Book burning

More reckless fanaticism, this time from a tiny congregation that plans on publicly burning a Koran:

Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Afghanistan, repeated his warning Tuesday that any plans to burn the Muslim holy book — considered a major offense in the Islamic community — would jeopardize U.S. military efforts.

But Terry Jones, pastor of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., says not even protests and death threats will deter him. He told MyFoxOrlando.com that he and the church’s members feel strongly about their decision to hold the book burning despite being denied a permit from the fire department.

“We understand the general’s concerns, we are taking those into consideration,” Jones was quoted saying. “We feel it’s maybe the right time for America to stand up. How long are we going to bow down? How long are we going to be controlled by the terrorists, by radical Islam?”

On Tuesday, Petraeus said that even rumors of the possibility the church would hold a Koran-burning touched off protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia.

“Images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” Petraeus said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

via FOXNews.com – State Department Calls Plan to Burn Korans ‘Un-American’.

So why do that?  I’m not denying their First Amendment right to do it, just saying that it shows horribly bad judgment. As General Petraeus says, it will only thwart American policies and probably get more of our troops killed. Can anyone doubt that?

Yes, divination books were burned as recorded in Acts, but that is in no way parallel.  That was done by Christian converts as an act of turning away from their earlier involvement with the occult.  Yes, Luther burned the papal bull that was issued against him, but that’s not parallel either.  (Meanwhile, all of Luther’s books were ordered to be burned in the nations loyal to the pope.)

Book burnings in general are totalitarian actions.  Milton said in his great plea for the freedom of the press, Areopagitica, something to the effect that one might just as well burn a man as burn a book.  To do that in this case just to be symbolic and for the very purpose of stirring up people who need to be calmed down is a violation of the love of neighbor.  Not to mention the love of one’s enemy.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Daniel Gorman

    “So why do that? I’m not denying their First Amendment right to do it, just saying that it shows horribly bad judgment. As General Petraeus says, it will only thwart American policies and probably get more of our troops killed. Can anyone doubt that?”

    So what? Pastor Jones’ primary responsibility is to be a shepherd to his congregation not to be an agent of American policy. His vocation as citizen is secondary. He should obey God rather than man.

    Your arguments against book-burning would apply to Pastor Luther as well as Pastor Jones. Luther’s bull burning stirred up the Papists. The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.

    Those in the Obama administration and General Petraeus who are trying to bully Pastor Jones into not burning a Koran are abusing their office. As Constitutional officers, whether Pastor Jones burns a Koran or not is none of their business. Their duty is merely to protect his right to do it.

    In the case of 9/11 Mosque, the Obama administration and General Petraeus obeyed the Constitution and did not try to bully the Imam into building or not building his Mosque. Why the change in policy?

  • Daniel Gorman

    “So why do that? I’m not denying their First Amendment right to do it, just saying that it shows horribly bad judgment. As General Petraeus says, it will only thwart American policies and probably get more of our troops killed. Can anyone doubt that?”

    So what? Pastor Jones’ primary responsibility is to be a shepherd to his congregation not to be an agent of American policy. His vocation as citizen is secondary. He should obey God rather than man.

    Your arguments against book-burning would apply to Pastor Luther as well as Pastor Jones. Luther’s bull burning stirred up the Papists. The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.

    Those in the Obama administration and General Petraeus who are trying to bully Pastor Jones into not burning a Koran are abusing their office. As Constitutional officers, whether Pastor Jones burns a Koran or not is none of their business. Their duty is merely to protect his right to do it.

    In the case of 9/11 Mosque, the Obama administration and General Petraeus obeyed the Constitution and did not try to bully the Imam into building or not building his Mosque. Why the change in policy?

  • Dan Kempin

    “Yes, divination books were burned as recorded in Acts, but that is in no way parallel. ”

    Really? In no way? And Luther’s burning of the papal bull did not “stir up people who needed to be calmed down?” I can see you saying that there are important differences, but how do you reason that there is no parallel?

  • Dan Kempin

    “Yes, divination books were burned as recorded in Acts, but that is in no way parallel. ”

    Really? In no way? And Luther’s burning of the papal bull did not “stir up people who needed to be calmed down?” I can see you saying that there are important differences, but how do you reason that there is no parallel?

  • Dan Kempin

    Gorman, #1.

    You beat me to it. Good point about the mosque, too.

  • Dan Kempin

    Gorman, #1.

    You beat me to it. Good point about the mosque, too.

  • Winston Smith

    Not only will the koran burning hinder our military efforts (such as they are). A more direct impact will be felt by Christians in muslim countries, who already suffer from persecution.

    Muslims around the world are aware of this well-publicized event and are following it closely. When and if the church in Florida goes through with its protest, who are the outraged muslims around the world going to take their anger out on? That’s right — on their Christian neighbors.

    Burning a koran sends a messgae of hate; it says nothing about the love, grace, mercy and redemption offered by Jesus Christ. It is very likely to stir up rage against the already marginalized Christian minority. For these reasons, it is an extremely short-sighted and harmful idea.

  • Winston Smith

    Not only will the koran burning hinder our military efforts (such as they are). A more direct impact will be felt by Christians in muslim countries, who already suffer from persecution.

    Muslims around the world are aware of this well-publicized event and are following it closely. When and if the church in Florida goes through with its protest, who are the outraged muslims around the world going to take their anger out on? That’s right — on their Christian neighbors.

    Burning a koran sends a messgae of hate; it says nothing about the love, grace, mercy and redemption offered by Jesus Christ. It is very likely to stir up rage against the already marginalized Christian minority. For these reasons, it is an extremely short-sighted and harmful idea.

  • reg

    This pastors proposed action, to the extent it will prove a stumbling block to the advancement of the gospel among nonbelievers is of the devil in the same way the Westboro Baptists who picket funerals are of the devil. The result is to cause others to blaspheme the name of God and make Christianity and Christians look like nothing any sensible person would want any part of.
    Shame on those who would diminish the good news to advance their own agenda and visibility. Pastor Jones you got your 15 minutes of fame . Was it worth it?

  • reg

    This pastors proposed action, to the extent it will prove a stumbling block to the advancement of the gospel among nonbelievers is of the devil in the same way the Westboro Baptists who picket funerals are of the devil. The result is to cause others to blaspheme the name of God and make Christianity and Christians look like nothing any sensible person would want any part of.
    Shame on those who would diminish the good news to advance their own agenda and visibility. Pastor Jones you got your 15 minutes of fame . Was it worth it?

  • Mary

    This is a quote from my Pastor’s blog, and also what he taught in Bible class a few weeks ago.

    ” Christianity moves forward on the proclamation of God’s word of grace in Jesus and deeds of mercy done for the sake of our neighbors.”

    “Luther and his countrymen faced a much worse situation with the invasion of the Muslim Turks in the 1500s. Luther considered this invasion nothing less than punishment from God for a church and a society that had drifted from God’s word. He called the church to repentance and to renewal through the word of God. Could the American Christian church and culture stand a little reforming? I certainly think so!

    And what did he think about the Qur’an? Luther called for its publication and encouraged Christians to read it! He knew that side by side, the Bible would overwhelm the Qur’an with its truth and with its message of salvation.” http://pastorwalther.blogspot.com/

  • Mary

    This is a quote from my Pastor’s blog, and also what he taught in Bible class a few weeks ago.

    ” Christianity moves forward on the proclamation of God’s word of grace in Jesus and deeds of mercy done for the sake of our neighbors.”

    “Luther and his countrymen faced a much worse situation with the invasion of the Muslim Turks in the 1500s. Luther considered this invasion nothing less than punishment from God for a church and a society that had drifted from God’s word. He called the church to repentance and to renewal through the word of God. Could the American Christian church and culture stand a little reforming? I certainly think so!

    And what did he think about the Qur’an? Luther called for its publication and encouraged Christians to read it! He knew that side by side, the Bible would overwhelm the Qur’an with its truth and with its message of salvation.” http://pastorwalther.blogspot.com/

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston, #4,

    How, exactly, does burning a Koran send a message of “hate?” Guerilla bombings, suicide attackers and intimidation–that I could consider hate, but what is “hate”ful about saying, “I believe your religion is wrong and I do not accept it?”

    Besides, is it the goal of the church to avoid persecution or to testify to the truth? Which shows the greater love (as opposed to “hate”) for your neighbor?

    Not that I am advocating for this. It is disrespectful, for one thing. Still, if the Muslims are incited it will be because of the message received: We do not recognize the Koran as a holy book of truth. Is that a message we should avoid because of fear?

    Reg, #5,

    “it will prove a stumbling block to the advancement of the gospel among nonbelievers”

    Can you demonstrate how or why that would be the case? (I won’t ask how you already know the selfish motives of the pastor who is risking his safety to make this statement.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston, #4,

    How, exactly, does burning a Koran send a message of “hate?” Guerilla bombings, suicide attackers and intimidation–that I could consider hate, but what is “hate”ful about saying, “I believe your religion is wrong and I do not accept it?”

    Besides, is it the goal of the church to avoid persecution or to testify to the truth? Which shows the greater love (as opposed to “hate”) for your neighbor?

    Not that I am advocating for this. It is disrespectful, for one thing. Still, if the Muslims are incited it will be because of the message received: We do not recognize the Koran as a holy book of truth. Is that a message we should avoid because of fear?

    Reg, #5,

    “it will prove a stumbling block to the advancement of the gospel among nonbelievers”

    Can you demonstrate how or why that would be the case? (I won’t ask how you already know the selfish motives of the pastor who is risking his safety to make this statement.)

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  • Tom Hering

    The Dove World Outreach Center. Too funny.

  • Tom Hering

    The Dove World Outreach Center. Too funny.

  • Carl Vehse

    “reckless fanaticism,” “horribly bad judgment,” “thwart American policies,” “probably get more of our troops killed,” “totalitarian actions,” “one might just as well burn a man as burn a book,” “a violation of the love of neighbor”

    Whoa!! Wait-a-minute! This is a 50-member church in Florida who will be burning one (1) book on the anniversary of the day groups of devout Islamists hijacked four airplanes, slammed three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and murdered thousands of Americans.

    And for that the Gainesville Florida Fire Department, the Iman0bama Justice Department, the Hillary State Department, the American Embassy in Pakistan, the Commander of the Multinational Forces in Afghanistan, the chief of NATO, Monica’s ex-boyfriend, the MSM clymers, Angelina Jolie,… and now the Cranach blogmeister (!?!) have unloaded their wrath on this “tiny congregation” for exercising their first amendment right to hold a protest on their own property against a terrorism-religion.

    Talk about hyperventilating!! Breathe into a paper bag, Gene!

  • Carl Vehse

    “reckless fanaticism,” “horribly bad judgment,” “thwart American policies,” “probably get more of our troops killed,” “totalitarian actions,” “one might just as well burn a man as burn a book,” “a violation of the love of neighbor”

    Whoa!! Wait-a-minute! This is a 50-member church in Florida who will be burning one (1) book on the anniversary of the day groups of devout Islamists hijacked four airplanes, slammed three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and murdered thousands of Americans.

    And for that the Gainesville Florida Fire Department, the Iman0bama Justice Department, the Hillary State Department, the American Embassy in Pakistan, the Commander of the Multinational Forces in Afghanistan, the chief of NATO, Monica’s ex-boyfriend, the MSM clymers, Angelina Jolie,… and now the Cranach blogmeister (!?!) have unloaded their wrath on this “tiny congregation” for exercising their first amendment right to hold a protest on their own property against a terrorism-religion.

    Talk about hyperventilating!! Breathe into a paper bag, Gene!

  • Joe

    This man, by his own words, is not doing this a pastor. He is doing this as an American who is made as hell and not going to take it anymore. In his own words:

    “We feel it’s maybe the right time for America to stand up. How long are we going to bow down? How long are we going to be controlled by the terrorists, by radical Islam?”

    Christianity is not about America, its about the Gospel. America the nation-state is irrelevant to the Gospel and whether America is or is not bowing down is irrelevant. Put out the fires and proclaim the Gospel. Deliver the Word and Sacraments and let the Spirit do its work. That is how this man can Shepard his flock. That is how he is called to do so.

    Kempin – it is not a parallel. The people in Acts who burned the books were the former pagans themselves. They burned there own books, not the books of their neighbors. It was an act of cleansing, an outward sign of their conversions:

    “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them before all men and they counted the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Acts 19:19-20

    Unless this church of 50 strong is full of converted Muslims, its not a parallel, not at all.

  • Joe

    This man, by his own words, is not doing this a pastor. He is doing this as an American who is made as hell and not going to take it anymore. In his own words:

    “We feel it’s maybe the right time for America to stand up. How long are we going to bow down? How long are we going to be controlled by the terrorists, by radical Islam?”

    Christianity is not about America, its about the Gospel. America the nation-state is irrelevant to the Gospel and whether America is or is not bowing down is irrelevant. Put out the fires and proclaim the Gospel. Deliver the Word and Sacraments and let the Spirit do its work. That is how this man can Shepard his flock. That is how he is called to do so.

    Kempin – it is not a parallel. The people in Acts who burned the books were the former pagans themselves. They burned there own books, not the books of their neighbors. It was an act of cleansing, an outward sign of their conversions:

    “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them before all men and they counted the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Acts 19:19-20

    Unless this church of 50 strong is full of converted Muslims, its not a parallel, not at all.

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, Luther burned the papal bull that was issued against him, but that’s not parallel either.

    To the contrary, it is a very good analogy. After Dr. Martin Luther burn the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine, the Decretals of Clement VI, the Summa Angelica, the Chrysposus of Dr. Eck, and other Romanist documents on December 10, 1520, at Wittenberg, he was not only excommunicated by the pope on January 3rd, but Luther was also placed under an imperial ban, whereupon a person could rob, beat, or kill Luther without legal consequences. Indeed, Luther’s example of book burning is very apropos.

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, Luther burned the papal bull that was issued against him, but that’s not parallel either.

    To the contrary, it is a very good analogy. After Dr. Martin Luther burn the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine, the Decretals of Clement VI, the Summa Angelica, the Chrysposus of Dr. Eck, and other Romanist documents on December 10, 1520, at Wittenberg, he was not only excommunicated by the pope on January 3rd, but Luther was also placed under an imperial ban, whereupon a person could rob, beat, or kill Luther without legal consequences. Indeed, Luther’s example of book burning is very apropos.

