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As I was driving to work, I heard on the radio that recently the American military took Bibles away from the troops in Afghanistan and burned them. These Bibles were written in a local language, so it was clear that they were not for personal use for the troops but rather for distribution to the locals. Now, it’s against military regulations for troops to proselytize locals, and I certainly understand this policy. It would be an exploitation of their power and authority, and I can imagine people feeling an urgent need to go along with the religious beliefs of the guy with the gun.
However, my question is this: why was there no outcry that the Bibles were burned? From whom, you might ask? Anyone! No one seems to be upset, not the Christians, not the ACLU; it doesn’t seem to concern anyone that the U.S. government just burned a bunch of Bibles.
Switching gears for just a moment, I was a big fan of the show 24. If you followed the show, you know that the lead character, Jack Bauer, is dying. In what’s supposed to be the season finale, Jack was observably lying on his death bed with no hope to survive (of course, we all knew he’d be back the next season as the entire show centers around him). Jack reflects on his life. And in a moment of desperation and extreme guilt, he felt the need to resolve things before he meets his maker. Again, if you watched the show, you knew that Jack had done plenty of things for which he might possibly feel remorse. So, on his death bed he calls for guidance from a Muslim imam.
Some of my Christian friends who followed the show found this objectionable and a clear ploy of political correctness. “Why,” they asked, “wouldn’t he go to a pastor or a priest?” My personal opinion was that political correctness certainly played a role, but I think the writers of the show were going for an element of irony. Jack spent much of his time on the show chasing terrorists, most of whom were Middle Eastern. Then he finds solace on his death bed from a Middle Eastern Muslim imam. . Plus, if Jack would have gone to a Christian leader for guidance, it would have been construed as a Christian ruse trying to put down Muslim people and destroy Islam.
Despite the reasoning or purpose, what caught my attention was the holy man’s response to Jack. “God, give us the strength to forgive ourselves,” he said. Those words were not at all what someone in that situation needed to hear. What Jack needed was absolution and forgiveness of his sins from the Ultimate Authority, and it was readily available to him had there been someone to help guide him there.
Of course, I realize that it was only a TV show, but it’s not far at all from reality. The sad part is that in all the genuflecting and yoga moves of our “political correctness,” those who need Jesus the most lose out on the real answer to their problems.
When it comes to burning Bibles, we shouldn’t be upset that books were burned. As Christians, what we should be upset with is that the answer, the solution to the very war these troops are fighting, could be found in those books. But instead, they were burned. They weren’t given to a ministry to use or sent back to wherever they came from; they were destroyed. This complete disregard and disrespect of the Truth should make us sick to our stomach.
In 2005, a Danish newspaper published a series of cartoons depicting Muhammad, and the outcry from the Muslim world was astounding. Protests, some of which escalated to violence, broke out throughout the world. Why? Because they believe that Muhammad is holy and is the “answer.” Tragically, we as Christians don’t share this same kind of fervor for our faith. And we’re the ones who have the truth! What a real Jack Bauer needs is everlasting, holy forgiveness and redemption from his sins, but in all of our glazed over political correctness, we forget that.
Those Bibles should have been put back into the hands of a ministry somewhere, anywhere. I understand that the troops shouldn’t be handing them out, but they certainly shouldn’t have been burned. Unfortunately, no one seems to care that the United States government did this. What the Muslims have in fervor, Christians seem to have lost in political correctness, and I believe it’s because we don’t value the truth and meaning of our faith.
About Michael Stickler
Michael Stickler is a highly gifted author, philanthropist, horseman and internationally sought-after conference speaker. His all-time bestselling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the Principal of Leadership Books and writes for many international publications.
His 2017 best seller, Cliven Bundy American Patriot, reveals the truth of what is known as the “Bunkerville Stand Off.”
And, now his 2019 book Life Without Reservation, is charging up the best sellers list! For the first time in his long career he is working on his first fiction book Ghost Patriot to be release in 2021.