Burn the Koran?

August 31, 2010

A church in Gainesville, Florida, has proclaimed September 11 (the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center) to be “International Burn a Koran Day.” They have started a Facebook page “to stand against the evil of Islam.” The page lists just over seven thousand supports, while two opposition pages list over nineteen thousand supporters on one and over fifty-seven thousand supporters on the other.

While this church has shown themselves to be reprehensible bigots, they may actually be helping Islam.  How will they get the copies that they burn?  Unless they intend to steal them from libraries, mosques and individual Moslems – which would be criminal acts for which they should be prosecuted – they will have to buy the copies  – which will make a profit for the Moslem publishers that sell the books, thus enabling them to print and sell more Korans.

I suspect that this Church would also burn copies of this blog if it could – and one of the reasons I’m posting this is that I feel that I, as a gay man, should not only defend the cause of equal rights for sexual minorities of consenting adults, I should defend the legitimate rights of other minorities, including the rights of others to practice their religions. This would include the right of that church in Gainesville to practice its religion.

Koran on Altar at Easton Mountain

One Side of the Altar at Easton Mountain

We have a Koran on the altar in The Temple at Easton Mountain – along with items from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism and most other major world religions. To me, this represents a commitment to search for truth from all traditions that have listened to Spirit.

The Koran will still be there on September 12.

3 Responses to “Burn the Koran?”

  1. Rob F said

    I find the symbolism behind book burning reprehensible, but if this church wants to make a statement by burning the Koran it’s their right; they have to be allowed to express their views.

  2. Joe said

    Free speech is limited in America; it is not an absolute right. I believe this threatened act could be legally prevented from occurring.

    • Free speech is limited by libel laws and by speech that could be harmful, like crying “fire” in a crowded theater. But the first article of the Bill of Rights reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This is about as absolute a right as you can find in the law. You have the right to burn any book you own – provided you don’t set someone’s house on fire while doing so.

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