From my good friend and fine writer, Bob Orr ... written in reflection on the possible burning of a Quran at a Florida Church.
What Would Jesus Say?
The Jesus I know from the Gospels was a friend to all and demonstrated in his actions God's love and forgiveness to men and women especially the ones we would condemn and count as unworthy. This Jesus calls us to live in community with one another. Jesus was a Jew and his disciples were Jews. As a man of his time Jesus would have spoken and understood Hebrew, Aramaic, and probably Greek. Where he was born, grew to manhood and conducted his ministry was a cultural stew and a cross roads of trade and beliefs.
The United States is a pluralistic nation made up of many religions - Christianity is one of them. We pride ourselves in the freedom of worship. It's one of our cherished values. Just last week in my home town of Canton, MI we joined a Hindu community in celebrating the dedication of their new temple. Their center can accommodate a thousand worshipers. Down the road from where I live is a Sikh temple where we visited a few months ago to better know our neighbors. Dearborn, MI (just 15 miles to our east) is home to the largest Arab community outside of the Mid East. Islam is their religion. We're all citizens of the United States, we're all neighbors and we all fly the same flag. I don't appreciate hate speech, fear tactics, or race baiting. When times are rough like they are now we search for someone to blame. This divides us and drives us apart. We're weaker as a country as a result.
What would Jesus say? I think Jesus would cry over our fearful bickering with one another. Jesus would meet hate with love. Jesus would meet ignorance with knowledge. Jesus would extend an open hand to the neighbor and not a clinched fist. Jesus would speak a kind word and offer a generous embrace to the stranger and the different among us. That's what I think Jesus would do. --Bob Orr