This past week i had the opportunity to go to the Holocaust museum in Skoki, IL with a friend. I had never really known too much about this tragic period of time that Jews were put through by the Germans. As we walked through the maze looking at the photos on the wall, watching video clips and reading artifacts that were collected throughout time, it occurred to me how often this type discrimination happens in our American culture as well. During the Civil War, newspapers would print cartoons of blacks with big lips, during the Depression the newspapers attempting to be sympathetic, printed cartoons of Jews with big noses. Even today contests today are held to draw pictures of Muslims in cartoon fashion. This is all in an attempt to desensitize people from the horror that is happening behind the pencil sketch.
At one point during the walk we stopped by a plaque where they were talking about Americans response to the Holocaust and how the American churches were silent to the murders going on abroad. Whether this was because the government was shielding the American people from the truth, or news media outlets lacked capability to directly relay the information, or just Americans having too much already to worry about in there personal lives- we won't know. But it struck me as similar to what is happening today.
We seem to have a continuous religious liberty debate going on in this country. One that centers on the rights of individuals to marry who they feel they are entitled to and then live in society; regardless of gender. While i believe there are valid arguments on both sides of this aisle on this argument, we as Christians have missed a great opportunity. While we were busy defending a little pizzeria in Indiana from people who wanted to simply participate in free market commerce we missed the greater tragedy. While we demanded separate rights for humans in the homeland, we were so obsessed with our bias that we missed the mass murdering of gay men and women abroad by ISIS.
And while the church sat silently behind their 501c3 non profit status, politics as usual did an injustice to the murder of many by creating red tape, useless laws filled with compromise and court cases that showed Christians in a less than flattering light.
So just as they had done during the Civil War, the Great Depression, and now the Religious Liberty debate, the church continues to be ignorant of the love they can show others by obtaining knowledge. And so it is their absence of noise, the silence, which everyone hears.
At the end of the museum was a posting on a wall . It stated:
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."- Edmund Burke
"Love is Patient. Love is Kind."