What if they wore turbans?

As part of a promotional effort for their recent youth camp, the Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City planned to give away an AR-15 assault rifle to one lucky camper.

Yes, you read that right. And it’s not the first time they’ve given guns away as prizes at the camp.

In watching KOCO’s coverage of this story I couldn’t help but think to myself how the typical reaction might be a wee bit different if they were doing a report on a different religious group.

What if that “praise music” playing on the computer was a Qawwali? What if the girls wore head coverings while they drew up the posters? What if the young boys being taught to fire automatic weapons and practicing combat maneuvers were wearing turbans? What if the screaming red-faced teacher was saying the exact same words – but in Arabic? What if the spiritual leader defending his right to arm children and extolling the virtues of the camp was called “Sheikh Ali” instead of “Pastor Bob?”

Wouldn’t middle America be in hysterics? Wouldn’t the feds have raided their compound by now?

I’m just sayin’.

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17 thoughts on “What if they wore turbans?

  1. Their website issued this statement:

    Although the shooting competition that was to take place during the Youth Conference had been canceled, due to false statements* made by the Oklahoma City TV Channel 5 (KOCO) and subsequently reported also by media outlets across the country, a shotgun was donated last Saturday so that the competition could go on as planned.

    If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle against the British, then we can give away a firearm still today, especially since our Supreme Court just re-emphasized our Second Amendment rights.

    I’m soooo relieved that they decided to go with a shotgun instead!

  2. i grew up surrounded by guns in small town maine. my father owns about 2 dozen, and i think his father has more. i own 2 (but they’re in maine, i have no use for them in RI). i believe that the 2nd ammendment is a good thing and that hunting is, as well. and i’m a left wing nutjob! BUT there is a HUUUUUUUUGE difference between my father’s hunting rifles and semi-automatic military weapons. there is NO way citizens should be able to buy these, and NO reason that they need to be able to! and for this to be a church, well that just sickens me. i’m not going to say that jesus is anti-gun or anti-hunting, b/c we can’t apply our modern issues to jesus b/c he didn’t say anything about them. but, when it comes to fighting and war and these types of things, and people who call themselves christians thinking it’s good, i wonder, do they not get the whole “turn the other cheek”, “blessed are the peacemakers”, “blessed are the meek”, “those who live by the sword die by the sword”, “love your enemies”, etc. that jesus taught?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I DON’T GET IT!

  3. i never thought about it this way before, but you are 100% correct. if this was a different religion the country would be a panic and on the defensive.

    also, in response to the comment above, about what the Windsor Hills website says relating to giving away of guns… life in the 1700s was much different than it is today, so comparing gun distribution to teenagers today and to teenagers then cannot even be rationalized.

  4. Ok, why couldn’t they just send their youth to Falls Creek Baptist Assembly like the rest of Oklahoma. It runs 5,000 plus teens on a small week. I don’t know if they still have archery. Actually, think that was just at the boys & girls camps not youth camp.

    I realize most of my family in OK including my uncle who lives in The City have guns. Don’t think any of them would support guns at a youth camp though.

    We had archery at camp but that an assault rifle is absurd. Have these people forgotten the Murrah Building. BTW, that was done by homegrown terrorists of the militia variety that didn’t wear turbans.

  5. I’m not necessarily opposed to target shooting and that sort of thing taking place at a youth camp. I know my wife attended a girls camp when she was younger, and they did skill shooting with rifles. The faith-based youth camp I attended as a kid had archery and air rifle target practice. As a parent, I would never send my kid to a camp where real guns were being fired by children, but I certainly understand how some parents might be okay with it.

    And I’m not anti-gun persay. I don’t own one, and never will. But I’m also in firm support of my hunter friends and their right to own rifles, etc.

    AR-15’s, not so much. Kids and AR-15’s, absolutely not.

    But did anyone watch the video on the news station’s website? I’m serious, if these were Muslim kids this would be on every newschannel in the country on repeat! Can you imagine what FOX News would have to say about it? Lou Dobbs would have an embolism!