  • Tom Hering

    “Talk about hyperventilating!! Breathe into a paper bag, Gene!” – Carl Vehse @ 9.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • Tom Hering

    “Talk about hyperventilating!! Breathe into a paper bag, Gene!” – Carl Vehse @ 9.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The big book burnings during the Reformation were of Luther’s books and of vernacular translations of the Bible.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The big book burnings during the Reformation were of Luther’s books and of vernacular translations of the Bible.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    This idea is a negative tw0-fer. Not only will it needlessly insult all Muslims, including our allies, but it will demonstrate to our secular opponents that (as they always thought), we’re just a bunch of fascists. I personally feel it a moral obligation to publicly state my opposition.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    This idea is a negative tw0-fer. Not only will it needlessly insult all Muslims, including our allies, but it will demonstrate to our secular opponents that (as they always thought), we’re just a bunch of fascists. I personally feel it a moral obligation to publicly state my opposition.

  • deb c

    It seems to me the difference between the book burning in Acts and the this book burning is huge. the new Christians in Acts were renouncing their old ways and saying that they would follow Christ even at enormous cost ( remember there was no such thing as a cheap book then) and the present day seem to be in retribution of an heinous act by a group of Muslims.

  • deb c

    It seems to me the difference between the book burning in Acts and the this book burning is huge. the new Christians in Acts were renouncing their old ways and saying that they would follow Christ even at enormous cost ( remember there was no such thing as a cheap book then) and the present day seem to be in retribution of an heinous act by a group of Muslims.

  • BW

    I don’t see how this is a good idea at all? What do they hope to accomplish? What is their endgame? I know they have the right to do it, but why do it? Because they’re mad at Islamic fundamentalists and want to make a demonstration to get their frustration and feelings out? I know a medicine for that, it’s called God’s Word, His Law and Gospel. That a God who had every right to be mad at me and all mankind, and burn us all alive with His full wrath and justice, instead did so upon His own Son so that we might be spared.

  • BW

    I don’t see how this is a good idea at all? What do they hope to accomplish? What is their endgame? I know they have the right to do it, but why do it? Because they’re mad at Islamic fundamentalists and want to make a demonstration to get their frustration and feelings out? I know a medicine for that, it’s called God’s Word, His Law and Gospel. That a God who had every right to be mad at me and all mankind, and burn us all alive with His full wrath and justice, instead did so upon His own Son so that we might be spared.

  • Winston Smith

    Once again, we come smack up against the reality of two kingdoms and two vocations. “Pastor” Jones, in his capacity as an American indignant about the terrorist attacks nine years ago, has organized his little Westboro-like church into a publicity stunt that will be red meat to the Fox News crowd.

    In his capacity as a born-again believer and child of God, he ought to think long and hard about whether his actions help or hinder the Great Commission.

    Dan @ 7: Yes, we Christians hate the false teachings of the koran, and yes, the muslims already know that. Which do you think will lead more muslims to believe on Jesus Christ — poking a stick in their eye by burning their holy book and stirring up animosities that date back to the Crusades, or preaching our Gospel of love, grace and forgiveness in contrast to their false gospel of legalism, jihad, and superstition.

    Our faith is superior, because it’s real, but we don’t have to go out of our way to disrespect theirs. The offense of the Cross is powerful enough. Being offensive for the sake of being offensive is not helpful.

  • Winston Smith

    Once again, we come smack up against the reality of two kingdoms and two vocations. “Pastor” Jones, in his capacity as an American indignant about the terrorist attacks nine years ago, has organized his little Westboro-like church into a publicity stunt that will be red meat to the Fox News crowd.

    In his capacity as a born-again believer and child of God, he ought to think long and hard about whether his actions help or hinder the Great Commission.

    Dan @ 7: Yes, we Christians hate the false teachings of the koran, and yes, the muslims already know that. Which do you think will lead more muslims to believe on Jesus Christ — poking a stick in their eye by burning their holy book and stirring up animosities that date back to the Crusades, or preaching our Gospel of love, grace and forgiveness in contrast to their false gospel of legalism, jihad, and superstition.

    Our faith is superior, because it’s real, but we don’t have to go out of our way to disrespect theirs. The offense of the Cross is powerful enough. Being offensive for the sake of being offensive is not helpful.

  • http://www.qtoner.us/hp.ink Sarah

    Petraeus would do better to tell the Afghans that in America we have freedom of speech and expression, and that we put up with speech and expression that we dislike without trying to kill the speaker.

  • http://www.qtoner.us/hp.ink Sarah

    Petraeus would do better to tell the Afghans that in America we have freedom of speech and expression, and that we put up with speech and expression that we dislike without trying to kill the speaker.

  • kerner

    This is like American flag burning. It is done to because the flag/qu’ran burner WANTS to infuriate some large group that respects the symbol being burned. It is also constitutionally protected speech (it send the message that “THIS is what I think of you and your symbol!”).

    The best thing anyone can do about this is to ignore it as much as possible, and if the media cared anything about our troops, they would give it no coverage at all. And the government should do the same. If this is really nothing more than a tiny, insignificant group of fringe kooks seeking attention they do not deserve, then they should be treated that way and given no attention at all. Certainly no attention by the white house nor by Gen. Patraeus. If they manage to attract the attention of Muslims our message should be that they are a tiny, insignificant group of fringe kooks seeking attention they do not deserve. For Muslims to notice them is to give their petty raving a gravity it would not otherwise have. Muslims should ignore them too.

  • kerner

    This is like American flag burning. It is done to because the flag/qu’ran burner WANTS to infuriate some large group that respects the symbol being burned. It is also constitutionally protected speech (it send the message that “THIS is what I think of you and your symbol!”).

    The best thing anyone can do about this is to ignore it as much as possible, and if the media cared anything about our troops, they would give it no coverage at all. And the government should do the same. If this is really nothing more than a tiny, insignificant group of fringe kooks seeking attention they do not deserve, then they should be treated that way and given no attention at all. Certainly no attention by the white house nor by Gen. Patraeus. If they manage to attract the attention of Muslims our message should be that they are a tiny, insignificant group of fringe kooks seeking attention they do not deserve. For Muslims to notice them is to give their petty raving a gravity it would not otherwise have. Muslims should ignore them too.

  • Mary Jack

    Daniel Gorman, I don’t see how this could be solely for the sake of his congregation when he could have done it privately with them but has instead turned it into a worldwide spectacule. He’s gotten flack from so many groups because he’s asked for it.

  • Mary Jack

    Daniel Gorman, I don’t see how this could be solely for the sake of his congregation when he could have done it privately with them but has instead turned it into a worldwide spectacule. He’s gotten flack from so many groups because he’s asked for it.

  • Tom Hering

    “What do they hope to accomplish? What is their endgame? I know they have the right to do it, but why do it?” – BW @ 17.

    Judging by their own words, they are “reacting to the violence that is already there in [Islam].” And refusing to be intimidated by it. But note that this congregation had not been threatened by Muslims – prior to their Koran-burning announcement (as far as we know). The intimidation they felt was all in their heads.

  • Tom Hering

    “What do they hope to accomplish? What is their endgame? I know they have the right to do it, but why do it?” – BW @ 17.

    Judging by their own words, they are “reacting to the violence that is already there in [Islam].” And refusing to be intimidated by it. But note that this congregation had not been threatened by Muslims – prior to their Koran-burning announcement (as far as we know). The intimidation they felt was all in their heads.

  • kerner

    “When confronting the devil, if he will not yield to Scripture, the best thing to do is jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”

    Martin Luther

    Never let people like this think they are important.

  • kerner

    “When confronting the devil, if he will not yield to Scripture, the best thing to do is jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”

    Martin Luther

    Never let people like this think they are important.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Book burnings = happy book distributors

    Nine times out of ten the people burning books, cd’s, etc are not burning an item they already owned and now want to get rid of. No, they are running out and buying said items for the sole purpose of burning them. This is a farce of a protest and they need to get a life. Now we don’t just have to deal with the centuries old memory of the crusades but now the idiot actions of a very small group of hotheads, because the muslim people are not going to view us as separate from that pitiful publicity stunt.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Book burnings = happy book distributors

    Nine times out of ten the people burning books, cd’s, etc are not burning an item they already owned and now want to get rid of. No, they are running out and buying said items for the sole purpose of burning them. This is a farce of a protest and they need to get a life. Now we don’t just have to deal with the centuries old memory of the crusades but now the idiot actions of a very small group of hotheads, because the muslim people are not going to view us as separate from that pitiful publicity stunt.

  • BW

    Tom Hering @ 21

    That’s pretty much my point in asking the question. If it’s because they are angry, which I think is their motive behind it, remember how God poured out his wrath on his Son, then go and speak the truth in love to the Muslims about Christ and His death for our sins.

    If they just want to tick off Muslims, what is the point in that? What good can that possibly accomplish. I think their reasons lie more along the former, but in any case I don’t see how this is a good idea at all.

  • BW

    Tom Hering @ 21

    That’s pretty much my point in asking the question. If it’s because they are angry, which I think is their motive behind it, remember how God poured out his wrath on his Son, then go and speak the truth in love to the Muslims about Christ and His death for our sins.

    If they just want to tick off Muslims, what is the point in that? What good can that possibly accomplish. I think their reasons lie more along the former, but in any case I don’t see how this is a good idea at all.

  • CRB

    Yes, it’s amazing how fear can lead folks to do crazy things like
    this. But what is the responsibility now of Christians toward
    Muslims to help quell any outburst of anger on a regional basis
    in this country if this idiotic stuff is carried out? Perhaps that
    may be another post related to this one for tomorrow, Dr. Veith?

  • CRB

    Yes, it’s amazing how fear can lead folks to do crazy things like
    this. But what is the responsibility now of Christians toward
    Muslims to help quell any outburst of anger on a regional basis
    in this country if this idiotic stuff is carried out? Perhaps that
    may be another post related to this one for tomorrow, Dr. Veith?

  • Dan Kempin

    Veith, #13,

    “So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?”

    First of all, I am not advocating for this. I said that already. I am just pushing back for some thoughtfulness on a reaction that seems to be very knee jerk. Let’s examine your question for a moment:

    Do I think that this action will result in riots and the death of Christians all over the world? I have no idea. I have no way of knowing that “carnage will result.” I also have no control. Yet the converse of your question would be that we are obligated to do whatever will not cause these things. That, I think, is flawed logic. It feels like the abusee taking the blame for the abuse because they “made the abuser angry.” Would you give the same counsel to an abusee on a personal level?

    To put it another way, do you really think that NOT doing this will prevent future attacks?

    Furthermore, the persecution of Christians is by no means a justification for ameliorating the confession of the truth. Our Lord said that His people WOULD be persecuted. How presumptuous would we be to think we can or should stop this?

    Winston, #18,

    “Which do you think will lead more muslims to believe on Jesus Christ — poking a stick in their eye by burning their holy book and stirring up animosities that date back to the Crusades, or preaching our Gospel of love, grace and forgiveness in contrast to their false gospel of legalism, jihad, and superstition. ”

    I’m not sure, but I was taught that the work of the Law must precede that of the Gospel.

  • Dan Kempin

    Veith, #13,

    “So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?”

    First of all, I am not advocating for this. I said that already. I am just pushing back for some thoughtfulness on a reaction that seems to be very knee jerk. Let’s examine your question for a moment:

    Do I think that this action will result in riots and the death of Christians all over the world? I have no idea. I have no way of knowing that “carnage will result.” I also have no control. Yet the converse of your question would be that we are obligated to do whatever will not cause these things. That, I think, is flawed logic. It feels like the abusee taking the blame for the abuse because they “made the abuser angry.” Would you give the same counsel to an abusee on a personal level?

    To put it another way, do you really think that NOT doing this will prevent future attacks?

    Furthermore, the persecution of Christians is by no means a justification for ameliorating the confession of the truth. Our Lord said that His people WOULD be persecuted. How presumptuous would we be to think we can or should stop this?

    Winston, #18,

    “Which do you think will lead more muslims to believe on Jesus Christ — poking a stick in their eye by burning their holy book and stirring up animosities that date back to the Crusades, or preaching our Gospel of love, grace and forgiveness in contrast to their false gospel of legalism, jihad, and superstition. ”

    I’m not sure, but I was taught that the work of the Law must precede that of the Gospel.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    Book burning or no, do you really think that the Islamic stance against Christianity will change?

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    Book burning or no, do you really think that the Islamic stance against Christianity will change?

  • Louis

    Dan, Carl – you do seem to like chest thumping, don’t you? But chest thumping is an action typifying morons. Yes – morons. As Christians, we ought to be wise. This burning is a provocation of a chicken-little idiot who doesn’t care about the lifes of people in countires where Christianity is under threat. In some of these places, the extremists will use any excuse to make the lifes of Christians hell. Like the prophet Mohammed cartoon did a few years ago. But no, they’d rather thump their little chests than think – how will my actions today have an effect on others? Will it bless them? Or curse them? We live in a real world.

    Also Dan, as some pointed out here – if you read this Pastors words, he is indulging in that confusion of Christianity with Americanism. Americianity, as some genius put it the other day.

    And Carl – don’t insult our intelligence by imagining that Luthers bull burning was in any way similar. But hey, any occasion to take it out on the administration eh?

    I can’t believe there is even a debate about this. Good grief.

  • Louis

    Dan, Carl – you do seem to like chest thumping, don’t you? But chest thumping is an action typifying morons. Yes – morons. As Christians, we ought to be wise. This burning is a provocation of a chicken-little idiot who doesn’t care about the lifes of people in countires where Christianity is under threat. In some of these places, the extremists will use any excuse to make the lifes of Christians hell. Like the prophet Mohammed cartoon did a few years ago. But no, they’d rather thump their little chests than think – how will my actions today have an effect on others? Will it bless them? Or curse them? We live in a real world.

    Also Dan, as some pointed out here – if you read this Pastors words, he is indulging in that confusion of Christianity with Americanism. Americianity, as some genius put it the other day.

    And Carl – don’t insult our intelligence by imagining that Luthers bull burning was in any way similar. But hey, any occasion to take it out on the administration eh?

    I can’t believe there is even a debate about this. Good grief.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I agree with Kerner. Is this moron stupid or what? Well, sure.
    Should he have the right to do his idiotic stunt? Certainly.
    And it worked, he got his attention – so let’s move on. Move on to what responsible action? Good question CRB.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I agree with Kerner. Is this moron stupid or what? Well, sure.
    Should he have the right to do his idiotic stunt? Certainly.
    And it worked, he got his attention – so let’s move on. Move on to what responsible action? Good question CRB.

