This is a statement from the Bishop of our Second Episcopal District regarding the proposed Qur’an burning by Pastor Terry Jones.
I for one stand in complete agreement with Bishop Richardson’s condemnation of this unnecessary act of intolerance.
TCR BREAKING NEWS: Bishop Adam J. Richardson Statement about proposed burning of the Qur’an
Let me mince no words by saying at the outset that I adamantly object to the proposed Quran burning by Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove Global Outreach Center Church of Gainesville, Florida. The proposed burning of the Qur’an falls far beyond the pale of what is both civil and spiritual. Even if it did not put undue security risks upon our military personnel, putting our troops in greater danger, as President Obama and General Petraeus have insisted, it would still be totally unacceptable.
The burning of books, like the banning of books, has always seemed to be an exercise in futility. The effect is generally the opposite of the draconian and drastic action being taken. The logic seems to follow along these lines: If the book is worth burning or banning, it must also be worth reading. It always seems to raise greater interest in the questions why, and a greater appeal for the ideas and principles contained in them. We owe it to our Muslim neighbors (and global neighbors) to respect the sacred text of Islam, as sign and symbol of the reasonableness of our own faith commitment as Christians (or not), as well as the value we place upon the Constitution and what it means to be an American. I expect no less respect for the value that I place upon the Holy Bible.
It is not necessary for us to be in agreement about the contents of the books we profess and allege to be holy; it is only necessary that we be respectful. Not only is this a civil response to the spiritual sensibilities of others, it is basic to almost all religions: “regard for others.” While I am certain that Pastor Jones’ intent is to be loyal to the Christian Scriptures and to uphold the claims of the Christian faith, he has forgotten one valuable verse, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” From our own sacred text (the Sermon on the Mount), Jesus says that this “sums up the Law and the prophets.” No wonder it is a rule called “Golden.”
Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Bishop
Second Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church