For today, then...mark one for sanity.
I attend a small church in Austin. On any given Sunday morning, there are a few dozen of us gathered to sing, pray, study, and share a bit of our broken lives with like-minded friends. You might say there are "around 50" of us. Much like the membership being reported from Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida - home of "International Burn the Qur'an Day" and Pastor Terry Jones.
Really. I completely understand the mind that drives past a half dozen full-to-capacity stadium churches and pulls into a weedy parking lot with 30 cars every Sunday morning. I think it more often than not: "Man, we need some advertising."
But for the love of Jesus...A nationwide call to burn holy books of Islam? On September 11?
Whatever else is to be said of Terry Jones...he definitely got his little church some publicity.
From Vienna, Austria...
to Tampa Bay, Florida...
...the Dove World Outreach Center has officially gotten the word out. (Check out today's front pages around the world on Newseum). I'm betting the parking lot at Dove World Outreach Center will be full this week. Of news vans.
Google "burn the qur'an." Over 7-million entries will pop up. I now know the history of DWOC, have read the Ten Reasons to Burn A Koran, as well as the well done counter-piece, Ten Reasons Not to Call Yourself the Dove World Outreach Center.
It would be hilarious if it weren't so venomous. It would be forgettable if it hadn't already required a special meeting between our war general in Afghanistan and that country's president. It would be just another bunch of crazy Christians if this "Christian nation" of ours didn't spend so much time pointing fingers at outlier lunatics from other walks of faith.
What would Jesus say? Maybe more importantly, what did he forget to say? Love your neighbor...he said it. Do good to those who persecute you...he said it. Treat others as you want to be treated...he said it. Blessed are the peacemakers...he said it.
Maybe Jesus would understand this sign from a news clip on YouTube today. The man is part of a significant group of angry Muslims in Kabul protesting Pastor Jones' plan for a Qu'ran bonfire.
It has become, for me, the clearest message on the subject. Stop Barking of Your Popy.
I know it makes no sense. None of it does.