  • CRB

    Bryan, hope Dr. Veith will respond to my suggestion.
    It seems that the Gainesville pastor never read or fully
    comprehended Matthew 10:16!!

  • CRB

    Bryan, hope Dr. Veith will respond to my suggestion.
    It seems that the Gainesville pastor never read or fully
    comprehended Matthew 10:16!!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This idea is a negative tw0-fer. Not only will it needlessly insult all Muslims, including our allies, but it will demonstrate to our secular opponents that (as they always thought), we’re just a bunch of fascists.”

    Then you are saying our opponents are stupid.

    If the American public can be expected to see the 9-11 attack as the work of a few nuts, then it is reasonable to expect that our secular opponents could be as smart as the American general public and recognize this guy as an individual who doesn’t represent all Christians. If they don’t, then they are either stupid or lying. If so, who cares what they say?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This idea is a negative tw0-fer. Not only will it needlessly insult all Muslims, including our allies, but it will demonstrate to our secular opponents that (as they always thought), we’re just a bunch of fascists.”

    Then you are saying our opponents are stupid.

    If the American public can be expected to see the 9-11 attack as the work of a few nuts, then it is reasonable to expect that our secular opponents could be as smart as the American general public and recognize this guy as an individual who doesn’t represent all Christians. If they don’t, then they are either stupid or lying. If so, who cares what they say?

  • Louis

    sg – But “who cares what they say?” – can cause misery, suffering and death. We do not live in an idealised world, a logical world, or something like that. Also, a tit for tat approach is just insane.

    If we cannot take the High Road, we have no business being on the road at all.

  • Louis

    sg – But “who cares what they say?” – can cause misery, suffering and death. We do not live in an idealised world, a logical world, or something like that. Also, a tit for tat approach is just insane.

    If we cannot take the High Road, we have no business being on the road at all.

  • CRB

    Another outcome of this idiotic act may also become evident
    in certain ccommunities around our country: Christians in
    small towns and cities debating the wisdom of this pastors
    actions. And, given the current emotional climate in this
    country, I would venture a guess that the discussions will be
    marked primarliy by ad hominems rather than intelligent
    debate. If I were a betting man, I think I would probably
    walk away with a sizeable amount of $

  • CRB

    Another outcome of this idiotic act may also become evident
    in certain ccommunities around our country: Christians in
    small towns and cities debating the wisdom of this pastors
    actions. And, given the current emotional climate in this
    country, I would venture a guess that the discussions will be
    marked primarliy by ad hominems rather than intelligent
    debate. If I were a betting man, I think I would probably
    walk away with a sizeable amount of $

  • Louis

    And then there is the past. From Der Spiegel :( http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716409,00.html)

    What is less well known is that the pastor led a charismatic evangelical church, the Christian Community of Cologne, in the western German city up until 2009. Last year, however, the members of the congregation kicked founder Jones out, because of his radicalism. One of the church’s current leaders, Stephan Baar, also told the German news agency DPA that there had been suspicions of financial irregularities in the church surrounding Jones.

    A “climate of fear and control” had previously prevailed in the congregation, says one former member of the church who does not want to be named. Instead of free expression, “blind obedience” was demanded, he says.

    Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones’ behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.

  • Louis

    And then there is the past. From Der Spiegel :( http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716409,00.html)

    What is less well known is that the pastor led a charismatic evangelical church, the Christian Community of Cologne, in the western German city up until 2009. Last year, however, the members of the congregation kicked founder Jones out, because of his radicalism. One of the church’s current leaders, Stephan Baar, also told the German news agency DPA that there had been suspicions of financial irregularities in the church surrounding Jones.

    A “climate of fear and control” had previously prevailed in the congregation, says one former member of the church who does not want to be named. Instead of free expression, “blind obedience” was demanded, he says.

    Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones’ behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.

  • Louis

    That was supposed to be a blockquote, not bold. Also, not a :( , but a :
    Ah well.

  • Louis

    That was supposed to be a blockquote, not bold. Also, not a :( , but a :
    Ah well.

  • Just Learning

    “To do that in this case just to be symbolic and for the very purpose of stirring up people who need to be calmed down is a violation of the love of neighbor. Not to mention the love of one’s enemy.”

    Is this a violation of that? I always thought that we show our love for our neighbors and our enemies was by obeying the Commandments. Don’t kill, steal, don’t slander/lie, commit adultery w/ our neighbor’s wife…

    Are we also required not to offend our neighbors?

  • Just Learning

    “To do that in this case just to be symbolic and for the very purpose of stirring up people who need to be calmed down is a violation of the love of neighbor. Not to mention the love of one’s enemy.”

    Is this a violation of that? I always thought that we show our love for our neighbors and our enemies was by obeying the Commandments. Don’t kill, steal, don’t slander/lie, commit adultery w/ our neighbor’s wife…

    Are we also required not to offend our neighbors?

  • Pingback: Religious Fanaticism « Napman57′s Weblog

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  • NavyMom

    As the mother of an active duty naval officer preparing to be deployed for his third tour, I am appalled at the plan of this “pastor” to burn the Quran. Is he utterly clueless what could happen to our men and women in the military because of his stupid, thoughtless action? Maybe God will intervene before Saturday and stop this nut.

  • NavyMom

    As the mother of an active duty naval officer preparing to be deployed for his third tour, I am appalled at the plan of this “pastor” to burn the Quran. Is he utterly clueless what could happen to our men and women in the military because of his stupid, thoughtless action? Maybe God will intervene before Saturday and stop this nut.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I have got to hand it to Muslims. I actually find myself in awe of their unity, solidarity, and willingness to act in defense of their religion.

    Radical members of their religion can commit atrocities on our soil, and then they put up a mosque on the site commemorating the victory, and our government is so intimidated that they brand any of their own citizens who question this as anti constitutional racists.

    A tiny group of 50 people in some backwater of Florida wants to burn one book, and even our military is wringing its hands in anxiety about the anticipated reaction.

    If someone was burning Bibles or an American Flag, nothing would really happen. If someone was burning the Torah, you would get op-ed pieces decrying anti-semitism.
    Someone draws a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and gets himself killed. Other people threaten to burn a copy of the Koran, and the repercussions ripple through our government and civilization.
    Wow. That is real power.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I have got to hand it to Muslims. I actually find myself in awe of their unity, solidarity, and willingness to act in defense of their religion.

    Radical members of their religion can commit atrocities on our soil, and then they put up a mosque on the site commemorating the victory, and our government is so intimidated that they brand any of their own citizens who question this as anti constitutional racists.

    A tiny group of 50 people in some backwater of Florida wants to burn one book, and even our military is wringing its hands in anxiety about the anticipated reaction.

    If someone was burning Bibles or an American Flag, nothing would really happen. If someone was burning the Torah, you would get op-ed pieces decrying anti-semitism.
    Someone draws a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and gets himself killed. Other people threaten to burn a copy of the Koran, and the repercussions ripple through our government and civilization.
    Wow. That is real power.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Oh, and if I question the propriety of a Mosque on Ground Zero, I am chastised for infringing on the Constitutional rights of Muslims. However if others wish to exercise those same rights by burning a single copy of a book in protest, the full weight of the government and press are brought to bear to tell these people to shut the hell up, and that their demonstration ‘lacks discretion.’

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Oh, and if I question the propriety of a Mosque on Ground Zero, I am chastised for infringing on the Constitutional rights of Muslims. However if others wish to exercise those same rights by burning a single copy of a book in protest, the full weight of the government and press are brought to bear to tell these people to shut the hell up, and that their demonstration ‘lacks discretion.’

  • Winston Smith

    The muslims have to act on behalf of their religion because there is nothing behind it.

    Insult the Bible, and you have to deal with our Almighty God in Heaven. The fight is His, not ours, and we are free to be gentle ambassadors, calling sinners to be reconciled to God. He will take care of the opposition in due time.

  • Winston Smith

    The muslims have to act on behalf of their religion because there is nothing behind it.

    Insult the Bible, and you have to deal with our Almighty God in Heaven. The fight is His, not ours, and we are free to be gentle ambassadors, calling sinners to be reconciled to God. He will take care of the opposition in due time.

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #28,

    “Chest thumping?”

    I don’t know what you mean.

    You did read one of the several times I stated that I was not advocating this Koran burning, right? Perhaps you missed them. I wouldn’t anyone to think you jumped to conclusions for assuming I support it.

    The questions I posed are about the logic involved. I do not accept the premise that violence is justified by the excuse of provocation. That is silly, and it gives power to all the wrong people–to the bullies and to the idiots. Walking on eggshells as though some 50 member congregation has the power to destroy the world is a glaring example of how the discussion has become fear driven. (That, incidentally, is the whole strategy behind “terror” ism. Cow your opponent to paralysis with fear and the threat of violence.)

    Maybe that’s “chest thumping.” If so, I’m OK with it.

    Not to mention the further theological point–which you haven’t answered–that the church WILL face persecution. Do you think I want that? Do you think that pleases me? Do you think my heart doesn’t break with every story I hear? But does the threat of persecution relieve the church of proclaiming the full truth, including the proclamation that another religion is false?

    I don’t advocate for what this pastor is doing, (feel free to ignore that and call me a moron again if it makes you feel better), but WHAT IS IT about his plan that you find objectionable? Is it the rudeness? Is it the idea of burning a book? Is it the burning of a “holy” book? Is it just a pragmatic guess of what the fallout might be? Is there something inherently sinful in this act?

    What would Saint Boniface say, who cut down the sacred oak tree and called upon the “god” to strike him down?

    Good grief. Are we too afraid to even TALK about it?

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #28,

    “Chest thumping?”

    I don’t know what you mean.

    You did read one of the several times I stated that I was not advocating this Koran burning, right? Perhaps you missed them. I wouldn’t anyone to think you jumped to conclusions for assuming I support it.

    The questions I posed are about the logic involved. I do not accept the premise that violence is justified by the excuse of provocation. That is silly, and it gives power to all the wrong people–to the bullies and to the idiots. Walking on eggshells as though some 50 member congregation has the power to destroy the world is a glaring example of how the discussion has become fear driven. (That, incidentally, is the whole strategy behind “terror” ism. Cow your opponent to paralysis with fear and the threat of violence.)

    Maybe that’s “chest thumping.” If so, I’m OK with it.

    Not to mention the further theological point–which you haven’t answered–that the church WILL face persecution. Do you think I want that? Do you think that pleases me? Do you think my heart doesn’t break with every story I hear? But does the threat of persecution relieve the church of proclaiming the full truth, including the proclamation that another religion is false?

    I don’t advocate for what this pastor is doing, (feel free to ignore that and call me a moron again if it makes you feel better), but WHAT IS IT about his plan that you find objectionable? Is it the rudeness? Is it the idea of burning a book? Is it the burning of a “holy” book? Is it just a pragmatic guess of what the fallout might be? Is there something inherently sinful in this act?

    What would Saint Boniface say, who cut down the sacred oak tree and called upon the “god” to strike him down?

    Good grief. Are we too afraid to even TALK about it?

  • Tom Hering

    How many things can you find wrong with this picture?

    “Then there is the .40-caliber pistol that hugs his hip. Many of the roughly 50 members of his Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville are also armed, Jones said, because of death threats. The prospect of a gunfight breaking out during the rally does not faze Jones. ‘We are definitely prepared to do this,’ he told ‘Nightline.’ ‘We are definitely prepared to give our lives for this particular message.’” – New York Daily News.

  • Tom Hering

    How many things can you find wrong with this picture?

    “Then there is the .40-caliber pistol that hugs his hip. Many of the roughly 50 members of his Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville are also armed, Jones said, because of death threats. The prospect of a gunfight breaking out during the rally does not faze Jones. ‘We are definitely prepared to do this,’ he told ‘Nightline.’ ‘We are definitely prepared to give our lives for this particular message.’” – New York Daily News.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Dr. Veith,

    You said, ‘Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?’

    What is the right to free speech worth? Even speech we don’t like or find distasteful?

    Frankly, I am appalled at how quickly we abandon our freedoms when faced with the threat of Islamic violence. Look at the above comment thread. Most of it casts aspersions on this small church’s right to free speech. How different from the other day when many here were championing the right of free exercise of religion in regards to the Mosque at Ground Zero. If find it hypocritical to say the least.

    I DO NOT condone book burning and am no fan of what this guy is going to do. (It will harm the cause of the Gospel, in my opinion.)

    However, this is free country, and their right to free speech is guaranteed by the Constitution, like it or not.

    I think that Islam has the West outfoxed and outflanked, and it will not go well for us.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Dr. Veith,

    You said, ‘Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke?’

    What is the right to free speech worth? Even speech we don’t like or find distasteful?

    Frankly, I am appalled at how quickly we abandon our freedoms when faced with the threat of Islamic violence. Look at the above comment thread. Most of it casts aspersions on this small church’s right to free speech. How different from the other day when many here were championing the right of free exercise of religion in regards to the Mosque at Ground Zero. If find it hypocritical to say the least.

    I DO NOT condone book burning and am no fan of what this guy is going to do. (It will harm the cause of the Gospel, in my opinion.)

    However, this is free country, and their right to free speech is guaranteed by the Constitution, like it or not.

    I think that Islam has the West outfoxed and outflanked, and it will not go well for us.

  • Louis

    Dan – We have to deal with the fact that the discussion is fear driven. That irrationalism abounds. That people forget context. That is what it is about. Also, the context of his burning is attnetion-seeking fundamentalist religion, similarly to his activities in Germany. The man is a self-serving idiot. He confuses God wih the US – just read his words. Also, if others do it, why should we insist on our right to do it too? You stepped on my toe, therefore I am going to step on yours. This has nothing to do with national interest, protection or anything. This is a direct violation of “Do unto others…”.

    There. And I did not call you a Moron, but I did say that chest thumping is moronic. I’m sorry though, that I lumped you in with Carl there – I reread your comment, and still disagree with much you said, but it is not a celebration of chest thumping. That said, I think you loose sight of reality here:

    Do I think that this action will result in riots and the death of Christians all over the world? I have no idea. I have no way of knowing that “carnage will result.” I also have no control. Yet the converse of your question would be that we are obligated to do whatever will not cause these things. That, I think, is flawed logic. It feels like the abusee taking the blame for the abuse because they “made the abuser angry.” Would you give the same counsel to an abusee on a personal level?

    To use the abuser-abusee thing here is just so out of context, I have no idea where to start.

