Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2010

The Big Upcoming Koran Burning; UPDATE: Or Not

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am



It’s a matter of religious freedom that it can be done — but it should not be done because it unnecessarily provokes a large number of people for no particular good reason.

Sound familiar?

P.S. Sarah Palin agrees, so I must be right.

UPDATE: So apparently the burning is off, because they’re going to move the Ground Zero mosque. Except that they’re not going to move the Ground Zero mosque, and the burning isn’t really off because if church x doesn’t do it, church y will pick up the slack. Allahpundit follows the twists and turns so I don’t have to.

133 Responses to “The Big Upcoming Koran Burning; UPDATE: Or Not”

  1. Gosh, I would love to see the nuanced view from the Left that thinks it is okay to burn an American flag but horrific to burn a Q’uran.

    The two are just stunts, designed to stir people up. The difference, though, is that burning a Q’uran could get some demonstrated nutjobs agitated.

    Or is that racist of me, JD, to suggest that there are more crazy Muslims who would act out violently than there are crazy flag lovers?

    Eric Blair (58b0cf)

  2. Interesting question: is this different from drawing Mohammed?

    I believe it is, but it’s worth discussing why.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  3. I just posted on this on the last thread. Is it inappropriate to post it again, or what?

    The only way I see it as different than drawing Mohammed is that those offended can be more choosey with their target selection if they want to be (which I think would be rational, once the underlying assumptions are given).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  4. I actually posted over at both of my blogs on this before my appendix went on the fritz. It came up over at volokh, because there is a potential first amendment problem. they applied for a permit to do the bonfire and were denied. So that is in the mix in my commentary.

    So the rest is a cut and paste from my blog. I can’t link because too much linking has apparently put me in the anti-spam doghouse. But here is what I wrote:

    —————

    So a pastor down in Florida wanted to have a bonfire of Korans. Now I am against that on grounds of rudeness. I mean you might say I am in a glass house on this having participated in a protest where people drew Mohammed (pedophilia be upon him), very often in a very rude manner, but there was a difference. This strikes me as provocation for its own sake, while the draw Mohammed movement was to challenge the terrorists, and call their bluff, and hopefully strike a blow for freedom of speech.

    But of course I would never relent in protecting the man’s right to make that kind of speech. But Ibrahim Hooper spokesman for the Counsel of American-Islamic Relations apparently doesn’t believe that, by this passage in a New York Times national feed story:

    > An Islamic group in England has also incorporated his efforts into a YouTube video that encourages Muslims to “rise up and act,” widening a concern that Mr. Jones — though clearly a fringe figure with only 50 members in his church — could spark riots or terrorism.

    > “Can you imagine what this will do to our image around the world?” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. “And the additional danger it will add whenever there is an American presence in Iraq or Afghanistan?”

    So apparently the man is choosing to use the efforts of terrorists to serve his own goals. The mask has slipped, huh, you fat f–k?

    You remember that the next time CAIR says they are not associated with terrorism. Here they are trying to reap its benefits: the cowing of the American population into a subservient pose.

    If you choose not to offend someone just because you don’t like to do so, good for you. Seriously, I have no problem. But if you do so because you are scared of those you might offend, then you need to find your courage. Its that simple.

    By the way, as far as the legal issues are concerned, this pastor is proposing to burn the Korans in the middle of the home of the Florida Gators. He was denied a bonfire permit. You don’t suppose that the Gators ever had a bonfire for a homecoming game or something like that, do you? More than a few commenters at Volokh guaranteed that they did, and if they did, then the authorities could be in real trouble on first amendment grounds. I like the idea of no burning as speech allowed because it is needless fire, but if that isn’t actually the rule, then they have a problem.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. This is yet another example of tolerance only flowing one direction with Muslims and how they expect special treatment and America has generally been cowed into giving it to them out of fear.

    No rational thinker denies under the American constitution that the pastor has the right to burn the korans as a sign of protest. Local ordnances may prohibit the specific action, however. People can disagree about its wisdom. What people seem to be confusing is that somehow the actions of a pastor and his tiny congregation in Florida somehow are representative of the American people as a whole. Given the outcry against the plan that position is ridiculous on its face.

