Don't Judge Us All by the Actions of One.
By now, I'm sure nearly all of you have heard about Terry Jones, the Florida pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, who will be burning copies of the Quran this weekend on the anniversary of 9/11.
I am so saddened to say, that this 'church' is in my town. (We actually live in a small town just outside of Gainesville, but we work in Gainesville, shop in Gainesville, grew up in Gainesville, etc.)
Many of my friends have expressed concern over this horrible occurrence giving our town a bad name. So I feel the need to let my readers know that this is NOT representative of our town. This is a very small church, with a congregation of about 50. To quote our local paper, The Gainesville Sun, "Dove World pastor Terry Jones is not the face of Gainesville." There are many other quotes on that site that represent the true feelings of Gainesville residents, and they say it far better than I can. They are appalled by what this man is planning. We are a liberal college town and generally very accepting of differences of any kind. When you walk down the street in Gainesville, especially near campus, you will see people of every color, culture, and walk of life, and we embrace it. We do NOT embrace hate.
Some people have blamed local officials for not stopping this from happening, but the fact is that they tried, but they can't. Terry Jones is not breaking the law. They will be closely watching the event and I feel certain that they will quickly stop any illegal activity. But burning a religion's holy book is not against the law. They have no legal basis to stop him.
Whenever I think about this situation, I am overwhelmed with sadness. I can't imagine why this man would want to do such a hateful, hurtful, and disrespectful thing. This nation was founded on religious freedom, and I don't understand why, in the year 2010, we are still judging others' religious beliefs. Who does this man think he is, to determine that Islam is of the devil, and his way is the only way?
Our town is filling with news trucks, and helicopters. Security will be high.
John and I will be leaving town for the weekend. My kids will be with their dad, and I hope they stay far away from Gainesville.
Please pray for the safety of the Gainesville residents....to whatever being you choose to pray to.