Thanks to Jacquielynn Floyd for publicizing this beautiful sermon by the Rev. Joshua Whitfield of St. Rita Catholic Church in North Dallas, who was deeply disturbed after a parishioner taking communion told him, “Father, you forgot to say, ‘Kill all the Muslims!’”:
Hatred is born of a small, distorted, bitter view of the world. If, whenever I visit an old person in his or her home, they have the television turned on to cable news, I know that I will find an old man or old woman bitter and depressed because they’re watching spiritual poison. And what is more they get fooled into thinking that what they see is actually what is; they think they see the world, but they don’t. They see only that part of the world that sells advertising, and that’s a violent, depressing world. Social media isn’t helpful either. It seems a lot of Christians have become Islamic scholars lately—they’ve read a Facebook post, watched a video on YouTube, maybe read a book about it. They barely know Christianity, but they know what Islam is—it’s evil, it’s hateful, they tell me …
let me be very clear: I’m a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ—not a liberal, not a conservative, not a Republican, not a Democrat. I am a Christian. And this will be a Christian place. Love, not hate. St. Rita will be a place of love—always. I’ll give my life for it.
It serves, indirectly, as a fitting response to the sort of vitriol being spewed in some corners of North Texas this year, including from the pulpit across the street from D Magazine’s offices.