A Nonviolent Protest: Read from the Qur’an this Sunday

My commitment to religious freedom means that I support the right of a pastor in Florida to burn Qur’ans.  But I strongly disagree with the wisdom of his proposed actions.  As Gandhi taught, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Case in point, the AP reported this morning that, “Hundreds of angry Afghans burned a U.S. flag and chanted ‘Death to the Christians’ on Thursday to protest plans by a small American church to torch copies of the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.”

As a pastor living hundreds of miles away from Florida, I look to Martin Luther King, Jr. for wisdom on how to provide a constructive, non-violent protest to the Florida pastor’s incendiary actions.  MLK wrote, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

So, following a recommendation from The Network for Spiritual Progressives, I plan to read publicly from the Qur’an at my congregation’s Sunday morning worship service this week to honor what others would burn. Hating the Florida pastor only continues the downward spiral toward violence. I hope that reading publicly from the Qur’an will be a small act of love and solidarity toward my Muslim sisters and brothers.

About Carl Gregg
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  • Sally Melcher

    I believe in freedom of religion means a mosque can be built near Ground Zero. I believe in freedom of speech, and the guy could burn the Koran. I agree that it is a violent act that is not Christian. But I’m not so sure reading aloud from the Koran for Christians….you do know about Molly Norris’s plight, right, the cartoonist from Seattle? She has ticked off the wrong people and has been in hiding under FBI protection. She is paying a price for her freedom of speech. At least Google this before you reaad

  • Sally Melcher

    Maybe pray for Molly after reading from the Koran.

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  • Andy

    How can you read from a book that teaches falsely about Christ? Regardless of how we feel about what happened in Florida the Qur’an teaches that Jesus was only a man, wasn’t divine, wasn’t God, wasn’t resurrected, and so on.

    The Qur’an denies the central tenets of our Christian faith, the very cornerstone in which our Churches are founded.

    Islam would claim the Qur’an is an inspired work of God. Can we truly say, knowing what the Qur’an teaches that in, examining our Christian perspective, that the Qur’an can possibly be inspired?

    One would have to deny inerrancy of the Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to the Disciples in order to do so.

    God help us if we choose to go down this road.

  • Andy

    After reading about the ” network of spiritual progressiveness ”

    There are many paths to God? Really? I only know of one and that is through Jesus Christ.

    How can any student of Scripture believe otherwise. Where is your discernment?


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