Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What was he thinking?

Newspaper Article Discussion #4, the last one. It's actually kinda sad because it is really interesting to discuss the news as a group. Today, was my turn to lead the discussion. Kathryn and I chose an article... well actually two because one gave background and the other was the Irish reaction to an American event. The articles: "Pastor Feels No Shame, Nor Has He Any Remorse" and "Irish Baptists Denounce Burning of Koran in Florida."
Know what I'm talking about? On March 20th Terry Jones, a Baptist pastor in Florida, burned a Koran. Back in September he was talking about doing in on 9/11. But he was talked out of it by the US government. Unfortunately a couple weeks ago, he went ahead and did it anyway. As a result, there is rioting in Muslim countries around the world and Christians and international workers are being killed. The whole thing makes me sick.
For our discussion, on youtube we found the initial Irish broadcast from September, the footage of Jones burning the Koran, and then the Irish broadcast of the turmoil it started in Afghanistan. It was interesting to discuss with our class. All were appalled by Jones actions and in no way support it. In fact, it is embarrassing to have someone try to connect the name of Jesus to such an un-Christian like act.
Rather than give you all the details of our discussion, I just share with you a few of the questions we discussed with our class. I hope it will make you think, bring up discussion, and make you more culturally aware.

- What was your initial reaction? Did you hear about this?
- How should Christians respond? How would you respond to a Muslim who stereotypes you and accuses you of being like this man?
- How have Americans stereotyped Muslims in the past,  just like Muslims are stereotyping Americans and Christians now?
-He is planning another large demonstration in front of the largest mosque in the US in Dearborn, Michigan on April 22nd. How do you react?
- How is others perception of the Church impacted because of one man's actions? Consider how the sex scandals that we have learned about in the Catholic Church have impacted the world's perception of them.

Jones following is dwindling. According to our article, his church only has 30 members now and only 14 attended the Sunday after this event. I hope that Muslims understand that this man does not represent all Americans and Christians. Most completely disagree with what he has done. Even if you don't agree with another's faith, there is no reason to do something offensive.

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