[The following letter was sent from a group of clergy in Manchester to Rev. Terry Jones regarding his plans to burn Korans on 9/11. As of now, it seems like he has called off suspended those plans. This letter was also sent to the Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer. I am proud to be a signer of the letter.]
8 September 2010
An Open Letter to the Rev. Terry Jones
The Interfaith Clergy Fellowship and member congregations of the Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC) of Manchester, CT are deeply upset about your plan to burn copies of the Qur’an. This hateful action is too reminiscent of periods in world history that were shameful beyond words. The image of Nazis burning Torah scrolls on 10 November 1938, the infamous Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, reminds us to what end such actions can lead.
We cannot imagine an action less in keeping with the religious spirit of “love thy neighbor” than what you propose. This value is to be observed by God-fearing people regardless of how others may act. While we may not agree with a belief or action of a faith different from ours, we must not act in such a manner as to show contempt for their right to hold such a belief. What would be your feeling if Bibles were being burnt?
Finally, this book burning will endanger the lives of American servicemen and women who are giving of themselves to preserve values diametrically opposed to those embodied in this act. We believe that nothing is more precious than human life. Unlike the hateful fanatics who thought that they were serving God by killing people, as occurred on our shores just nine years ago this Saturday, true believers treasure God’s creatures and see the infinite worth in every human being.
Reverend Jones, we stand vehemently in opposition to your intended action and we implore you to cancel your plan before serious harm is done.
The Rev. Paul Briggs, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Nancy Butler, Riverfront Family Church (ABC)
The Rev. Scott Cady, Emanuel Lutheran Church (ELCA)
The Rev. Joyce O. Crutchfield, Center Congregational Church UCC
The Rev. Ben Dubow, Board President, MACC Charities
The Rev. Mark Goad, South United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dana Lee Hallenbeck, Zion Lutheran Church (LC-MS)
Pastor Phil Hakanson, Trinity Covenant Church
The Rev. Josh Pawelek, Unitarian Universalist Society East
Rabbi Richard Plavin, Beth Sholom B’nai Israel
The Rev. JoAnn Post, Concordia Lutheran Church (ELCA)
Pastor David Saylor, First Baptist Church (SBC)
The Rev. Laurel Scott, North Methodist Church
Dr. Jean B. Taylor