More stuff related to the Islamic Cultural Center planned in lower Manhattan: the delightful Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, is planning a Koran-burning day on 11 September, though they have been denied a permit for it (and no surprise on either point). It is, of course, the Christian thing to do.
Well, not specifically. Religion is, by its nature, divisive, separating
us (those who believe a certain way) from
them (those who don’t). Lots of things are divisive, of course, but when what’s dividing people is a belief in what’s divinely, cosmically right and true, and when one’s scripture dooms
them to eternal damnation and suffering, things get a bit hairy.
That said, most of us, certainly in America and lots of other places, accept people as neighbours and friends even if they be
them — even if they don’t believe in the same cosmic
reality as we do. Most of us don’t wish
them ill, most of us don’t carry signs, wear t-shirts, and shout in the streets against our neighbours. And most of us certainly don’t defile their cultural artifacts.
Of course, we’re just talking about books, and there’s no harm really done by burning them, apart from the general distaste we have for the burning of books (and perhaps the small amount of air pollution generated). There’s no difference, here, between their burning Korans, the Westboro idiots and their equally hateful
God hates fags message as they picket soldiers’ funerals, the jamming of a nail into a Catholic communion wafer, and other similar things.
These acts all say more about the people doing them than anything else, and the acts don’t harm the intended
victims — unless they allow themselves to be offended.
We all just need to shake our heads, say
What a bunch of nutbag fools, and then forget about it. Outrage fuels their hate. Apathy, and even pity for their small-mindedness, takes the wind out of their sails.
Bill Irwin, who lives in Gainesville, has blogged about this crazy church before, noting the signs and t-shirts they have, saying
Islam is of the devil. While we’re here, here’s Bill’s note of support for the Islamic center.