No, that is not all. Jones is the Florida "pastor" who threatened to burn a copy of the Quran last September. The Secretary of Defense (!) called Jones to explain why his action endangered the life of American service men and women and all Americans abroad. The POTUS (!!!) publicly urged Jones to reconsider. Every major Christian organization in the world denounced this guy. After a truly international outcry he backed off.
Stupidity on pause - Evidently, deciding that he was more wise than the rest of the world, last month Jones put the Quran on trial and found the book guilty. Its punishment? Burning. He went ahead with his stunt. Now, demonstrations against Jones hateful action have turned violent in Mazar-e Sharif. An attack on a U.N. building in the city that left 12 people killed – eight U.N. workers and four Afghans.
Back in 1987 the artist Andres Serrano caused outrage when he unveiled his photograph, "Piss Christ." Christians (myself included) were offended and wanted the artwork taken down. A pair of youths were arrested for destroying the work with a hammer. Nobody died. When "shock art" works it opens a dialog; gets us thinking and talking. Serrano was unsucessful. People could not get past the "media" he used and the was not dialog but shouting and anger.
The reaction is unfortunate but not surprising. It was recently explained to me that Muslem people hold the same regard for the Quran that Christians hold Jesus. For them, their holy book is the primary way God is revealed to the world. Therefore, the book is the source of salvation. A westerner might say, "but it's only a book!" and would hear back, "you just don't get it." What Jones did was like killing Jesus, which has already been done - but he was raised from the dead - by the Romans and the Sanhedrin. Christians used that for years as the excuse for violence against Jews. Why should we be surprised by the violent reaction now?
Some Islamic leaders abroad have called Jones to be arrested on charges of international terrorism. That's a bit too far, but I do think he should be arrested under the hate crimes statutes. Perhaps we could put him in jail for life for killing a religious leader, since the book is equivalent to our Jesus.
I'm not supposed to call anyone an idiot. Matthew 5.21-22 reads, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So, I retract the first sentence of this blog. Please forgive me, Terry. But please read this passage with me. Insulting our brother and sisters (yes, they are) also makes you liable to the hell of fire. Stop burning things. Stop hating. Recieve the love and forgiveness of Christ and be transformed. Go forth and sin no more.