  • Louis

    Dan – We have to deal with the fact that the discussion is fear driven. That irrationalism abounds. That people forget context. That is what it is about. Also, the context of his burning is attnetion-seeking fundamentalist religion, similarly to his activities in Germany. The man is a self-serving idiot. He confuses God wih the US – just read his words. Also, if others do it, why should we insist on our right to do it too? You stepped on my toe, therefore I am going to step on yours. This has nothing to do with national interest, protection or anything. This is a direct violation of “Do unto others…”.

    There. And I did not call you a Moron, but I did say that chest thumping is moronic. I’m sorry though, that I lumped you in with Carl there – I reread your comment, and still disagree with much you said, but it is not a celebration of chest thumping. That said, I think you loose sight of reality here:

    Do I think that this action will result in riots and the death of Christians all over the world? I have no idea. I have no way of knowing that “carnage will result.” I also have no control. Yet the converse of your question would be that we are obligated to do whatever will not cause these things. That, I think, is flawed logic. It feels like the abusee taking the blame for the abuse because they “made the abuser angry.” Would you give the same counsel to an abusee on a personal level?

    To use the abuser-abusee thing here is just so out of context, I have no idea where to start.

  • CRB

    Some have posted that the pastor is “only burning 1 copy of
    the Koran. On yesterday’s News Program (cant recall what
    network) he told the reporter that they had 20 copies of it
    and that they were donated!

  • CRB

    Some have posted that the pastor is “only burning 1 copy of
    the Koran. On yesterday’s News Program (cant recall what
    network) he told the reporter that they had 20 copies of it
    and that they were donated!

  • CRB

    Correction, 200 copies!

  • CRB

    Correction, 200 copies!

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #44,

    I concede that my analogy of abuse was hasty and not the most apt to the situation, but I meant to speak to the broader premise that Muslim violence can be laid at the feet of those who “provoke” them.

    I also concede willingly that this pastor may not be doing this in a well thought out fashion. He may, in fact, be a nut.

    My interest is in discussing the principles raised by the incidence of this story. As I said above, what specifically is objectionable? When, if ever, would this be appropriate? How is the church to testify to the whole truth without being needlessly obnoxious? I don’t think that is a useless conversation.

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #44,

    I concede that my analogy of abuse was hasty and not the most apt to the situation, but I meant to speak to the broader premise that Muslim violence can be laid at the feet of those who “provoke” them.

    I also concede willingly that this pastor may not be doing this in a well thought out fashion. He may, in fact, be a nut.

    My interest is in discussing the principles raised by the incidence of this story. As I said above, what specifically is objectionable? When, if ever, would this be appropriate? How is the church to testify to the whole truth without being needlessly obnoxious? I don’t think that is a useless conversation.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 19 has it right. This guy is a publicity hound and our media is playing right into his hands, as are we with this thread.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 19 has it right. This guy is a publicity hound and our media is playing right into his hands, as are we with this thread.

  • Tom Hering

    “Are we also required not to offend our neighbors?” – Just Learning @ 36.

    “… the principles raised … what specifically is objectionable?” – Dan Kempin @ 47.

    “Give no offense either to Jews [non-Christians] or to Greeks [non-Christians] or to the church of God …” (1st Corinthians 10:32.)

  • Tom Hering

    “Are we also required not to offend our neighbors?” – Just Learning @ 36.

    “… the principles raised … what specifically is objectionable?” – Dan Kempin @ 47.

    “Give no offense either to Jews [non-Christians] or to Greeks [non-Christians] or to the church of God …” (1st Corinthians 10:32.)

  • Daniel Gorman

    Mary Jack#20 opines, “Daniel Gorman, I don’t see how this could be solely for the sake of his congregation when he could have done it privately with them but has instead turned it into a worldwide spectacule. He’s gotten flack from so many groups because he’s asked for it.”

    Pastor Martin Luther created a worldwide spectacle when he publicly burned the Pope’s Anti-Christian bull of excommunication. Whether or not Pastor Jones is (or Pastor Luther was) a publicity hound is irrelevant. The burning of any written attack on the gospel of Jesus Christ by a pastor is adiaphora. No Christian may question his motives.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Mary Jack#20 opines, “Daniel Gorman, I don’t see how this could be solely for the sake of his congregation when he could have done it privately with them but has instead turned it into a worldwide spectacule. He’s gotten flack from so many groups because he’s asked for it.”

    Pastor Martin Luther created a worldwide spectacle when he publicly burned the Pope’s Anti-Christian bull of excommunication. Whether or not Pastor Jones is (or Pastor Luther was) a publicity hound is irrelevant. The burning of any written attack on the gospel of Jesus Christ by a pastor is adiaphora. No Christian may question his motives.

  • BW

    Just as I don’t think the government can or should stop the new NYC Islamic center/mosque, I don’t think anyone can should this church from their Quran burning event. But, in both cases, just because you have the freedom to do something, doesn’t mean its in good taste, or that you should do it. That is my point. The advocates/builders of the mosque and this pastor need to re-evaluate their plans. The pastor has to consider what good will this possibly do in the cause of spreading of the Gospel of Christ Crucified and evangelism efforts to Muslims.

    But as kerner says, the more fuss that is made over it, the worse the situation will become.

  • BW

    Just as I don’t think the government can or should stop the new NYC Islamic center/mosque, I don’t think anyone can should this church from their Quran burning event. But, in both cases, just because you have the freedom to do something, doesn’t mean its in good taste, or that you should do it. That is my point. The advocates/builders of the mosque and this pastor need to re-evaluate their plans. The pastor has to consider what good will this possibly do in the cause of spreading of the Gospel of Christ Crucified and evangelism efforts to Muslims.

    But as kerner says, the more fuss that is made over it, the worse the situation will become.

  • Gary

    Jones is using the first amendment to excuse himself from God’s Greatest Commandment.

  • Gary

    Jones is using the first amendment to excuse himself from God’s Greatest Commandment.

  • Gary

    Also, why didn’t Petraeus speak up on “Draw Mohammed Day”?

  • Gary

    Also, why didn’t Petraeus speak up on “Draw Mohammed Day”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, folks, but the people here pointing to Luther’s purning of the papal bull fall into the same trap that Luther’s critics do when they decry his anti-Semitism. In both cases, people assume that the personal actions of Luther matter — and, what’s more, are normative — to Lutherans and/or Christians. What Luther did in his life is not, as such, important to me, and does not inform my opinions on this current topic. Maybe he was right to burn the bull, maybe not. Guess how we’re going to figure that one out? That’s right, not by judging it according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word. Similarly, we’re not going to judge this Qu’ran-burning according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word.

    And, I’m sorry, but by that standard, it is rather difficult to claim, as Daniel Gorman has several times now, that this topic is “adiaphora”. All manner of Bible verses do or might apply in this situation, even if I’m not in a position to judge the pastor’s heart when it comes to some of them.

    Of course, the pastor has a legal right to burn the Qu’rans. Who is arguing otherwise? The question here is: is it wise to do so? Nor is this a question of taking a stand against falsehood. Again, nobody is advocating backing down in the face of false teaching, nor could they biblically. But does standing up for the truth require us to burn Qu’rans? No, and we all know that. The question then remains: is this action wise? Does it, in fact, strike a blow for truth and against falsehood? As others have also concluded, I have a hard time seeing this doing any good for truth, but instead only serving as more fodder for those who hate Christians and Americans.

    If we’re going to offend people, let’s make sure it’s because we’re preaching the unadulterated, God-given truth. And not just because we’re being @ssholes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, folks, but the people here pointing to Luther’s purning of the papal bull fall into the same trap that Luther’s critics do when they decry his anti-Semitism. In both cases, people assume that the personal actions of Luther matter — and, what’s more, are normative — to Lutherans and/or Christians. What Luther did in his life is not, as such, important to me, and does not inform my opinions on this current topic. Maybe he was right to burn the bull, maybe not. Guess how we’re going to figure that one out? That’s right, not by judging it according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word. Similarly, we’re not going to judge this Qu’ran-burning according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word.

    And, I’m sorry, but by that standard, it is rather difficult to claim, as Daniel Gorman has several times now, that this topic is “adiaphora”. All manner of Bible verses do or might apply in this situation, even if I’m not in a position to judge the pastor’s heart when it comes to some of them.

    Of course, the pastor has a legal right to burn the Qu’rans. Who is arguing otherwise? The question here is: is it wise to do so? Nor is this a question of taking a stand against falsehood. Again, nobody is advocating backing down in the face of false teaching, nor could they biblically. But does standing up for the truth require us to burn Qu’rans? No, and we all know that. The question then remains: is this action wise? Does it, in fact, strike a blow for truth and against falsehood? As others have also concluded, I have a hard time seeing this doing any good for truth, but instead only serving as more fodder for those who hate Christians and Americans.

    If we’re going to offend people, let’s make sure it’s because we’re preaching the unadulterated, God-given truth. And not just because we’re being @ssholes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, much as I am sympathetic to those saying we’re only contributing to all this by paying attention to it, I’m not entirely sure how that actually plays out.

    Now, I’ll admit that I did contribute to a statistic on CNN’s Web site when I first viewed this story (that was, of course, Veith’s fault ;) , as it was he who linked to CNN.com in a post yesterday, whereon I clicked to view one of the day’s most popular stories). So their analytics will tell them that this story is popular with yet one more person. But how will my commenting here propagate this story? How am I “playing right into his hands”?

    Sorry, but I don’t see that anything can be realistically done to get people to ignore this, at this point. That’s not how human nature works.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, much as I am sympathetic to those saying we’re only contributing to all this by paying attention to it, I’m not entirely sure how that actually plays out.

    Now, I’ll admit that I did contribute to a statistic on CNN’s Web site when I first viewed this story (that was, of course, Veith’s fault ;) , as it was he who linked to CNN.com in a post yesterday, whereon I clicked to view one of the day’s most popular stories). So their analytics will tell them that this story is popular with yet one more person. But how will my commenting here propagate this story? How am I “playing right into his hands”?

    Sorry, but I don’t see that anything can be realistically done to get people to ignore this, at this point. That’s not how human nature works.

  • Winston Smith

    Dan Kempin @ 41: “But does the threat of persecution relieve the church of proclaiming the full truth, including the proclamation that another religion is false?”

    I don’t equate “proclaiming the full truth” with a deliberate act of provocation. There are plenty of people proclaiming the full truth — that Jesus is the Son of God, that Mohammed is NOT God’s prophet, that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Many of them are missionaries to the islamic world. Many of them are believers living in islamic countries who face horrific persecution on a daily basis.

    A deliberate act of sacrilege — which is how muslims will see this act — is NOT the same as proclaiming the Gospel. It’s deliberate incitement to outrage. It tells the muslims nothing of God’s love for the world and his extending grace to sinners through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus.

    For you, Dan, this seems to be about brinksmanship; we can’t show the muslims that we are intimidated by them. With all due respect to you, it’s not about who is intimidated or who is brave. The brave ones are the missionaries and the native Christian congregations in muslim countries, and THEY are going to be the ones who will bear the brunt of the reaction, not you and me. They live it every day.

  • Winston Smith

    Dan Kempin @ 41: “But does the threat of persecution relieve the church of proclaiming the full truth, including the proclamation that another religion is false?”

    I don’t equate “proclaiming the full truth” with a deliberate act of provocation. There are plenty of people proclaiming the full truth — that Jesus is the Son of God, that Mohammed is NOT God’s prophet, that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Many of them are missionaries to the islamic world. Many of them are believers living in islamic countries who face horrific persecution on a daily basis.

    A deliberate act of sacrilege — which is how muslims will see this act — is NOT the same as proclaiming the Gospel. It’s deliberate incitement to outrage. It tells the muslims nothing of God’s love for the world and his extending grace to sinners through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus.

    For you, Dan, this seems to be about brinksmanship; we can’t show the muslims that we are intimidated by them. With all due respect to you, it’s not about who is intimidated or who is brave. The brave ones are the missionaries and the native Christian congregations in muslim countries, and THEY are going to be the ones who will bear the brunt of the reaction, not you and me. They live it every day.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If we cannot take the High Road, we have no business being on the road at all.”

    Louis, it is not “we”. We can’t control every nut. We are not responsible for one guy who wants to burn the Koran. There is no “we” in this story. There is only “he”.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If we cannot take the High Road, we have no business being on the road at all.”

    Louis, it is not “we”. We can’t control every nut. We are not responsible for one guy who wants to burn the Koran. There is no “we” in this story. There is only “he”.

  • Carl Vehse

    So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Muslims have and will continue to riot no matter what, even if Iman0bama bows to every mohammedan he meets.

    Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Muslims have and will continue to kill Christians (and even their own people) no matter what.

    Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Muslims have and will continue to attack American troops who also under are attack by their Commander’s own unAmerican Rules of Engagement.

    Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke? No, I didn’t say anything like that.

    As noted on Freerepublic, can anyone imagine such pathetic whining from Gen. Eisenhower, Gen Patton, or any politician during WWII demanding a group of Americans not burn a copy of Mein Kampf because it might make the Germans mad at us and harm our soldiers fighting in Europe?

  • Carl Vehse

    So, Carl and Dan, do you think Muslims around the world will NOT riot? Muslims have and will continue to riot no matter what, even if Iman0bama bows to every mohammedan he meets.

    Do you think this will NOT result in the deaths of Christians? Muslims have and will continue to kill Christians (and even their own people) no matter what.

    Do you think it will NOT result in the deaths of American troops? Muslims have and will continue to attack American troops who also under are attack by their Commander’s own unAmerican Rules of Engagement.

    Or are you saying that this gesture by this 50-member congregation is striking such a mighty blow against Islam that it’s worth the carnage it will provoke? No, I didn’t say anything like that.

    As noted on Freerepublic, can anyone imagine such pathetic whining from Gen. Eisenhower, Gen Patton, or any politician during WWII demanding a group of Americans not burn a copy of Mein Kampf because it might make the Germans mad at us and harm our soldiers fighting in Europe?

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston, #56,

    “For you, Dan, this seems to be about brinksmanship; we can’t show the muslims that we are intimidated by them”

    I can see where you could get that from my comments, but no, that it not what I am saying. I did make the incidental observation that the whole conversation is charged with fear–the muslims clearly have the whip hand, if you judge from our flinching–but that was not what drew me into the discussion. I am not brave, nor do I have a “bring it on” attitude. Yet whatever the conclusion is reached, it should not be driven by fear that we or others will suffer. That, I think, is an important point, however it causes my knees to shake.

    The real people to consider in this are the Muslims. The question that should govern any action directed toward the Muslims is not “will they be angry?” but “what message will they receive?” If the only message they receive is disrespect, then it is not only wasted but wicked. Duh. That’s certainly what I would think.

