The Thick Plottens

This post by Doug Wilson hits the nail on the head concerning the whole Koran burning plan…

There are, of course, some observations to be made from the Koran burning in Florida on Saturday. But for the farce to be given full justice, we really need more time. That limitation confessed right up front, here are just a few thoughts.

The first point is that Andy Warhol lives. The media response to this was not calculated to discourage such things. “Jeepers,” the pastor must be thinking, “that sure worked.” He got the U.S. Attorney-General, the Vatican, Muslims in Kabul, and the President of the United States to condemn him and his wayward flock. I wonder what’s next. Who around here thinks that this united-world-opinion-response will be taken ny the outliers as a disincentive?

Second, what are Christians to make of this action of burning a book, a book that we all believe to be a bundle of falsehoods? While there is book burning in the New Testament (Acts 19:19), the people there were burning their own books in repentance. The situation would only be analogous to this one if ex-Muslims were doing this instead of a small group of Warholian Christians. To do this to the sacred literature of others is quite a different thing. In that same chapter, we see a couple of other interesting things about the ministry of St. Paul in Ephesus. He was not just behind the preaching that led to the burning of the occult matterial. He was also, it says, “friends” with the Asiarchs (pagan officials with a priestly role), and as his friends they requested that he not enter the colliseum (Acts 19:31). Where others saw riots, the apostle saw preaching opportunities. And Paul is defended by pagans who were able to point out that neither he nor his companions had blasphemed the goddess (Acts 19:37). Their opposition to the goddess had been more potent than that.

Third, our reaction to a bad rhetorical move on the part of these Christians should not make us recoil into “Internation Interfaith Dialogue and Group Hug Day.” Islam remains a false religion. Many Muslims were in fact distraught over the Koran-burning but, then again, many Muslims are also distraught that my wife drives a Tahoe. The fact that this was a blundering move should not make us all think that peace and harmony are the twin breezes that fill Islam’s sails.

Fourth, this incident, showing vastly inconsistent responses to equally outrageous behavior by various outliers, whether Muslim or Christian, is simply revealing the bankruptcy of secularism. To paraphrase the poet, the center is not holding. Compare the different responses from our secularist leaders to the Ground Zero Mosque and this Koran burning. Nobody in charge knows how to answer the question, “By what standard?” Why is this pastor not a candidate for a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities? Don’t you guys know performance art when you see it? In our secularist age, equal weights and measures are an alien concept.

And last, just as I was getting ready to post this, Pastor Jones in Florida announced that the Korans would not be burned, and that the NY imam doing the mosque thingy was considering backing down also. This looks like a face-saving gesture, but we shall see. The crisis continues, and the thick plottens!

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