Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burn a holy book!

It just goes to show that extremism and ignorance is not limited to only one religion or one group of people. Terry Jones, a pastor of a Florida-based church, has spent the last several months declaring that he would burn the Koran as a message to the Islamist extremists. Exactly what message he thinks that will send is another matter entirely. While much of the civilized world deplores such an action for a variety of reasons (it will harm US soldiers, it will inflame the moderate Muslims, it's heretical to do that to any other holy book, etc.), he has spent much of the last week or more garnering needless attention from a media that cannot get enough of him and asinine actions.

To be fair, he lives in a country where he has the right to do such a foolish action. No such similar action would be accepted or tolerated in any Muslim country (whose populations are being roused to anger because of Mr. Jones' threats). The right to act stupidly seems to be a uniquely American right and is exercised often - and then hyped by a media seemingly starved for new lows upon which they can report. But just because one has the right to act stupidly does not mean that they should. Honestly, there are a variety of (very valid) reasons why Mr. Jones should not follow through on his threat to burn the Koran and they have been articulated by personages far more influential than I. But for a man who professes to be a man of God (and presumably the peace and kindness so often associated with God), this is an action that stands as a stark contradiction to that profession. But is it really that different from those whom he claims to be protesting against (Islamist extremists)? Except that he is only hurting a book (a grave crime in my personal belief but that is beside the point) whereas his avowed enemies seek to hurt anyone who opposes them - or even gets in the way.

Maybe the best answer is to take all of them, lock them in a room together and toss the key...

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