Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hate & religious fanaticism cannot be redeemed by intolerance & religious stupidity

"Home run" letter from Bishop Leo Frade on the Quran burning lunacy.

September 7, 2010

How can anyone think that an act of hate and religious fanaticism — the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – can somehow be redeemed by an act of intolerance and religious stupidity?

I have been trying to decide whether Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove Center in Gainesville, who is planning to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, has any idea of how much harm and persecution his action will bring upon Christians living around the world–and specifically those living in countries with a majority Muslim population. I have travelled extensively in the Middle East, and I am quite familiar with the precarious situation of Christians in that area.

I can only appeal to him to desist from an action that will hurt his Christian brothers and sisters around the world; they are the ones who will suffer the consequences of his fanatical act.

As an American, I also appeal to his patriotism and concern for our U.S. troops. General David Petraeus, our commander in Afghanistan, has warned that this planned act of disrespect and destruction of the Muslim scriptures will both endanger our troops already in perilous situations and harm our relationship with those Muslim countries that are our sincere allies.

Every page of the Quran that burns will recruit to the ranks of Islamic extremists hundreds of irate Muslims, who will see in this action a confirmation of claims by Al Qaeda and the Taliban that Americans are engaged in our own jihad against the followers of Islam.

What would Jesus do? I am quite sure that burning the holy scriptures of another faith would never be his choice. Our Lord said from the cross where he died, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

I would remind Pastor Jones that our Lord forgives what we find it impossible to forgive and challenges us to move beyond fear, suspicion and hatred to “love one another.”

I want to assure the followers of Islam here and around the world that the planned actions of the Dove Center do not represent the true values and beliefs of the followers of Jesus Christ, who tells us that the greatest commandment is love.


The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida


RonF said...

I strongly support Pastor Jones' right to pursue this course of action. I strongly condemn the course of action itself. I don't see this accomplishing any useful end. Additionally, I'm no fan of book burning.

I think it's a good idea for Christians to read the Quran, in fact. Rather than have someone else tell you what they think is in there, you will be better informed if you look at it yourself. I have no concern that any Christian is going to be converted to Islam by reading it. There's a definite contrast in the two religions.


As the mother of a son in uniform who has done two tours of duty -- one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan -- I believe Jones' plans for 9/11 are exactly like yelling fire in a crowded theater. Any blood shed by those inflamed to violence in response to his willfully act of provocation will be on his head. May God have mercy.

susankay said...

Not a bishop but, as a Christian, I contacted the nearest Islamic Center to say how very horrified I was by this crap.

The Center, in Albuquerque, was founded in large part by a devout Muslim and former co-worker whom I consider a friend.

Oddly, my friend and many of the other Muslims in New Mexico came to work on behalf of the great old US of A in the atomic labs in the state.

LGMarshall said...

Some in the US have burned the Koran already, and some more probably will in the future.... in terms of Islamic's murderous reactions... how can you tell what incident provoked which barbaric action? After all, murderous Muslims have been doing this for decades... Seems like an inordinate number of Muslims are murderous... The Muslim in the US need to speak up and educate us, as of now, they seemed strangely silent on the matter.


THEY need to educate US????

Here's another example of the "unholy Trinity" I preached about this morning: ignorance, bigotry and stupidity. And if there's a more striking example of arrogant entitlement out there I don't want to hear about it.