Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianity, Anti-Islam
CNN opinion:Rabbi David Saperstein of the Union for Reform Judaism declared that it is no longer an optionto be silent about growing animosity toward Muslims in our society. Cardinal TheodoreMcCarrick added that attacking one religion in America is attacking them all."In New York, two imams joined two rabbis and three leading Christian clergy, includingTimothy Dolan, Catholic archbishop of New York, to deplore the recent polarization and lack of civility and toaffirm that anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity, or anti-Islam have no place in their communitiesWhile I am sure that such was not the author's intention, this article plays into the hands of aradical Islamist argument: that Quran-burning amounts to serious persecution and thereforewarrants violence.The actions of the Gainesville church are stupid, silly, and totally inappropriate. This is no lesstrue because some Muslims are likely to respond with violence and terrorism. Nevertheless, weshould not pass over the fact that the world does not fear violence and terrorism when any other world religion is publicly insulted. Nor should we allow for the slightest implication that Quran- burning belongs in the same class as more severe forms of persecution.What's the first thing you think of when you think of anti-Semitism? Torah-burning? No, Ithought not. As a matter of fact, there are Christians and Jews all over the world who regularlysuffer violence, harassment, loss of their livelihoods, and loss of their lives for the sake of their faith.Frequently they suffer these things at the hands of Muslims.Christians do not typically respond to this suffering by rioting or by bombing other people, because we don't believe in repaying persecution with persecution. On the rare occasion when anut who calls himself a Christian threatens to burn the Quran, it makes headlines precisely because it's abnormal. (Perhaps this pastor is a Christian, but this area of his life has not yet beenconformed to the will of God - this is the process of sanctification, which is a lifelong process for every Christian.)Christianswho know and believeRomans 12:9-21do not engage in
retribution.Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, butassociate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil, but givethought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it iswritten, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. To the contrary, "if your enemy ishungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.God commands us not to repay evil for evil. Therefore, we should not justify burning Qurans or persecuting Muslims for the reason that some of them persecute us. Nor should we justifyrestricting mosques in New York City for the reason that Christian churches cannot operatefreely in some Muslim countries.