Foolishness from the pulpit

Stupidity comes in all shapes and sizes, all races and
religions. The most recent case in point is Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove
World Outreach Center in Florida.

As of this writing, Pastor Jones is still planning to burn
copies of the Quran this Saturday, Sept. 11, the ninth anniversary of the 2001
terror attacks.

Local fire officials told the pastor that such a burning
would be illegal. He disregarded that. He was also told that such an action
could jeopardize U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The pastor, so far at least, is
still disregarding that warning coming from the White House and from Gen. David

The pastor and the members of his congregation have the
right to burn copies of the Quran that they own, just as they have the right to
burn their own copies of the New Testament, Torah and their own American flags.
But, just because they have the right to do these things, doesn’t mean they’re
the right things to do.

What is planned is pure disregard for an entire faith simply
because some militant adherents committed heinous, criminal acts, acts that
totally disregarded the sanctity of human life. Perhaps the pastor should be
reminded of other such acts committed by others. People used the Bible to
justify black slavery. There was the forced conversion of the American Indian.
Perhaps he should be reminded of the Spanish Inquisition and the destruction of
native Latin American people. Let’s not forget the burning of witches. Those
actions were conducted in the name of Christianity. Should the New Testament be

The planned book burning has nothing to do with patriotism
or Christianity. It is nothing more than anti-Islamic prejudice that will, if
it is held, do nothing but inflame those in the Muslim world who already hate
the U.S., and will add more recruits to those ranks.

We were attacked on 9/11, not because of our freedoms as the
right has contended, but because U.S. foreign policy is meddlesome, an
intrusion into areas of the world where we have no knowledge, no understanding
and no respect. The planned book burning is proof of that disrespect.

Pastor Jones has said he will pray on the idea, then make
his final decision on whether to burn the books. Let’s hope those prayers bring
the voice of sanity and decency.

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