    Yet the predictable warnings from the muslim community about the anticipated violence and mayhem if the korans are burned by this tiny congregation show the irrationality of many of the religion’s practitioners. Is worldwide violence and mayhem a rational response the the actions if some nutbag pastor and his 30 followers. Hell no.

    To me it supports the positions of those protesting the location of the GZM mosque. I also blame the media for blowing this story way out of proportion.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  6. I am against the Qur’an burning. But for the reason that a so called church is doing it. In my mind they are doing a great disservice to their own message, they are doing the opposite of what they claim to stand for.

    I don’t like the argument that this can cause the crazies to go crazy. I understand the argument, I just don’t like it because where do we draw the line? Do we willingly give up our liberties so the crazies will be less crazy?

    ML (f060a0)

  7. Koran burning is obviously a provocation. But is there _anything_ we do in Western society that _doesn’t_ offend some Muslims?

    Don’t draw Mohammed PBUH. Don’t wipe with the right hand. Don’t show them the bottom of your shoe. Don’t let Lady Gaga prance about, or drive a car, or hang with unrelated males.

    Muslims demand more deference than Scientologists, Wiccans, Satanists, Jungians or any other weirdo religion you can name. Did the Founders anticipate the existence of religions that extort, by violence, compliance with their precepts?

    gp (72be5d)

  8. I don’t see how this could not be violation of the ‘fighting words doctrine’ under Chaplinsky, and turn him down that way, then again the courts ruled
    against the father of a soldier who sued Phelps, for
    demages stemming from emotional distress

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  9. Pastor Jones should travel down to the middle east or Iraq and try burning the Koran there. Would be interesting. 8)

    No-bs! (6e616b)

  10. Here. Problem solved.

    Jerry Wilson of Goldfish and Clowns (393765)

  11. Eisenhower Warns Against Planned Burning of Mein Kampf

    LONDON, June 19, 1944 — The top American commander in Normandy has warned that plans by a small Florida church to burn copies of Mein Kampf on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Russia, could play into the hands of the very extremists at whom the church says it is directing that message.

    Burning copies of Mein Kampf, the founding document of Nazism, “would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Germany — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” the commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said in a telegram to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    Echoing remarks the general made in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday, he said: “It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort. It is precisely the kind of action the SS uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Nazi community.”

    In 1943, violent and sometimes lethal riots were set off around the world by a mistaken report by Newsweek that a Pentagon investigation had found that military interrogators of detainees at a camp in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tried to flush a copy of Mein Kampf down a toilet. The same year, a Canadian newspaper that printed cartoons portraying Adolf Hitler also led to riots across the Nazi world.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Terry Jones, the pastor of the tiny Florida church that plans the Mein Kampf burning, says that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Mein Kampf because “it’s full of lies.”

    Some of his prior attempts to incite anti-Nazi fervor have met with less public attention. Last year, he posted a sign at his church declaring “Nazism is of the devil.”

    Nazi leaders in several countries, including Holland and Hungary, have formally condemned him and his church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, which has 50 members.

    In Normandy, meanwhile, a district governor from Rouen was assassinated by Gestapo insurgents on Monday night along the Caen-Bayeux highway in the north of Normandy, officials said.

    Horatio (55069c)

  12. The burning is a minor incident blown out of proportion by two groups: our media, who finally found their White Christian Hater, and by Islamist nutjobs, who are always on the lookout to exploit such incidents.

    I hate to say perfect storm, but it is.

    Patricia (358f54)

  13. Aztecs Denied Permit for Human Sacrifice; Claim “Religious Discrimination”

    The religious Aztecs of the United States were outraged today when denied a permit to make human sacrifices to their gods. Without these sacrifices, Aztecs believe the sun will not move across the sky, there will be no rain and the crops will fail. Aztec leaders charge “religious discrimination,” and say that Aztec beliefs are perfectly compatible with the U.S. Constitution.

