Chaplain ‘punished’ for preaching peace
A few weeks back, Randy Beckum, above, chaplain at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas, sparked an ‘outcry’ and a torrent of criticism – particularly on social media – after he preached a sermon about America’s ‘addiction to violence’.
According to this report, shortly after Beckum’s sermon, it was announced that he would no longer be the Vice President of the university’s Community Foundation. Although the university President claimed Beckum had previously expressed interest in stepping down from that position, his daughter disputes this assertion.
Many in the MNU community are wondering if Beckum was “punished” for his pro-peace sermon, and the timing of his dismissal as VP of the Community Foundation seems to validate those concerns.
Said Kristi Rose Jackson, who was elected to be student body president.
Even the people that were frustrated with what (Beckum) had to say in chapel, or wanted to challenge it, were confused and almost offended by the demotion.
Criticism of the sermon ranged from complaints that Beckum had politicised his sermons to the idea that he had insulted Christians who served in the military.
So what did he say that was so offensive? Here’s an except:
As you know two movies came out recently. Selma, the story of one of the 20th century most influential Christian leaders, Rev Martin Luther King Jr, who led a non-violent movement that changed the course of American History forever. And American Sniper, the story of the most deadly Navy SEAL sniper in American history.
Selma has made 29-30 million so far. American Sniper made over 103 million in the first four days. Gives you an idea about who our heroes are. I don’t think it is an under-statement to say that our culture is addicted to violence, guns, war, revenge and retaliation. Unfortunately, so are a lot of Christians.
He went on to say that we have to “be very careful about equating patriotism with Christianity,” and implored his flock to be:
Controlled by love, compelled by love for everyone.
Incidentally American Sniper, based on the late Chris Kyle’s autobiography, reportedly sparked an outpouring of hatred towards Arabs and Muslims on Twitter after its release. Here are some examples:
• Great fucking movie and now I really want to kill some fucking ragheads.
• American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some fuckin Arabs.
• Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are – vermin scum intent on destroying us.
• American Sniper made me appreciate soildiers [sic] 100x more and hate Muslims 1000000x more.
Push-back came from some who liked the movie, but were appalled by the racist responses.
Writer C J Werleman summed up the opinion of many:
American Sniper is a big hit for Americans who fantasize about shooting Arabs but are afraid to go where Arabs shoot back.