Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Instead of using slang for people who passed the law in Texas that refers to Muslim fundamentalists,this implying that extremism is somehow Islamic, foreign, “other,” (stoking Islamophobia!) reckon with the fact that these are Christians.


Christian fundamentalists who don't represent the views of most Christians, to be sure. I'm aware of what mainline churches teach, I'm aware even that the majority of Catholics, according to Pew, think abortion should be legal.

But they are Christians.

AND (keep reading)

Please don’t play the “not real Christians” card here.

Reckon w/how Christianity is used to justify this. How it was used to justify slavery, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Holocaust, colonialism.

Take responsibility for your tradition’s harms & your privilege today.

I know it’s tempting to just want to cut back to the teachings of Jesus, to St. Francis, to Merton and Dr. King and James Cone and everyone else preaching about love and justice and care for one another. I love those guys too. And the Teresas and all of them. BUT.

AND, I should say. And I get it. I would love to ignore the bad stuff in my tradition and problematic and downright horrible stuff done by my co-religionists in the name of Judaism. But it’s not the way of honest reckoning and grappling. It’s not the way of facing true things.

AND denying the (toxic) threads of Christian history makes it impossible to grapple with those threads, deal with them, address the truth.

Which is that CHRISTIANS passed these laws. CHRISTIANS are calling for bounties on the heads of people aiding those seeking healthcare.

And it’s a kind of gaslighting. “Oh, the Crusades? The Easter pogroms? The pro-Holocaust theology? The genocides & cultural genocides (are those different? Maybe not) of colonialism? Not Real Christians.” My who were ancestors murdered in the name of the Gospel would like a word.

I know there is wonderful, powerful, liberatory Christianity. I am a big fan of many of its teachers. I believe that the best and most holy of it acknowledges and grapples with the horrors perpetrated in Jesus’ name. In any case, this other Christianity is a thing. Now.

Of course you can’t undo what has been done. But that doesn’t mean there cannot be real reckoning and repentance work around the past, and real accountability demands for the present. And the transformative work needed for tomorrow to be different.

Start by committing to never, ever, EVER use the phrase "Texas Taliban" or make those comparisons. And by grappling with the extremely homegrown fascism in the US. Face it in your theology, in your communities.

And triple down on fighting Islamophobia everywhere you see it.


Islam is significantly more open to abortion than this law.

So attempting to make Islamophobic analogies is even more *shorts out into garbled angry noise*


And--do I have to spell this out? Who is hurt by your little jokes are Muslim Americans. The Taliban doesn't give a whit about what you think. But these jokes influence cultural conversations and who winds up on the receiving end of them is... not the Taliban.

Do the damn work, stop refusing to look in the mirror, stop punching down, your jokes aren't funny, you are causing harm.

Thu Sep 02 22:02:39 +0000 2021