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09 September 2010

Holy book burnings spark hypocrisy

Bible-opened.jpgA pro-family organization says it's hypocritical for high-ranking officials in the Pentagon to condemn a Florida church's plans to burn Qurans when U.S. military personnel burned Bibles last year in Afghanistan

Pastor Terry Jones told reporters outside his church in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon that he remains unconvinced that "backing down is the right thing" to do regarding the planned burning of Qurans on Saturday. That protest has drawn objection from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander, who says images of burning Qurans will be used by extremists to inflame public opinion and incite worldwide violence. (See earlier story)

Earlier today on ABC's Good Morning America, President Barack Obama criticized the event, calling it a "stunt" and warning it could become "a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda." Other notable Obama administration officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have also condemned the planned Quran burning.


But Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis at the American Family Association (AFA), thinks it is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. government to condemn the church, considering the fact that the U.S. military incinerated Bibles that were sent to Afghanistan in May 2009.

"There's really a staggering level of hypocrisy and double standard here for the military to burn the Holy Bible and then complain when a pastor's going to do the same thing to the Quran," Fischer contends. "You know, if the military was going to be fair here and even-handed, they would count up the number of Holy Bibles that they incinerated in Afghanistan, and then they would allow Reverend Jones to burn the same number of Qurans."

The AFA issues analysis director believes the whole incident illustrates the difference between Christianity and Islam. "When these Bibles were burned [in May 2009], the Christian community did not riot in the streets; we did not threaten violence against anyone," he points out. "[But] when even the threat of Qurans being burned takes place, it's like we're dealing with Armageddon [or] with World War III."

In a OneNewsNow poll conducted in May 2009, more than 60 percent of respondents said -- in reaction to the decision by the U.S. military to destroy the Bibles -- that "if it had been the Quran, this never would have happened."


Hypocrisy 'pretty well established'

Meanwhile, a senior Army strategist and Pentagon advisor also sees hypocrisy in high-ranking officials in the Pentagon strongly condemning the plans of Florida's Dove World Outreach Center to burn Qurans, when the Pentagon itself burned Bibles last year in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (USA-Ret.) says while the concerns expressed by Petraeus, Gates, Clinton, and Obama are certainly legitimate, there is a note of hypocrisy in light of the fact that the U.S. military -- in order to appease Muslims -- last year torched Bibles sent to Afghanistan. (Listen to audio report)
"[Certainly] the armed forces should be sensitive to people's religious symbols or their text," he states. "[And] I said at the time [of the Bible burning] that I thought people would go ballistic if the armed forces were to burn Korans.
"But instead of burning the Bibles, there is no reason that they shouldn't have returned them to those who purchased the Bibles," he continues. "But we recognize that in a Muslim country, Christians are just not welcome. The hypocrisy is pretty well established. It is disconcerting."
Maginnis notes that unlike Islam, which tends to make the Quran itself a symbol of holiness, Christians base their faith on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ -- not on the Bible.


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