25th October 1956:  Chimpanzees at Hagenbeck Zoo in Germany imitate the sculpture of the three wise monkeys, Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

I read a quote this morning by Ashley Cooper, a seventeenth century philosopher and writer.  I thought it profound:

The Seven Deadly Sins

if it becomes a weapon against persons.

if it becomes vanity.

 if it becomes possessive.

 if it becomes blind, careless trust.

 if it becomes indifference.

if it becomes arrogance.

if it becomes self-righteous.

Based on the above quote, I can see what might have gone wrong in the character of the man who is leading his church to burn copies of the  Quran on 9/11.  It also seems to reveal why his congregation might follow his leadership into this type of behavior.

Just saying.

What do you think?


Has his character gone ary, or is this an idle threat, to make a point?

I think you could make good arguments, that the proposed mosque in NYC is a local issue, and given the global impact of the 9/11 attack by radical elements of Islam, that it should be a national debate. I can see both sides. Recent interviews with those involved, have used the words tolerance, sensitivity, and understanding when taking about their proposal...

A brief, and recent examination of those words are difficult to accept when you look at the Islamic world reaction to a published "image" of Allah, or the young muslim men burning cars in the streets of Paris. I personally visited the rail station in Madrid, a year after the bombing there, and I was in that tube station, in London, just 2 days before those bombs exploded....If my travels had put me there 2 days later ?????

The simple threat of burning a Quran has caused protests around the world. Are all of these, only the actions of "radical Islam"? I don't know, but if so, then there's an aweful lot of them. I wish I could put a link to a CNN interview, last week, on this post. That interview, made it crystal clear to the world, that "radical Islam" has no qualms about indiscriminate killing of non muslims....I listened to the words of a scarey man, who would take my life and yours, because we "voted for the people" that are in power here. If you are not warey of an individual like this, you should be !!!

So, what do I think....I hope he does not burn the Qurans. He may be within his "rights" but I think it's ill conceived. Just the threat has illustrated much...I prefer that confrontation be a last resort, but nor will I become a sheep.....

As for the NYC mosque, I support their legal right to build it on private property. However, I also find that plan ill conceived, and hope it does not happen.

I still believe that the separation of church and state, as considered by our forefathers, is a strength of this country. ALL our citizens have the RIGHT to worship as they please, but we are also a nation of constitution law. If you want to live by Sharia law, there are theocratic nations where you can do just that....see ya !!

September 9, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

Excellent... and to-the-point post.

That was a GREAT quote. GREAT!!!!!!!

And I think you used it so well... to describe that Florida pastor.

September 9, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

Yes...it is a great quote of very enlightened words....but the giant leap was somewhat off target...latest news is that the pastor has cancelled the burning if the NYC mosque is not built at the proposed site...

Beth chose a very interesting quote as a blog topic, and I compliment her for that. However tying it to the Florida pastor was probably not a great choice. He represents a part of a very complex
national, legal, cultural, and religious issue which may not be truly resolved in our lifetime....

September 9, 2010 at 7:48 PM  


I really appreciate your comments as well as the update on the change in the situation since I wrote the blog post last weekend.

As for my choice of tying an inspiring quote to a current political and cultural situation, well, that's my choice (since it's my blog) and I stand by it.

I am aware that my approach could be vastly different than many people. I'm a dedicated Christian in my personal life, and spent 30 years in professional Christian ministry. From that perspective, it is my firm philosophy that as a Christian leader, it is our duty to build bridges wherever possible, not chasms of division between "us" and "them."

Beyond even that philosophy, when I search the Bible for wisdom in dealing with those who do not share my Christian faith, I do not, anywhere, find an example of Jesus or God blatantly alienating those who were in opposition.

Instead, I find that when a prophet was sent to give a word from God to a people group, it was with instruction to deliver the message and if the people rejected it, the prophet was to merely leave, shake the dust from his/her feet, and move on -- not burn them out and desecrate what they see as holy. Even Jesus, when he tore through the temple in Jerusalem, did so in his own temple where he worshipped in order to restore holiness to his temple -- he didn't ransack the temple to make a political statement or to bring about political change.

The biblical examples all carry the same message to Christian leaders -- a message I believe the Florida pastor has chosen to ignore or refuses to see and which I think is neatly summed up in the Cooper quote.

Again, Steve, thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts on a tough subject.


September 9, 2010 at 8:55 PM  


Thanks for your comment too. I always appreciate hearing from all my readers, even the ones who agree with me from time to time! LOL!!!


September 9, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

...and I thank you for an honest response. As with most things, our perspective is based on life experiences. I dont have your years in a Christian ministry, however I dated, for a short time, a girl who held very radical Palestinian beliefs. Now, 30 years later I still reject her approach, but I do understand the point of view much better...

It is my opinion that you passed judgement on this pastor a little too quickly. I think he has accomplished some of the purpose you discussed. Today he has met with local muslin leaders and communicated with them. He used a very unorthodox and dangerous approach to get the attention of a group that likely would never listen to a Christian. Although it's not the approach either of us would have taken, his actions have highlighted how much is still to be accomplished in the area of sensativity, tolerance and understanding...Something very good can still come of this....

..and for the record, the ability to have this kind of discussion and debate with you, just reinforces my feelings of friendship towards you and Mark...
something for which I am truly thankful....

We're headed for Creede on Saturday. Wahoo....

September 9, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

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