    Many Americans are still upset over an Aztec massacre of civilians a few years ago. Aztecs attacked 3,000 New Yorkers with poison darts, arrows and spears. Now an Aztec leader wants to promote healing and interfaith understanding by building an Aztec temple on the site of the massacre. Many Americans object to the plan, saying it is insensitive to the victims of the Aztec attack. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg has stated that it wasn’t Aztec-ism that killed those people, but an Aztec chieftain named Al Kate-Uh. Bloomberg further stated that if the Aztec temple wasn’t built as planned, then the Aztecs have won. It was at this point that a nurse intervened with the Mayor’s daily Thorazine pill.

    Congressional leaders are concerned about the growing public hostility to Aztecs and fear a backlash. Militant Aztecs are now stocking poison darts in their religious temples in an effort to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the White House is urging that non-Aztecs refrain from breaking Aztec stone idols to express opposition to Aztec-ism, as this is considered a grievously sacriligious to Aztec believers. Aztec pickets marched in New York last week with signs that read “Break an Idol, Burn in Hell” and “Aztec-ism Will Rule the World.”

    College kids marched in unison with the Aztecs, wearing Aztec feathers and bone necklaces, which are all the rage these days.

    Aztec lawyers have filed a brief with the Supreme Court, claiming the right to human sacrifice is guaranteed by the First Amendment, which protects free religious expression. Lawyers for the Cannibalistic Head Hunters Society have filed an amicus curiae brief, supporting the Aztec position.

    Meanwhile, those opposing Aztec-ism were quickly labeled bigots by the Friends of American Suicide Society.

    More as the story develops.

    Horatio (55069c)

  14. I don’t think it is a matter of religious freedom. It has nothing to do with the pastor’s faith. I guess it is a free speech issue, but it seems more like shouting fire in a crowded theatre than a political protest. Who or what are they protesting – certainly not all the Muslims in power in the US.

    Offensive speech should be protected, but there must be some way to stop those that are offensive only to be offensive. We can start by keeping Fred Phelps at least 100 miles from any military funeral.

    Mike S (d3f5fd)

  15. Me thinks Pastor Crazy be doing this to

    a) Highlight the hypocrisy of the Left on issues surrounding abuse of symbols

    b) Highlight the fact that a disporportionately large amount of Muzlims are either hysterically violent and uneducated or have no real clue about concepts of freedom.

    But that be me wayz of seeing its.

    As is tooooo dman hot in Florida for bonfires this time of the year. So dis ain’t much fun for the attendees of which 90% will be the media

    HeavenSent (e230a5)

  16. … but yeah, dumb. Better ways of going at it.

    HeavenSent (e230a5)

  17. Please don’t compare this to the loons like Fred Phelps.

    Fred goes and wreaks havoc in person on people not seeking his “advice.” He is imposing himself on others freedom to quiet “enjoyment” of life.

    Pastor Crazy event is completely voluntary to those attending. He is not infringing on anyone’s desire to live quietly and free from lunatics.

    Real Bad Comparison.

    HeavenSent (e230a5)

  18. It’s fifty or so trailer trash making themselves look important.

    John Hitchcock (db4a41)

  19. Greetings:

    Too bad our general and flag officers didn’t think to ask the lefties and draft dodgers to stop flying those Commie rag-flags during the Viet Nam war lest they encourage our enemies and those of our allies and endanger our troops in the field. I’m quite sure that they would have, patriotic-in-a different-way Americans that they were, responded with total acquiescence.

    General Patreus, regardless of his other accomplishments, has spoken A Bridge Too Far. That speech would have been appropriate to his subordinates to alert and prepare his troops, but he has no business “warning” civilian citizens how to exercise their rights. It seems to me to be more of that “force protection” mythology that is an outgrowth of Colin Powell’s “Great Theory of War”. If you want to force protect, leave them in their barracks in America. Except, maybe, Fort Hood, Texas or Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    Back during my thankfully limited days in the Federal bureaucracy, a personnelist spent a delightful evening with me explaining the, then popular, idea of “progressive discipline” and how each subsequent behavioral failure by an employee should result in a greater degree of punishment. I think it’s time to share that concept with our muslim brothers and sisters. On a practical level.

