Thursday, September 9, 2010

Counting the costs of self-righteous, self-glorifying tantrums

I hope and trust that no friend or reader of this blog is cheering the Floridian Minister of God's love, grace, and mercy as he stages his Qu'ran burning. Not only is his offensive and self-indulgent outburst a threat and painful blow to all people of all faiths, but it will cost lives and millions of dollars. Does he have a right to express himself in this manner? Perhaps so. Some may persuasively argue otherwise. Regardless, let none of us cheer him. Let none of us fail to count (and grieve) the unnecessary costs.

Although this has been my thinking since this intended Qu'ran burning became news, this actual blog post was prompted by the following e-mail which I just received from the US State Department:

Worldwide Caution 

For travel information, call 888-407-4747

Internet Address: 

United States Department of State 

Bureau of Consular Affairs 

Washington, DC 20520 

Travel Alert - Qu'ran Burning 

September 9, 2010 

The Department of State is issuing this Travel Alert to caution U.S.
citizens of the potential for anti-U.S. demonstrations in many countries
in response to stated plans by a church in Florida to burn Qur'ans on
the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Demonstrations, some violent, have already taken place in several
countries, including Afghanistan and Indonesia, in response to media
reports of the church's plans. The potential for further protests and
demonstrations, some of which may turn violent, remains high. We urge
you to pay attention to local reaction to the situation, and to avoid
areas where demonstrations may take place. This Travel Alert expires on
September 30, 2010. 

U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with
the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's
travel registration website at in order that they can obtain updated
information on travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet
access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or
Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. 

U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of
alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend
public services to assess their security posture. In those instances,
U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide
emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to
monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate. 

As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential
security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat
information through its Consular Information Program documents, such as
the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as
Country Information, which are available on the Bureau of Consular
 website at


It is no surprise that a hateful demonstration accomplishes nothing more than to provoke other hateful demonstrations....  and that as stated by Mahatma Gandhi, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

Rwanda is a country of extremely devout people, devout Catholics, devout Seventh-day Adventists, devout Anglicans, devout Pentecostals, devout Muslims, and they all live together, side by side, in peace and harmony,  peacefully working and worshiping with full respect for others. There is no trace of any religious tension in Rwanda. How is that possible?