Burn the Quran Day? Dumb idea.

By now many of you have heard of Burn the Quran Day, an idea started by a Protestant pastor of a tiny church in Florida to “commemorate” the September 11 terrorist attacks.  This Saturday, he and his congregation plan on burning copies of the Quran, the book considered by Muslims as sacred scripture.

I haven’t thoroughly read the reasons why he’s doing this.  I think he wants to send a message that Americans are not push-overs and that Islam is from the devil.

Honestly, I don’t really care about his motives.  It’s a stupid idea.

As Christians, we don’t believe that the Quran is divinely inspired.  Nevertheless, there’s no point in taking such an offensive and disrespectful action on a book considered holy and sacred by Muslims.

On this blog, we have expressed concerns in the past about some tendencies within Islam, their beliefs and behaviours.  But we don’t take any pleasure in mocking their holy objects.  Nor should we.  That’s just a cheap shot that accomplishes nothing.  It doesn’t help in establishing a dialogue and it doesn’t convert anybody.  It by-passes the intellect and engages exclusively at the level of the passions, which isn’t conducive to anything constructive.  Rational debate about doctrine and behaviours is necessary, but cheap shots should be avoided.

Freedom of speech needs to be kept in check by respect for the common good, otherwise things go sour in a hurry.  I think that minimal respect for each others’ sacred objects is in line with the common good in a civilized society.

Muslims are understandably outraged.  So would I if somebody was burning the Bible in Saudi Arabia.

That being said, there is a limit to which we can accommodate other religions.  For example, if one of our separated brethren takes offense at me praying the Rosary, that’s tough luck for him.  I won’t give up my devotion to Mary simply because he thinks it’s idolatry.  Likewise, we don’t need to give up eating beef simply because it may offend some Hindus.  Granted, if I was going out to dinner with a Hindu friend I wouldn’t purposely order a 16 ounce New York Sirloin steak :-).  I’d probably order a non-beef item, just to avoid causing a stir, out of courtesy for my friend.

What we need is balance and respect.  Burning the Quran achieves neither.

11 thoughts on “Burn the Quran Day? Dumb idea.

  1. I agree, I think they should hold a prayer vigil instead with candles which should not be lit from the burning Quran fire. If you ask me he is seeking attention and not God.

  2. Burning the Koran is a horrible idea. The pastor is trying to incite discord. All Christians should oppose this and try to intervene and stop it.

  3. I agree. I can’t believe that other christians aren’t standing up for what is right. The fla pastor is a false profit that we have been warned against in mathew 24
    He is not following the bible Romans 12:17-21
    17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  4. Hell has frozen over. Again, we agree:

    Freedom of speech needs to be kept in check by respect for the common good

    All I’ve ever said.

    Are you mellowing, John?

    Actually Steve asked me to read his post to ensure that we were both in agreement. If you actually read what I believe, John, you will understand that I believe that freedom is not absolute.

    I have always maintained this position. You can read it about it here:

    http://www.catholic-legate.com/?p=487

    http://www.catholic-legate.com/?p=1105

    http://www.catholic-legate.com/?p=1249

    My position, of course, is in total conformity with the Catholic Faith.

    Freedom must be grounded in TRUTH. Without truth, Freedom is merely license. True freedom recognizes its boundaries. A refusal to recognize the moral boundaries of freedom ultimately means that if there is an abuse of freedom, the State will step in to address the moral injustice. However, when the State does that, it encroaches into our individual liberty.

    The best way, therefore, of maintaining our freedoms is to stay grounded in the truth.

  5. Spot on. It amazes me though that some tough type Catholics are making light of this even to the point of saying it’s silly for the Vatican to have spoken on this. They note the recent atrocities of Muslim groups and individuals against Christians in the East and the, they say, lack of Western Catholic interest in this as being some sort of justification for simply riding this one out without taking a stand against it. I say the pastor and his tiny sect are doing nothing for the cause of Christ. Not exactly “And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” is it?

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