Enough is Enough.

UPDATE: Shortly after this post went live, Rev. Jones decided to cancel the Koran burning event. While I'm sure the President's urging had something to do with it, I think that the J-Blog deserves a little credit!

Greetings bloggers.

I fought with myself for a long time about this post, whether I would write it or not. In the end I suppose if you're reading this, I decided to go for it. I'll explain the internal battle in a little while.

As I'm sure you've heard, a pastor of a small evangelical church in Gainesville Florida has decided that on September 11th, the 9th anniversary of one of the most horrific attacks on America soil, he and his congregation are going to burn the Koran, the Islamic Holy Book. In his words, he's doing this to send a message to the radical arm of Islam.

Le sigh.

Honestly, hearing about that makes me want to move to Canada. I'm afraid that someone in the world might look at him in America and assume that I'm like that too. There are a lot of factors in play here, so let's take a look at what's going on.

Freedom of Speech
Rev. Jones absolutely has a right to burn the Koran. He absolutely has the right to do so on whatever day he darn well chooses. I was talking with a friend about this whole mess, and she said we should just arrest him for a week and make sure he can't do it. Unfortunately, that's not how things work here in America. Because I have the right to say what I'm thinking on this blog, he has the right to say what he wants how he wants to. So politically, I'm forced to say go for it.

What bible is he reading?
What sends me around the bend in this story is that the main character is a Christian, and in fact is in charge of an entire congregation. As I leaf through the Gospels, I can't imagine where this guy is finding the inspiration to burn another faith's holy book. However much we might have disagreements, however much we might view another group of people as an enemy, we're instructed to love. I don't see how such an action could ever be construed as love

What kind of response will you have?
September 11th was a horrible horrible day in the life of America, filled with the hate of mad men and murderers. We were attacked simply because a small but loud group of terrorists hate the kind of lifestyle we promote. So Rev. Jones has decided to attack that day by fueling his own kind of hate? It doesn't make sense to me. The very best thing you can do in a situation filled with that much hate is to respond with love. Even if Christ hadn't commanded us to live that way, it would still make sense.

The Broader Theme
I think that the broader theme going on behind the scenes of this story and some others is a growing intolerance towards Muslims. I have some pretty serious issues with this, but I think we need to come back to them in later posts. What are your thoughts on this story? Leave some love in the comments!




Derrick said...

Jason, How's it going? Haven't chatted in a while, but I've been reading your blog and it actually inspired me to start my own, but I absolutely agree with what you are saying.

I heard once that there are some 3,000 denominations of Christianity worldwide. 3,000 different interpretations of the same book. It drives me nuts when Christ has called us to be united, but the differences are small. How we interpret different parts of scripture that may seem vague is why so many denominations exist, but at the core of it is a message of love. Christ makes it clear over and over again. It's tough when someone in the church has so far missed the central point of the gospel.

That is what the world will see as Christianity, much like we viewed Islam after 9/11, as hateful and violent religion. I thought about how we labeled them as extremist and that's probably an appropriate term for those select few.

I think Christianity could use a few more extremists, because the ones who are extremists for Christ should be the most humble, loving, and relational people on the planet, not judgmental and hateful towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I'm stuck with what do we do about it? The easy thing to do is to be angry and hope that they get arrested before anything happens, but like you said that hinders their free speech.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.