Burning the Koran – Commentary
As the blog administrator for Coal Country, I’ve been very keenly aware of how people can throw words, and actions around in the attempt to get their point across, publicity for their cause, or outright expressions of hatred towards others. With 9-11-10 looming in the near future, a “pastor” from Florida has been in the news lately, threatening to burn the Koran in protest of the Islamic religion.
(Side note: it’s amazing that the media continues to consider this sort of thing “news”, and are just as guilty of putting our country, and troops in harms way.)
In protest of what he calls a religion “of the devil,” a nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to host an “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Self-proclaimed “Pastor” Terry Jones is the leader of the “Dove World Outreach Center”. (Alachua County officials revoked part of the church’s tax-exempt status earlier this year, saying portions of the 20-acre campus are used in for-profit businesses. The property is valued at more than $1.6 million,though the 1,700-square-foot taxable portion is worth only a measly $135,000, according to the Gainsville Sun.)
So what are we to think of this so called Christian “World Outreach”, of hatred and intolerance? What happened to the teachings of Jesus when it comes to these self-proclaimed “Christian” centers? Maybe it’s the same thing that happened to terrorist offshoots of the Islamic religion that do the exact same thing. Proclaim their “God” the only God, and wish harm and death on others who think differently. Sound familiar? For the life of me, I can’t see much of a difference between planning terrorist suicide attacks, or planning a book burning that will put our troops in peril overseas. Well, maybe I can. It’s worse.
People with simple, evil, and destructive minds see violence as the way to make a change in this world. I was lucky to have learned in my early years just what Jesus spoke against, and died on the cross about. It was written in another holy book, and it seems pretty simple, easily understood advice to me.
- Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: Ex. 21.24 · Lev. 24.20 · Deut. 19.21
39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
- 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
- 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
- 15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
My mother is an Episcopalian priest, and she went to seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, finishing in Oxford, England. Her training as a priest by the Episcopal church qualifies her to be a spokesperson for her church. The key word here is “qualified”. A self proclaimed pastor, priest, monk, cult leader, rabbi, teacher, or whatever, is not qualified to teach. It’s that simple, and here’s another example of it.
Lastly, in respect to the coal issue, I think it can be fairly similar in the way the dialogue is handled. As far as Mountain Top Removal, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a non issue. In the past mere couple of million years, the Appalachians have been underwater, toppled, crushed, and moved along with continental drift in a constant bout with change. That’s what a mountain is. Change. The issue is that within a short lifetime, or 100, humans will be affected in an adverse way. So ultimately, I’m not worried about the Earth here. Mother Nature has strong weapons against forces of nature that get out of harmony. They get wiped out quickly.
The issue here is whether we can grow as human beings to the point where we can work together in harmony and peace to accomplish great things. Thank you Pastor Terry Jones, for pointing out the complete opposite of the teachings of Jesus, and how not to accomplish peace, and brotherhood.
What would Jesus do?
Rich Reardin – September 9, 2010