    11B40 (054c6e)

  20. I’m going to point at Dollars in Protest, a group raising funds to protest the burnings. There’s an active discussion about this idea where the group started, over on the Wooden Boat Forum.

    htom, not a professional (412a17)

  21. Comment #19 was by me, not John Hancock. Cookies.

    nk (db4a41)

  22. Or comment #18. This one:

    18.It’s fifty or so trailer trash making themselves look important.

    Comment by John Hitchcock — 9/9/2010 @ 8:52 am

    nk (db4a41)

  23. The site is chewing up the non troll posts again

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  24. When I first heard about this, I thought they were going to burn Koreans. I’m against that. Now that I understand that it is only Korans, I say screw ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    BarSinister (5280fc)

  25. Can someone explain why we are cautioned by our elites to be extra extra sensitive in discussing Islam while we are not in discussing other religions.

    I can think of one obvious reason, but I am curious if others have different thoughts for the deferential treatment, especially with the anti-American vitriol which typically flows back at us.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  26. The MFM is in orgy mode over this tiny little insignificant douchenozzle of a preacher trying to make some ridiculous point to get a little free publicity from the MFM. This is the perfect storm for the MFM, they get an example of the xianist rightist hating on Islam, and get to stoke anti-american sentiment for days on end.

    JD (073107)

  27. Leave this moron alone. He’s a nothing – but the media is trying to portray him like a “something” with all this reporting. He’s the so-called pastor of a tiny, little known church in some remote corner of Florida which has only a small congregation of about 50 other morons. With this attention that he’s getting he will either attract 50 other morons – or if the people of this community are intelligent enough, they will boycott his little “den”. All this idiot wanted was this media attention – and he got it. And now, for the better or the worst, he’s known all over the world. This is not the first time any religious books had been burnt anywhere. In 2008, Jews from Or-Yehuda – a city near Tel Aviv in Israel – forcibly collected hundreds of Bibles from Christians and Messianite Jews and burnt them in a bonfire. But there was no protests or condemnation from any quarters of the Christian world. So let these morons do what they think is within their “freedom of expression” – but don’t take any notice of them. After all, they are all morons!

    DEVONECO (b52ed5)

  28. Btw, the other comparison being made right now is between this and the Ground Zero Mosque.

    So consider this. I read over lunch a link on Hot Air where obama is talking to stephanopolis (sp?) and guess what? Now remember with the mosque controversy he said a statement that sounded very supportive, but later “clarified” it by saying he was only talking about the legal right to build it, and he would not question the wisdom.

    But suddenly when the subject was koran burning, suddenly obama had an opinion on the wisdom. indeed, if memory serves, he didn’t even assert he had a right to do it.

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  29. Devoneco: that is a good story to have on tap. Do you have a link, so that we can point to it when this kind of subject comes up?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  30. #

    I don’t see how this could not be violation of the ‘fighting words doctrine’ under Chaplinsky, and turn him down that way, then again the courts ruled
    against the father of a soldier who sued Phelps, for
    demages stemming from emotional distress

    Comment by ian cormac — 9/9/2010 @ 8:24 am

    * * * * *

    It is a really easy distinction, Ian.

    If I direct personal insults at you, I’ve arguably crossed the line under Chaplinsky. If I am simply engaging in speech that offends you and causes you to act out in an attempt to silence me, I still have a right to speak under Terminiello v. Chicago.

    Rhymes With Right (8d63ec)

  31. I find this a lot shrugworthy really cause for reals I don’t care what a passel of bible-thumping swamptrash many many many leagues away from here burn or don’t burn. Have at it fellers. Or not.

    What I’m reminded of is there’s a place called Hollywood Florida where the Nielsen company gets a bunch of codgers to process their tv diaries after every sweeps, or they used to. I wonder if that’s nearby. I could google but I don’t care that much really.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  32. The difference

    The difference in my mind is that burning a Koran in a highly public fashion, today, will be broadcast throughout the Muslim world, where it will cause some number of people who weren’t sure if we were their enemies or not to decide that the people who have been telling them that the US is at war with Islam were telling the truth.

    That’s an outcome we don’t want.

    Is it our fault that someone is running around trying to convince people who we aren’t at war with that we are? No.

    Is it our fault that those people, generally speaking, no nothing about the US other than what they see on tv and their governments and spiritual leaders tell them? No.

