Terry Jones was apparently not satisfied with the firestorm of controversy he ignited last fall, when he threatened to hold an “International Burn a Quran Day” on the anniversary of 9/11. On April 1, 2011, with reportedly 30 congregants in attendance, Jones staged a mock trial of the Koran, found it guilty, doused it in kerosene and burned it.
Protests in Afghanistan have turned violent and are leading to a rising death toll. Rather than take responsibility for what his actions have triggered, Jones explicitly denied culpability and called for retribution.
Terry Jones, I’m having a hard time calling you “pastor.” I’m not happy we share the name “Christian” today. I want to say in the strongest terms that Christianity and Islamophobia are not synonymous, and your grandstanding acts are reprehensible
If people weren’t being killed, I’d say it was ironic that you took these actions in the week when our readings have to do with religious leaders resisting the grace of the blind being healed. On the Sabbath. Jones, you could do with some healing. Some regaining of sight. I pray that comes for you … as I pray it comes for me.
I almost wish it was in my nature to imagine an act of reasonableness and neighborly good will that could get the publicity your stupidity has generated … but, alas, my imagination is not up to the task.
I will do what I can, though. I will continue to participate in interfaith conversations and events here in my hometown, to admire and laud the faithfulness of my Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist friends and neighbors of other (and no) religious persuasion. I will try to feel the compassion for you that all of our religions call us to, even in the face of your incredibly arrogant, selfish, short-sighted action. (Yeah … I’m not quite there yet.)
And as I mourn and decry your actions and what they have brought about, I think I will take my Koran to church tomorrow. Would that we were all overwhelming the world with our little bits of love, instead of our broad swaths of fear and hate.