“We think we are losing our heritage as a Christian nation,” [Pastor Terry] Jones said as one of the reasons the church put up the sign.
Jones said Islam’s growing popularity in the United States needs to be addressed because Christians are not standing up for what they believe in.
“To be a Christian, you would have to agree with that sign,” Jones said.
Source: The Independent Florida Alligator
Pastor Terry Jones probably has a point — though only one. We are not "losing our heritage as a Christian nation" because America has never been a "Christian nation" in any sense except that a majority of people have been Christian in some way and that isn't changing. It's not the case that "Christians are not standing up for what they believe in." On the contrary, they do it quite a lot. If anything is a problem, it's that Christians keep trying to inject their religion into secular politics.
Where pastor Terry Jones may have something of a point is the idea that Christians should agree with his sign. If one accepts the orthodox Christian doctrine that Christianity is the only legitimate religion, then Christians have to reject the idea that Islam is valid. If Christians accept that Jesus was the Son of God and died on the cross, then they not only have to reject the Muslim teachings about Jesus only being a prophet as false, but in fact have to regard them as heresy. Now, where else would a false religion teaching heresy come form is not the devil?
So while it may not be the case that Christians have to agree with Jones' sign exactly as it reads, it should be hard for them to dismiss it and protest it like this.
[Pastor Terry Jones] said the sign is not meant to attack individuals but to attack the religion of Islam because it is oppressive and violent.
This is the part of the story which I find especially interesting. Jones' statement is certainly consistent with the Christian insistence that they should "hate the sin but love the sinner," though one can often be hard pressed to find Christians behaving in a manner that can be described as "loving" the sinner (especially with certain "sins," like homosexuality). However, Christians even more rarely accept this sort of distinction when their own religion is the subject — for example, when atheists are critical of Christianity.
It's much more common for Christians to treat any critique of Christianity like a personal attack. If atheists say that Christianity is immoral, unreasonable, or violent, how many Christians wouldn't take that as a personal attack on them as individuals? Of course criticism of an ideology shouldn't be taken as an automatic attack on a person (especially if the critique is phrased correctly), but in reality too few people seem able to make this distinction when their own ideology is being considered.