If it wasn’t such a sick and tragic issue, I would have found the headline from CNN’s website quite funny:
‘Burn Quran Day’ an outrage to Muslims
Next thing you know, CNN will feel the need to tell me that it gets hot in the summer here in Florida. Or, that it tends to be darker at night than it is during the day.
Occasionally, I use this blog for “shooting fish in a barrel.” That is, for speaking out against statements or events which are so egregious that I can’t imagine anyone not objecting to them. At least, not anyone who might be reading this blog. Even though it might be a bit self-congratulatory, I still think it’s worth it – how many times have we heard “where were the voices of dissent from X on issue Y” after the fact? It seems that, as a religious leader, it’s important to go on record (however small that record may be) as being against horrifically awful things, especially at a time when many are not against those horrifically awful things. This is such a time.
What possible justification could there be to burn the Quran? What religious impulse drives someone to condemn all Muslims, of all stripes, as a religion “of the Devil”? What possible good can come of this? It is, plainly and simply, disgusting.
I’ll admit, I usually get a rather mild sense of self-satisfaction from these “fish in a barrel” posts. It feels good to be out and vocal on issues of tolerance. It feels good to condemn bigots. Usually. Not this time.
This time, for whatever reason, it feels inadequate.
I don’t know what else to do, so I’ll do this blog for now. I am, in all likelihood, modifying my sermon tonight to include this. And, like I am right now, I’ll call on people to do something. Write a letter to your paper. Post something on Facebook. Blog about. Talk about it.
And, if you happen to know any Muslims, make sure that they know that you find this sacrilegious, and disgraceful. I can’t imagine how painful and lonely it must feel to watch someone burn your sacred book, and call you evil*. Make sure that our friends and neighbors know that they are not alone, and that we won’t stand for hate.
* As I finished typing those very words, I went back and read the rest of the CNN article (it was too sickening to read entirely, at first). I discovered that, ever the ecumenical hater, Pastor Terry Jones has agreed to also include a couple of copies of the Talmud in his little extravaganza. So, I may get the chance to find out exactly how it feels, after all.
From the CNN article:
The Founding Fathers were also inspired by Christian thinkers like John Locke, who declared that the true Christian's duty was to "practice charity, meekness, and good-will in general toward all mankind, even to those that are not Christians."
Pastor Jones, should you happen to read this, please, be American, and be Christ-like, and practice good-will in general toward all mankind.