  6. it’s true. but, except for a few crazies here and there amongst the “far right”, these gun-toting christians are just that…gun-toting christians. as far as i can tell their goal is not to train these kids to gain access to the U.S., kill all the “infidels”, and establish Islam as the state religion. so to ME there is a difference.
    however, as a follower of Christ I see no reason a church or youth group should be handing out an assault rifle…even if it is a different culture than that of LA or NYC where media is made. there’s just no reason a church should be associated with that…it’s poor judgment in my opinion.

  7. i’m with jim.

    these kids weren’t in a training camp to kill infidels. if this had been in an islamic training camp, they would have had a snack after the AR-15 training and then moved over to the “how to make a roadside bomb” station.

    HUGE difference between terror training and target practice, imo.

    however, it’s really irresponsible to hand out AR-15’s to a bunch of 15 year old kids. good grief!

  8. Who said anything about training camps and killing infidels?

    I am not saying we shouldn’t be alarmed by radical Islamic terrorist training camps. Of course we should, and we should be working to take them out.

    What I am getting at is that if you recast this same exact story with a slightly different context – not in an Al Qaeda training camp somewhere in Afghanistan, but right here in the good ol’ US of A – all hell would be breaking loose right about now.

    If the Baitun Naseer Mosque here in Rochester were conducting a youth camp where they were openly seeking to convert teenagers to Islam, teaching them to fire automatic weapons, showing footage of kids conducting military drills and maneuvers as part of the recruitment effort, we all know the FBI, CIA, ATF would be taking a battering ram to their front door as we speak.

    But I never said anything about them killing infidels or conducting a terrorist training camp in my (admittedly) hypothetical scenario. But you guys automatically assumed that – just like we all do.

    We get a free pass on our “few crazies on the far right.” But Islam doesn’t. Out of 2 billion adherents worldwide, approximately 2,800 are members of Al-Qaeda. That’s the statistical equivalent of “a few crazies on the far right.” (Well armed, well trained, and well financed crazies no doubt!)

    I want this church examined by the feds. What’s being taught while they pull the trigger at target practice? Why are they conducting boot-camp activities? Are they breaking any federal gun laws by arming teens? Are they licensed to do so? Where are they getting these AR-15s from? Do they have a stockpile of weapons on the church’s compound?

    If the feds can march in and take hundreds of kids away from their parents with absolutely no evidence of wrong doing a few months back, doesn’t this at least warrant a conversation with the pastor?

    Isn’t simply assuming this church is on the up and up just as irresponsible as assuming every Muslim is a terrorist? We are talking about the same city that gave us Timothy McVeigh after all.

  9. 1)every Muslim is not a terrorist…their book is. pick it up. check it out. compare Muhammad to Jesus…one is meek, one is murderer.

    2)i agree that any institution that is handing out automatic weapons as a gift to teens should be investigated, whether it be a church in the heartland or a mosque in rochester. and knowing our government, that church is on the radar somewhere.

    3)i apologize for falling into your hypothetical trap. you’re absolutely right there. i should know better by now.

  10. Well, I wasn’t so much trying to set a trap. We’re all hardwired to make those same associations. Often times they’re warranted, frequently they are not.

    And that’s what fascinates me. And what made me ask myself the question: “What if they wore turbins?”

  11. you don’t try to set traps, it’s just in your nature so you can lord it over us! don’t worry, i love the antagonist in you and willingly submit to your authority.

    yeah, if they wore turbans i wouldn’t be worried cause they’d be sikhs who, as far as i know, don’t have youth groups training to kill americans.

    if they wore kaffiyehs then i’d be concerned.

  12. good call jimmy on the sikhs! remember the sikh temple in queens? that was so cool. they were the nicest people…even though their food made me nauseas and they had paintings of the indian prime minister being assisinated 🙂

  13. They were never planning on giving away guns to kids. That’s just the news for you. And the red-faced preacher was preaching from the Word of God, not teaching about killing other people. The guns were to be given to the parents of the teenager if they consented if the teenager was not at least 18 years old.

  14. Why would any church give guns to anyone? This whole thing seems wacko. Most of the people I know in the OKC area are not gun touting wackos.

    I think a better example of a youth camp in Oklahoma is Falls Creek. They run 20,000+ teens a summer. A small week has at least 5,000 teens. It is the largest youth camp in the U.S. Not even sure if the law enforcement officers who volunteer as security even wear guns.

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