People everywhere (including this blogger) were outraged this week to hear the plans of Terry Jones, a pastor of a small church in Gainesville Florida. He stated that he and his followers would be burning the Koran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11. Muslims around the world have been protesting and even threatening violence. I even heard one man say on CNN that muslims everywhere would kill Americans if the Koran was burned. They have already burning straw men with Terry Jones' face along with the American flag. Hold the phone people. Is this the peaceful religion of Islam that they keep telling us about?
Am I for the burning? Absolutely NOT! I believe that pastor's everywhere should stand up and speak out against it. In fact they are. Rick Warren and others have condemned this hateful and shameful act. Does that make the news? Of course not!
Should our government stop a citizen from expressing his right to free speech or put pressure on him to stop? No, they should not! Muslim leaders around the world have been trying to persuade our President to stop him from acting. I am sorry but that is not our President's place. It is also not his place to speak up for the rights of those building the New York mosque that is billed as insensitive by Americans at large. Just as one week later, to speak out against a different brand of insensitivity when free speech is concerned is not his place either. This my friends, may be considered hypocritical, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Since I know nothing of the pressure he must be under to speak out on these issues.
The good news is that earlier today Terry Jones did a press conference to say that it was postponed. The bad news is that he later said that it may be on again. I think the publicity has gone to his head. His 15 minutes of fame should have been over by now.
The big question on everyone's mind is What Would Jesus Do? Well for starters he would LOVE his enemies. So if burning an object that "your enemies" consider sacred is a loving act, then go right ahead. If it is not however, then stop saying you represent our God! We should show our faith by our love.
I hate how one bigoted extremist gets so much press. We should react different than the world or even other religions. One example that comes to mind is when Comedy Central planned to have Mohammed in a bear costume in an episode of South Park they received death threats from Muslims. They decided to censor the program. Now they plan to release a cartoon called JC, which will openly make fun of Jesus Christ and Christianity. What should we do? Nothing. Let's take the high road. Let others see our love rather than our hate. Remember, "Love your enemies, and do good to those who despitefully use you".
I hope Terry Jones and his small ragtag band of followers do truly call off their charade. I hope Muslims see that Christians everywhere are against this type of act. I am not against it because of fear, but because it is un-Christlike in the highest since of the word.