Let them talk or negotiate or create peace. Oh, and “bomb the f*** out of them.” We did that, too.
That’s the American way. Hire it out.
But it didn’t work. Hiring it out will never work for this one.
Why? Because what works for weeds and broken sewer pipes does not work for everything. Some things you’ve gotta do yourself. Want to see improvement in your golf swing or yoga practice? Wanting to lose weight? Wanting to improve a relationship with a family member or friend? You’ve gotta do the hard work. Want to improve a relationship with a spouse or friend or family member? Can’t hire it out.
We must make sacrifices.
We must struggle.
As we remember the horror of September 11, a monumental struggle remains. How do we all get along? How do we make the world a safe place? How do we create harmony between the world’s two largest religions?
The answer is this: If we want to solve this problem, we can’t merely hire it out.
It’s going to take me. It’s going to take you.
Do you honestly believe a new president is going to solve the problem? A veteran politician with decades of diplomatic experience? Or an outsider who promises he has a secret plan to “win”? A new war strategy? More bombs? Banning an entire religion? An “extreme vetting” system?
What does winning look like, anyway?
Because if “Islam hates us,” then it sounds like the United States needs to kill 1.5 billion haters. Are you proposing that?
This weekend I was chatting with a friend. A dear friend. Witty. Clever. Wealthy. Christian. An amazing husband and father. Said the government should ban all Muslims to keep us safe. It’s the only way to keep America safe. And my heart sank.
But I propose something else. A big dream. The Christian-Muslim Alliance. Not hiring it out to the government. But being part of the solution, and part of the struggle.
I’m working on some practical ways we can all lend a hand.
As a Christian, I feel I must.
And I’ll work my fingers to the bone if I have to. Roll up my sleeves. Do the hard work myself. Christians (and anyone else, really) shouting from the rooftops that NO religion makes people violent.
What makes people murder innocent civilians in the name of any religion is ignorance, which breeds fear, which breeds hate, which breeds violence.
And I’m all in to stop that cycle.
I hope you will join me in this struggle.