National Association of Evangelicals Opposes Koran Burning

Pastor Terry Jones is still planning to burn Korans on September 11th but there’s opposition coming from within Christendom.

The National Association of Evangelicals has condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The proposed burning of Qurans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles,” the NAE said in a Thursday (July 29) statement.

“Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.”

“The proposed burning of Qu’rans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles. Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.”

“We have to recognize that fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger fire,” said Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando, Fla., and member of the NAE Board of Directors. “Love is the water that will eventually quench the destruction.”

I’m pretty sure that saying you’re not going to burn a Koran after you’ve already threatened to do so isn’t the same thing as spreading love… but good for the NAE for coming out against this.

Now, do they also support the building of a mosque near Ground Zero…? Because then, they’d just be messing with all the negative stereotypes I have about them, and that wouldn’t be very nice of them at all.

(Thanks to Claudia for the link!)

  • Brian B.

    “Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favored evolutionary line, but you have also been extremely- make that miraculously- fortunate in your personal ancestry. Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth’s mountains and rivers and oceans, everyone of your forbears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from it’s life quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result – evetually, astoundingly, and all to briefly- in you.”
    — Bill Bryson

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    “Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.”

    Yeah, ’cause we all know that the 9/11 attacks by Muslims didn’t accomplish that.

  • Dan W

    I find it interesting that some of these fundies are actually developing some brains about some things. When I first heard this a day or two ago (on one of the local Christian radio stations I occasionally check just to see what they’re up to) I was surprised. It was about the level of surprise as I had felt a few years ago when I found out that some evangelical Christians had become environmentalists.

    Regarding the mosque near Ground Zero issue, I see no reason why Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to build it. I personally don’t think we need more tax-exempt places of worship in America, but they have the freedom to build a mosque where they want.

  • Nikki Bluue

    http://www.cordobainitiative.org/

    It’s not another mosque they are building near Zero. It’s a community center for Muslims _and_ for those of other faiths. They already have a mosque near Zero. The website may provide more info.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Nikki Bluue,
    I already got into this on Atheist Revolution.
    It’s a mosque. Call it whatever other name you will, but it’s a mosque. If it’s NOT a mosque then many, if not most of the churches in the United States cannot be called churches. It’s disingenuous for them to call it something other than it is and it’s distressing to see so many of those who pride themselves on being rational falling for such hogwash.

  • abadidea

    My mother is a fundie Christian and even she thinks they can build a mosque wherever the heck they want because that’s in our rights as citizens. I guess she’s not a hopeless case.

  • Erp

    @The Godless Monster

    Many private universities have chapels and have a religious affiliation but that doesn’t make these universities churches.

  • Nikki Bluue

    @The Godless Monster,

    I looked at the comments you posted there. Thank you for pointing me there. I suspect there is still a lot of confusion floating around about the mosque/Cordoba, and not just about the name. Thanks again, if you want to befriend me via Facebook (same name), feel free. :-) Just let me know you found me via here. Peace.

  • Manly Bowler

    While it pleases me that NAE has come out against the Koran burning, shouldn’t Atheist and Secularist organizations also put out press releases to criticize the church in Florida?

    Atheists are often accused of being “radical” and hating every religion, not to mention the frequent criticism of Blasphemy Day and other events. By coming out against these guys we could signal that we don’t accept every action if the motivation behind it is simple hate – even though the church and its pastor have every right to do it.
    Or am I missing something here?

  • GSW

    Maybe burning the Quoran is not such a bad idea.
    One of those “I have the freedom to do it” things. OK so it is offensive, stupid etc.
    I am anti-book burning on principle. However, there is also a system of de-sensitising known to medical science, if you shove it down their throats often enough they will eventually learn to accept it.
    Isn’t this exactly what islamisation has been doing for years?
    The injustices, cruelty and downright torture practised on girls in England are unbelievable – far worse than burning books – but people appear to have been de-sensitised.
    I am all for offending in the name of mutual respect!

    Sometimes you have to speak the language – most islamists think of kufirs as weak, cowardly victims.

    (p.s. To all muslims:
    If you buy a book you own it – what you then do with it is your own business.
    This is the difference between books and people!)

