How in the world does a guy who leads a 30 member church end up the center of attention for the entire world? That’s the question that I have been pondering over the last few weeks. Mostly because I have been asked by friends, alumni, and reporters to respond to Pastor Jones’ plans to burn the Koran since I live in Gainesville, I have been forced to ponder this. I would rather have been focusing on what is wrong with our Gator offense and sending my suggestions to Coach Addazio and Coach Meyer, but no, I have had to think about this most unusual occurrence.
The same guy who led the “Islam is of the Devil” fashion statement last year is at it again. By now you all know who he is and what he had planned to do. That’s because he sent out a press release! Can you guys just ignore him like you do the Westboro people and all the rest of the crazies in the world who send out press releases to their wacko parties? No, the media had to pick up on this one and then it got really crazy when Muslims from all over the world began to respond. There were threats of violence and protests in all kinds of places and people were hurt and killed because some small church Pastor released a statement about an event that was clearly planned to start some stuff.
If American Christians did that every time someone in another country decided to protest our religion or government, (they are often combined in the minds of many in distant countries), then we would be protesting something nearly every day. Let’s face it, there will be tremendous pressure on anyone who says or does anything against Islam, but almost no pressure on those who burn our flags or Bibles in other countries who are often the recipient of our aid and support. I’m not saying it’s right to burn either book or anyone else’s flag, I’m just saying it would be nice if the international media would pressure both sides equally. I’m sure the Afghan government leaders are not calling the Imam who is inciting the protests there to ask them to give up their plans to protest. I certainly don’t see the same kind of pressure being put on the Imam in NYC to move the cultural center because its location is offensive to some victims and their families of the 9-11 attacks. Let’s just make sure the playing field is level because both groups have the “right” as Americans to do what they have planned. But both groups should realize that having the “right” to do it is not the same as it being the “right” thing to do.
Thankfully, Saturday came and went without any major or minor event for that matter. The Pastor backed off his plans for now and maybe there is consideration of moving the NYC cultural center. Perhaps clearer heads will prevail in both situations. Then I can stop answering calls about how I feel about this or that thing that is affecting world politics and get back to answering questions about what’s really important. Gator Football! (Said with tongue firmly in cheeks!)