The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

I’m nervous about September 11. It’s been 9 years, and it feels about like it’s been 9 years. That’s not what I mean. I’m not differently devastated by the loss of life, or by the resulting wars, or anything like that. I’m nervous because Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, is going to burn Qur’ans on Saturday. He and his roughly fifty-member congregation are going to sit in their sanctuary and burn the holy words of our Muslim brothers. Certainly, it is their constitutional right. You can burn a Bible, a flag, Catcher in the Rye, whatever you want. But should you burn the words that are not sacred to you? Should you burn the words read and sung in billowing, beautiful Arabic for centuries by people around the world? And should you do it because you are consumed by hatred and fear? This is what’s happening. This is what’s happening in America this week. This is what our troops – our young soldiers who are fighting the deadliest, most unjust, most polarizing war in memory – are hearing from their commanding officers. This is what the locals living in the towns where my peers are stationed are hearing on their news. This is what children are hearing from their parents.

What is this world coming to? How far have we, as humans, strayed from our instincts to love one another?

It just makes me want to cry and wring my hands and wallow in how helpless I am. I can sit here in Berkeley and be in class with a bunch of people who love like I love and care like I care about the future of the world and who are loving their neighbors and revering religions other than their own…but what is that doing? We’re not helping. We’re not stopping anyone from hating anyone. We’re just perpetuating our delusion that this education is going to change anything. We’re just delaying the time before we realize that what’s done is done and we’re too far gone and the world is going to end in hatred.

I’m very, very nervous.

Where the Wild Things Are was beautiful.

I wish the ocean was closer to Berkeley.