When the Washington Post On Faith column asked whether Christians should apologize for the Koran-burning of Pastor Terry Jones, a lot of you vehemently opposed that very idea.
Here are some of the comments made on this site:
… I’m a fan of personal responsibility and not in the business of apologizing for other peoples mistakes.
I don’t believe Christians should have to apologize for terry Jones, basically if you aren’t performing or supporting the given action or idea then I don’t see how you can be blamed on the basis that someone else, who could be categorized into the same group as you, did something wrong…
I have in the past said that it is inappropriate for Christians to apologize for the behavior other Christians with respect to how homosexuals are treated.
It is also inappropriate for them to apologize for Terry Jones, or for anyone to ask a Christian to apologize for Terry Jones.
If the Christian tried to apologize it would be wrong because they can not make up for wrongdoing committed by another. This is the same immoral garbage that the Jesus story tries to allow. Mr, Jones is responsible for his own actions and must make up for them by himself.
That seems to make a lot of sense.
You can’t apologize for someone else’s mistakes. Even if you’re on the good side and he’s on the bad side.
In fact, many of you feel the very idea of apologizing for something you never did (but your beliefs, taken to extremes, may have inspired) is ridiculous.
Ok. Fine. I accept that.
But explain to me why that rule didn’t seem to apply when a Christian group attended a gay pride rally last year with signs that read “I’m sorry for how the church has treated you!”
Last year, when I wrote a post criticizing that particular group for apologizing on behalf of other Christians (as well as not openly supporting gay marriage), many of you were on their side, calling it “baby steps” for them.
If you look at a posting made by a member of that group, the comments are overwhelmingly positive, supporting the Christians apologizing.
I grant that it’s better than the alternatives. I’d rather have Christians acknowledge their church’s mistakes than continue the discrimination and bullying against the LGBT community. (And the group will be apologizing at the Pride Parade again this summer.)
However, with the exception of the person whose sign read “I used to be a Bible-banging homophobe. Sorry,” I don’t think the sign-holders were ever the bullies. They were apologizing on behalf of other Christians because they think the homophobes do their faith a disservice. They want to show that Christianity is not about that. Jesus wouldn’t have done that.
Well, their version of Jesus probably wouldn’t have burned a Koran, either.
So help me understand why it’s ok when Christians apologize on behalf of bigots like James Dobson, but it’s silly when they do it on behalf of hatemongers like Terry Jones.