    But we have to deal with the consequences anyway … and choosing to burn Korans in a public ceremony, knowing that it will be broadcast to a part of the world where we’re desperately trying to convince people who are still on the fence that we aren’t their enemies, is irresponsible.

    Now: the pastor who is doing this has every right to do it. And it isn’t even in the abstract, I think, wrong to do it: symbolically burning the Koran is like symbolically burning an effigy of President Obama. Not to my taste, but not wrong, either.

    Even so, at this point in time, it’s unwise and unhelpful.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  33. why cant i post comments here?

    No-bs! (6e616b)

  34. Horatio, that analogy doesn’t work.

    In 1944, (a) Mein Kampf wasn’t widely regarded as a holy book in Germany, (b) the number of Germans who were on the fence about whether the US was at war with them or not was probably very, very small.

    I’m not sure there is a good analogy for the situation, actually. I’ve been trying to come up with one and failing.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  35. Remember the teeming hordes of Xianists threatening to kill people after the Piss Christ exhibit?

    JD (073107)

  36. the other comparison being made right now is between this and the Ground Zero Mosque.

    It’s a good comparison; they’re basically structurally identical, except that the people offended by the Koran burning are potential enemies who thereby become easier to convert into real enemies, while the people offended by the Ground Zero Mosque are a subset of our own people.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  37. Here’s the question I have: why is this on the news?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. (ripped from today’s headlines)

    WORLD’S TOUCHIEST RELIGION SEEKS TOLERANCE, RESPECT.

    Spokesmen embrace ‘Religion of Peace’, but warn “Embassies will burn and people will die” if Muslims
    insulted.

    furious (71af32)

  39. Sorry…

    I’m too busy reading your defenses of everyone draw Mohammad Day to understand why you oppose burning the Koran.

    Personally, I find both offensive and for the same reason. They insult all members of a faith. If you could find an action that specifically targeted radicals and terrorists, then I it would be different.

    This is spiteful and insulting behavior.

    In case others are wondering, I also oppose the GZM because it is insulting and could be read as a celebration of the act of terrorists — not to mention funding issues etc.

    Christian (2852e9)

  40. That’s very good, Aaron. It’s no wonder some folks out there see this as something more than PC run amok or anti-Americanism (my take) and think he’s actually Muslim.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  41. With 300,000,000 or so people in the US, odds are pretty good that at least one person is doing something irresponsible at any one time. I think the pastor and crew in Fl. fit into this catagory. I am not sure the newscastors and MSM are being any more responsible by making such a big deal over it. Even if they felt it “needed” to be covered they could do it in such a way as to discount it rather than build it up.

    This harkens back to other discussions. Yes, anyone around the world who does violence “because” of this is themselves responsible for what they do, but in my opinion that does not mean there is zero accountability for the pastor and those that have enabled him and the situation to become so prominent. If I am walking down the street and see a friendly-looking Lab walking my way, it may be reasonable to keep walking. If I see a Doberman with a spiked collar with a foot of chain dangling and snarling, I think most would think I would be a fool to keep walking in his direction. Now yes, the analogy breaks down from the point that we are talking about humans that can reason not dogs, but I’m looking at it from the perspective of the “provoker”. Whether I’m agitating a person who can choose to stand down, but I expect won’t, or an animal that can’t reason, will make no difference to my body or the ER docs working on me.

    Yes, there is plenty of hypocrisy from those who think it’s OK to denigrate Christian belief or to demonize those who want to take a stand against Islamic Fascism/Sharia law here in the US.

    As far as what the Muslim world sees and whether or not they will think rationally, remember, most of them are more dependent (I think) on solitary news outlets who control what they will see- like being dependent of the dog-trainer without Patterico to make the corrections, but worse. I think the US news services giving such focused attention on it are the ones being really irrational. (Unless, of course, one considers anything that sustains viewership as rational.)

    As a sidenote, I thought I heard something that there was a city ordinance that would make it illegal to burn a Koran, because it just wasn’t paper, but paper with ink on it, and who knows what deadly things will happen when ink burns. Anyone else hear that?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. I thought they were going to burn Koreans. I’m against that.
    Comment by BarSinister — 9/9/2010 @ 9:07 am

    — Agreed. Now if they want to burn Kia’s (Korean Imitation Automobiles) we might find some common ground.

