One of the sad facts of American life and history has been the tendency of some to denigrate other people, faiths, symbols by burning. In the height of their bigotry, the Ku Klux Klan burned crosses to show their hatred toward black people, Catholics and other Christian expressions they did not like. After the Vietnam War, it became fashionable here in the United States and throughout the rest of the world to vent one’s antipathy toward the US, its government, elected leaders by burning the American flag. And now, a minister in our own state chooses to show his contempt for the religion of Islam by burning the Koran, the bible of the Muslim faith. What is there about fire that when applied to symbols and objects held sacred serves notice of anger at the minimum and perhaps hatred as the maximum? The current controversy has consequences which even affect our women and men serving in the armed forces in largely Muslim countries but as of yesterday, it seems to have made no difference. How callous can humanity become? The Third Reich, perhaps the darkest period of the last century, began with symbolic “burnings” of synagogues and symbols of the Jewish faith. The current controversy in our state is legal and protected under the free speech doctrine of our Constitution but what a sad, deplorable state to which some have sunk. Putting people, religions and religious faiths on notice by burning something they hold holy simply serves notice that we have a long way yet to go to implement the vision and words of the angels at the birth of the Messiah, “peace on earth and good will among all [women and] men.” It’s ugly out there folks!
Tags: Current Events