I am doing my best not to make every blog about politics. There are more important things going on in the world. But something happened at the Republican debate last Thursday (August 11th) that I cannot get out of my mind, and I want to know what you think. I’ve tried hard not to write about it, but it’s futile. I’ve got to get it off my chest. It has to do with something Herman Cain said.
Before I tell you what he said that got my attention, let me put it in context: Herman Cain is a successful business man and a professed Christian. (He even has a cd of hymns, called “Sunday Morning,” recorded in 1996.) I have no reason to doubt his faith.
Outside of Nashville, TN is a community called Murfreesboro. This community has received quite a bit of press lately because there are plans for a large Mosque to be built in the city. This has caused a lot of local conflict. There has been protest for and against the Mosque. A lot of people don’t want the Mosque to be built and are doing everything in their power to stop the plans.
A few weeks ago, Herman Cain was in Middle Tennessee. A reporter asked him what he thought about the proposed Mosque and the resulting conflict. He stated that he thought if the majority of people did not want a Mosque in their community, then the Mosque should not be built.
You can imagine the uproar. A few days later, Cain apologized to Muslims and tried to explain what he really meant.
That incident came up during the debate. In trying to explain what he meant, Cain said that he respects all religions and believes in religious freedom. He then said (and this is what bothered me), that he did not care what a person’s religion was as long as that person’s first allegiance was to the United States Constitution.
Well, I’ve got news for Herman Cain: My first allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and I would expect that as a Christian, his first allegiance is to Jesus as well. I am confident that if he had a chance to elaborate on what he said, he would better explain what he meant. But he didn’t elaborate. He couldn’t elaborate, and so his words stand on their own.
But here is where it gets tricky: If my first allegiance is to Jesus, then I assume a Muslim’s first allegiance is to Allah, and I need to respect that. I would assume a Jew’s first allegiance is to G-d, a Buddhist’s first allegiance is to the 8 paths; and a Hindu’s first allegiance is to Karma.
There is a big part of me that is uncomfortable with that last paragraph, and I don’t know why.
Yea, I do know why, and the reason shines a light on my own prejudices and ethnocentrisms.
What do you think?