Look, I have had my say. And I have heard other views on this multi-faceted issue. This issue is very complicated. It’s not just an issue about religious tolerance, but about religious freedoms, and freedom of speech and constitutional freedoms that are afforded to the American people.
It’s also an issue about fear. I bring that up because people of note saying that if the “Burning of the Koran” day happens there will be violent repercussions. The reaction to the “big burn” could put moderate Muslims at risk and those in the mission field too.
It’s also about the media and how it picks and chooses its reporting which inflames the issue. The media is slack in picking up on the hundred of thousands of people killed yearly at the hands of mostly Muslim extremists. This to me is unfair but typical.
Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val wrote: “When extremists extract concessions from democracies on points of principle, either by blackmail or terror, democracies do not have long left,”
There is also the question as to how the Islamic extremists will view the situation if it is cancelled.
The resulting culture of self-abnegation, self-censorship and fear shared by far-flung dhimmi is the basis of dhimmitude. The extremely distressing, but highly significant fact is, dhimmitude doesn’t only exist in lands where Islamic law rules…"
One thing is for sure, this is not a level playing field which makes things all the more complicated. And I personally think that democracy is hanging on by a thread.
A little bit off track, but I am reminded of a film that I watched years ago called “The Mission”. In that film you had two types of Christian people. One, a priest who was a willing martyr and the other character willing to fight. One is turning the other cheek and the other picked up a sword. After I watched this film I wondered which one of these I would be. I wondered if democracy failed in my lifetime would I be a willing martyr or would I fight.
I am also taken back to a time when the Taliban had fired rockets at those massive buddas. I remember a Christian friend of mine said … Good, bringing down those pagan idols. I just said… hmmmm, not necessarily, it should be God doing that not man! She said… true, true. Good point. And she was happy to concede to my point.
Yet, we lived in a different world back then. Democracy wasn’t under threat, you could freely critique other religions without fear. You had no such thing as Hate Crimes or Religious Vilification laws. You didn’t feel that your freedom to speak out was threatened in any way by extremism or by political correctness. Back then we lived on the brink of change.
Now we live on another. Perhaps on the precipice! Some people are seeing a huge battle being fought in the valley while others are only seeing parts of the battle or haven’t even reached the precipice to be able to see at all. I am not saying that I have reached it or see everything clearly. Far from it. But I am not so blind to know that our world is on the brink of change and I am not so sure freedoms won’t further erode because of fear.
So, what are we to do and how are we as Christians to understand this. Well, here is an article that Calvin Smith wrote. As usual he helps us to see things a little clearer and I found it challenging as he gave me other points to think about. If you can’t see the forest for the trees then I highly recommend his thoughts on this situation.