Wednesday, September 8, 2010


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said he was still praying about whether go through with his plan to burn copies of the Q'ran on Sept. 11, which the White House, religious leaders and others are pressuring him to call off. Complete article

Fervor is such a strange commodity. It lights up the distant horizon like the Blitzkrieg, and yet, come dawn, its wonders are somehow changed ... not necessarily diminished, but less colorful, perhaps, in the dawn's early light.

The fervor of others can be pretty spooky, but my own fervors seldom make a similar spotlight. They are my fervors, of course, and don't carry the same elements of crazy I can invest the fervors of others with. Burn the Q'ran? That's nuts in a hundred ways. It pisses people off without doing much more than pissing them off. It doesn't change any minds. Its self-congratulation would be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

Burn the Q'ran.
Burn the Bible.
Burn the Tripitaka.
Burn the Upanishads.
Burn the Vedas.
Butn the Torah.
Burn Beavis and Butt-Head.

And then ... and then ... don't think of a purple cow.

In the basement here are the complete and molding works of Swami Vivekanada. There are a pair of cufflinks (real gold, not the chintzy latter-day kind) that belonged to my father and might be passed to my son. And there is s first-class sheep-skin coat, three-quarter length that may be heavy but would keep out the most bitter of prairie winds.

The all have meant something to me in the fervent times and yet now ... I'm barely sure of where they are, even if I did want to root out an old fervor. Vivekananda's in a box, I think; the sheepskin is in a trunk, I think; and woven in with Vivekanada is some recognition that religion and spiritual life was a fervent concern that is now spilled carelessly somewhere or other in my life...not at all the neatly-packaged Q'ran burning of the past.

Can fervor stand alone ... without any company to applaud or hiss? I sort of doubt it: Even where there is no one else around, still there are the scenarios of the mind, cheering and chiding. Fervor pushes actions along, but after a while its high octane seems to dissipate: Whatever anyone is fervent about turns into a simple aspect or facet of this life.

You like God? OK, no need to get your tail in a twist. The edges just soften over time like some small wave in the bay ... rolling along and sometimes singing. Sharing it in any real sense never did make much sense.

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