The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

A Letter From An Army Chaplain in Iraq to Dr. Terry Jones

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 9, 2010

Chaplain Graham Glover, a longtime Gainesville resident, UF graduate and former pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chiefland. Glover was deployed to Iraq in December of 2009 for a one-year tour of duty.

To the Rev. Terry Jones

Sitting in my office on a small joint security station, deep in the heart of Eastern Baghdad, I was thrilled last Saturday that I could watch my alma mater and hometown Gators play their first game of the season on the American Forces Network.
The next morning, I was privileged, as I am every week, to conduct two chapel services for the soldiers of my battalion and the civilian contractors who work alongside us.

On Monday, I received a glowing report from my commander on his weekly meeting with the Commanding General of our Iraqi Security Force Partners in Baghdad.

Tuesday morning, riding through downtown Baghdad, I witnessed, as I have on countless occasions over the past 9 months, Iraqi Army and civilians of all ages warmly greeting our presence in and among their neighborhoods, thanking my soldiers for their efforts to help usher in a new era of democracy to their country.

This, Rev. Jones, is a typical week for me, as well as thousands of our countrymen who are voluntarily serving in our armed forces. They serve and deploy, not only to spread the ideals of liberty to Iraq, but more importantly, to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy as Americans remain so – freedoms which you have publicly employed recently, in sharing your candid thoughts on Islam with the world.
But your intention to express these thoughts on Saturday by publicly burning Qurans is putting all of the joys and accomplishments described above in serious jeopardy. Your plans, as General David Petraues and countless others have noted, “would undoubtedly be used by extremists — around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence.”

So I ask you Rev. Jones, how am I to respond to my fellow soldiers when they ask me, a native of the greatest city in the world — Gainesville, FL — why is a Christian clergyman there is putting their lives in danger? How am I, as a Lutheran Pastor and United States Army Chaplain, to respond to members of the Iraqi police and army (many of whose faith I do not share, but whose commitment to freedom and democracy I do), when they ask why one of my countrymen would jeopardize the enormous progress they have made in diminishing the influence and power of extremists in their communities? As my soldiers share with their Iraqi partners the genius of religious tolerance that has distinguished America since the founding of our Constitution, what are they to say about your most intolerant of intentions?

As a resident of Gainesville, I appeal to you, Rev. Jones, to consider anew how your planned actions this Saturday will affect our nation’s war against terror and religious extremism. Freedom is on the march in this land. Democracy is slowly, but surely being embraced by the people. So why, Rev. Jones, would you consider doing something to jeopardize this?

As a Christian clergyman, who loves our Lord and the Good News that His Son continues to share with the world, I join the choir of those who ask that you consider the consequences of your intended actions.

The lives of my soldiers are worth more than the view you are attempting to convey. Indeed, the proclamation of the Gospel does not depend on it.

Captain Graham Glover is a chaplain in the United States Army and a Gainesville resident on duty in Iraq.


3 Responses to “A Letter From An Army Chaplain in Iraq to Dr. Terry Jones”

  1. Saladin said

    A well-written letter. I can certainly respect his perspective. When I was in Iraq, things took on entirely different meanings there. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Interesting

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