I Could Be Muslim

I was thinking today about the horrors in Iraq. The news of children beheaded because of their family’s faith. Shocking and terrible. Much like the news of Christians slaughtering Muslims. And Buddhists slaughtering Muslims. And the innocent Palestinians and Israelis dying because of Hamas.


And I was thinking, if I lived in Iraq, I would probably be Muslim.

One reason I  came to Christianity because it was the pervasive religion and a friend invited me to church and I went and so I  sort of fell into it. I found my faith more authentically later.

But, I kinda think if I grew up in a country where Islam was the prevailing faith, then I probably would be Muslim. I would “get” Islam the way I get Christianity. The symbols, stories, imagery, hymns, holidays, traditions all make sense to me. While my faith is much deeper now, it is still Christianity I resonate with.

But if I lived in a country predominantly Muslim, it makes a lot of sense that I would be Muslim. When I sought spiritual connection because of my faith in God (eg community, instruction, celebrations), I did not seek something hard.

Being a Christian in the States is easy. The culture and symbols of our faith are all over the place. I know some like to whine about various insults, but, seriously? Read some history about Christians in Rome. Or read some current events about Christians in Iraq, North Korea, China, Africa…

We  Christians in the US have it easy. And anyone saying different is wanting a vote or a donation or is trying to pay for their airspace.

I’d like to think if I was challenged to convert or die, I would choose death. But it is hard to imagine claiming faith when my family is facing extinction. I know I “should”, but really, in the moment, what would I do?

But how can I know? How I can really know what it must be like to believe in a version of God no one around me believes in? And that belief could get me or my babies killed?



I do think as a Muslim, I would weep for those Christians. My neighbors. Because as hard as it is, I believe we are all God’s children. Even those evil monsters loosed. I don’t care what version of religion they invoke- they are evil monsters. Wolves. They can call them Buddhist or Muslim or Christian, but they are ravenous sickening wolves.

And God must be weak with the sorrow of it. What has become of us that we can do this to one another?

I have no answers. I am only one struggling left-leaning cocktail enjoying can’t memorize Bible verses worth a damn (and I cuss) barely make it to church God-loving praying Christian.

No one has answers.

There are no answers to these horrors. To these terrors. There is no answer that is going to make this make sense. It. Is. Just. Too. Awful.

We are not going to hear something that is going to make this okay or- and I hate this part- make us feel better. And that really…

Well, that really SUCKS. I mean, what the hell is this religion stuff good for if it can’t make me make SENSE of all this?

But then I get a little hint of grace in a day. News that water reached the mountaintop. News that the Pope blessed Meriam.  News that an addict made it through another day sober. News that my son and a preschool friend talked about Jesus. Rain during a drought, in August. The smallest bit of grace can salve the wounds the world news salts.

A glimpse of Light.

It doesn’t make it okay, it just makes me able to take one more breath. And I use that breath to pray. And then I take one more.

And somehow I get through the day.