  • Geek Gazette

    I tend to agree with GSW on this. Burning something, other than living beings or someone elses property, is a form of free speech. I don’t care if it is Muslims burning bibles, Christians burning copies of the Koran or someone burning a flag, it is there right to express how their opinion. As long as they are not doing so in a violent manner I support their right to do so 100%.
    Who cares if it offends Muslims? Of the rights we have left in this country, I don’t know of one that prevents or forbids others from offending you. Personally I find PETA, the KKK and the bible-thumpers that stand on my town square screaming at everyone who passes by that they are going to hell or informing us that got hates fags, all while holding up signs of aborted fetuses to be extremely offensive. Yet I support their right to express their views and be lying, hateful, idiotic, irrational bigots.
    As a matter of fact I think that Muslims should definitely hold their own bible burning in response. Then an atheist organization should burn copies of the Koran and the bible to balance things out. That way everyone can be offended together. If it is local I’ll even bring some marshmallows.
    I imagine, if we ask nicely, we could probably get some sky-clad pagans in on this to make it even more fun. I imagine they’d appreciate an event like that.

  • Manly Bowler

    @GSW & Geek Gazette:
    “Having the right to” is not the same as “should do”. No one questions that the First Amendment is applicable to this case, so there is surely no legal reason to keep them from doing it. But it is possible and, from my point of view, appropriate, to condemn this action and the mindset behind it.
    This “Burn a Koran”-day is not something done in good humor like a “Smut for Smut”-event, or Blasphemy Day, which aimed against all religions and ideologies equally. This is one group going against another group, and there will come no dialogue or better understanding from it. This comes as close to an abuse of the Freedom of Speech as possible.
    So, again: Why shouldn’t atheist and secularist organizations come out against this event?

  • Claudia

    @GSW and Geek Gazette, there’s a considerable difference between supporting their legal right to do something and supporting the thing that they are doing. By verbally condemning a proposed action and urging its cancellation you are not advocating it being illegal, you are using your freedom of speech to express that you deeply disagree with the sentiments. the NAE expressing its disapproval of the proposed actions is perfectly legitimate. They didn’t say these actions should be forbidden, but that they don’t believe they are appropriate and furthermore that they think they are in direct contradiction with the expressed religion of the book-burners.

    I support the legal right of anyone to say just about anything, no matter how repugnant it is to me. I support the right of Fred Phelps to spout off his venom, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to say its vile. I personally see this particular action as in bad faith and with the entirely wrong motivation. Remember, they aren’t doing this as a symbol that free speech is sacred, they’re doing this because to them Muslims have the wrong flavor of batshit and they want conversions.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Erp,
    Your analogy borders on being a non sequitor. It’s all about function, not a name. You are projecting from a western mindset, not the mindset of those whom you are trying to present in a positive light.
    I was raised Muslim. I attended a Community Center/Islamic Center/Mosque.
    Ever been in an Islamic Community Center? Ever been in or prayed in a mosque? Ever attend Islamic classes in a community center or mosque? If you have and you are a Muslim, then you are guilty of deception and equivocation, but, then again, I would expect nothing less from a pitchman for the “Religion of Peace”. All religious pitchmen are the same…liars or deluded saps…or both.
    Was there something I missed out on in my upbringing or in my travels or work in the Middle East and elsewhere?
    I’m all eyes and ears.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    … just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles,”

    A subset of Christians would not believe it possible. There is a meme floating around that the Bible won’t burn.

  • Aj

    I don’t care if they burn Qur’ans, and I don’t know why opposing it is “good”. People do not have the right to not be offended. I don’t recommend or advocate deliberately causing offence just to cause offence. However, if you’re motivated to express yourself, then you shouldn’t have to seek to cause the least offence, the only thing that encourages is a) increasing the scope of things people get offended about, and b) their feeling of entitlement not to be offended. I enjoy blogs, comics, tv, podcasts, and much more that would be offensive to many people, fuck them. If they’re so adamant that people shouldn’t cause offence, here are some things I find highly offensive: indoctrinating children, the concept of hell and sin, faith-healing, and submitting to a pope, prophet, or book claiming to be the word of a god. If you were for Draw Muhammad Day, I don’t see why you’d be against this on the grounds that it’s “offensive”.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Nikki Bluue,
    If I come off strong on this subject, it’s because I’ve dealt with the reality of Islam in person and on many different levels and many different places.
    I’ve nothing but good intentions. :-)

  • L.Long

    Look what happened when the xtians went all wierdo about rock&Roll and burnt records. That really drove the xtains away from Rock&Roll didn’t it?
    Do the same here, have a book burning but hold up the buybull and KaKaran as holey books and burn dawkins-hickins-darwin-segan-etc. The younger religious kids will wonder ‘What are they hiding from us???’ then go out and find some.
    Oh well that was a nice dream! See religious kids can’t read, if they did and they read the ‘whatever’ holey book they would know its a load of BS.

