Who is Jordan White?
April 8, 2002
As you undoubtedly know by now, I, "Jordan White" am a Christian person, and my website is unabashedly Christian in its point of view. I circulate in a Christian, largely Protestant upper-middle class society in a very nice suburb of a sophisticated, world-class city in California, USA.
I do not say that to try to impress you, or to make you think that I have something that others may not have.
No, I say that so you will have some idea of what I am up against.
Everyone who knows me knows that I am deeply involved in the fight for Palestinian rights, independence and, above all, just peace for a very troubled region.
Although I tend to downplay the relevance of any religion practiced by any particular group in the Middle East, and rather concentrate on our responsibilities as Christians in America, the subject of religion keeps coming up.
I am aware that at least three-quarters of the Palestinian people identify themselves as Muslims. For me, this is not a problem. I have a great deal of respect for the Muslim people, and I am acutely aware that the followers of the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) have a sincere respect for those who follow Jesus Christ.
What is a problem for me is the reaction I keep getting from lifelong Christians (largely women) who have certain ideas about Islam and what its teachings actually are and the impact those teachings have upon a society that has a large percentage of practicing Muslims.
Over and over again:
"Why do they make the women wear things over their faces and those long gowns and stuff? I couldn't stand to wear all those clothes!"
"I heard that the man can just divorce his wife any time he feels like it, just by saying 'I divorce you', three times or something, while the woman has no rights to divorce him at all."
"They treat women like dogs. They aren't allowed to go to school or hold jobs."
"Moslems (sic) don't want girl children, so when they have a daughter rather than a son she is ill-treated, particularly by her father."
Of course, any of us who have anything to do with Muslims know that all of these statements are outrageously false, that Muslimas (female Muslims) wear a hatta or mandeel (scarf ) and modest clothing because they choose to do so, and in no way are forced to by the men in their society or by the teachings of the Quran. Additionally, either the husband or the wife may initiate divorce proceedings, and Muslim law dictates that a fair settlement must be reached regarding both parties. Muslimas may hold jobs and attend school (and, in fact, are encouraged to receive an education), and working women are permitted to keep the money they earn. Girl children are received with at least as much thanksgiving in Muslim society as in Christian, and it is not unusual for a daughter to be the special pride and joy of her father.
Okay, while I felt that I needed to specifically contradict those false ideas in order to make sure we are all understanding one another, that is not really the point I am trying to make.
I wish to address my fellow Christians on this issue, and I have something I really want you to think long and hard about.
Why do you seek to condemn and judge these people, specifically the women, because they:
1. Wish to remain modestly clothed?
2. Prioritize their marital relationships and value the time spent with their husbands and children?
3. Choose to emphasize a spiritual path to fulfillment rather than one achieved through material success?
4. Regard the importance of submission, obedience and the suppression of self as important to the development of character and spiritual responsibility?
Why, instead, aren't you fighting harder against the elements in our society that fly in the face of these principles, since they are the very same principles taught in our Scriptures?
(Scriptural references at the end of the article.)
Why do you criticize Muslimas for wearing the hatta while you blink at nudity in films, pornography on the Internet, garish displays of sexual come-ons in advertising on TV, magazines, billboards?
Why do you think they should have more liberal views (even though I have just stated to you that their views on the subject are quite fair indeed) on divorce and women's rights? Do you wish to see their society become as perverted toward male-female relationships as our own? Do you not think that the selfish attitudes of both men and women, resulting in the regard of the opposite sex as some sort of human amusement park, contribute to the decline of the family, the major building block of our society? Our divorce rate is closing in on 50%. Do you not understand the impact this has on our children, our stability as a nation, our moral and ethical values as a people?
Christians, you are supposed to be out there "salting" the world (Matt. 5:13). Jesus asked you to take up his cross and follow Him (Matt. 10:38). He asked you to be feeding the hungry and clothing the naked (Matt. 25: 35-40). Instead, you are largely neglecting your duties as followers of Christ and are spending your time and resources on cruises, home redecoration, lavish parties, and so on. Your church services often make a mockery of the idea of worship and instead could easily pass as a social get-together at the country club with a short inspirational speech by some well-dressed fellow with a nice manicure.
I inwardly weep when I witness a prayer service attended by Muslim worshippers. The sincere love and devotion to Allah, God, is a precious and beautiful thing to witness.
Stop criticizing Muslims for their emphasis on what is good, and holy, and pure. Instead, take a leaf from their book (or better yet, study the whole book), and take steps to right your own attitudes toward God and fellow-man. Get the log out of your own eye (Matt. 7:5), then maybe you will see things more clearly to help pull our own society out of its moral and spiritual bankruptcy.
Stop criticizing others for concentrating on those things you should have been concentrating on all along.
1. I Tim. 2:9 "Likewise...women...adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly..."
2. I Cor. 7:3 "Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband."
3. Heb. 12: 1,2 "...Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
4. James 22 "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude yourselves."
Eph. 5: 15 - 17 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
All references New American Standard.
P.S. People have asked me about the name "Jordan White", so let me clear it up, since it seems to cause some problems for some folks.
I took the name as a legal pen name years ago when I started my career as a writer, to protect my privacy and that of my family, which included a daughter with disabilities, a husband with a politically sensitive career, and various and sundry reasons to protect my family from repercussions from any problems that might arise from what I wrote The fictitious name, "Jordan White", is legally registered with the Superior Court of Alameda County, in Oakland, California, and cost me a certain amount of money to effect. I took the name "Jordan", not after the country in the Middle East, but because it was a gender-unspecific name, and I wished to be judged by my ideas, rather than my sex. (If you e-mail me privately, I will be glad to tell you my gender, and also, virtually anything else you want to know about me.) As for the name "White", it does not refer to my race, but to the great British novelist, T.H. (Terence Hanbury)White (1906-1964).
I "named" myself in his honor simply because, in my opinion, he was the greatest writer I have ever read, and one of his novels, "The Once and Future King", a modernization of the King Arthur legend, is the best book I have ever read in my life. T.H. White was also one of the most honest human beings ever to grace this earth, and he was an Anglo-Saxon individual whose writings help explain the Anglo-Saxon psyche, or mindset, if you will, to all who care to understand the thought behind the actions of any group of people, and thus, help all of us of different races and ethnicities to understand where we are all coming from. God bless this wonderful man and his foresight. His wisdom helps us realize that we all need to get along on this troubled planet by understanding our pasts, our hopes and dreams as a people. As human beings.
Please e-mail me if you have a problem
with anything about me or about what I write. I covet your input. I hope this clears up some problems
any of you have had with me or with what I write.
Yours very sincerely,