Conversation With Mark Siljander on ReadTheSpirit
Join ReadTheSpirit editor David Crumm for a conversation with Mark discussing his global activism and hope for reconciliation. Crumm faces head-on the Google searches that equate Mark Siljander with “indictment” by bringing his transparent and balanced inquiry to bear:
Google Mark Siljander, the evangelical Christian writer and global activist — and you’ll feel a jolt. Right near the top of the online “hit list” are disturbing news items like this one from the Los Angeles Times: “Mark Siljander vehemently denies the allegations in the indictment …”
This is a conservative, evangelical, Republican who formerly served in the U.S. Congress and now travels the world working on peaceful development projects. When he’s not working on commercial projects (like a green, bio-fuels project in Kenya at the moment), then he’s working on nonprofit projects in trying to build peaceful relations between Western (mostly Christian) and Eastern (mostly Muslim) governments.
Not only that, but HarperOne has just published his book, “A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman’s Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide” — a terrific book that Americans should be reading and discussing in small groups.
Plus, the book carries endorsements from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, former Secretary of State James Baker — and the hottest writer in emergent-Christian circles, Brian McLaren.
So, what indictment?!
Read on for ReadtheSpirit’s take on the indictment and further discussion of Mark’s work…
DAVID: You’ve served several terms in Congress. You’ve served at the United Nations. You’ve traveled the world. And still — still you tell readers that there’s hope for peace and reconciliation. There are a lot of people who are sounding pretty hopeless right now about global conflict. You’re not only refreshing in your promotion of serious, peaceful dialogue between devout Christians and Muslims. You’re also refreshing in saying that we should be hopeful about world peace.
MARK: In the middle of the last century, who ever thought the world could defeat the massive empire of communism? Communist leaders even had nuclear weapons! Who thought that could be overcome? But it was.
I’m saying that the practical way to engender hope in the world is to support the vast majority of Muslims and work with them to undermine the small number of radicals out there. This isn’t a big Einstein theory. It’s just common sense.