Monday, September 6, 2010

Holy Holy-Wars!

On September 11, members of the Dove World Outreach Center – a Gainesville, Florida church – plan to burn copies of the Koran to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The protest is just the latest in a series of provocative actions from the self-described "New Testament Church," which seems as interested in getting attention as it is in sharing the Word with the world. Unfortunately, their plan seems to have worked -- and local investigators have begun probing the church's tax-exempt status after reports that Dove World Outreach Center is essentially a scam.
The church, which was founded in 1986, has long been controversial in Gainesville. The Koran-burning protest is just the latest in a string of high-profile "protests on other issues, such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and abortion," Religion News Service reports. But it seems clear that taking on Muslims is the one of the church's central goals. The church's leader, Dr Terry Jones – who before heading up the Dove World Outreach Center ran a sister church in Cologne, Germany – has published a book entitled "Islam is of the Devil" and posted a large sign outside his church that offers passing commuters the same message. Last year, members sent their kids to public schools wearing "Islam Is Of The Devil" t-shirts (the students were sent home, creating more headlines.)
That's lovely stuff, eh? I'm surprised they didn't just go straight to burning the people. I mean, there's a long tradition in the church of both, really. Incredible.
I will read more about that incident in the schools last year, when I have the time, to see if maybe there's a local hero in Gainesville who deserves wider credit for having stood up to this madness. Or maybe this church is just viewed as loony by most people.
I'll say it again. This stuff is definitely on the rise, and it has to be correlated in some psychic way to the rise of extremism in this country, the Obama presidency and the idea some people have that there's a Mooslum in the White House and kindred paranoid anxieites, and it is something for all of us Americans to be, shall we say, other than proud of.
The neocon Christians are trying to start a race and religion war, and unfortunately they're succeeding. Afghanistan now believes that all of America is behind this book-burning!

[Insert from AP] KABUL, Afghanistan — Hundreds of Afghans railed against the United States and called for President Barack Obama's death at a rally in the capital Monday to denounce an American church's plans to burn the Islamic holy book on Sept. 11.

The crowd in Kabul, numbering as many as 500, chanted "Long live Islam" and "Death to America" as they listened to fiery speeches from members of parliament, provincial council deputies, and Islamic clerics who criticized the U.S. and demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. Some threw rocks when a U.S. military convoy passed, but speakers shouted at them to stop and told police to arrest anyone who disobeyed.

Afghan responded:
"We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States," said Abdul Shakoor, an 18-year-old high school student who said he joined the protest after hearing neighborhood gossip about the Quran burning.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning Dove World Outreach Center's plans, saying Washington was "deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups."

Muslims consider the Quran to be the word of God and demand it, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad, be treated with the utmost respect. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Quran is considered deeply offensive. Even more offensive than burning the American flag to a tea-bagger.
Book burning - two words that stir strong feelings. Seventy five years ago, the Nazis staged what is probably the most infamous of all book burnings. On 10th of May 1933 thousands of books banned by Germany’s Nazi regime were tossed into flaming pyres. It was a terrifying statement of intent with the Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, redefining his nation’s culture within strict boundaries. It wasn't just to suppress education, but to strike fear and start revolts. The right-wing is burning the Quran to start a fight and to fire up the hate in the racist population in America. From Glenn Beck "taking back the civil rights movement" to Jan Brewer's racial profiling in Arizona, these people are sculpting a regime of discrimination that may out-hate any fascist regime of the past. They are the real terrorists to civil society. In honor of those who died in the 9/11 events, we should protest against those who are committing treason against the rights this country was founded on; Number one being our freedom of religion.
Instead of burning the books of other religions, they should read and live up to their own.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:18-21

Wise words that real Christians would follow.

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