**Update: I'm relieved that the plan to burn the Korans has been shelved. Hopefully, it will stay that way and we can have a day of peace and prayer on this sad anniversary**
Ok, I don't do politics too much on this blog.
However, now and again, I can't help it, I have to say something....
especially when life and faith and politics intersect in such a firestorm.
(Ok, strike that, all too often they intersect in a firestorm and they intersect, um, daily....still...).
Others more erudite and thoughtful than myself have said this so much better.
But I'm weighing in.
I've been trying to find a simpler place overall....to simplify and quiet some (I know, hard to believe, but I'm TRYING, people). Hence my blog has been a touch quieter, or a lot. I'm trying to be more present to the kids instead of my usual distracted....hence less blogging.
But I have to speak up and say this quickly and simply:
The Koran burning that is all up in the news for Saturday on the anniversary of 9-11?
I'm against it.
I think its inflammatory (no pun intended) and not helping and wrong.
And even Il Papa, Pope Benedict, is against it.....and I trust his judgement (big surprise, I know).
B16 is shown above receiving a copy of Islam's sacred text
during his 2008 meeting with the interreligious community at
Washington's Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.
Go here and read this, I'll excerpt it here but go read the whole thing (this pic and excerpt shamelessly stolen from the great Whispers in the Loggia blog):
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue received with great concern the news of the proposed "Koran Burning Day" on the occasion of the Anniversary of the September 11th tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.
These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.
And I'm just gonna point out that some of these old tried and true adages still hold and apply, even in international issues: "Treat other people how you want to be treated." Simplistic? Perhaps, but ya know, respect goes a loooong way, and respecting the dignity of persons and faiths is still appropriate even after such unspeakable grief as experienced in the tragedy of 9/11...perhaps even more than appropriate, it is critical for all of us to retain our foundation of humanity.
If we cannot treat the greater community that is our new small world with respect, then we are lowering ourselves as a culture to play on the extremists playing field. What a loss, literally and figuratively. If we cannot rise above and live our lives, even as a culture, with respect to the dignity inherent in each human person, no matter their differences, then we have lost.....so much, too much...and we continue to cause potentially irreparable damage.
My fav, JP2 possibly said it best (again shamelessy nabbed from Whispers in the Loggia):
"Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions"
"O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here-
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all. "