    Katie H. (c481a1)

  43. Dammit! Just gave away one of my sock puppets.

    Icy Texan (c481a1)

  44. Testing.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  45. 28. Btw, the other comparison being made right now is between this and the Ground Zero Mosque.
    Comment by Aaron Worthing — 9/9/2010 @ 9:28 am

    — Yep. And there’s no problem with remaining consistent in opinion: they have the right to do it, but it is the wrong thing to do.

    Icy Texan (c481a1)

  46. Wow. Blocked already, or was it a cache error?

    Christian (2852e9)

  47. I’ve got a question:

    Who here thinks that having a Koran burning would be un-American? Who thinks that it smacks not only of religious intolerance and hate, but of ignorance and stupidity?

    Chris Hooten (e62bbf)

  48. Koran burning to be followed by snake handling, speaking in tongues, and first-cousin marriage.

    Cold Sock Mitten (c481a1)

  49. IMHO, most who oppose the burning have their opposition founded in fear of Muslim violence. That alone is reason enough to do it. Submission will only bring more demands and the license to do more evil against us infidels. I offend Muslims, Islam, Mohammed, their moon-god, and their operating manual by breathing. So, if you got ’em, burn ’em. We are destined to give Jesus His Big Finish; that means somebody is going to have to fight.

    twolaneflash (0cb66b)

  50. “Personally, I find both offensive and for the same reason. They insult all members of a faith.”

    Drawing Muhammed is offensive for many Muslims (certainly not all, as the practice is completely compatible with Islam itself, just not some modern interpretations of the ever changing yet supposedly unchanging religion. Kinda like Chadors and Burqas.).

    But the practice of drawing him was meant to show support for extreme speech, against death threats. While it was offensive to some Muslims, it was actually standing for something important.

    People differ as to whether or not this justifies the drawings.

    This is distinct from building a mosque on ground zero, in an extremely tolerant society. Rauf isn’t going to be killed for building it. Our government isn’t oppressing him (rather, we’re giving him a lot of money and praise). He’s doing something rude, but legal. He’s not pushing for civil rights, cause that right was never in question, just the wisdom of being a jerk.

    Burning a Koran is much more similar to the GZM than it is to drawing a cartoon in the face of evil death threats. Burning a Koran is meant to piss off Muslims, and little else. Drawing Muhammed is meant to show that many people stand alongside the original artists who are threatened with threats meant to chill any expression that conflicts with certain interpretations of Islam.

    Dustin in IE (b54cdc)

  51. The Muslims have been crying out for tolerance in their quest to build a mosque at the site of ground zero.

    Now a church pastor wants to educate the Muslims on Freedom 101. This lessons involves the mind as well as the heart. Your heart must been in tune with the Constitution of the United States that makes it possible to hold a peaceful protest and burn a book. The Koran is a book. Islam is NOT a religion but rather a political form of domination.

    Freedom 101 teaches Muslims that in a free country, one can object to the lawful acts of other that are contrary to ones own belief and still survive. It teaches that burning the Koran is not an act of violence but of protest. The church pastor has the right to protest against what he believes, or perceives, is the slow creeping nature of stealth Sharia law in America. American’s when questioned about Sharia Law, if they know what it is, would reject it soundly.

    Freedom 101 teaches that it is preferable to hold a Koran burning rather than organizing a terrorist group on Christians to secretly kill Muslims in their sleep. It is non-violent.

    And, the morning after will show that everyone has not been harmed AND the worst that could have happened is that people have thought about what they want for their country. Cowtow to the Islamic ways or celebrate the energy and strength of the freedoms we cherish within our Liberty and right to peacefully protest, as a free expression of our ideas.

    Nevertheless, if the church pastor decides he does not want to burn the Koran; he wins in a win/win because then he throws the gauntlet down directly to the imam wanting to build a mosque at ground zero. Either the imam backs down or he will face the same wrath that almost 70% of New Yorkers and Americans can muster.

