Attorney General Eric Holder called it “idiotic” and “dangerous.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is “disrespectful.” A State Department spokesman called it “un-American.” President Obama weighed in that “this is a destructive act.”
The Obama administration is roundly denouncing plans to burn copies of the Quran. Christian leaders rightly condemn it as “appalling” and “disgusting” and say it “violates both our Christian and American identities.”
So why the silence when Bibles were burned?
In 2009, a church in the U.S. saved and held fundraisers to afford the cost of buying and shipping Bibles in the Pashto and Dari language to an American sergeant in Afghanistan.
The Bibles were confiscated by military personnel, thrown away, and burned. Troops in war zones are required to “burn their trash,” reported a Defense Department spokesman.
Central Command General Order No. 1 forbids “proselytizing of any faith, religion, or practice.” It is strongly enforced in predominantly Muslim areas out of fear that distributing religious material will be seen as an attempt by the U.S. to proselytize local people.
Military officials chose to burn the Bibles rather than send them back to the church, fearing the church would send them to another organization in Afghanistan.