Next month on September 11th the Dove World Outreach Center, a church in Gainesville, FL, is sponsoring Burn a Koran Day. Now some will say that doing this is an offense to Muslims everywhere, and while that may be so, it is not the intent of these good Christians to offend anyone. They are burning the Koran to draw attention to the fact that it is not a holy book and is in fact keeping Muslims from eternal salvation under the loving grace of the one and only Jesus Christ.
The church gives ten reasons to burn a Koran. 1) The Koran says Jesus isn’t the Son of God and was not crucified; 2) The Koran is of human origin; 3) The Koran includes aspects of pre-Islamic religion; 4) Historical proof of Muhammad’s existence is lacking, and the earliest writings about him came 120 years after his death; 5) Muhammad had worldly ambitions, something God hates; 6) Islam does not promote the separation of church and state; 7) The Koran supports the second class status of women; 8) a Muslim is not free to convert to another religion; 9) Islam hates the West; 10) Islam is imperialistic and supports the suppression and persecution of Jews and Christians.
I have to hand to Dove World Outreach Center, this is a very compelling argument. My only question is this, why limit ourselves to burning Korans? Let’s burn every so-called holy book that disrespects Jesus, women, and democracy, denies the separation of church and state, is of human origin, and was written decades after the events its relates. Based on these criteria we could have one hell of a bonfire. In fact let’s pick a date, say, September 11th, and hold a nationwide Bonfire of the Inanities in which we burn every holy book ever written, since all of them, including the New Testament, meet many if not most of the reasons given for burning Korans.
But as cool as this sounds, will it really change hearts and minds? Even though they are inviting Muslims to join them at Burn a Koran Day, the good people at Dove World Outreach know that simply freeing people from their false holy books isn’t enough. Christians, they write on their blog, “are called to live and speak the truth, and to tear down the strongholds of the kingdom of darkness. Islam is of the devil and the Koran is a lie.”
This is more like it. We have to tear down the strongholds of Islam. It isn’t enough to burn their books; we have to burn their strongholds. Books are only the beginning. Our wars with Iraq and Afghanistan are only preludes to the bigger wars we are planning against Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Dearborn, Michigan.
The only problem I have with what Dove World Outreach is doing is their claim that they are doing what early Christians did in Acts 19:19. They are too modest. In Acts the converts to Christ who had been practicing magic didn’t burn books held sacred by others, but gathered and burned their own books as a sign of their love for Jesus. The people at Dove Outreach are far more bold and true to their Christian principles than those early Christians. They want to burn their enemy’s books, and more power to ‘em!
So let the burning begin: paper today, tomorrow the whole planet. Ain’t religion grand?