I usually make a point of not posting things like this…because I spent the bulk of my blogging career dedicated to political and social commentary. I spent all of high-school studying Constitutional Law, American History, and politics. In short, I burned out, realized my own life took up enough energy to deal with and faded from the scene. Lately I’ve been growing in my opinions and not much remains the same, and I like to think I’m becoming more balanced and less screw-everyone-if-they’re-“wrong” like.
So when I heard about the pastor in Florida(my home-state) who’s all “We’ll burn the Koran on the anniversary of a national tragedy!” I was very offended. That day holds a special place in my heart – I remember it vividly, and while I too, am outraged at the events that occurred, I don’t think sticking out our middle finger to a group of people 9 years later is overly effective, especially not for someone calling himself a Christian.
Legally he can do whatever he wants on his property as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, which is fine because those rules apply to everyone. Really it’s not so much the burning of books itself or in general that’s the issue, it’s the sentiment and mentality behind it. The “We’re better than you. We hate you. (our) God hates you. We’re going to show you in the most offensive and outrageous way possible!” idea is what is being communicated. Which, certainly isn’t what Christianity is or should be.
In a press release NAE President Leith Anderson said
“To all followers of Islam: Please do not judge all Christians by the behavior of one extremist, one person with 30 silent followers does not speak for 300 million Americans who will never burn a Qu’ran.”
This reminds me of the cry of many Muslim Americans 9 short years ago, saying basically the same thing. In all honesty, I think that most Christians, and most Muslims, and most people of other religions, want to be able to just get along and don’t want the handful of nut-cases to define them. The sentiment that this Florida pastor is trying to convey is going to offend the normal people, the non-extremists, the people like me, who are just trying to do what’s right and don’t really want to start a war with every differing opinion. While at the same time leaving ground to spur on the extremists, which is the very thing our leaders are concerned about. Because, in short, he is an extremist, and if one of the people at a nearby mosque decided to burn the Bible, he would retaliate harshly.
For me though, this whole thing just serves as a reminder that just because we may have different religions and lifestyles we’re all Americans, we all have rights, we’re all equal, and should treat each other respectfully regardless of whether or not we agree completely.