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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bible Burners Can't Complain

I've been hearing and reading certain dismayed braying over the alleged incident of U.S. interrogators in Guantanemo Bay flushing the Quran in a toilet.

It's wrong to desecrate religious symbols and texts... unless they're Christian, of course. In that case, it's not only acceptable. It's hip. If you want to, for instance, immerse a crucifix in a jar of urine or smear elephant dung on a picture of the Virgin Mary, that's not disrespect. That's art. (What're you, some kind of Cretan?) The taxpayers will give you big dollars too.

When the Baptist church in Danieltown, NC put this message on their church sign "The Koran Needs to Be Flushed," it raised a ruckus. One local college professor criticized the Baptists for their "intolerance" and "aggressive disrespect for other citizens' deeply held views." I hope he complained about the NEA funded projects I mentioned above.

Call me nuts, but sometimes I detect a double-standard. When you bash Christianity, it's free speech. When you bash Islam, it's a hate crime. Personally, I think we should ALL be nicer. But there is that whole Voltaire thing about not agreeing with what you say though defending to the death your right to say it. (I'd previously attributed that saying to Patrick Henry, but now I think I was in error and that it was actually Voltaire.)

The top cleric in Saudi Arabia, one Grand Mufti Adul-Aziz al-Sheik, said, "We condemn and denounce this criminal act against Muslims' most sacred item." Is that the same guy who called fire and brimstone down on those Palestinians who used pages from the Bible as toilet paper while violating the Church of the Holy Nativity in Bethlehem three years ago? I guess not.

And for the record, we should note that the government of Saudi Arabia routinely burns Bibles whenever such contraband is uncovered. In late April, 40 Pakistani Christians living near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were arrested for "trying to spread their poisonous religious beliefs to others through the distribution of books and pamphlets." Apparantly, Christians are supposed to respect Islam, but the favor need not be returned.

Trashing someone's sacred book is not torture. It's not illegal (in America, that is). It might even be an effective interrogation technique. I don't know if the Newsweek account is true. Probably, it's not. But if they did do it, the Saudi cleric is wrong. It wasn't criminal. It was just rude.

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6 comments:

Cameron said...

Come now. As a pastor you should know that two wrongs don't make a right.

Helen said...

Well said, well said, well said!
Peace............

Bloghead said...

In Islam, we are taught to have faith and respect towards Torah, (the real)Bible, Al-quran, Zabur that were send to prophets/messengers of GOD because they are all HIS words.

In this world, there will always be those who believe in HIM and those who don't. So, I as a muslim can't desecrate ANY of the HOLY books. If any muslim do that then they will answer to HIM you can be assure of that. Cause GOD is fair.

If you as a pastor have no respects for any of this HOLY books? Words send to HIS prophets/messengers for the good of their people, then what does that tell about you? You know, I don't really care what you or others say about Islam and Al-quran because, in the end justice will soon be served. Islam is base on the truth and the truth will speak up when the times come.

Your hand will the truth, your leg will tell the truth, your ears will tell the truth, your eyes will tell the truth, your lips will tell the truth. You can never hide the truth.

I encourage you and anyone else reading this to get yourself an Al-quran and read it with a pure heart and guidance by GOD and not by satan. Seek the truth in it and you will find it.

Truth be told, the answers to everyone questions will be answered.

Thank you for inspiring me to leave a comment here.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Cameron,
I never said it was "right" to flush the Koran. I just said it's not criminal.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Thanks Helen.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Bloghead,
Do you agree with me that the Saudi government is disrespecting Christians, then, by their policy of burning Bibles?

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