More fallout from the Koran burning plan
Well, of course it didn't matter that the preacher chickened out of the Koran burning. They were foaming at the mouth in Muslim countries anyway.
And of course death is too good for anyone who dares defile the Koran.
Nobody who really respects something like "tolerance" can defend respect for such a work, no matter how old it is. For our own self protection, we need to stand up against it.
The United States of America is for citizens only! Everyone else OUT.
Criminalize asking party affilation for voter registration! End the "two party system"!
Interpretation of the Quran and Bible can vary greatly
September 12, 2010
By DAVID OLSON
The Florida pastor who had vowed -- and then canceled plans -- to burn copies of the Quran says the Islamic holy book promotes violence, oppression and evil. Opponents of a new Temecula mosque use similar rhetoric.
Yet Islamic scholars say anti-Islam activists take wording in the Quran out of context, twisting a religion of peace into one of cruelty and hatred.
As with the Quran, if some biblical verses are interpreted word-for-word, they appear to promote violence or repression. For example, in Matthew 10:34, Jesus says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Christian critics of Islam "would say 'no, no, that's not what it means. You have to put it in context,'" said Mustafa Umar, imam of the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco. "But they don't apply the same criteria to the Quran."
Anti-Islam activists in Riverside County and elsewhere point to specific Quranic verses as proof of Islam's promotion of violence and hatred. One verse, Surah 5:51, is sometimes translated as saying in part, "Take not the Jews and Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other."
Muzammil Siddiqi, a Garden Grove imam who chairs the Fiqh Council of North America, which interprets the Quran, said "friend" is an incorrect translation from Arabic. The verse is intended to teach Muslims that they should defend themselves rather than depend on others to protect them, he said.
The Quran elsewhere refers to the close ties among Muslims, Jews and Christians, who are together called the "People of the Book," reflecting similar beliefs on many matters and a shared reverence for Abraham, Moses, David and others. Jesus is a prophet in Islam. In the same chapter that anti-Islam activists say promotes hatred of Christians and Jews, the Quran says a Muslim can marry a Jew or Christian.
The Quran warns of severe punishments, including death, for those who "wage war against Allah and his Messenger," a statement that some interpret as promoting terrorism. But Siddiqi said the passage refers to unjust killing, such as that perpetrated on 9/11. He said the Quran strictly prohibits the murder of innocent people, as reflected in a fatwa -- a religious ruling-- that the Fiqh Council issued.
Siddiqi said terrorists who call themselves Muslim "are getting their ideas from their own evil minds."
Mustafa Kuko, imam of the Islamic Center of Riverside, said a small number of Muslims misinterpret the Quran in the same way that anti-Islam activists do.
Individual verses in the Quran should be read in the larger context of the holy book, Siddiqi said.
"The Quran speaks of kindness, mercy, charity, honesty, sincerity, purity of life," he said. "That's the Islamic way."
The Jewish Bible -- the Old Testament of the Christian Bible -- contains numerous violent passages, said Rabbi Suzanne Singer, of Temple Beth El in Riverside.
"The people who wrote it were flawed and very influenced by the mores of the time and the understanding people at the time had of human beings and of God," Singer said.
Biblical interpretation is a key factor in the differences among Christian denominations.
While the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes creation occurred in exactly six 24-hour days, the Catholic Church does not take a position on the precise timing of creation, saying Genesis does not have to be interpreted literally and that scientific evolutionary theory is compatible with Catholic teaching.
Much of the Bible is comprised of stories that illustrate a point and cannot be taken literally, said the Rev. Michael Sturn, pastor of St. George Catholic Church in Ontario. Catholic theologians continue to study the Bible to determine how verses should be interpreted, Sturn said.
Several Protestant churches have changed their teaching on homosexuality in recent years as they began interpreting verses on the subject differently than in the past. Few issues have divided mainline Protestantism as strongly, with some members of the denominations assailing what they see as distorted interpretations of biblical verses by fellow congregants. Most U.S. Christian denominations continue to view homosexual behavior as a sin.
That has a profound effect on issues such as same-sex marriage. Opinion polls show that evangelical Christians, who typically believe in a more literal interpretation of the Bible than more liberal Christians, are much more likely to oppose gay marriage than other voters. The Rev. Jane Quandt, pastor of First Congregational Church of Riverside, said it is impossible to separate the Bible from the culture of the people who wrote it. Quandt belongs to the United Church of Christ, which performs same-sex marriages and ordains openly lesbian and gay ministers.
Quandt said biblical passages against homosexual behavior stem from a different understanding of same-sex intimacy.
"There was no notion of sexual orientation at that time," she said. "Obviously homosexual behavior has always occurred. But it was understood as an act. The notion that people could fall in love with each other and have committed, covenanted, lifelong relationships with one another did not exist."
She said those who literally interpret biblical verses on homosexuality ignore other passages, such as those that bar the eating of shellfish or the trimming of beards and sideburns, or the one in which Jesus tells his followers to hate their parents.
"They seem to pick and choose what is literal," Quandt said.
Dan Wilson, dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University in Riverside, which is affiliated with the theologically conservative Southern Baptist Convention, said some biblical verses are symbolic and should be interpreted as such. When it is not entirely clear, "the default is to interpret it literally," he said.
Wilson said the Bible is consistent in multiple verses in its definition of homosexuality and adultery as sins. But Wilson said he still struggles with interpreting parts of the Bible. In determining how literally to read passages, context is key, he said.
"To interpret any text out of the context in which it sits is very dangerous," Wilson said. "I tell my class, 'You can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say.' "
And you can interpret the Koran as well as any other sort of religious text in any manner convenient to the agenda at hand.
Freibier gab's gestern
Hay burros en el maiz
RAP IS TO MUSIC WHAT ETCH-A-SKETCH IS TO ART
Don't drink and post.
"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Yiddish Saying
"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra
Old journeyman commenting on young apprentices - "Think about it, these are their old days"
SOMETIMES IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.
Never, ever, wear a bright colored shirt to a stand up comedy show.
Last edited by ilbegone; 09-13-2010 at 11:04 AM.