I woke up this morning to news alerts declaring that the Rev. Terry Jones has definitively decided to not burn Qur’ans “today, not ever.”
Now I don’t know how you feel about this. And I don’t know what may ensue today, tomorrow, or next week. He may change his mind again. Who knows?
But I feel like this is an example of how people’s minds can be changed for the better. Someone spoke to his mind and his heart, more importantly, and talked him down from the proverbial ledge. I don’t know who changed his mind, and frankly, is it important to know who and when all the time? The important thing to consider is that we’re witnessing a breakthrough. Those of you who are spiritually inclined will understand what I’m talking about. My God moves in mysterious ways…you may not understand this or balk at what I’m saying , but it’s true.
What are the lessons in all of this for me?
Lesson #1: That an eye for an eye doesn’t work. Sometimes we have to rise above primitive urges to avenge our grievances and take the high road to solving our problems. If Rev. Jones had gone forward with his plans, things might have turned out a whole lot worse. And as we saw, there were a lot of other folks on the ready to carry out similar plans.
Now we don’t know if these “copycats” will go through with their plans. And maybe they will. Time will tell.
Lesson #2: That it’s important to tell the truth. All. The. Time. If you’re angry, own that. If you’re sad, own that. If you feel betrayed, own that. But don’t hide behind bravado and lies and words and actions that will do nothing but make a bad situation worse.
Lesson #3: Don’t drop the ball thinking that potential problems will go away. They won’t, and as we saw this past week, they can only get worse and harder to solve. The Obama administration and the media need to get a better handle on these situations as they present themselves, and stop waiting for the other to determine if they’re newsworthy. In this case, I will argue that Rev. Terry Jones was not just an attention-seeking quack from Florida, he represented many Americans who feel some kind of way about Islam, Muslims, people who are different from them, and the fact that the America they have come to love is changing in ways they can’t adjust to.
And no one is helping them adjust. We have got to do better, America. We can’t keep living in silos. We can’t keep burying our heads in the sand, hoping that someone else will change, rationalizing that we’re okay and we don’t need to change.
The bunker mentality in our own country is going to be our collective undoing if we continue to refuse to reach out to one another to try to understand, forgive and grow together.
People all over the world are watching, and frankly, they see America as a big hypocrite. We idealize a lot of things, we ostensibly trot our principles out on display, we preach a lot of things, we expect a lot of things from other countries, but we don’t expect much from ourselves.
As a matter of fact, those things that were promised to us, those things that people fought and died for, and that should just make good common sense, i.e., fairness, equal justice under the law, respect for other people’s right to be difference, are not afforded to all Americans, for what ever reason. No one deserves to be judged before they even have a chance to do anything right or wrong, for that matter.
And that’s not good.
- Why did the FBI visit Rev. Jones? (powerlineblog.com)
- Pastor behind Quran-burning plan arrives in New York (cnn.com)