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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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Burning Qur'ans: NIMBY!

September 08, 2010


The Qur'an-burning minister in Florida was a blip on my radar screen.  I first learned about it during prayer time at church Sunday before last.  When the prayer request was made, I sighed to myself and thought, "Another crazy Christian."  After flipping through my copy of the Qur'an looking for a quote or two, I calmly made plans for a "teachable moment" in Sunday's sermon.


Then this morning my husband said this: "Huh.  That pastor in Florida who wants to burn the Qur'ans on Saturday?  He's in Gainesville."  Gainesville?  Gainesville, Florida!?!  That's my hometown (or the biggest town closest to my real hometown of Newberry)!  Gainesville?


Somehow, when I learned that this wrong-headed book burning was happening in a place I know, my rage flared up.  How in the..!!!!  What the...!!!!  WHAT IS HE THINKING????


Interesting, isn't it?  How easy it is to keep evil at bay when we perceive that it is someone else's problem?  But when we discover it lurking in our own backyard?  It takes on a whole new dimension, doesn't it?


Would that I had awakened sooner to the depth of hatred spawning the Florida pastor's actions.  Would that I had seized the opportunity to speak a clear word of justice and love as soon as I learned of his heinous plans.  Would that I had taken a moment, even a second, to look beyond my own back yard.


As Dr. King said:  "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."




Peace, shalom, salim for your journey,


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