    But I’m NOT a Muslim, and I don’t really know what a Muslim would conclude seeing someone boldly burn a Koran. And by that I mean that I genuinely don’t know what they would think. I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think. And if we don’t know that, how can we decide the best thing to do?

    Yet we draw our conclusions and set them in stone.

    Just a little reflection, that’s all I’m asking.

    (Perhaps I should add, since it is now becoming habit, that I don’t advocate the burning of . . . oh, never mind.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston, #56,

    “For you, Dan, this seems to be about brinksmanship; we can’t show the muslims that we are intimidated by them”

    I can see where you could get that from my comments, but no, that it not what I am saying. I did make the incidental observation that the whole conversation is charged with fear–the muslims clearly have the whip hand, if you judge from our flinching–but that was not what drew me into the discussion. I am not brave, nor do I have a “bring it on” attitude. Yet whatever the conclusion is reached, it should not be driven by fear that we or others will suffer. That, I think, is an important point, however it causes my knees to shake.

    The real people to consider in this are the Muslims. The question that should govern any action directed toward the Muslims is not “will they be angry?” but “what message will they receive?” If the only message they receive is disrespect, then it is not only wasted but wicked. Duh. That’s certainly what I would think.

    But I’m NOT a Muslim, and I don’t really know what a Muslim would conclude seeing someone boldly burn a Koran. And by that I mean that I genuinely don’t know what they would think. I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think. And if we don’t know that, how can we decide the best thing to do?

    Yet we draw our conclusions and set them in stone.

    Just a little reflection, that’s all I’m asking.

    (Perhaps I should add, since it is now becoming habit, that I don’t advocate the burning of . . . oh, never mind.)

  • Booklover

    Patrick Kyle @38 and 39, you’ve got it right in my opinion.

    We as Christians have become so ultra-conscientious of our every action; yet other religions don’t give a flip about the consequences of their much more dire actions.

    Reminds me of the time when a pastor was chastised by the media for daring to carry a dead baby that he had found in a garbage dumpster behind an abortuary. The media was horrified that he would dare to hold this mutilated baby and make it public. Yet the abortionist carried on with his deeds inside the building, with no media reaction.

  • Booklover

    Patrick Kyle @38 and 39, you’ve got it right in my opinion.

    We as Christians have become so ultra-conscientious of our every action; yet other religions don’t give a flip about the consequences of their much more dire actions.

    Reminds me of the time when a pastor was chastised by the media for daring to carry a dead baby that he had found in a garbage dumpster behind an abortuary. The media was horrified that he would dare to hold this mutilated baby and make it public. Yet the abortionist carried on with his deeds inside the building, with no media reaction.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “We as Christians have become so ultra-conscientious of our every action; yet other religions don’t give a flip about the consequences of their much more dire actions.” (@60)

    Yes, let’s be more like those other religions! Being conscientious really isn’t working out for us!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “We as Christians have become so ultra-conscientious of our every action; yet other religions don’t give a flip about the consequences of their much more dire actions.” (@60)

    Yes, let’s be more like those other religions! Being conscientious really isn’t working out for us!

  • Winston Smith

    Dan Kempin@ 59: “I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think.”

    Well, Gen. Petraeus probably has a fairly well-informed opinion, and groups that are advocates for persecuted Christians, like Open Doors and the Barnabas Fund, have gone on record as saying that there will be a backlash against Christians in muslim countries. They make it their business to know something about the muslim world.

  • Winston Smith

    Dan Kempin@ 59: “I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think.”

    Well, Gen. Petraeus probably has a fairly well-informed opinion, and groups that are advocates for persecuted Christians, like Open Doors and the Barnabas Fund, have gone on record as saying that there will be a backlash against Christians in muslim countries. They make it their business to know something about the muslim world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan Kempin (@59):

    The real people to consider in this are the Muslims. The question that should govern any action directed toward the Muslims is not “will they be angry?” but “what message will they receive?” If the only message they receive is disrespect, then it is not only wasted but wicked. … But I’m NOT a Muslim, and I don’t really know what a Muslim would conclude seeing someone boldly burn a Koran. And by that I mean that I genuinely don’t know what they would think. I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think. And if we don’t know that, how can we decide the best thing to do?

    Well, we could listen to the statements of those who do seem to know something about the situation:

    “Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,” [Petraeus] said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

    One of Petraeus’ deputies, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, told CNN’s “The Situation Room” that the event “has already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern” among Afghans.

    “We very much feel that this can jeopardize the safety of our men and women that are serving over here in the country,” said Caldwell, the head of NATO efforts to train Afghan security forces.

    Caldwell said American troops “are over here to defend the rights of American citizens, and we’re not debating the First Amendment rights that people have.” But he added, “What I will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we’re trying to accomplish.”

    “I would hope they would understand that there are second- and third-order effects that will occur that will affect that young man and woman who’s out there on point for America, serving their nation today, because of their actions back in the United States,” he said.

    Thousands of Indonesians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday to protest the planned Quran burning.

    “The burning is not only an insult to the holy Quran, but an insult to Islam and Muslims around the world,” said Muhammad Ismail, a spokesman for the hard-line Indonesian Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan Kempin (@59):

    The real people to consider in this are the Muslims. The question that should govern any action directed toward the Muslims is not “will they be angry?” but “what message will they receive?” If the only message they receive is disrespect, then it is not only wasted but wicked. … But I’m NOT a Muslim, and I don’t really know what a Muslim would conclude seeing someone boldly burn a Koran. And by that I mean that I genuinely don’t know what they would think. I could go a step further and say I’m pretty sure that most of the people who posted here don’t really know what they would think. And if we don’t know that, how can we decide the best thing to do?

    Well, we could listen to the statements of those who do seem to know something about the situation:

    “Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,” [Petraeus] said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

    One of Petraeus’ deputies, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, told CNN’s “The Situation Room” that the event “has already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern” among Afghans.

    “We very much feel that this can jeopardize the safety of our men and women that are serving over here in the country,” said Caldwell, the head of NATO efforts to train Afghan security forces.

    Caldwell said American troops “are over here to defend the rights of American citizens, and we’re not debating the First Amendment rights that people have.” But he added, “What I will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we’re trying to accomplish.”

    “I would hope they would understand that there are second- and third-order effects that will occur that will affect that young man and woman who’s out there on point for America, serving their nation today, because of their actions back in the United States,” he said.

    Thousands of Indonesians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday to protest the planned Quran burning.

    “The burning is not only an insult to the holy Quran, but an insult to Islam and Muslims around the world,” said Muhammad Ismail, a spokesman for the hard-line Indonesian Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

  • Louis

    sg – my comment was directed to those who support his actions, or see them as adiophora.

    Carl – you’re a vulgar, disgusting little demogogue (imam…), and the equivalent of a 14 year old thinking he is oh so witty.

    There. I’ve said it now. Now to ignore the man in future….

  • Louis

    sg – my comment was directed to those who support his actions, or see them as adiophora.

    Carl – you’re a vulgar, disgusting little demogogue (imam…), and the equivalent of a 14 year old thinking he is oh so witty.

    There. I’ve said it now. Now to ignore the man in future….

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston and tODD,

    You are both missing my point. I ceded long, long ago that this Koran burning is a bad idea. Pleeeeease stop treating me like I’m arguing for that.

    I said most people in the blog discussion today don’t really know how a Muslim would react. I didn’t mean a simplistic, “they wouldn’t like someone burning the Koran.” Again: Duh. I don’t need a commanding general to tell me that one.

    My point was that in all this discussion there didn’t seem to be any interest in or effort expended to discover HOW a Muslim thinks. The question that I was hoping to discuss–with admitted failure to get my point across–is how we can witness the truth in a way that will be meaningful TO MUSLIMS and not just a reflection of what our own response would be in their place.

  • Dan Kempin

    Winston and tODD,

    You are both missing my point. I ceded long, long ago that this Koran burning is a bad idea. Pleeeeease stop treating me like I’m arguing for that.

    I said most people in the blog discussion today don’t really know how a Muslim would react. I didn’t mean a simplistic, “they wouldn’t like someone burning the Koran.” Again: Duh. I don’t need a commanding general to tell me that one.

    My point was that in all this discussion there didn’t seem to be any interest in or effort expended to discover HOW a Muslim thinks. The question that I was hoping to discuss–with admitted failure to get my point across–is how we can witness the truth in a way that will be meaningful TO MUSLIMS and not just a reflection of what our own response would be in their place.

  • Carl Vehse

    Hey, Louis, ol’ buddy, do you know if the Florida church is providing marshmallows to roast during the 9/11 Koran bonfire? Being a charismatic-based church, I doubt Dove World Outreach Center would encourage BYOB. If they have them at the event, do you want me to get my good pal a poster?

  • Carl Vehse

    Hey, Louis, ol’ buddy, do you know if the Florida church is providing marshmallows to roast during the 9/11 Koran bonfire? Being a charismatic-based church, I doubt Dove World Outreach Center would encourage BYOB. If they have them at the event, do you want me to get my good pal a poster?

  • Louis

    Dan – your point got lost, and given the heat around this issue, maybe some other time? Also, as an aside, one should not treat Islam in a monolithic way. There are many sects, and everything from nominal to very fundamentalist people.

  • Louis

    Dan – your point got lost, and given the heat around this issue, maybe some other time? Also, as an aside, one should not treat Islam in a monolithic way. There are many sects, and everything from nominal to very fundamentalist people.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@65), fair enough. For what it’s worth, the most I’ve learned about “HOW a Muslim thinks” (note: “a”, not “all”) was in the discussion on this thread, in which a Muslim did us the courtesy of stopping by and engaging us. You participated in the first part of that thread, though it went on well beyond your time. Did you continue to read it all?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@65), fair enough. For what it’s worth, the most I’ve learned about “HOW a Muslim thinks” (note: “a”, not “all”) was in the discussion on this thread, in which a Muslim did us the courtesy of stopping by and engaging us. You participated in the first part of that thread, though it went on well beyond your time. Did you continue to read it all?

  • Booklover

    Much of the fault lies with the 24-hour, 2400 channel media, which reports on this tiny church, this little pastor, every single day, several times each day.

    Once is enough; beyond that, it is not a story. Neither is Lindsay Lohan, or Lady Gaga, or The Survivor, or . . .

    I am tired of being told how to think.

    Which is why I refer to this blog of our gracious host. It allows us to think, without being told how to think.

  • Booklover

    Much of the fault lies with the 24-hour, 2400 channel media, which reports on this tiny church, this little pastor, every single day, several times each day.

    Once is enough; beyond that, it is not a story. Neither is Lindsay Lohan, or Lady Gaga, or The Survivor, or . . .

    I am tired of being told how to think.

    Which is why I refer to this blog of our gracious host. It allows us to think, without being told how to think.

  • Winston Smith

    Dan,

    Okay. I understand that you are not in favor of the koran burning.

    As for how muslims think, the general impression is that they go ape-spit when someone desecrates the koran (I believe it’s actually a capital crime in Pakistan). Draw a caricature of their prophet and they start making death threats. It seems to be fairly easy to provoke them to anger.

  • Winston Smith

    Dan,

    Okay. I understand that you are not in favor of the koran burning.

    As for how muslims think, the general impression is that they go ape-spit when someone desecrates the koran (I believe it’s actually a capital crime in Pakistan). Draw a caricature of their prophet and they start making death threats. It seems to be fairly easy to provoke them to anger.

  • Rob

    My first reaction to this story was to remember the quote from the German poet Heinrich Heine: “Where books are burned they will, in the end, burn people too.” Maybe irrelevant, but thought I’d mention it.

    I can’t help but wonder: is the damage already done? At this point, couldn’t an anti-American imam (not assuming that all are, but some certainly are) say, “Look how the Christians really behave.” And then, if this ‘church’ decides not to burn the Koran, say “Now we see that they are both infidels and too weak to stand by their own convictions.”

    I guess my point is this: words have consequences. The injudicious words spoken by this ‘pastor’ have already had many consequences. The harsh and ingracious words spoken by many in the comments above have consequences, too. Maybe that’s why Paul said that in humility we should consider others more highly than ourselves (Phil 2), and James, that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1).

    I am sorry to see that two of today’s posts (this one and the one on George Soros) have turned into little other than forums for grand-standing by some and sniping by others. Not that anyone asked, but my personal rule is no more than two comments on any topic – after that, I have no way to be sure I am not grand-standing or sniping myself. Besides, no one logged on to hear me pontificate…

    I thank God that the Word spoken over me will not in the end be my own, but the Living Word, the Word made flesh. In the meantime, may our lives reflect the beauty of that Word.

    NOTE: I have put the words ‘church’ and ‘pastor’ in single quotes above, not pejoratively, but because I sincerely question whether a group of people engaging in this act are truly acting as a church and whether their leader in such an act is truly acting as a pastor. These actions have nothing to do with Word or Sacrament.

  • Rob

    My first reaction to this story was to remember the quote from the German poet Heinrich Heine: “Where books are burned they will, in the end, burn people too.” Maybe irrelevant, but thought I’d mention it.

    I can’t help but wonder: is the damage already done? At this point, couldn’t an anti-American imam (not assuming that all are, but some certainly are) say, “Look how the Christians really behave.” And then, if this ‘church’ decides not to burn the Koran, say “Now we see that they are both infidels and too weak to stand by their own convictions.”

    I guess my point is this: words have consequences. The injudicious words spoken by this ‘pastor’ have already had many consequences. The harsh and ingracious words spoken by many in the comments above have consequences, too. Maybe that’s why Paul said that in humility we should consider others more highly than ourselves (Phil 2), and James, that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1).

    I am sorry to see that two of today’s posts (this one and the one on George Soros) have turned into little other than forums for grand-standing by some and sniping by others. Not that anyone asked, but my personal rule is no more than two comments on any topic – after that, I have no way to be sure I am not grand-standing or sniping myself. Besides, no one logged on to hear me pontificate…

    I thank God that the Word spoken over me will not in the end be my own, but the Living Word, the Word made flesh. In the meantime, may our lives reflect the beauty of that Word.

    NOTE: I have put the words ‘church’ and ‘pastor’ in single quotes above, not pejoratively, but because I sincerely question whether a group of people engaging in this act are truly acting as a church and whether their leader in such an act is truly acting as a pastor. These actions have nothing to do with Word or Sacrament.

