If it happens, the sight of Christians burning copies of the Qur’an will be one ludicrous result of the Christian partisanship that corrupts Christianity into something alien to Jesus. Such actions and the hate-filled pride behind them work against Jesus Christ, inflicting disgrace upon his name and his people.
Will the Qur’an burning endanger U.S. troops and civilians? I don’t know, but I’m sure it won’t help efforts to isolate the minority of belligerent Muslims with murder on their minds from the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists and do not want to be terrorists. Video of the event could be used as propaganda to help recruit terrorists and to enrage or embitter Muslims, especially if they are tricked into generalizing the hateful act of a few American Christians into misperceptions of the feelings of many or most Americans or of valid Christian attitudes toward Islam. The people most directly and immediately harmed, however, will be those who participate in the burning. The shepherd is doing deep-down damage to his own flock.
I find it irksome that our “news” media are falling over each other to give the misguided (to put it mildly) minister his fifteen minutes of fame, as though there were really a significant story in the event. I have friends who are growing discouraged about our future because day after day we hear voices of bigotry and hatred shouting from our televisions until it seems those voices have taken over the society. What we’re hearing is not all there is out there in our land but merely what the media producers think will capture viewers and sell stuff. They, the media producers, are creating a picture of Americans as angry, misinformed malcontents shouting inanities at the world and, particularly, at the black President whose presence in the White House they can’t stand. Anger and hatred are getting the coverage, and so they seem to be the greatest realities out there. I don’t believe they are.
Yes, hard times frighten and embitter people who can’t believe their security has collapsed so suddenly (at least it feels sudden). So, they are tempted to look around for bad guys to blame, and political opportunists offer them groups of people they can easily identify as “other,” mistrust, and feel good about hating.
Worst of all is the anti-American cynicism (from Americans) that blocks recovery from the recession so people will keep suffering and that inflames hatred in the world so there will be more violence – all in hopes of winning elections and regaining power. Trying to make the nation fail to recover and its people sink deeper into misery and despair is not patriotic. Picking on vulnerable groups and demonizing a major world religion is not worthy of “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
By now, leaders of both political parties should have condemned the idea of burning copies of the Qur’an, identified those who would do the burning as misguided people acting in a way that is un-American (as it is also un-Christian), pointed out to the nation and world that such actions do not represent America, and moved on to real needs and issues. Using the worst impulses of some Americans to increase tensions, endanger lives, distort reality, and corrupt the nation’s soul – all in the pursuit of power – is shameful.