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Response to 10 Resons to Burn a Koran

This is a response to Ten Resons to Burn a Koran

I wrote this as a comment there but they have moderation set up so they may not allow it to be published. So I am posting it here.

Let us please go through your 10 reasons piece by piece.

You state that the Koran does not teach that Jesus Christ is the son of God. This is true, but nor is it provable that he was. He is an under-documented historical figure. Only two reputable historians (not theologians) even mention him. They still believe he is an important man which, son of God or not, he was. The Koran also teaches not to interfere with Jews and Christians as they are "Of the Book" (the book being The Bible).

You state that the Koran does not have an eternal origin. The Koran, like the Bible, is believed by its adherents to be divinely inspired. Mohammad heard the Koran directly from the Archangel Gabriel. That would indicate that it was. Objectively speaking, the Bible and the Koran were both books written by men. Human men who are fallible, have their own agendas and religious ideas. Let us celebrate the diversity and embrace the wisdom found in both texts.

The Koran explicitly forbids idolatry and paganism as punishable by death.

The earliest known writings of many of the disciples and Christ are also traceable to after their deaths. If that point makes the Koran invalid then so too is the New Testament invalid.

It cannot be argued that Islamic Law is totalitarian (usually an Oligarchy of a council of elders). The issue here is that you confuse the idea of Communism (an economic system) with a political system. You can have a communist economy with a democratic system of government, it is just difficult to regulate on a country-wide level and so those groups tend to be small in number.

Islam is an adaptable religion, it will change, just like Christianity did. Christians are responsible for some of the most terrible acts and groups in human history including the Spanish Inquisition and the Ku Klux Klan. There are many Muslims living peacefully in America. They simply want to make a living like you and me. They are not inherently evil or violent. Islam was initially a peaceful religion but has become corrupt by divisive clerics and people who do not follow the ideal Mohammad set forth for them. It is quite compatible in our society as one of many religions people are free to practice, same as Christianity, Unitarian Universalism, Buddhism and many others.

Technically you are correct, a Muslim cannot change his religion and it is punishable by death. However, in America that is unenforceable and counted as murder. In Muslim countries it is enforced and it is tragic but they have the right to conduct their society in the manner that suits them best. Hopefully they will see the light and change.

Christianity (particularly Roman Catholicism) was used as a weapon of European imperialism and colonialism. Both religions try to scare people into joining and keep them there with unkeepable promises of eternal life and unkeepable threats of eternal damnation. Instead, lets keep our religion out of our politics and the world and live together in peace.

Nothing about Islam is demonic. Please embrace your Muslim neighbors as brother that are "Of the Book" and find common ground and stand together against the extremists. If you persist with such violent demonstrations you have sunk to their level, instead show them how the solidarity of America can bring awareness to a wicked sect of an otherwise peaceful group.

Peace be with you.


Land: Whose is it anyway?

It never ceases to perplex me, people's obsession with land, nations and exclusivity. I read this article on the English Al Jazeera site and it refers to the absolutely incomprehensible struggle occurring in the recognized nation of Israel. It informs about the raised solutions and why they
have been dismissed or will not work.

My personal opinion is that no person or group has a "right" to land. Ideally land should never be owned or conquered, there is plenty of it to go around. While I understand that land ownership is at least perceived as a necessary evil, its sole use seems to be divisive and keep people apart and fanatic to their little "clique" than would normally be the case. In this case of the conflict between Palestine and Israel the Palestinians claim to have an historic right to the land recognized as the nation of Israel since 1945. The chief argument here is that the Palestinians were there first. Whether or not that is true is not really an issue to me and should not be to any one else either. It was of course wrong to displace these people forcibly as happened, and is continuing to happen, in Israel's struggle for identity. This begs the question why can't we peacefully coexist as beings? What prevented the Palestinians from embracing the Jewish people who were brought there so many years ago with open arms then? This is a people who survived horrible things both in antiquity and modernity, a people so completely define the human condition regarding both oppression and success. This does not give them or any other people the right to a homeland

As humans, we place far too much weight on "place." We all have a place: a room in our parents' house, an apartment, a house, a nation, a planet. What do all those things matter? I understand we all need shelter on a very basic level but what do the larger, less literal forms really mean? I was born in the United States of America but it's just a place. I enjoy that place, but it is only a place. It is spacious, and in it I would say all people are welcome. Just because it is my "homeland" I do not feel it to be a special place beyond what it holds for me.

What I guess I'm saying is that a group can't have any special ties to a place beyond an emotional abstract one. We are all a human family, far more alike than different. The Jews don't need a homeland and neither do the Palestinians. They should, and all people should be entitled to go wherever they wish without the need to form "nations" or "states" and be able to interact peaceably.

This ends the first piece here. I hope to post more thoughts and ideas here for public commentary, not all of them social, political or religious. Remember to live, laugh and enjoy your life!