I've been following the news the last couple days - as I usually do - but this time I have been specifically searching for news on the so-called "International Burn a Koran Day", put forth by a small church in Florida. I wanted to get updates from this on Facebook, so I clicked "like" on their page, then immediately felt a need to post a status update to explain to my friends why I "liked" that page. Why would I feel a need to explain it?
It sort of goes along with something I commented about last week, on an Israel new group. A large thread of comments had formed in relation to a Facebook page called "<Obscenity> Jews". Obviously it was a hate site. What I thought was interesting was the amount of hate that was spat right back at it. What is the old saying - "Violence begets violence"? I wondered why those commenting were not able to see that while the hate page may be wrong, it is just as wrong to shoot hate back at those who posted it.
The page is there; so what? One doesn't have to agree with it or even read it just because it is there. Are they afraid people will read it and not be able to make up their own minds what to believe?
I believe in complete freedom... of speech. If the Jews and Christians are allowed to spread the Word of God, then let those who are not spread their word too. Their word seems to me to be nothing but hate and hopeless despair, while God's speaks of love and eternal life - I WANT people to see the difference betwixt the two.
So this brings me to the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque". I'm sorry, but the media hype on this is just ridiculous. It's not even a mosque in and of itself (it is a community center), and it is not at Ground Zero (it is four blocks away - which in New York, is not even considered that close). It is hardly the only mosque in the area. The mosque that is already there from whence this idea came has been quiet and not caused any trouble - as far as we know, no terrorists have ever come out from there.
Why shouldn't the Muslims have a right to build there? If they pay for the site, like everyone else, and folow all the rules and regulations, I see no good reason NOT to allow them to build there. The whole, "It's a historic building," argument was a cover and everyone knows it - had anyone else wanted to build there, it would have been no problem.
And just as the Muslims ought to have their freedom to build, so ought the man who wants to burn a Quran. It does not make anyone hate the USA any more than they already do if a church of 40 extremists burns some Qurans on their front lawn. It does not put any troops in harm's way - it seems to me I was told our troops fight to protect my freedom - which includes the freedom to burn a Quran if I so choose. I have a Quran, which comes in handy from time to time - it sits on my desk next to my Bible. I do not give it anywhere near the respect that the Word of God gets, but I have no inclination to burn it either. Nevertheless, I do not tell someone else they can't burn it.
Much as I hate to admit it, Hillary Clinton had the right idea about it not being covered by the media. Had I just heard this in passing, I would have thought, "Hmm, that's a little dumb," and probably forgot all about it. Now it has been blown all out of proportion, and the reason is because all these high-profile people have spoken out on it. Had they just stayed silent, it would never have received this kind of attention.
I wish to look in detail at two specific statements. First, the Vatican. September 8, they issued a statement saying every religion has the right to expect that its sacred books, places of worship, and symbols will be respected and protected. I found that interesting, when I compare it with the Word on the Old Testament, and I see Yahveh telling his servants to pull down the false idols and destroy the temples. Yahveh may not be telling us to do so today, but if He did, would the Vatican say He is wrong? Why is the Vatican protecting a false religion?
Second, I want to comment on what President Obama said on September 9 on "Good Morning America":
"If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans ... this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance."
Really? So, what about tolerance of this small group of extremists that want to burn Qurans? Where is their freedom and where is the tolerance for them? And why was "tolerance" shoved in our faces when Muslims were out there burning Bibles?
I want it to be clear, I for one will NEVER be "tolerant" of sin. I will speak out against it even if someone threatens to silence me for such. I will always agree with Franklin Graham's statement that Islam is a "wicked and evil religion". I've read the Quran through and found many examples that prove this statement to be true. I do not approve of burning it, but I do approve of the freedom someone else to burn it. I do not approve of Muslims preaching hate amd saying that "Allah" wants them to kill anyone who does not submit to them, but I do approve of the freedom for them to do so. God will sort them out in His own time.