Stop Religious Racism
TV producers don’t care if your think they’re rude. They’ll happily throw cold water on any idea that doesn’t pass their “sniff” test.
I’ve developed a concept for a religious reality show called Save Me. It’s like Big Brother gets religion. A group of people each of whom thinks their religion is the “right” one live together for a few weeks. You can imagine what follows
I’ve pitched this idea to producers several times. You know what they typically say to me, “That would be a train wreck”. Anyone who’s observed religions’ lusty affair with politics over the past 40 years understands how religion earned this reputation the hard way.
Bottom Line: My TV producer friends (and a growing majority of people) first impression is Religion = DANGEROUS
Donald Trump is one of two people who have a shot at being the next President of the US. He’s upended the political process in several ways and used his experience as an entertainer to keep the narrative focused on himself. He is also the most dangerous politician to come along since the 1950s. His invectives, threats and innuendo are creating a caustic environment that must be resisted, challenged and stopped. His braggadocio is giving people permission to insult people of different ethnicities and making America dangerous.
He is inciting religious racism – giving it permission to express itself as an American value. It shows up everyday in stories like this one about a Muslim being arrested in Ohio because of how he was dressed. Imagine if that happened to Jews, or Pentecostals for raising their hands in worship or the Amish for their bonnets or Catholic Nuns for their veils or Orthodox priests for their robes or Indian Women for their Saris ( you get the idea)
Three clergymen from Peoria Illinois, the heartland of America, have forged a friendship that challenges this narrative. A Zionist Rabbi, Muslim Imam and Evangelical Preacher have spent the past 5 years listening to each other, discussing differences and finding common ground. Nothing has changed in their beliefs but everything has changed in their hearts.
They want people to hear their story – that if they can find a way to like each other inside religion, perhaps the most polarized business of all – then people from all kinds of difference can too.
Jim Henderson Presents is currently in production on a documentary, book and tour for these three gentlemen.
Through the furnace of experience, they’ve discovered some simple practices that enable them to truly listen, hear and connect with each other and they want to share those with people.
The evangelical and the Jew have teamed up to protect their Muslim friend. They have his back. They’ve suspended their judgments of each other and decided to co belligerate around the values we celebrate as Americans.
Maybe we can help stop religious racism before it gets a beachhead in America