Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Burning Qu’rans?

There was a link this morning on my AOL start page about a Gainesville, Florida pastor and his small nondenominational church who plan to burn Qu'rans on the anniversary of 9/11.  The event just happens to coincide with a big college football game there.  He wants to send a clear message to the world...Sharia law is not welcome in America.
He wants to send a clear message?
Oh yeah...they are sending a clear message alright and it is not a new message for the small church.  According to the The Gainesville Sun, about a year ago, the church started posting signs declaring that "Islam is of the Devil. In the spring, Dove World protested against the current mayor’s mayoral campaign because he is gay, and in June members staged a "no homo mayor" protest at City Hall.

In a recent sermon.....
Jones expressed his disgust at Trinity United Methodist, the church a few streets away that will host an interfaith prayer service on Sept. 10.
Calling Dan Johnson, Trinity's senior minister, and the church's congregation "lily-livered, yellow-bellied Christians," he said it was unfathomable that a group of Christians would rally with Muslims, Hindus and Jews to speak out against a Christian church.
"Our nation is in ruin spiritually," he said.
and more from the newspaper article....
Evan Kohlmann, who tracks militant websites for the New York-based firm Flashpoint Global Partners, said a suicide bomber has threatened to drive a truck into the church and that others have talked about burning down the building.

Kohlmann said the anti-Islam rhetoric in the debate over the so-called "ground zero mosque" and Jones' Quran burning is being used as propaganda for al-Qaida and other extremists, and he urged Jones to back off.

......what do you think burning a Quran is going to do?" Kohlmann said. "It may not be in Gainesville. It may not be in Tallahassee. It may not be in Florida. But a price will be a paid for this."
From the AOL Surge Desk article, written by David Knowles….
Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of American forces fighting in Afghanistan said "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Petraeus told The Wall Street Journal. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
The gist of the message Jones wants to send to the world…Sharia law is not welcome in the United States.  He cites “warnings from European countries” that “if you give Muslim’s an inch…they will demand a mile.” 
This guy is obviously a kook…and he obviously..to me anyway…does not represent a religion based on the teachings of Jesus.  My opinion…Jesus would be more likely to show up at the Methodist church with the other "lily-livered, yellow-bellied Christians" than at “Dove World.”  I cannot conjure up the mental picture of Jesus stoking the fire and tossing in the first Qu’ran. 
What I find alarming is that these same sentiments..admittedly toned down a bit…are being expressed all over the place.  I’ve read them on conservative websites…on Facebook…and in the comments section of so many of the articles and blog posts I’ve visited lately.  This fear of Muslims…this disdain…this lumping them all in the same basket as the jihadists. So many conservatives and Christians seem to have this idea that the innermost desire of all Muslims is to “kill the infidel.” That’s….well….that’s ridiculous.  
And it appears to be a deep seated, etched in stone sentiment.  Many Americans have no desire to understand Muslims.  A recent tongue in cheek article on The Onion website took a satirical look at the phenomena…which I will talk about in my next post.  Gotta’ get to work. After a three day weekend…that’s tough to do…   

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