Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning the Koran

It is quite disturbing to see the hullabaloo surrounding the Florida pastor and his congregation that is announcing an "International Burn the Koran Day".

First off, I do not approve of the burning.  I tend to be a "do unto others" kind of guy.  I don't want anyone taking the Bible and burning it to make a statement.  I consider it to be a holy book, and I would hope that others would respect my beliefs enough to not burn the Bible. 

Yet, the conundrum is that we are a nation based upon freedoms.  This pastor and his congregation have every right to burn the Koran if they so choose.  I many not like it.  I may not approve of it, but I can't stop them from exercising what they believe to be right.

The rub for me is: why all the attention?  This is the disturbing part to me.  Why is the media plastering this story all over the place?  General David Petraeus has said the incident could inflame the religious extremists and put our troops in harm's way.  (As if somehow they aren't already????)  Several others are expressing their condemnation even calling it "disgraceful" and "idiotic." 

It looks to me like the media is once again trying to fabricate discord, anger, and strife.  It looks to me like someone is intentionally trying to throw gasoline on a fire to see it explode.  Is this healthy? 

By all rights, I shouldn't even be talking about the story itself, but I think there should be some healthy condemnation thrown toward those who have blown this story up and given it national headlines.  So what if a small, podunk congregation that is declining decides to burn the Koran?  Let them do it.  Ignore it.  Move on to more important stuff.  Maybe the congregation posts a YouTube video of it.  But that's as far as it goes.  They don't get any attention (that they are obviously clamoring for).  No one outside the Gainsville area knows about it.  Our troops don't get any undue attention.  And the manufactured uproar never occurs.

You know, it's truly sad to me that garbage like this gets portrayed as real news.  We'll plaster this crap all over the place and ignore the truly good stories that uplift humanity.  I guarantee, if the press were as active in Jesus' day, we'd hear all types of stories about the beheading of John the Baptist, and we wouldn't hear a thing about the Good Samaritan.  Yet, which of those Bible stories has had the most profound impact throughout history?

You know, I wonder what would happen if the media decided to print more about the goodness of humanity.  Would we be inspired to be better people?  Would we live in less fear?  Would we think that this world isn't such a bad place to live?  And how does our faith play into such a thing?

Jesus calls us to be salt and light.  Making a difference by adding spice to blandness and illuminating that which is dark.  I'd bet a dollar to a hole in a donut that the light Jesus is talking about doesn't come from burning other people's religious books.  Instead, I'd bet it's practicing what we preach--truly loving others as Christ first loved us.

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