  • reg

    Burning the Koran seems to run afoul of Romans 12:17-18 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do 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.”
    Is Pastor Jones living at peace in so far as it depends on him?
    See also 1 Cor. 10
    Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

  • reg

    Burning the Koran seems to run afoul of Romans 12:17-18 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do 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.”
    Is Pastor Jones living at peace in so far as it depends on him?
    See also 1 Cor. 10
    Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Todd#55 opines, “Sorry, folks, but the people here pointing to Luther’s purning of the papal bull fall into the same trap that Luther’s critics do when they decry his anti-Semitism. In both cases, people assume that the personal actions of Luther matter — and, what’s more, are normative — to Lutherans and/or Christians. What Luther did in his life is not, as such, important to me, and does not inform my opinions on this current topic. Maybe he was right to burn the bull, maybe not. Guess how we’re going to figure that one out? That’s right, not by judging it according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word. Similarly, we’re not going to judge this Qu’ran-burning according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word.”

    The initiator of the current topic falsely stated that the bull burning was no parallel to the Koran burning. The parallel is that both documents are an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Another affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ is Luther’s writings concerning the Jews. Christ gives me and all Christians the right to judge these writings as damnable (John 10:5).

    Todd#55 opines, “And, I’m sorry, but by that standard, it is rather difficult to claim, as Daniel Gorman has several times now, that this topic is “adiaphora”. All manner of Bible verses do or might apply in this situation, even if I’m not in a position to judge the pastor’s heart when it comes to some of them.”

    If there is a Bible verse that forbids the burning of damnable books such as the Koran, please provide it. If not, please consider the following advice from the Augsburg Confession: “And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc.”

  • Daniel Gorman

    Todd#55 opines, “Sorry, folks, but the people here pointing to Luther’s purning of the papal bull fall into the same trap that Luther’s critics do when they decry his anti-Semitism. In both cases, people assume that the personal actions of Luther matter — and, what’s more, are normative — to Lutherans and/or Christians. What Luther did in his life is not, as such, important to me, and does not inform my opinions on this current topic. Maybe he was right to burn the bull, maybe not. Guess how we’re going to figure that one out? That’s right, not by judging it according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word. Similarly, we’re not going to judge this Qu’ran-burning according to the life of Martin Luther, but by God’s Word.”

    The initiator of the current topic falsely stated that the bull burning was no parallel to the Koran burning. The parallel is that both documents are an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Another affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ is Luther’s writings concerning the Jews. Christ gives me and all Christians the right to judge these writings as damnable (John 10:5).

    Todd#55 opines, “And, I’m sorry, but by that standard, it is rather difficult to claim, as Daniel Gorman has several times now, that this topic is “adiaphora”. All manner of Bible verses do or might apply in this situation, even if I’m not in a position to judge the pastor’s heart when it comes to some of them.”

    If there is a Bible verse that forbids the burning of damnable books such as the Koran, please provide it. If not, please consider the following advice from the Augsburg Confession: “And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc.”

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  • CRB

    Daniel Gorman #74
    It seems to me that this situation biblically and confessionally
    as Lutherans and bringing in historical facts is made difficult
    by the very nature of Luther’s circumstance and the belief
    in Islamic countries that there be no separation of church and
    state.
    So, to apply AC, as you have above cannot apply. Why?
    Because the reaction of Luther was one that took place within
    the Roman Catholic community, which included being
    overseen by the state. So, really, it’s not possible to make a
    corresponding argurment as you have. We are not in the same
    situation as Luther, at least not in this type of scenario you have
    presented.

  • CRB

    Daniel Gorman #74
    It seems to me that this situation biblically and confessionally
    as Lutherans and bringing in historical facts is made difficult
    by the very nature of Luther’s circumstance and the belief
    in Islamic countries that there be no separation of church and
    state.
    So, to apply AC, as you have above cannot apply. Why?
    Because the reaction of Luther was one that took place within
    the Roman Catholic community, which included being
    overseen by the state. So, really, it’s not possible to make a
    corresponding argurment as you have. We are not in the same
    situation as Luther, at least not in this type of scenario you have
    presented.

  • Daniel Gorman

    CRB: “It seems to me that this situation biblically and confessionally as Lutherans and bringing in historical facts is made difficult by the very nature of Luther’s circumstance and the belief
    in Islamic countries that there be no separation of church and
    state.”

    Pastor Luther’s situation was similar to Pastor Jones’. The Emperor and many powerful men were trying to bully Luther into recanting the gospel of Jesus Christ and conforming to the establishment religion of Papism. Instead, Luther burned the Pope’s Bull of Excommunication and risked death by a thousand hands.

    In defiance of the Constitution, President Obama, prominent members of his administration, and several generals are bullying the pastor of a tiny Christian congregation not to burn the Koran. If he proceeds, Pastor Jones will be in mortal danger for the rest of his life.

    CRB: “So, to apply AC, as you have above cannot apply. Why?
    Because the reaction of Luther was one that took place within
    the Roman Catholic community, which included being
    overseen by the state. So, really, it’s not possible to make a
    corresponding argurment as you have. We are not in the same
    situation as Luther, at least not in this type of scenario you have
    presented.”

    The princes of Germany (whether RC, Lutheran, or Reform) did not believe in separation of church and state. The Book of Concord commends the establishment of Lutheranism as a state religion (SC, Preface).

    Separation of church and state does not exist in the U.S.A. After 9/11, Congress and President Bush established Christianity, Judaism, and Islam as the three state religions of American (National Day of Prayer Act). Although unconstitutional, this was viewed and continues to be viewed as a necessary wartime measure.

  • Daniel Gorman

    CRB: “It seems to me that this situation biblically and confessionally as Lutherans and bringing in historical facts is made difficult by the very nature of Luther’s circumstance and the belief
    in Islamic countries that there be no separation of church and
    state.”

    Pastor Luther’s situation was similar to Pastor Jones’. The Emperor and many powerful men were trying to bully Luther into recanting the gospel of Jesus Christ and conforming to the establishment religion of Papism. Instead, Luther burned the Pope’s Bull of Excommunication and risked death by a thousand hands.

    In defiance of the Constitution, President Obama, prominent members of his administration, and several generals are bullying the pastor of a tiny Christian congregation not to burn the Koran. If he proceeds, Pastor Jones will be in mortal danger for the rest of his life.

    CRB: “So, to apply AC, as you have above cannot apply. Why?
    Because the reaction of Luther was one that took place within
    the Roman Catholic community, which included being
    overseen by the state. So, really, it’s not possible to make a
    corresponding argurment as you have. We are not in the same
    situation as Luther, at least not in this type of scenario you have
    presented.”

    The princes of Germany (whether RC, Lutheran, or Reform) did not believe in separation of church and state. The Book of Concord commends the establishment of Lutheranism as a state religion (SC, Preface).

    Separation of church and state does not exist in the U.S.A. After 9/11, Congress and President Bush established Christianity, Judaism, and Islam as the three state religions of American (National Day of Prayer Act). Although unconstitutional, this was viewed and continues to be viewed as a necessary wartime measure.

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #68, (If anyone is still around)

    “Given the heat around this issue”

    I should say. Superheated. I should have recognized that this was probably not the thread for a reflective discussion. Good point about the complexity of Islam, too, but before we can master the complexities we have to comprehend the basics.

    tODD, #69,

    Yes, I remember that thread. It is both interesting and useful to engage someone and discover where your assumptions about them are wrong, is it not? No, I hadn’t read the entire thread, mostly because I did not realize it had lived on, but initially because I was not interested in the direction it was going. I saw that you were able to experience the Muslim mindset about the nuts and bolts of Christianity in your dialogue. Typical evangelism arguments are not persuasive to the muslim mind. A very enlightening discussion in view of the point I had been trying to get at (#66), but it seems I should leave this thread be.

  • Dan Kempin

    Louis, #68, (If anyone is still around)

    “Given the heat around this issue”

    I should say. Superheated. I should have recognized that this was probably not the thread for a reflective discussion. Good point about the complexity of Islam, too, but before we can master the complexities we have to comprehend the basics.

    tODD, #69,

    Yes, I remember that thread. It is both interesting and useful to engage someone and discover where your assumptions about them are wrong, is it not? No, I hadn’t read the entire thread, mostly because I did not realize it had lived on, but initially because I was not interested in the direction it was going. I saw that you were able to experience the Muslim mindset about the nuts and bolts of Christianity in your dialogue. Typical evangelism arguments are not persuasive to the muslim mind. A very enlightening discussion in view of the point I had been trying to get at (#66), but it seems I should leave this thread be.

  • Tom Hering

    “In defiance of the Constitution, President Obama, prominent members of his administration, and several generals are bullying the pastor of a tiny Christian congregation not to burn the Koran.” – Daniel Gorman @ 76.

    Bullying? Really? All I’ve heard are pleas for the pastor to reconsider his plans.

    “If he proceeds, Pastor Jones will be in mortal danger for the rest of his life.” – Daniel Gorman @ 76 again.

    This would be the result of his own actions – a consequence he both foresaw and accepts (welcomes?).

  • Tom Hering

    “In defiance of the Constitution, President Obama, prominent members of his administration, and several generals are bullying the pastor of a tiny Christian congregation not to burn the Koran.” – Daniel Gorman @ 76.

    Bullying? Really? All I’ve heard are pleas for the pastor to reconsider his plans.

    “If he proceeds, Pastor Jones will be in mortal danger for the rest of his life.” – Daniel Gorman @ 76 again.

    This would be the result of his own actions – a consequence he both foresaw and accepts (welcomes?).

  • CRB

    For some reason, in viewing all these comments, one section of
    Scripture comes to mind: 1 Kings 18

  • CRB

    For some reason, in viewing all these comments, one section of
    Scripture comes to mind: 1 Kings 18

  • Louis

    CRB – connect the dots?

  • Louis

    CRB – connect the dots?

  • CRB

    Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

  • CRB

    Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

  • DonS

    How about this (a “Drudge Flashback”)? http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/us.military.bibles.burned/

    Last year, the U.S. military burned Bibles sent from a U.S. church and printed in the Pashto and Dari languages, for fear of being perceived of proselytizing. I guess that’s OK, though. I mean, they’re just Bibles and Christians are immune to being offended, right?

    We are a bunch of weenies. Let the poor publicity hound pastor burn his Koran and leave him alone.

  • DonS

    How about this (a “Drudge Flashback”)? http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/us.military.bibles.burned/

    Last year, the U.S. military burned Bibles sent from a U.S. church and printed in the Pashto and Dari languages, for fear of being perceived of proselytizing. I guess that’s OK, though. I mean, they’re just Bibles and Christians are immune to being offended, right?

    We are a bunch of weenies. Let the poor publicity hound pastor burn his Koran and leave him alone.

  • Louis

    CRB – I know, that, but I’d like to see you connect that with the book burning…

  • Louis

    CRB – I know, that, but I’d like to see you connect that with the book burning…

  • CRB

    Fundamentalists, fear and Mohammed. It couldn’t be more clear.
    In the end, Mohammed will lose!

  • CRB

    Fundamentalists, fear and Mohammed. It couldn’t be more clear.
    In the end, Mohammed will lose!

  • Leslie4

    I must start by saying I don’t agree with the Koran burning.

    That said, it seems to me that this worldwide reaction to this story, which is on every radio and tv channel, is just unbelievable. The pastor has been thoroughly discredited; he speaks for himself and a few others. And yet, this story is saturated throughout the international media.

    Are there moderate Muslims speaking out, encouraging other Muslims not to react? That he is not reflective of Christianity, or a representative of America, or anything, just a lone wingnut?

    Perhaps he no longer seems like a lone wingnut, considering he’s being addressed by the President and the Pope.

    If anything, this story seems to me to reveal the enormity of fear there is regarding radical Islam. And the response in the West strikes me as this – that it is our responsibility to do whatever we can, to not offend or provoke. That’s the part that seems most disturbing to me.

  • Leslie4

    I must start by saying I don’t agree with the Koran burning.

    That said, it seems to me that this worldwide reaction to this story, which is on every radio and tv channel, is just unbelievable. The pastor has been thoroughly discredited; he speaks for himself and a few others. And yet, this story is saturated throughout the international media.

    Are there moderate Muslims speaking out, encouraging other Muslims not to react? That he is not reflective of Christianity, or a representative of America, or anything, just a lone wingnut?

    Perhaps he no longer seems like a lone wingnut, considering he’s being addressed by the President and the Pope.

    If anything, this story seems to me to reveal the enormity of fear there is regarding radical Islam. And the response in the West strikes me as this – that it is our responsibility to do whatever we can, to not offend or provoke. That’s the part that seems most disturbing to me.

  • Winston Smith

    Daniel Gorman @ 74: “If there is a Bible verse that forbids the burning of damnable books such as the Koran, please provide it.”

    No, of course there isn’t. Also, “Pastor” Jones’s proposed book burning is protected by the First Amendment, regardless of What President Obama or any other official says.

    The point, which some people still don’t seem to get, is (for Christians, anyway) what will make muslims more likely to believe in Jesus Christ, and what will make them less hostile to our troops and to the West in general. So many seem to think that this is about not being afraid of radical islam, or backing down from a triple-dog-dare and losing face. It’s not about that at all. It’s about thinking through the consequences of your actions, and about what will move you closer to your goal.

    Could it be that the short term satisfaction of insulting the muslims and showing we’re tough (from a safe distance) is more important to you than seeing them come to Christ? (Just to repeat the obvious: burning the koran is NOT the same as preaching the Gospel.)

  • Winston Smith

    Daniel Gorman @ 74: “If there is a Bible verse that forbids the burning of damnable books such as the Koran, please provide it.”

    No, of course there isn’t. Also, “Pastor” Jones’s proposed book burning is protected by the First Amendment, regardless of What President Obama or any other official says.

    The point, which some people still don’t seem to get, is (for Christians, anyway) what will make muslims more likely to believe in Jesus Christ, and what will make them less hostile to our troops and to the West in general. So many seem to think that this is about not being afraid of radical islam, or backing down from a triple-dog-dare and losing face. It’s not about that at all. It’s about thinking through the consequences of your actions, and about what will move you closer to your goal.

    Could it be that the short term satisfaction of insulting the muslims and showing we’re tough (from a safe distance) is more important to you than seeing them come to Christ? (Just to repeat the obvious: burning the koran is NOT the same as preaching the Gospel.)