    AdrianS (273eb4)

  52. Did the Founders anticipate the existence of religions that extort, by violence, compliance with their precepts?
    Comment by gp — 9/9/2010 @ 8:18 am

    — Well, the Salem Witch Trials was fairly recent history at the time of the founding.

    Icy Texan (c481a1)

  53. The guy should decide to just burn verses written on large posters. All the juicy Koranic verses. It would be interesting to see how the media reports it because I don’t think they’d even want to admit that those verses are in the Koran.

    j curtis (4b7d63)

  54. i’ll be a lot more supportive of those who want to stop this idiot from having his little stunt when i no longer read stories like this in the news.

    where is the outrage over this? where is the world condemnation?

    i call bullshit.

    Jerry Brown (fb8750)

  55. in other news today, zombie sock-puppets have been wandering all over Pattericoland after yesterday’s outbreak.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  56. MD, when a bunch of Christians in the US get together for a Koran burning, that is news! It is basically poking all Muslims in the eye. It also looks hateful and ignorant and un-American. Burning any kind of book (except matches and incense sticks) is terribly un-American. But you blame the media, instead of the crazy book burners. Basically, those nutjobs make ME, as an American, look bad with their provoking antics.

    Chris Hooten (e62bbf)

  57. I have 2 questions, or maybe 3 :

    1) By a show of hands, who thinks crissyhooten’s question was in good faith?

    2) By a show of hands, who thinks crissyhooten understands the difference between can and should, or the hypocrisy from the left on these issues?

    3) Were this not to happen, who thinks it would change The Narrative one iota?

    JD (6ca166)

  58. j curtis’s idea of a protest is excellent.

    I think it would be even better to take the ugliest fatwahs out there, or the nastier accounts of Muhammed’s life that were not in the Koran itself, and make those into posters or flags that people can burn.

    A valid reply would be to burn some of the uglier sections of other religious texts or ideas, but for the most part, modern Judaism and Christianity has evolved from much of this.

    Instead of being a protest of an entire book and religion, it would be a protest of specific ideas. I guess the only real flaw is that there would be far less media coverage, which was the name of the game the entire time.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  59. Who here thinks that having a Koran burning would be un-American? Who thinks that it smacks not only of religious intolerance and hate, but of ignorance and stupidity?
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 9/9/2010 @ 10:26 am

    — Uh, apparently YOU do.

    Icy Texan (c481a1)

  60. I do blame the media because the problem is the sensationalism and top headline characterization of the nutty preacher.

    Editors made the choice of publicizing this. It need not have been reported.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. Basically, those nutjobs make ME, as an American, look bad with their provoking antics.

    Nope! It makes America look excellent. Only a rapid anti-american or someone who recites talking points from shills wouldn’t agree.

    Think about it: Instead of cheering in the street at ‘death to America’ ‘death to Israel’ and the burning of our flags, as you would see in Iran and elsewhere, you see discourse in America.

    You see Republican leaders and Democrat leaders and tons of pundits, Christians, Muslims, and otherwise, explain that this is an unwise move to burn Korans. That’s the real story, Hooten. America is superior to the rest of the world because of this attitude. We don’t ban swastikas here, we reply to them with arguments.

    Chris Hooten sees a thread with tons of comments, links to pundits, all discussing freedom of religion and tolerance and how unwise it is to exercise a right to burn a book like this, and he also sees an extremely isolated example of an intolerant American. His conclusion is that Americans look bad?

    No, Americans and America looks freaking great in this entire episode. We can’t lose for winning.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  62. Here’s the question I have: why is this on the news?

    Comment by SPQR — 9/9/2010 @ 10:06 am

    Because of the idiot Petraeus. Did anyone else see this South Park episode?

    j curtis (4b7d63)

  63. I wish the press would be as concerned when Muslims burn Christian churches (with Christians still inside) as they pretend to be over a threatened burning of a book. They don’t even bother to report it.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  64. 1) By a show of hands, who thinks crissyhooten’s question was in good faith?
    — Do those that practice political correctness EVER act in good faith? He’s calling for a display of niceness, as opposed to a display of honesty. [Tee hee . . . “good faith”; very punny!]

