Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obligatory Pre-9/11 Post

"A nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to stage what it calls the “International Burn a Qur’an Day.” Led by the evangelical pastor Terry Jones, a 58-year-old firebrand, the Dove World Outreach Centre wants to burn copies of the Qur’an “ to raise awareness and to warn…about the teaching and ideology of Islam,” according to a statement on the church’s website...

...If Jones wished to garner global attention for his actions, he got exactly that, but maybe not the kind he bargained for. He admits that he has received fewer than $1,000 in support of his planned protest....

...Christian organizations in the US have decried Jones and his church. The National Association of Evangelicals, the largest evangelical umbrella group, called Jones to cancel the event: “The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbours of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect," it said in a statement." 

While extremist ratings-drivers garner a disproportionate share of media attention, it is encouraging to see how little support exists for such antics even within Jones' own congregation.  When the cameras roll on Saturday, Desultory Eclecticism naively hopes: 1) that a reasonable share of 61% of Americans has the critical capacity to call a native Christian extremist an unrepresentative idiot; 2) that this reasonable share then extrapolates the likely existence of a similarly radical fringe in other religions; 3) that the reasonable share goes on to wonder if, perhaps, 19 suicide bombers may be a rather inadequate synecdochic mascot for the world's 1.4ish billion nominal Muslims; and 4) that a representative sample of the reasonable share goes on to reflect on this enlightening train of thought the next time it is asked for an opinion on the construction of a swimming pool in lower Manhattan.

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