Tebow, Connecticut Bible burning reveals stark difference between Christians and Muslims
by Peter Grady –
While some Christian churches are promoting dialogue by inviting Muslims to preach in their pulpits, two recent events this Christmas season have revealed a stark difference in how the two religions handle criticism.
On Dec. 12, a Bible was placed under the New Haven, Connecticut Christmas tree and set on fire. The burning Bible was placed on top of electrical feeder cables which provide the power for the 30,000 or so lights on the 65-foot Norway spruce.
A few days later, on Dec. 17, Saturday Night Live featured a skit involving Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow and actor Jason Sudeikis, portraying Jesus Christ. In the skit, the actor tells Tebow to “take it down a notch” regarding his display of his faith on the football field.
The skit has received widespread criticism from some, including Bob Beckel, a liberal commentator who supports President Obama. “It’s despicable to display Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour like that. They should be ashamed of themselves… there’s nothing funny about that,” Beckel said.
A key Christian doctrine is that Jesus Christ is “God manifested in the flesh” and thus such portrayals are as offensive to Christians as criticism of Muhammad is to Muslims.
There are stark portrayals in the reactions expressed by both groups to assaults on their holy book and founder.
Following the Bible burning, which was done by a vandal who presumably did not approve of the Bible's message, there have been no reports of Christians anywhere in the world rioting and killing people over the burning of their sacred book. Many Christians believe the Bible to be divinely inspired and the words of God Himself as He spoke through human beings.
Likewise, while there was criticism of the SNL skit, there does not appear to have been any reported incidents of Christians rioting and threatening death to any of the producers of the skit.
However, when the television show “South Park” featured a story line featuring the Prophet Muhammad, a Muslim group warned the show’s creators they could face violence for their depiction of Muhammad.
Revolution Muslim wrote on its web site that South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker,“will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh” for an episode featuring Muhammad wearing a bear costume.
Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam after making a film revealing the abuse of Muslim women in Islamic countries.
Similarly, when a Danish newspaper printed cartoon images of Muhammad by a dozen cartoonists, several of them were advised to go into hiding after receiving death threats. After other newspapers printed some of the cartoons, there were riots that included the burning of the building which housed the Chilean, Danish and Swedish embassies in Syria. Other buildings were set on fire as well, including the Norwegian embassy and the Danish consulate in Beirut, Lebanon.
Following Pastor Terry Jones’ burning of the Koran, riots occurred which resulted in at least 20 deaths in Afghanistan. U.S. Government officials condemned the burning. Gen. David Petraeus said the burning was “hateful, extremely disrespectful and enormously intolerant.” President Obama called the burning “extreme intolerance.”
At this time there have been no similar statements from U.S. officials over the Bible burning or SNL’s portrayal of Jesus.
Pastor Terry Jones told the Gazette these incidents illustrate the point he was attempting to make when he burned the Koran. “There is a very clear difference. Christianity is rooted in the attitude and spirit of forgiveness. Even though we might be upset about certain incidents or do not agree with them, our reaction is forgiveness and reconciliation, you do not see those aspects in Islam.”
“Their aspects are not forgiveness but more of retaliation. There have been multiple times the Bible has been burned and nothing has happened.”
Jones said he has had a bounty placed on his head by a Pakistani-based Islamist organization and has received around 300-400 death threats. “Their actions speak for themselves, regardless of what some people want to think.”
Jones is planning to run for president as an independent candidate. The campaign is currently in the process of getting on ballots in individual states.
Pastor Steven Grant, of Destiny Christian Center in Greeley, also took note of the contrast.
“The spirit of Christian longsuffering is revealed when Christian leaders, Sacred Scriptures and even Jesus Christ Himself is insulted. The power of God is not merely found within the physical, tangible objects themselves, but within the eternal truths they reveal.”
“This, contrasted with Islamic veneration of the physical people and elements to the point of destroying those that mock them, reveals one of the significant differences between the two religions,” Grant said. “Christ is greater than any physical emblem; He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and as such must be held in highest esteem."
Posted by Peter Grady • December 23, 2011