Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signs From God

I've been thinking a lot about Signs from God lately, given all the uproar over the church in Florida sponsoring the Burn the Quran day on September 11th. (I won't name or link to the church because I refuse to give them free publicity from LMS). I've seen a number of interviews with the preacher and in each of them he made statements that he would only cancel the event if he had a clear Sign from God.

I know that in my own life, I've wondered about Signs from God and wanted a Sign that I should take a specific action or make a decision. Every time I have those thoughts, I am reminded about one of my favorite scenes from the first season of The West Wing (yes, I can quote almost every episode, why do you ask?) when President Bartlet has to decide whether to to pardon a federal prisoner scheduled for execution or not. He looks for signs and throughout the episode, signs are given to him and his senior staff, but they all miss them. It culminates with President Bartlet meeting with his priest (played by Karl Malden) and his priest telling him a story about Signs from, after CJ walks in and informs President Bartlet that the execution is done.

I can't help but wonder if the minister from Florida organizing the Burn the Quran Day is simply missing the signs: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a coalition of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders, General David Petraeus, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Pope, among others, have called for the church to change its plans because their actions will fuel the fire of hate against America and put American military lives at risk. I'd call these some pretty powerful Signs from God.

Unfortunately, I think the Burn the Quran Day is going to happen. I think it's despicable that it will, but hope that all of us who believe in freedom of religion (in addition to free speech) can come together and make our collective voices heard condemning this hateful action and making sure that the world realizes these small minded folks don't speak for the rest of us.

In response to this post, my friend Shari commented on Facebook, "maybe someone will wallpaper the church with COEXIST bumper stickers. Would that be sign enough?" Sadly, I don't think it would be sign enough, but she reminded me how much I love this bumper sticker and its message. Thanks Shari!

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