  • Stephan

    Good on the Evangelicals for this one…not only do I agree that burning books doesn’t really accomplish anything other than insulting others, but their reasoning isn’t as twisted as I expected.

    Now if they could just realize there is nothing holy about either book except the giant plot holes…

  • Geek Gazette

    Again I am with AJ and Stephan on this.
    It is no different and probably just as offensive to Muslims as Draw Muhammad day. Aren’t they supposed to kill you, or something equally as ridiculous and violent, if you draw their charlatan prophet? I imagine they have some other type of barbaric and simple minded response to burning their holy book. I say those christians got some pretty big gonads.
    Probably bigger than most of us in the atheist community, myself included, can claim to have. We are all willing and often spend a great deal of time condemning or speaking out against the idiocy and damage done by religion, as long as we can keep our identities secret. We love to make our opposition as public as possible, as long as our names and faces can not be connected to our words. We seem more than willing to hide behind the few people in the community who do have the guts to stand in front, assuming the majority of the risk. They represent us all publicly while far too many of us are content to live in their shadow, reading their books and blogs, doing little else to strengthen our community.

    I’m not saying that our fears are imagined or irrational, they are very real and we could possibly face something much worse that losing a job or being ostracized by friends and family . That holds true for the book burning christians as well.
    There is nothing stopping the muslims in their area from burning down their church or harming members of the congregation, but they are doing it anyway. They are sending a clear message that they think the muslim’s beliefs are wrong. Obviously we know that any rationally thinking person can see that they are both wrong, but still they are standing up for their beliefs, no matter the consequences. Whether that be condemnation by other communities or actual retaliation.

    It doesn’t matter whether they are burning bibles, Koran’s, KISS records, or drawing Muhammad, it is all pointless and childish. It only serves to annoy/offend some one else and make the person(s) doing the act feel some sense of vengeance for a perceived and often non-existent wrong.
    I simply support their right to do stupid things. I think their time would be better spent practicing some critical thinking, or pretty much doing anything else in the world, but if this is how they choose to express themselves, so be it.
    We have become a nation that is too often offended by the thought of someone being offended. While being considerate of the feelings of others is the nice and mature thing to do, we are not talking about people who think that way. While we may be able to support our claims with facts, our conviction to our ideas and our contempt for theirs is often very similar.

    We spend hours online discussing how factually deficient and irrational their beliefs are and how simple minded they seem because of those beliefs. Often behaving just as smugly as they do. We do this in a very public forum that can be accessed by anyone, including the religious. Yet we aren’t worried about offending them. We are exercising our right to free speech and I imagine most of us would dare them to attempt to silence us.
    Their venue is somewhat less accessible than ours, since it is only available to those that are present at their geographic location. Unless it gets posted to the internet, which it probably will be.
    As I said before, as long as they do it in a non-violent manner that does not restrict the rights of other citizens, I’ll bring the marshmallows.

    BTW, discussions like this are why I like coming here. I always learn something new from you guys.
    However, I do realize that some people may tend to take things to heart. So if I upset someone with my opinion, I apologize, that was not my intent. I just enjoy keeping an interesting exchange of ideas flowing.

  • Claudia

    It is no different and probably just as offensive to Muslims as Draw Muhammad day.

    I disagree, because the stated intentions matter. The intention of Draw Muhammad day was as a reaction to the attempted supression of free speech by radical Islamists. The goal was to show that trying to supress, by threats or violence, words and images that offend you will only lead to far more of those words and images.

    The stated intention of this event is the conversion of Muslims to Christianity. They aren’t standing up for free speech, they just want to loudly proclaim that its their particular holy book that’s right.

    Intentions matter. Remember the whole Obama New Yorker cover flap? The hysteria was insane because it was obvious to anyone with a pulse that the New Yorker was making an ironic point about fearmongering used against Obama. However had that cover appeared in the Washington Times, it would be another story.

