I read today that a pastor by the name of Pastor Terry Jones in Gainsville, Florida, wants to burn copies of the Koran on September 11th. What the Sam Hill...? Is he insane? This is a good example of why I am suspicious of all religions. Well, perhaps suspicious is not the right word. Perhaps the word is wary, or maybe mistrustful. Have you ever seen any organizations who are more at war with each other -- constantly -- than religious organizations? At best they have a cautious and uncertain truce with each other, and at worst they are in outright warring hostilities. And the histories of their hostilities go back to the beginning of their religious beliefs.
"My belief is the right one."
"No, mine is."
"You're an infidel."
"You're a heathen and a sinner."
They're like a bunch of kids in kindergarten. Good God, give it up already. Religious belief is a matter of faith, and I believe it should be personal. Nothing stirs the emotions quite the way religion or politics seem to do. Folks' religions are sacred and sacrosanct to them, in more ways than just the obvious. Take a look at the symbols in the wheel in this picture. We can each pick out the symbol that is sacred to us. The rest are just drawings with no emotional attachment to them whatsoever. But to most of us, at least one of those symbols is holy. However, for anyone to violate any one of these symbols is unholy -- in every sense of the word.
People cannot promote peace by committing acts of aggression or provocation. Haven't we seen enough of that already? It's time to put the brakes on -- on all sides -- and that includes the construction of buildings that are considered by a great many people to be provocative. I don't wish to offend religious folks by stating that I personally don't care for organized religion, but I don't. Spirituality is a whole other matter, however, and often religion and spirituality are at opposite ends of the spectrum. It is my belief that people can be spiritual without belonging to an organized religion, because often when you get groups of people together, you get an "us" or "them" mentality. Human beings are, by nature, extremely competitive.
I read the following today: "The threatened burning of copies of the Holy Koran this Saturday is a particularly egregious offense that demands the strongest possible condemnation by all who value civility in public life and seek to honor the sacred memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11," said a statement by religious leaders organized by the Islamic Society of North America.
Burning the Koran is not going to do anything except hurt and provoke the folks who consider it a Holy book, and rightly so. So then what happens next? Where does it stop? Pastor Terry Jones needs to pay attention, because all he is really doing is adding flames to the fire ... so to speak.