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Is burning Korans a good idea?

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Nazi book burning in May 1933. A hundred years earlier, the German-Jewish poet, Heinrich Heine, had stated, "Where books are burned, human beings are destined to be burned too." (source)

Terry Jones, the Christian preacher in Gainesville, Florida who has decided to burn copies of the Koran with the protection of a Christian militia group says his church, Dove Outreach Center, decided on the Koran burning to wake people up to the fact, though in reality it's only a belief, that Islam and the Koran are of the Devil. He is going through with the burning of the Korans in spite of opposition from General Petraus, Hillary Clinton and the White House, not to mention death threats from Muslims.

Jones has listed on his site 10 reasons to burn the Koran. And if these are not enough, he added five more. Virtually all of the reasons put forward to burn Korans are based on the authenticity of Christianity. For example, reason number one is because the Koran does not recognize Jesus as the son of God. (It's interesting to note that even the Bible itself is not clear on whether Jesus is God or the son of God.) However, most of what is used to condemn Islam can also be applied and used to condemn Christianity. For example, number four which reads, "The earliest writings that are known to exist about the Prophet Mohammad were recorded 120 years after his death. All of the Islamic writings (the Koran and the Hadith, the biographies, the traditions and histories) are confused, contradictory and inconsistent. Maybe Mohammad never existed. We have no conclusive account about what he said or did. Yet Muslims follow the destructive teachings of Islam without question." There are many intelligent people who make this same argument against Christianity. The canon of the Bible wasn't decided upon until about 300 years after the death of Jesus. And the final canon/Bible was not officially decided upon and closed by the Catholic Church until the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Even the existence of Jesus is not certain.

It is true that the Koran is loaded with calls to violence against nonbelievers. For example Surah 9:5 instructs Muslims, "
Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

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It seems all of the Abrahamic "revealed" religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, promote violence. For example, Numbers 31:15-18 has Moses instructing the Israeli army, "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." The total number of virgins the Israeli army used and sexually abused is given in verse 35 at 32,000! This repulsive instruction to murder all the little boys as well as all the women who were not virgins and to keep all the virgins for themselves is even worse than what is being reported out of the Congo, of using rape as a weapon. And to make it even worse, in verse 31 the priest Eleazar claims this order Moses gave originated with God. As the Deist Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason, "Is it because ye are sunk in the cruelty of superstition, or feel no interest in the honor of your Creator, that ye listen to the horrid tales of the Bible, or hear them with callous indifference?"

Christianity and individual Christian sects have shown through the Inquisition, the 30 Years War, ad nauseam, that violence against those who disagree with them is their chosen path whenever possible. Due to their lack of real power in secular governments, the last person they were able to murder via the Inquisition was the Deist, Cayetano Ripoll. They murdered Ripoll for his Deism. Actions like these can be seen to have approval by Jesus since it is said in the Bible at Matthew 10:34 that Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Since the Bible is overflowing with self-contradictions, it is not clear whether Jesus was promoting peace or violence.

If Terry Jones sincerely believes the Bible is the word of God and the Koran is of the Devil as he claims, he would challenge Islamic leaders to a public debate. However, deep down he must know that the Bible is not the word of God just as intelligent Muslims must know deep down that the Koran is not the word of God. The same holds true for intelligent Jews as well. When the leaders of religious organizations know that their religious beliefs are in direct opposition to God-given reason, it makes it much more likely that violence will be used to continue those false beliefs/"revealed" religions since they cannot appeal to reason.

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It is time for "revealed" religions to be held accountable. Imagine how much better the world will be without the Jews believing they are "above all people that are upon the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6); without the Christians believing in the false Bible promises of faith-healing at Mark 16:17-18 and James 5:14-15 which causes the deaths of innocent children every month in the U.S. alone, not to mention the calls to religious violence mentioned above; without the Muslims believing that war is ordained by God for them which is taught at Surah 2:216. Deism can be the vehicle used to bring about this much better world. At the heart of Deism is a reason based belief in God/the Supreme Intelligence/the Designer, or as described in the Declaration of Independence, Nature's God. This is something that all revealed religionists can unite around and agree upon.


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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)

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