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Monday, April 22, 2024

Preacher’s antics desecrate our troops

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Sometimes I wonder where people get some of their ideas.

Take Terry Jones for example. He’s the pastor in Gainesville, Fla., who plans on burning Qurans this Saturday – the nine-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Jones’ “International Burn a Quran Day” is in direct response to the proposed construction of an Islamic center and mosque near the former site of the Twin Towers.

In his unreasonable thinking, Jones believes that burning the Quran – the book that Muslims consider the sacred word of God – should be done to send a strong message to Islam.

“Why don’t we send a warning to them,” said the 58-year-old pastor of the church, which has 50 members. “Why don’t we send a warning to radical Islam and say, don’t do it. If you attack us, we will attack you.”

Though he has been criticized by Gen. David Petraeus, the Justice Department, an interfaith coalition of religious leaders, and even the White House, Jones remains steadfast in his pursuit.

What Jones doesn’t seem to realize, or simply doesn’t care about, is the danger such an act places on our troops serving in Afghanistan. Immediately, extremists in Afghanistan and even radicals on our own soil will use the Quran burning as a reason to incite violence. Either way, more American lives will be in danger because of the idiotic actions and beliefs of one man and his small congregation. How unfortunate.

To add more insult to injury, Jones claims that Jesus would burn the Quran.

I’m not sure who Jones serves, but the Jesus I serve is one who teaches love, compassion and tolerance.

This is why it’s especially important to know and study the word of God. So many people can misinterpret it in a way that makes it negative. Remember that many of the people who hanged Blacks in the South did so while quoting the Bible.

While Jones may be seeking his 15 minutes of fame, he needs to understand the disastrous effect his ignorance can have on U.S. troops. The result could easily lead to loss of life, which would certainly outlast his time in the limelight.

As we come closer to the anniversary of those devastating attacks on America, we need to be especially mindful of the lives lost. In addition, remembering the sacrifices that men and women have made while serving our country is paramount. The deaths of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks as well as our service men and women who paid the ultimate price should not be in vain. Ignorant people like Jones shouldn’t desecrate the memory of the deceased in an attempt to promote radicalism or gain fame.

The America that Jones and others are trying to portray is not the real America. It’s not the America we have grown to love and care about, nor is it the America that we want represented around the world. I almost didn’t write this editorial because I didn’t want to give Jones’ ridiculous antics any more attention than he’s already received, but as the old saying goes “knowledge is power.”

Now that we know that such ignorance exists, we have to use our power to combat it. We can do so by educating others. We can also do so by remembering the victims of Sept. 11 and supporting our troops.

You can e-mail comments to Shannon Williams at Shannon.w@indyrecorder.com.

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