*Update& - On tonight's news, I heard the White House has weighed in on the subject and said the church shouldn't burn the Koran. So how is it, that they come down on the side of freedom or religion and speech regarding the WTC mosque, but against it on this matter? Yes, this will be used (if they go through with it) as anti-American material by Muslims, but won't the WTC mosque be used as well? Why doesn't the White House realize that there are some matters that do NOT require their involvement?
You may have seen this story, where a pastor at a church in Florida plans to burn the Koran in a bonfire on 9/11 (the 9th anniversary) of the attack on the US by some Muslim extremists. The leaders of the movement say that they are doing this "to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam."
My first hope is that the President stays out of this issue. Unfortunately, the current president has a tendency to take issues like this and escalate them to a national level (consider the WTC Mosque, the arrest of Prof. Gates and the firing of Shirley Sherrod). He seems to have the idea that he can fix any problem, if we will only listen to him.
My second thought on this is that the leaders of this church have every right to burn the books. As Americans, they have the right of free speech, especially religious speech. Part of our founding as a nation begins with the concept that we are free to express our own ideas and that we as a nation are better for it.
However, I see this as being much like the WTC mosque. While these Floridians have the right to bun the Koran, I think it's a bad idea. I seriously doubt that anyone will change their mind about following the Koran (one of the goals) because of the book burning. It gives Christianity a bad image, an image of being hateful. As I said in my previous post, just because someone has the right to do something, that doesn't make it right to do it.
One additional comment is that General Petraeus is concerned about the impact of this protest on soldiers in Afghanistan. I have mixed emotions about his concerns. My initial thought is that anything that puts a soldier's life in more danger should be stopped, and stopped quickly. However, what if there are other threats? What if some group decides to oppose apple pie distribution in states in the south and threaten soldiers because of it? Would we stop distributing apple pies? I hope not!!
Americans should not be held hostage to an idea, or from an idea, just because soldiers are threatened. They are fighting FOR the idea of free speech and to limit speech for their protection is contradictory. I also believe American soldiers are quite capable of fighting ANY enemy and to change our beliefs out of fear is ridiculous.
So what do you think? Burn the Koran? Ban the burn?