Thursday 9 September 2010
Monty Python's Frying Circus
I always thought Terry Jones was a member of that team of madcap, surreal comics behind Monty Python's Flying Circus. Perhaps he's become a man of the cloth.
Gun-toting Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida has declared Saturday 11th September “International Burn a Koran Day”. He and his little flock have announced they intend to burn Korans this Saturday, on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre nine years ago.
This proposed Koran-frying circus is stupid, ill-conceived, counter-productive and, worst of all, unchristian. Book burning serves no useful purpose except to get up the noses of the people whose books you are burning. I’m no prophet, but I predict the results of the book-burning will be anti-American riots in Islamic countries and increased attacks on US and British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jones may well be putting his own life and the lives of his congregation in danger.
Jones and his flock are stooping to the tactics of the inarticulate and ignorant who, unable to defend their world views, resort to violence and destruction. Battles for truth are won by contending for the faith and exhibiting Christ-like attitudes. What is required in the battle for minds and souls is constructive debate, illumination of facts and reasoned analysis.
The Nazis burned Jewish books, Muslims burn US flags and radical rabbis in Israel burn New Testaments. Now, a professing Christian pastor is going to burn Moslem holy books.
Pastor Jones will have his fifteen minutes of fame (or infamy, depending on your perspective) but he’ll also have blood on his hands and the judgement seat of Christ to look forward to. I wouldn’t be in his shoes for all the oil in Kuwait.
Terry Jones had better keep that gun close. Muslims the world over know where his church is...