Words of Wisdom by Max Strom

I thought it of the utmost importance to draw attention to the following article by Max Strom. I will return to relaxation techniques and stress coping skills next week. Please, honor the anniversary of 9/11 by reading the following article. Your thoughts and opinions are highly valued.

September 9, 2010

Book Burning or Learning?  How the Christian majority could have set an example to the world this week.

By: Max Strom

A very controversial subject in the news this week is that of Rev Terry Jones, head of the ironically named, “Dove World Outreach Centre,” in Gainesville, Florida.  Rev Jones planned to lead a burning of 20 copies of the Koran at his Church “to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior.”  To me, burning the Koran to send a message to radical Islam to make them more peaceful and to stop terrorism makes as much sense as burning Bibles to send the same message to the Ku Klux Clan, the militant group that considers themselves followers of Christ.  (I don’t think I need to explain here how it is hypocritical for a follower of Christ to promote violence, racism, or hatred.)

The book burning was cancelled last night in the face of condemnation by President Barack Obama, the Pentagon, the state department and international outrage.   It has been predicted by people like Secretary Hilary Clinton, General David Petraeus, and more recently Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence that such an act would likely inflame militant leaders around the globe and fan the fires of violent fanaticism, causing more, rather than less, terrorism.  It could be argued that any sane thinker could have connected these dots.  But obviously this is, sadly, not the case.

I am very relieved that the book burning, which I personally find abhorrent, was cancelled, but on reflection I wish it were not pressure from the Defense and State Departments that brought it about.  I think it would have been profound if the book burning was cancelled due to unparalleled pressure from the Christian majority. It could have been an opportunity for Christians to show the world what they believe in and how they deal with fanatics.

Let me paint a picture of how it could have happened, and how it perhaps could happen if something unfortunate like this sparks up again.

What if the Christian leaders who were horrified by the folly and hypocrisy at the Dove World Outreach Centre had contacted Muslim leaders in Florida with the message, “Don’t worry, please stay at home the night of the event.  We will take care of it, and we apologize for this rascal – he doesn’t represent us.”  Then, on the afternoon of the proposed burning thousands upon thousands of peaceful, golden-rule believing Christians arrived at the church and in a peaceful march in the tradition of Martin Luther King, prevented the burning from happening.  I think that would have sent a powerfully important message to Muslims across the world that would never be forgotten.  A message of peace and tolerance.  And it would be taught- by example.  It would also send a message to all fanatics from all faiths that inciting violent behavior is not appropriate or consistent with believer’s in a God of love and forgiveness.

The crucial key to disarming fanatics is how we behave when we engage them.  We must not approach them with a clenched fist, becoming more like Rev Jones, but by peaceful means in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi.  I hope that Christian leaders will seize the day next time the next Rev Jones rears his head and show the world what they stand for rather than what they stand against.   This action would, in my view, have truly honored the victims of 911. ~

Max Strom is a teacher, speaker, and author who teaches personal transformation and yoga. His latest book is A Life Worth Breathing.”


Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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