I am certain that the world is almost entirely insane. The burning of a single Koran in Florida highlights the fact that the world is crazier than any Kafka short-story I had to read in college. Either that, or I am nuts myself.
Let me start out of the gate by saying that the guy in Florida who burnt the Koran is probably an ignorant wretch. He is not exemplary for Christianity, and as far as I can tell, basically his entire congregation has left him. Having said all that, I think he may be the least insane person in this entire fiasco.
First, I think that it is good that he is free to burn a Koran, or a Bible, or whatever "Holy" book he wants. If he bought 5,000 Bibles and burnt them, I seriously doubt it would make the news, and it would at most elicit a shoulder shrug from me and almost every believer I know. It would be somewhat offensive to me, but I realize that he should be free to do that. This is coming from a person who loves the Bible and has dedicated his entire life to teaching it.
So how is it that this guy in Florida who burnt the Koran is the least crazy person in the scenario I'm thinking about? There are three parties I have in mind in this critique:
1. The guy who burnt the Koran. 2. The media that reported it. 3. The Muslims in the Middle East who pillaged, murdered, and caused general mayhem in response to the burning of the Koran.
The media, in this instance, is crazier than the guy who burnt the Koran. I watched an interview with this guy in Florida, and the reporter was livid that this guy had dared to burn a holy book. The interviewer mentioned that the burning of the Koran had caused the deaths of innocent people in the Middle East. But when he mentioned this fact, he did not seem to be at all aggravated at the people actually doing the murdering!
Now here is where things get surreal. Did you know that in 2009, the United States Army burned copies of the Bible? There really is only one reason for this: the people of the United States, including the Army, are terribly frightened of Muslims in the Middle East. They are not, however, frightened of Christians. The fear of reprisal by Muslims has made them set up insane double standards, and it is wreaking havoc on our personal liberties. (TSA, anyone?)
Then we get to the Muslims in the Middle East who are killing people over what the lesser crazy guy in Florida did. Do I even need to point out that these are the nuttiest of all? Does Allah really need for them to protect his honor by burning down shops and killing people if he is omnipotent. Here's a contrast for you: Jesus, the Messiah of Christianity, offered himself to dishonor to save his people. Allah, by contrast, apparently demands a barbarian episode if someone burns his book. Big difference in that, I think.
Lest anyone misunderstand, I don't think we ought to go around burning books. It is uncouth. It is also unhelpful to one's cause. All I am saying is that the media's outrage towards the crazy guy in Florida is out of proportion to the lack of outrage at the insanity that ensued after that book was burned. Finally, the people who kill over burnt book are the craziest of all. Seriously.
I am a pastor serving in my hometown of Albertville, Alabama. The greatest evidence of God's grace in my life are my wife, son, and daughter. One look at me and then my wife will tell you that her "yes" was a modern day miracle. Otherwise, I am almost completely mundane.