  • CRB

    The Founding Fathers’ First Amendment
    It doesn’t protect the burning of the Koran or the building of
    the Ground Zero mosque.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2010/09/09/the-founding-fathers-first-ame

  • CRB

    The Founding Fathers’ First Amendment
    It doesn’t protect the burning of the Koran or the building of
    the Ground Zero mosque.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2010/09/09/the-founding-fathers-first-ame

  • George A. Marquart

    What bothers me most is that there is no clear cut consensus among Christians that this proposed Quaran burning is indefensible for a follower of Christ. By this I do not mean that all who disagree with me are not Christians (“Every blasphemy against the Son will be forgiven”, our Lord said), but that this is not a matter of “I think”, or “I may be wrong”. It is absolutely, totally wrong. If we cannot agree on something as elementary as this, how can we agree on the Gospel?

    If, for a different occasion Heinrich Heine wrote, “Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten”, for this one there was no doubt whatsoever, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” Had he lived to the twentieth century, he would most likely have become a victim of his own prophecy. The twenty-first is young enough for it to come true in our country.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    What bothers me most is that there is no clear cut consensus among Christians that this proposed Quaran burning is indefensible for a follower of Christ. By this I do not mean that all who disagree with me are not Christians (“Every blasphemy against the Son will be forgiven”, our Lord said), but that this is not a matter of “I think”, or “I may be wrong”. It is absolutely, totally wrong. If we cannot agree on something as elementary as this, how can we agree on the Gospel?

    If, for a different occasion Heinrich Heine wrote, “Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten”, for this one there was no doubt whatsoever, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” Had he lived to the twentieth century, he would most likely have become a victim of his own prophecy. The twenty-first is young enough for it to come true in our country.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@87), there is also a Fourteenth Amendment, now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@87), there is also a Fourteenth Amendment, now.

  • CRB

    Todd,
    To echo Louis, can you “connect the dots” please?

  • CRB

    Todd,
    To echo Louis, can you “connect the dots” please?

  • George A. Marquart

    I would like to encourage those who invoke the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal to look a little deeper into it. Was God’s message to him not clear, that God was in the “still quiet” voice, not in the grand exhibition? Did he exceed his mandate when he had the prophets of Baal killed? Is that why God “fired” him, similarly to how He punished Moses at Meribah? Nor can it be in whatever was burned, because both sides wanted to set it on fire.
    George A. Marquart
    Peace and Joy!

  • George A. Marquart

    I would like to encourage those who invoke the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal to look a little deeper into it. Was God’s message to him not clear, that God was in the “still quiet” voice, not in the grand exhibition? Did he exceed his mandate when he had the prophets of Baal killed? Is that why God “fired” him, similarly to how He punished Moses at Meribah? Nor can it be in whatever was burned, because both sides wanted to set it on fire.
    George A. Marquart
    Peace and Joy!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@90), are you aware of the impact of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on the states, as regards the Bill of Rights? Sure, the “Founding Fathers’ First Amendment” applied only to the federal government, but that was because they didn’t have the Fourteenth Amendment. Your article appears ignorant of that fact.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@90), are you aware of the impact of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on the states, as regards the Bill of Rights? Sure, the “Founding Fathers’ First Amendment” applied only to the federal government, but that was because they didn’t have the Fourteenth Amendment. Your article appears ignorant of that fact.

  • Louis

    George – exactly. That’s why I wanted CRB to say exactly what he/she means…

  • Louis

    George – exactly. That’s why I wanted CRB to say exactly what he/she means…

  • CRB

    I’m not sure I understand the connection… Can you help me out?

  • CRB

    I’m not sure I understand the connection… Can you help me out?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@94), read the discussion in your own thread starting here.

    If you need to know more, maybe start reading here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Incorporation

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@94), read the discussion in your own thread starting here.

    If you need to know more, maybe start reading here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Incorporation

  • Daniel Gorman

    Winston Smith#86, “The point, which some people still don’t seem to get, is (for Christians, anyway) what will make muslims more likely to believe in Jesus Christ, and what will make them less hostile to our troops and to the West in general.”

    The hostility of Muslims toward U.S. troops who have invaded Islamic nations is not the concern of a minister of gospel. His sole duty is to preach the law and the gospel.

    The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law. God condemns the Islamic writings (Rom. 1:18-25).

    The burning of a Koran, in and of itself, will not make Muslims more likely or less likely to believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit works faith only through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 4:15; John 17:20; 1 Pet. 1:33).

  • Daniel Gorman

    Winston Smith#86, “The point, which some people still don’t seem to get, is (for Christians, anyway) what will make muslims more likely to believe in Jesus Christ, and what will make them less hostile to our troops and to the West in general.”

    The hostility of Muslims toward U.S. troops who have invaded Islamic nations is not the concern of a minister of gospel. His sole duty is to preach the law and the gospel.

    The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law. God condemns the Islamic writings (Rom. 1:18-25).

    The burning of a Koran, in and of itself, will not make Muslims more likely or less likely to believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit works faith only through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 4:15; John 17:20; 1 Pet. 1:33).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law” (@96). Oh, is it now? Because someone up above (@1, 51) — I forget who — claimed that “The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.” Is the preaching of Law now considered adiaphora? I’m so confused.

    Anyhow, I suppose that pooping on the floor of a mosque is also the preaching of Law. As is spitting on a Muslim. Surely God condemns both the unbeliever and the place where false teachings are preached!

    So let’s have it, ye ministers of the Gospel! More burning, pooping, and spitting! This, surely, will convince people of their own sins.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law” (@96). Oh, is it now? Because someone up above (@1, 51) — I forget who — claimed that “The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.” Is the preaching of Law now considered adiaphora? I’m so confused.

    Anyhow, I suppose that pooping on the floor of a mosque is also the preaching of Law. As is spitting on a Muslim. Surely God condemns both the unbeliever and the place where false teachings are preached!

    So let’s have it, ye ministers of the Gospel! More burning, pooping, and spitting! This, surely, will convince people of their own sins.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaaand the Florida guy has called off the burning. … Er, sorry, he’s called off the Law-preaching.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaaand the Florida guy has called off the burning. … Er, sorry, he’s called off the Law-preaching.

  • Carl Vehse

    So Janet Reno and her Ruby Ridge/Waco team won’t have to do their thing in Gainesville?

  • Carl Vehse

    So Janet Reno and her Ruby Ridge/Waco team won’t have to do their thing in Gainesville?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow Carl (@99), using people’s proper names! Well done!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow Carl (@99), using people’s proper names! Well done!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Meanwhile US troops in Afghanistan burn Bibles sent to troops.

    http://www.examiner.com/christian-in-louisville/military-burns-bibles-sent-to-troops-afghanistan

    That of course is not a big story because Christians don’t kill people and riot when they are offended.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Meanwhile US troops in Afghanistan burn Bibles sent to troops.

    http://www.examiner.com/christian-in-louisville/military-burns-bibles-sent-to-troops-afghanistan

    That of course is not a big story because Christians don’t kill people and riot when they are offended.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Meanwhile” (@101)? You mean, like, last May? Maybe Christians don’t riot because they only learn about things that offend them sixteen months after the fact.

    And seriously, what is the point of bringing that up (again)? Is there some sort of moral equivalence being sought? And if it wasn’t a “big story”, why was it featured on CNN, and rehashed by Drudge?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Meanwhile” (@101)? You mean, like, last May? Maybe Christians don’t riot because they only learn about things that offend them sixteen months after the fact.

    And seriously, what is the point of bringing that up (again)? Is there some sort of moral equivalence being sought? And if it wasn’t a “big story”, why was it featured on CNN, and rehashed by Drudge?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Credit where it’s due. Though now moot, Fox News said it was not going to cover the event — no live coverage, “video” or “still pictures.” Conversely, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS had told TVNewser they would cover the Quran-burning as they would any other news story.

    “We do not cover every flag burning that happens in this country. We don’t run every hostage tape,” Michael Clemente, senior vice president at Fox News, said in a phone interview. “If we tried to cover everyone who wants us to stick a camera in front of them, we’d run out of cameras pretty fast each day. But this is really about just using some judgment.”

    Oh, if only that sober judgment could be applied to Carlson, Doocy, and Kilmeade, among others. If only.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Credit where it’s due. Though now moot, Fox News said it was not going to cover the event — no live coverage, “video” or “still pictures.” Conversely, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS had told TVNewser they would cover the Quran-burning as they would any other news story.

    “We do not cover every flag burning that happens in this country. We don’t run every hostage tape,” Michael Clemente, senior vice president at Fox News, said in a phone interview. “If we tried to cover everyone who wants us to stick a camera in front of them, we’d run out of cameras pretty fast each day. But this is really about just using some judgment.”

    Oh, if only that sober judgment could be applied to Carlson, Doocy, and Kilmeade, among others. If only.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 102: I brought it up, above @ 82, because it is relevant to point out exactly how much we walk on our tiptoes to avoid pricking sensitive Muslim sensibilities. Last year, our government is burning the holy book of the Christian faith to avoid Muslim anger, and this year our President, General, and seemingly every other government and media figure are wringing their hands because some two-bit pastor of a 50 person church in Florida decides to burn a Koran. It’s ridiculous! I’m the first one to say that it is wrong to burn a flag, a Koran, or a Bible for purposes such as these, but this coddling of Muslims has to stop. We are not responsible for what this silly pastor chooses to do, and we should say so, affirm our liberties which allow him to do it, and move on. It reminds me of all of the silliness surrounding the “flag burning” laws in the 80′s and 90′s — good grief. We are grown-ups, let’s act like it.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 102: I brought it up, above @ 82, because it is relevant to point out exactly how much we walk on our tiptoes to avoid pricking sensitive Muslim sensibilities. Last year, our government is burning the holy book of the Christian faith to avoid Muslim anger, and this year our President, General, and seemingly every other government and media figure are wringing their hands because some two-bit pastor of a 50 person church in Florida decides to burn a Koran. It’s ridiculous! I’m the first one to say that it is wrong to burn a flag, a Koran, or a Bible for purposes such as these, but this coddling of Muslims has to stop. We are not responsible for what this silly pastor chooses to do, and we should say so, affirm our liberties which allow him to do it, and move on. It reminds me of all of the silliness surrounding the “flag burning” laws in the 80′s and 90′s — good grief. We are grown-ups, let’s act like it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@104), you frame it as “burning the holy book of the Christian faith to avoid Muslim anger”, but the article you referred to says “The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.”

    What is not clear is if this rule only applies in Afghanistan, or if it applies to all bases in predominantly-Muslim lands, or if it simply applies to all foreign bases (or even all bases). I don’t know, do you? Given that various answers to those questions would prove or disprove that this is only about “avoiding Muslim anger”, I hope you know the answers to those questions.

    Regardless, you appear to have a rather cavalier attitude towards our soldiers’ lives. The military takes numerous precautions in foreign cultures — especially predominantly Muslim ones — to keep from offending locals, to make it seem like we’re not waging a war on all of Islam. Maybe you think each of these rules is mere “coddling”. Or maybe they’re respecting the culture. I guess it’s all in how you frame it.

    But I don’t think you’d make a very good PR person. You may not like the need for PR, but that’s what happens when you start two long wars in Muslim lands, threatening a few others along the way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@104), you frame it as “burning the holy book of the Christian faith to avoid Muslim anger”, but the article you referred to says “The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.”

    What is not clear is if this rule only applies in Afghanistan, or if it applies to all bases in predominantly-Muslim lands, or if it simply applies to all foreign bases (or even all bases). I don’t know, do you? Given that various answers to those questions would prove or disprove that this is only about “avoiding Muslim anger”, I hope you know the answers to those questions.

    Regardless, you appear to have a rather cavalier attitude towards our soldiers’ lives. The military takes numerous precautions in foreign cultures — especially predominantly Muslim ones — to keep from offending locals, to make it seem like we’re not waging a war on all of Islam. Maybe you think each of these rules is mere “coddling”. Or maybe they’re respecting the culture. I guess it’s all in how you frame it.

    But I don’t think you’d make a very good PR person. You may not like the need for PR, but that’s what happens when you start two long wars in Muslim lands, threatening a few others along the way.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I have seen some suggest that the islamic world is more masculine and the west more feminized. Hence the deferential treatment of islam despite its violent subgroups. I haven’t really thought too much about it, but it is an interesting idea.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I have seen some suggest that the islamic world is more masculine and the west more feminized. Hence the deferential treatment of islam despite its violent subgroups. I haven’t really thought too much about it, but it is an interesting idea.

  • Tom Hering

    Muslims are from Mars, Christians are from Venus? Hmm, maybe. Christ is the “bright Morning Star.”

    Peace and Love. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Muslims are from Mars, Christians are from Venus? Hmm, maybe. Christ is the “bright Morning Star.”

    Peace and Love. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Looks like it’s over.

    Minister Cancels Koran-Burning.

  • Tom Hering

    Looks like it’s over.

    Minister Cancels Koran-Burning.

  • Daniel Gorman

    tODD#97: “’The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law’ (@96). Oh, is it now? Because someone up above (@1, 51) — I forget who — claimed that “The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.” Is the preaching of Law now considered adiaphora? I’m so confused.”

    The condemnation of false teachings is a necessary preaching of the Law. Burning false teachings, as a specific method for condemnation of false teachings, is adiaphora.

    tODD#97: “Anyhow, I suppose that pooping on the floor of a mosque is also the preaching of Law. As is spitting on a Muslim. Surely God condemns both the unbeliever and the place where false teachings are preached!”

    No, the Christian respects his neighbor’s person and his property. If false teachings are burned, they must be lawfully obtained not stolen. The minister cannot violate the law to preach the law.

  • Daniel Gorman

    tODD#97: “’The burning of a Koran is a preaching of law’ (@96). Oh, is it now? Because someone up above (@1, 51) — I forget who — claimed that “The burning of false teachings is adiaphora.” Is the preaching of Law now considered adiaphora? I’m so confused.”

    The condemnation of false teachings is a necessary preaching of the Law. Burning false teachings, as a specific method for condemnation of false teachings, is adiaphora.

    tODD#97: “Anyhow, I suppose that pooping on the floor of a mosque is also the preaching of Law. As is spitting on a Muslim. Surely God condemns both the unbeliever and the place where false teachings are preached!”

    No, the Christian respects his neighbor’s person and his property. If false teachings are burned, they must be lawfully obtained not stolen. The minister cannot violate the law to preach the law.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 105: It’s odd, but I’m guessing you didn’t read the next two paragraphs in that CNN article from which you quoted, because they fully answer your questions:

    “Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.
    ‘The decision was made that it was a ‘force protection’ measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” Wright told CNN on Tuesday.’

    Seems pretty clear that we are talking about Afghanistan and a specific policy designed to avoid offense to Muslims.

