Those Muslim Cabbies

This isn’t a blog post about what’s wrong with Islam.

In fact, most people would be shocked to learn that as a white, middle-class American Pastor I’m actually an Islamic sympathizer.

That’s not to say that I place any stock in the Islamic faith, it’s just to say that I’ve travelled too much of the Islamic world to be swayed by the rhetorical punches that are aimed at “a religion” but land squarely on the noses of human beings.

I have Muslim friends and despite our cultural and religious differences I am generously received by them.

This is a blog post about what’s wrong with the human heart.

This week an American rental car company fired 25 Muslim drivers for not “clocking out” while they observed their daily prayers.  The drivers, Muslims from war torn nations in East Africa, came to Washington looking for a better life.  They found it shuttling cars around the SeaTac airport.

Devout Muslims pray 5 times per day.  It’s common in the Muslim world to watch the activity of an entire town grind to a halt as the call to prayer sounds. The people dutifully face towards Mecca, bow to the earth, and spend 5-7 minutes in prayer.

It’s nearly impossible to find an American who can sit still for more than 5 minutes.

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When Push Comes To Shove

 

This weekend was a bad one for NFL coaches.  I didn’t think that it could get much worse than coaches breaking legs AND tearing patellar tendons, but then the Detroit/San Francisco game ended in something that looked even more uncomfortable than Kirk Cameron’s most recent birthday party.

During the post game handshake Jim Harbaugh, the 49er’s rookie head coach, was so excited about his upstart team’s last second win over the previously undefeated Lions, that he pulled a real no-brainer.

In a jubilant sprint, he gave losing head coach Jim Schwartz of Detroit a “hand slap-chest bump” handshake- like the two of them were frat bro’s celebrating at a kegger.

Jim Schwartz didn’t like it.

While Harbaugh’s over expressive and self-congratulatory choice of post-game greeting was clearly over the top, how he ended the “handshake” may have been even worse.  At the speed both men were moving, there was going to be an inevitable collision.

Harbaugh did the old “side step and push around” maneuver that you do when cutting your way through a theme park crowd.

Jim Schwartz really didn’t like that.

As Harbaugh rushed to resume his “all-over-the-field” celebration, Schwartz looked back and “F-bombed” him to little effect.  When he realized how little impact his “fudging” of Harbaugh accomplished, he ran after him, applying the amount of body and language he felt was adequate to express his frustration.

Jim Harbaugh didn’t like that.

But this is where the paths of the two Jims diverge.  Whereas Schwartz heaped confrontation on top of Harbaugh’s cluelessness, Harbaugh didn’t want any part of Schwartz’ escalation.  It took a field full of players, coaches, and security personnel to keep Coach Schwartz away from Coach Harbaugh.

Schwartz didn’t much like that either.

At the press conference he pointed out that he didn’t like getting cussed at or shoved… even though he responded with an incredibly disproportionate amount of cussing and shoving.  Harbaugh on the other hand admitted that the offense was “on me” and that his “handshake needed some work”.

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Appetite For Deception

Last week I heard that Gun’s n’ Roses were going on tour in North America.  The first thing I did was work the Google machine to see if Axl and Slash had finally made nice.

They haven’t.

Neither Slash, nor any other original member, will be joining W. Axl Rose for this tour.  It will merely be the lead singer performing alongside a bunch of people you’ve never heard of.

It’s not like all the former members hate each other.  In fact, getting them together in a room is actually quite easy, you only have to mention that Axl won’t be there.  This is a shame because when they were operating as the Most Dangerous Band In The World, Rose was often the only thing holding them together.

Now he’s the only thing keeping them apart.

Under most conditions it can be hard to keep a rock band together, but it’s even harder to do when they’ve achieved everything they hoped for. It’s not usually the battle to become the best that kills a band, it’s usually the divvying up of the spoils.

My favorite band break up? The Smiths. It included the now legendary firing of Bassist Andy Rourke. He received a Post-It Note on the windshield of his car, it read: “Andy – you have left The Smiths. Goodbye and good luck, Morrissey.”

What’s great about this break up is that even though it was committed in about as cowardly a fashion as the 1980’s allowed for,  Morrissey at least contacted Andy to let him know that the relationship was over.

Which brings me to Facebook.

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