    Certainly these morons have a legal right to do what they do, and I absolutely don’t think they should get any kind of intimidation, let alone have anything done to them. However not all blasphemy is created equal.

    [Edit]: I agree with you that we are faaaar to oversensitive as a nation and that offenses to religion have an even lower bar. I also agree that people need to get used to having their religion as likely to be mocked as their political affiliation. However giving people thicker skins isn’t the intention here.

  • Queenie

    The Godless Monster, sorry but you are making a lot of generalizations and that is irrational even if you have good intentions. Your experiences do NOT mean that you are the authority on Islam or Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism. That is a fact. I will not respond further, but I will read your response if you choose to respond. Thank you and have a good day.

  • Geek Gazette

    @ Claudia
    Don’t get me wrong I do understand your point, but I still think Draw Muhammad Day and the Koran burning are basically the same. Sure the motivation may not be exact, but there is some commonality there.
    Both events serve as a snub to the Muslim religion. DMD was one way of saying “your religious beliefs and views don’t matter to us, so we are openly defying and mocking you”. While I personally think that the book burning is lame, their intent is to mock and denigrate the religious views of someone else. Expressing your views loudly, no matter how offensive those views may be to others, strictly because you truly think you are right is exactly what we do.
    I genuinely like the idea of them showing the Muslims, and every one else that they can get away with burning the koran, a “holy” book. That one action may end up being the first link in a chain that gets people thinking about why this god or that god didn’t strike down people who openly blasphemed and destroyed his/its word. If bibles and other sacred texts are able to be openly destroyed, without some divine retribution, maybe it will open a few more eyes to the fact that religion is a lie.

    You are more than likely right and protecting free speech played no part in their decision to burn the koran. It is more likely that they are doing this just to be jerks, but their actions are still saying something. By openly showing contempt towards a religion, they are, in their own way, opening the door for others to do the same. It doesn’t matter if it is one religion against another, the fact remains that a religion is being openly mocked, and called out as false. The potential bonus here is that this is being done by a group that the people of this country give more credibility to than they do to us. They could very well be spreading the seeds of doubt and not even realizing it.
    I think this should be something that atheist would be happy to support in some manner.

  • Michael

    It seems like these Christians are just becoming more sensitive. If someone burns a Koran, some muslims easily get greatly offended. If someone burns an American flag, a few Americans get angry, but as far as I can tell, most of us really don’t care.
    Because we don’t care very much, we don’t tend to do “burning protests” very often.

    For more people to embrace the act of burning something will just add significance to an act that for the most part, we don’t care about right now.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Queenie,
    I am irrational? Fascinating. You are implying that nobody can be an expert on any subject. If not, then please detail exactly what would qualify a person in your mind as an expert and then in this particular case, Islam. And though you’ll never have the intellectual honesty to admit it, I’m convinced that your answer would ultimately be, “Anyone who agrees with me.”
    I cannot claim to be an expert in Muslims; that is absurdity in its highest degree. I know a fair bit more about Islam then you ever will, I can safely say. And, by the way, there is a difference between the people and the religion. I make that distinction, you apparently do not.
    Regardless of your unreasonable stance on the subject, being an “expert” in Islam is not required for one to make a reasoned decision. You hold that up as a bogus requirement, but to any reasoning person, that claim falls flat on its face. I’ve come to expect this, however, as lack of critical thinking skills is a hallmark of the left, just as it is of the far right. For those who are not alarmed at the Islamization of Europe, it is only because they are themselves Muslims or they don’t have a clue as to what Islam is or how to digest and make use of the information they do have. They fill the void of knowledge, reason and skills with leftist dogma, but intellectual laziness and dishonesty never pays off in the long term.
    The truth of the matter is, that you and others like yourself are just as dogmatic and opposed to the truth as those on the right that you criticize for being dogmatic.
    You are not going to let facts get in the way of your preconceived notions of what is right or wrong.
    “Evidence and experience be damned” is your creed and your motto.
    I know, I’ve seen and dealt with your kind for decades. It’s so much easier to make an ad hominem attack against the individual bearing uncomfortable news than to seriously scrutinize your own irrational beliefs.
    Good luck with that, and “have a good day”.


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