Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am tired of being embarrassed every time I introduce myself as a pastor. We so easily put people into boxes as a short-handed way of figuring out who they are. it used to be called stereo-typing and now it goes by the name profiling. I'm tired of being boxed, stereo-typed, profiled, whatever you may choose to call it for convenience sake -- especially when such practices are many times incorrect, hurtful, harmful and sometimes dangerous!

I'm also embarrassed that this looney in Florida is not just a pastor but a pastor named Terry! His flock needs to take this shepherd to task about his inflammatory behavior and statements regarding the burning of Korans on 9/11. Obviously, no one he loves is in the military in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran. When cautioned that his words might endanger the lives of countless men and women serving in the military he dismissed that possibility as a necessity in standing up against a minority of extremists who practice a faith not his own. His actual words were far more hateful and ungly than my paraphrase.

Is Terry Jones not an extremist in practicing his faith as well?

I write this posting as an effort to shed myself of the shame I am feeling in being another "Terry",another "pastor" and another "Christian". Not all Terrys, all pastor, all Christians are like this one. I distance myself from his vicious and venomous proclamation of a gospel I do not recognize nor understand.

I do so as a symbolic act in solidarity with the vast majority of Muslims throught the world who wish only to practice their religion in peaceful ways and with all swho seek to worship a loving God by whatever name they choose to address that one God.


  1. In April, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that burning a cross is illegal because it is inciteful, and intends to intimidate and terrorize. Wouldn't this pastor's actions fall into the same "hate speech" category? It is hard for me to understand why so many people condemn an entire group/religion because of the acts of a few radicals. Yet, because of this pastor, the Muslims will now have a chance to think the same thing of all Christians. Tit for tat, I guess. I, for one, am praying for this sad guy to see the light.

  2. I like what you said Terry. Since 9/11 Muslims have been stereotyped or profiled as anti-Christians and terrorists. When I furst heard about the worship center that wanted to open near Ground Zero, I was honeslty disgusted. I admit it. I said no way. They needed to have some respect for those who lost their lives. A friend then told me that not all Muslims are like that. Some just want to worship peacefully. In a country where we are supposed to have freedom of religion, I realized she was right. I was stereotyping. I never thought I was the type of person to do that, but there I was doing just that. Thank you Terry for writing this blog. You are so very right!

  3. Wonderfully written, Terry. When I first heard about the worship center I wondered, "Why?" Not because I felt as though they were in the wrong but because I wondered "why they would want to place themselves in this dangerous situation?" I fear extremists of the Christian faith with just as much intensity as I do extremist of the Muslim faith. The pastor burning the Koran is a perfect example. He is just as guilty as the extremists of the Muslim faith by disregarding human rights in the name of his own religious beliefs. He is choosing to put himself in danger but also doesn't care who else he hurts in process even if they may be his own Christian brothers. To me this is the same as him pronouncing his hate for the Muslim faith and then walking into his own church with bombs strapped to his chest. Do you agree? Due to the mass misunderstanding of the Muslim faith and the misconceptions of the role it played in the 9-11 attacks there is so much hate being directed at this group and all who support them. I just can’t help but fear for the safety of those who want to build this center and feel ashamed to call these non supporting extremists Christians or Americans.

  4. I agreed with everything you said up until you stated that you stand with “all who seek to worship a loving God by whatever name they choose to address that one God”

    I believe in every religious groups right to practice their religion, but I stop short of equating other religions with Christianity…The Bible says “There is no other name by which men (and women) can be saved”
    Jesus himself stated “No one comes to the Father but by Me”… I am not trying to be hateful or divisive, just scriptural..

    I too am disgusted with the actions and words of many “Christians” lately, and I am grieved that our “un-Christlike” actions make it harder for us to witness to our Muslim brothers and sisters and win them for the Lord as well as make us undesirable to others who are in need of salvation….it seems that the Church has completely forgotten about the scripture that tells us that “It is the kindness of the Lord that brings us to repentance”…