Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
We must respect all religions, mustn’t we?
Instead of burning Qurans, I have heartburn. Out of California (where else?)
As 18 doves flew into the skies over the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Saturday night, more than 100 diverse Sacramentans blessed copies of the Quran with roses of love.
Again and again they uttered the refrain, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” at the entrance to the downtown church framed by white statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. A musician with a white guitar accompanied them.
Representatives of Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, B’hai, Mormon, Sikh, Vedic Druid and Muslim beliefs read scriptures from the great religious texts - including six verses from the Quran calling for all faiths to live in harmony.
Irfan Haq, speaking on behalf of Sacramento’s Muslims, told the rose bearing crowd outside the cathedral, “On this day September 11 - this day of infamy and darkness - what we are witnessing is a new beginning for Sacramento, for America - this is the America the world needs to see.”
I am all for respecting the beliefs of others, but even I have my limits.
No, I am not talking about the Muslims. I have very good friends who are Muslim and I respect them. I would never do anything to insult them even though I profoundly disagree with them. This respect extends to most of the rest of the crowd. I love the Jews, I love the protestants, I love the B’hai’s (after I googled them), and the Mormons, and even the Sikhs (Don’t worry, I checked to make sure they were not the bad guys from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Its a totally separate deal according to Wikipedia), but even I have to draw the line someplace. The Druids? Really?
If I thought for a second that there were actual Druids still around, I would probably do my darnedest to respect them. Probably. But modern day Druids? I don’t think so.
I suspect that most modern day Druids are simply stoners just back from a Pink Floyd laser light show at the planetarium. I am sorry, from what sacred text are modern day Druids reading? Lyrics from the Grateful Dead? C’mon. Dressing in flowing white robes like Stevie Nicks and getting drunk at Stonehenge on Halloween while listening to Enya albums does not cut it as a religion dudes. It doesn’t even qualify as a cool hobby.
I would never burn a Quran, the Book of Mormon, or a DVD of Indian Jones II (Part IV yes, but for a completely different reason.) But I think this Halloween I will burn some Enya and Grateful dead albums in protest. And I will also burn some Carpenters albums. I am not sure if the Carpenters have anything to do with the Druids, but why take chances?
Still, if the grand poobah of the Druids agrees meet my demands (I want to relocate Stonehenge to Paramus NJ) or the Prez calls me collect, I might be persuaded to rethink my plan. Even so, I will still probably burn the Carpenters albums. Again, why take chances?