    As far as my alleged “cavalier” attitude toward soldiers’ lives is concerned, what exactly do you mean? Is it your view that we needed to burn those Bibles to avoid having soldiers killed? There was no allegation or evidence that they had been used to proselytize, that they were available to the troops for that purpose, that such proselytization would have really endangered our troops, or that there was not a less offensive way of dealing with the issue, such as merely shipping the Bibles back to the states. I also have a great deal of faith in our troops’ ability to protect themselves from such threats. A much more serious problem for our troops is when our own government leaders, on the floor of Congress as Harry Reid did a few years ago, declare that, in their opinion, the war is lost. And the idea that a single pastor burning a Koran in Florida is going to endanger our troops in Afghanistan is laughable. Petraeus was way out of line in making the statements he did.

    We did not start the war in Afghanistan. That war was brought to our shores 9 years ago, in New York City. That’s where it began, in the name of Islam. As for respecting the culture, yes we should do that. We should also, for once, respect our own culture.

    I am not a PR guy, and I don’t want to be. But the best PR for our great country is to celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy, including the freedom to practice our faith and our freedom of political speech, even if that occasionally involves defending the rights of our citizens to express themselves in ways we find offensive or stupid. Our troops will respect that as well, and will willingly defend those rights, regardless of cost. We have nothing to apologize for.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 105: It’s odd, but I’m guessing you didn’t read the next two paragraphs in that CNN article from which you quoted, because they fully answer your questions:

    “Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.
    ‘The decision was made that it was a ‘force protection’ measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” Wright told CNN on Tuesday.’

    Seems pretty clear that we are talking about Afghanistan and a specific policy designed to avoid offense to Muslims.

    As far as my alleged “cavalier” attitude toward soldiers’ lives is concerned, what exactly do you mean? Is it your view that we needed to burn those Bibles to avoid having soldiers killed? There was no allegation or evidence that they had been used to proselytize, that they were available to the troops for that purpose, that such proselytization would have really endangered our troops, or that there was not a less offensive way of dealing with the issue, such as merely shipping the Bibles back to the states. I also have a great deal of faith in our troops’ ability to protect themselves from such threats. A much more serious problem for our troops is when our own government leaders, on the floor of Congress as Harry Reid did a few years ago, declare that, in their opinion, the war is lost. And the idea that a single pastor burning a Koran in Florida is going to endanger our troops in Afghanistan is laughable. Petraeus was way out of line in making the statements he did.

    We did not start the war in Afghanistan. That war was brought to our shores 9 years ago, in New York City. That’s where it began, in the name of Islam. As for respecting the culture, yes we should do that. We should also, for once, respect our own culture.

    I am not a PR guy, and I don’t want to be. But the best PR for our great country is to celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy, including the freedom to practice our faith and our freedom of political speech, even if that occasionally involves defending the rights of our citizens to express themselves in ways we find offensive or stupid. Our troops will respect that as well, and will willingly defend those rights, regardless of cost. We have nothing to apologize for.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@110), I did read the article — including the paragraphs you quote — but that doesn’t answer my question. Again: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere?

    That someone said that “Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation” does not preclude that the same would apply in other, non-Muslim, countries. Nor does the method in which those forbidden items were disposed of. Once more, if your claim that these rules are only about “avoiding Muslim anger” are true, then the rules against troops’ proselytizing must only apply in either Afghanistan or all Muslim-majority countries. You haven’t demonstrated that this is true, however. This shouldn’t be too difficult for you to prove, if you’re interested (and if you’re right).

    And you seem to have turned this into another partisan issue, in which you get to lambast Harry Reid for his speech’s effect on our troops while denying that actions performed by American citizens could incite anyone to act against our troops. Are you really concerned about the effects on our troops, or do you just want to score political points, Don?

    And you’d think a “conservative” wouldn’t need reminding about this, but along with the many freedoms we enjoy in this country come responsibilities. We also have the freedom to criticize the actions of others exercising their freedoms.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@110), I did read the article — including the paragraphs you quote — but that doesn’t answer my question. Again: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere?

    That someone said that “Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation” does not preclude that the same would apply in other, non-Muslim, countries. Nor does the method in which those forbidden items were disposed of. Once more, if your claim that these rules are only about “avoiding Muslim anger” are true, then the rules against troops’ proselytizing must only apply in either Afghanistan or all Muslim-majority countries. You haven’t demonstrated that this is true, however. This shouldn’t be too difficult for you to prove, if you’re interested (and if you’re right).

    And you seem to have turned this into another partisan issue, in which you get to lambast Harry Reid for his speech’s effect on our troops while denying that actions performed by American citizens could incite anyone to act against our troops. Are you really concerned about the effects on our troops, or do you just want to score political points, Don?

    And you’d think a “conservative” wouldn’t need reminding about this, but along with the many freedoms we enjoy in this country come responsibilities. We also have the freedom to criticize the actions of others exercising their freedoms.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 111:

    “‘The decision was made that it was a ‘force protection’ measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” Wright told CNN on Tuesday.”

    Maybe if I post it again, you’ll read it. First of all, read the article. Wright is not merely “someone”. He is identified as Lt. Col. Mark Wright, Defense Department spokesman. He specifically says that the decision was made to burn the Bibles as a “force protection” measure, “because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims”.

    I think this more than justifies the statement I made. Clearly, the decision to burn the Bibles was made in view of the circumstances in Afghanistan and because of Muslim sensibilities. If you want to research it further, have at it.

    And there you go again, dismissing a legitimate argument on the basis of “partisanship”. Why, exactly, am I trying to score “political points”? What do you do with them anyway? I was just pointing out that it is not a particularly good thing for the troops when the majority leader in the Senate declares a war they are fighting lost. Probably a bit bigger deal than a guy in Florida burning a book. However, I’m criticizing practically everyone in this situation, military, press, and politicians, both conservative and liberal, for what I see is a vast overreaction to the silly but peaceful antics of a very small group of citizens, which overreaction I believe is more dangerous to our troops than just letting these guys burn their Koran. Sure, you have the right to criticize them for what they are doing. Whereever did you get the idea I was arguing otherwise? I just think it is dumb and counterproductive, and actually encourages this kind of silliness by others.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 111:

    “‘The decision was made that it was a ‘force protection’ measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” Wright told CNN on Tuesday.”

    Maybe if I post it again, you’ll read it. First of all, read the article. Wright is not merely “someone”. He is identified as Lt. Col. Mark Wright, Defense Department spokesman. He specifically says that the decision was made to burn the Bibles as a “force protection” measure, “because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims”.

    I think this more than justifies the statement I made. Clearly, the decision to burn the Bibles was made in view of the circumstances in Afghanistan and because of Muslim sensibilities. If you want to research it further, have at it.

    And there you go again, dismissing a legitimate argument on the basis of “partisanship”. Why, exactly, am I trying to score “political points”? What do you do with them anyway? I was just pointing out that it is not a particularly good thing for the troops when the majority leader in the Senate declares a war they are fighting lost. Probably a bit bigger deal than a guy in Florida burning a book. However, I’m criticizing practically everyone in this situation, military, press, and politicians, both conservative and liberal, for what I see is a vast overreaction to the silly but peaceful antics of a very small group of citizens, which overreaction I believe is more dangerous to our troops than just letting these guys burn their Koran. Sure, you have the right to criticize them for what they are doing. Whereever did you get the idea I was arguing otherwise? I just think it is dumb and counterproductive, and actually encourages this kind of silliness by others.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@112), sorry, but I still think you’re missing the point. Yes, I get what Wright said. But he’s only explaining it in the context in which the violation occurred. My question remains: could this have happened in another country? Again: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere?

    I’ll give an example. Let’s say a large shipment of Luther’s treatise On the Primacy and Power of the Pope were shipped by an American Lutheran church to troops stationed in Rome. Let’s further assume that the military banned troops from proselytizing at that Italian base and every military base. The military doesn’t want to return the books, fearing they’ll just be shipped back, nor does it want them being leaked into Rome, fearing that would create the impression that the US military was trying to convert Catholics. The military likes its base in Rome and wants to keep it there, and the last thing they need is to have an angry populace protesting the base. Now, given all that, would you say that this action would show the military kowtowing to Catholics?

    It seems clear to me that the military couldn’t be accused, in that situation of “avoiding pricking sensitive Catholic sensibilities”, because their policy was universal, and not Catholic-specific. They applied the rule to Catholics in one country, and to Muslims in another country. The point being that their actions were driven by a desire to keep peace with the surrounding people, not to mollify a particular religion.

    Now, assuming you understand that example, do you see why I keep asking: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere? If this military policy exists in all bases in foreign countries, or even everywhere, then this isn’t about Islam, like you’re making it out to be. If, however, this policy exists only in Afghanistan or Muslim-majority countries, your original point might have something to it. But you appear uninterested in researching this, instead repeatedly pointing to a CNN article; as if you now relied on stories found in the mainstream media.

    Anyhow, you asked, “Why, exactly, am I trying to score ‘political points’?” Of course, I don’t know why. But it boggles my mind that you could think that Reid’s words are a “much more serious problem” than any anti-troop terrorism inspired by Quran-burning would be. Even assuming that one could make a comparison between troop morale and acts that inspire anti-troop attacks, do you not see how much you had to reach to insert a pretty tangential attack on Democrats? “Oh, yeah? Well, never mind the context here; the real problem is this thing this Democrat did once three years ago!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@112), sorry, but I still think you’re missing the point. Yes, I get what Wright said. But he’s only explaining it in the context in which the violation occurred. My question remains: could this have happened in another country? Again: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere?

    I’ll give an example. Let’s say a large shipment of Luther’s treatise On the Primacy and Power of the Pope were shipped by an American Lutheran church to troops stationed in Rome. Let’s further assume that the military banned troops from proselytizing at that Italian base and every military base. The military doesn’t want to return the books, fearing they’ll just be shipped back, nor does it want them being leaked into Rome, fearing that would create the impression that the US military was trying to convert Catholics. The military likes its base in Rome and wants to keep it there, and the last thing they need is to have an angry populace protesting the base. Now, given all that, would you say that this action would show the military kowtowing to Catholics?

    It seems clear to me that the military couldn’t be accused, in that situation of “avoiding pricking sensitive Catholic sensibilities”, because their policy was universal, and not Catholic-specific. They applied the rule to Catholics in one country, and to Muslims in another country. The point being that their actions were driven by a desire to keep peace with the surrounding people, not to mollify a particular religion.

    Now, assuming you understand that example, do you see why I keep asking: where does the military forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing? Only in Afghanistan? In all Muslim-majority countries? In all foreign countries? Everywhere? If this military policy exists in all bases in foreign countries, or even everywhere, then this isn’t about Islam, like you’re making it out to be. If, however, this policy exists only in Afghanistan or Muslim-majority countries, your original point might have something to it. But you appear uninterested in researching this, instead repeatedly pointing to a CNN article; as if you now relied on stories found in the mainstream media.

    Anyhow, you asked, “Why, exactly, am I trying to score ‘political points’?” Of course, I don’t know why. But it boggles my mind that you could think that Reid’s words are a “much more serious problem” than any anti-troop terrorism inspired by Quran-burning would be. Even assuming that one could make a comparison between troop morale and acts that inspire anti-troop attacks, do you not see how much you had to reach to insert a pretty tangential attack on Democrats? “Oh, yeah? Well, never mind the context here; the real problem is this thing this Democrat did once three years ago!”

  • DonS

    tODD @ 113: OK, I get what you are trying to say, and I understand your example. But, I think your interpretation is highly strained, for at least a couple of reasons. For one thing, if the policy were universal, it is most likely that Col. Wright would have said something like “U.S. military policy is that troops are prohibited from proselytizing when stationed outside of the U.S. Therefore, we disposed of the Bibles which were printed in the local language in accordance with that policy”.

    Instead, what Col. Wright said was the decision was made to burn the Bibles as a “force protection” measure, “because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims”. If the military is merely following established policy, why add “as a ‘force protection’ measure”, and why specifically reference Afghans and Muslims? The decision, based on established policy, doesn’t need to consider force protection, or have any applied rationalization, other than that it is in accord with policy. Force protection is a local issue, based on historic Muslim antipathy to proselytization and tendency to violence.

    Additionally, I doubt that such a policy applied universally would pass Constitutional muster under the 1st Amendment. While troops in military service have curtailed Constitututional rights, they still have a 1st Amendment right to practice their faith, including proselytization, unless the practice of such right substantially impacts military readiness or mission. In many parts of the world, it wouldn’t.

    Regarding the Reid incident, the Senate leader uttering the words “the war is lost” is a big deal. It undermines our troops’ morale, and boosts that of the enemy. It is a truly extraordinary thing to do during wartime, which is why Reid took such flak for doing it. Certainly, it is a much bigger detriment to the troops’ safety than the actions of one small group of citizens in FL, unless, of course, our President, Congressional leadership, military leadership, and major media, of all political perspectives, spends a week hyping these actions and turning them into a major worldwide media event.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 113: OK, I get what you are trying to say, and I understand your example. But, I think your interpretation is highly strained, for at least a couple of reasons. For one thing, if the policy were universal, it is most likely that Col. Wright would have said something like “U.S. military policy is that troops are prohibited from proselytizing when stationed outside of the U.S. Therefore, we disposed of the Bibles which were printed in the local language in accordance with that policy”.

    Instead, what Col. Wright said was the decision was made to burn the Bibles as a “force protection” measure, “because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims”. If the military is merely following established policy, why add “as a ‘force protection’ measure”, and why specifically reference Afghans and Muslims? The decision, based on established policy, doesn’t need to consider force protection, or have any applied rationalization, other than that it is in accord with policy. Force protection is a local issue, based on historic Muslim antipathy to proselytization and tendency to violence.

    Additionally, I doubt that such a policy applied universally would pass Constitutional muster under the 1st Amendment. While troops in military service have curtailed Constitututional rights, they still have a 1st Amendment right to practice their faith, including proselytization, unless the practice of such right substantially impacts military readiness or mission. In many parts of the world, it wouldn’t.

    Regarding the Reid incident, the Senate leader uttering the words “the war is lost” is a big deal. It undermines our troops’ morale, and boosts that of the enemy. It is a truly extraordinary thing to do during wartime, which is why Reid took such flak for doing it. Certainly, it is a much bigger detriment to the troops’ safety than the actions of one small group of citizens in FL, unless, of course, our President, Congressional leadership, military leadership, and major media, of all political perspectives, spends a week hyping these actions and turning them into a major worldwide media event.


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