Steve Hickey asks a great question: what’s the difference between Ehab Jaber and Annette Bosworth?
Annette Bosworth famously posed for a cheap campaign photo with a gun and a Bible in her hands. Ehab Jaber walked into the anti-Muslim propaganda fest in Sioux Falls with a Koran in his hand and a gun on his hip (and possibly in a sock holster). Hickey isn’t cutting Jaber slack (he labels Jaber a terrorist when the evidence does not support that conclusion), but…
I’m not all that convinced what he did is all that different from what a lot of flag/gun waving Christians do. This meme illustrates the point.
If the book the gal on the left is holding up says don’t kill the other person, why is she holding that gun? Here’s why? Because since Constantine, the Church has embraced a grave heresy to find justifications to do the very opposite of what Jesus taught. The gal on the left believes her book gives her justifications to kill the other JUST LIKE the gal [referring to another meme] on the right believes her book gives her justifications to kill the other [Steve Hickey, “Our Opportunity to Love on Our Local Terrorist,” The Other Cheek, 2017.04.26].
Neither Bosworth nor Jaber actually made any threat to kill anyone. However, Hickey seems to support my basic contention that carrying and displaying a gun is in itself an expression of a willingness to use deadly force. And Hickey and I agree that such an expression does not fit with the teachings of the Nazarene carpenter.
But then Hickey preaches some real radical Christianity and recommends local Christians love Jaber by bailing him out:
Second, I think it is high time Christians start acting like Christians and that means we start acting like Christ. That means we figure out a way to love this enemy. Missionaries do it all the time… they reach out to those who are hostile to them and who have even tried to kill them. That’s when the Gospel is most powerful. That’s when we are most like Christ. As is this guy is sitting in jail thinking hundreds of local Christians at an event hate him. I hope that is not true. He needs to know Christians love Muslims even though they take issue with Islam.
So how do we love on our local (alleged) terrorist? My suggestion is that we post his $2500 bond and I’ll put forth the first $250. He needs to know there are people who care about him and that they are they very people who he views as enemies. This gesture would send this guy a message in a way that sending him a Bible wouldn’t. It would send him am important message that so far we have failed to communicate to him and others like him.
…But I really ONLY want these donations to come from people who are “friends of Jesus” and preferably Conservative Christians only – it needs to come from us. Mr Jaber needs to think about the fact that he was bailed out by friends of Jesus [Hickey, 2017.04.26].
Now I still have a problem with Hickey’s exhortation to love. He’s still stuck in some contractual love—bail Jaber out, and maybe he’ll realize the Christians at the anti-Islam rally are really great people and Christianity is a superior religion. The truest, most radical Christian loves for love’s sake, with no thought of recompense.
But Hickey’s call to spring Jaber is a more coherent and confident expression of Christian love and faith than any of the Trumpy fearmongering offered at the April 9 anti-Islam event that Jaber found so appalling.
Jaber, like Bosworth, isn’t a terrorist. Jaber, like Bosworth, is just a bit nuts. Hickey isn’t perfect, either, but his Christian advice is worth considering.