Elton and Sindi Wineman
The decision by Pastor Walls and church officials to ban the Muslim Call to Prayer from the music program was a failed opportunity to show that the worldwide Christian church is concerned with establishing or promoting unity and peace among churches of all religions.
Cultural isolation inherently creates prejudice.
To exclude those of good will on the grounds of differences of belief is to deny them the respect that should be everyone's right.
If we fail to address such policies of exclusion, then prejudice and discrimination will persist and we will not see a just community.
To quote Martin Luther King, Jr, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
The diversity that has given America so much of its strength requires sensitivity and understanding of people's ethnic, racial and religious differences.
The event at the church was a perfect opportunity for promoting such understanding.
Instead it laid bare a prejudice that weakens us as a nation. I would like to apologize to Alya Nadji for the hurt that she had to experience.
I knew when the Record-Eagle broke the news that First Congregational Church and its head pastor would not allow the Muslim call to prayer played in the sanctuary of its church, it would receive condemnation and criticism for its decision.
I have begun to read them. I am not on that same bandwagon and I want the church and its pastor to know I support their decision. I am so very pleased they chose the unpopular view by choosing Jehovah God over what some think is intolerance.
As a Christian, I know I must stand for Jesus and the one true God I worship; to think people want to force a Christian church to have a call to worship that goes out to Allah, to me, it shows intolerance and lacks understanding for the deep convictions Christians have who worship only the God of the Bible. I am thankful for their decision.