    2) By a show of hands, who thinks crissyhooten understands the difference between can and should, or the hypocrisy from the left on these issues?
    — By a show of middle finger, I say he doesn’t think that “can” needs to be an option. [See: Fairness Doctrine — Support Of]

    3) Were this not to happen, who thinks it would change The Narrative one iota?
    — Of course it won’t change a thing. It’s “the hate” that is the problem; the form that the alleged hate takes just makes it more or less inflammatory. [Ha! I’m a punny guy, myself.]

    Darth Cheney (c481a1)

  65. Jeez! Sock-puppeted myself again. Me feel shame.

    Icy Texan (c481a1)

  66. Mmm, looks like the patterico comments are on the fritz again. but let me say that i don’t think chaplinsky is good law anymore. really, any decision by the same supreme court that upheld korematsu should be looked on with suspicion. For instance, if Chaplinsky is good law, then how come the SC came down in favor of burning a flag? There they were concerned with it inciting violence. i know a few veterans who would probably slug a guy for doing it. but that concern didn’t justify the ban.

    anyway, until the comments are fixed, this is likely to be my last response for a while.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  67. There seems to be little disagreement about it: the Quran burnings shouldn’t happen.

    MY main objection to it is that it makes us look EXACTLY like terrorists claim us to be. One hopes that the international media will take note and make it clear to our enemies abroad that 97% of Americans — from Beck to Obama — condemn this, while an almost equivalent number acknowledge the guy has a protected right to make a total a-hole of himself.

    Kman (d25c82)

  68. I could understand if this was done by some first amendment advocacy group or a group protesting Muslim treatment of dissent or something, but by a church?

    My savior did not die to give his followers the right to piss people off.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  69. “(CNN) — Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.”

    “The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said…”–CNN 2009

    If the U.S. military can confiscate and burn bibles, then it shouldn’t be a problem to burn Korans.

    Can’t have it both ways.

    Dave Surls (dff748)

  70. Dave, well, its similar to a point i made to a muslim who was arguing against it on another site. the man caimed a muslim was supposed to respect the bible, etc.

    So i said to him, given that there are muslim countries that ban the bible, well, what do they do with them when someone tries to bring them in? burn them? throw them in the trash, etc?

    i am guessing the bible will not be treated with very much reverence in Saudi Arabia.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  71. A.W. – I think the fundamental difference is that Xianists don’t tend to go all splodeydope when people make things like piss Christ, or confiscate Bibles, etc …

    JD (8ded14)

  72. “MY main objection to it is that it makes us look EXACTLY like terrorists claim us to be.”

    Kman – Talking point 101 FAIL. We cannot control Islamist propaganda. Why try? The pants pissing that you and Hooten are going through that the actions of a nutbag pastor with a tiny congregation in Florida represent the attitudes of all Americans is ridiculous on its face. There is no need to continue aiding and abetting the media and Islamic narrative on that.

    Are anti-war protests un-American when we have troops fighting abroad? Many people would make that analogy to the one you are making in trying to shut down the pastor’s right to protest.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  73. Why is it that the FBI thinks this is their business to go interview the preacher?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  74. I didn’t care for the (federal government sponsored) “Art” of shit on Jesus. I thought it wrong, offensive and ill-advised. It was heavily defended by the left as an act of “courage”.

    I came around to the belief that our rights (of speech) include such offensive acts.

    I still don’t agree that federal aid should subsidize such acts.

    Now in this case – well, I guess we have such rights. Yes it might be offensive.

    What is the position of the left on this act, which is not much different from the Jesus “art”?

    How have our rights changed from then to now?

    Those who are offended: do they understand and acknowledge our rights to freedom of speech? Even in the face of offense?

    John Lynch (7fb472)

  75. Horatio #13 – you are being a tad hard on the Aztecs, at least from a theological perspective …

    Under Aztec theology, a conquered people/tribe had no problems continuing to worship their own Deity/Deities – as long as they erected (I think it was ) two temples, one to each of the principal Aztec Deities – Huitzilopochtli is one, and I seem to remember Tlaloc as the other … (this didn’t stop the Aztecs from demanding tribute, nor from sacrificing human captives – so, all in all, not good to have as neighbours) … when comparing with Islam, how many Synagogues or Churches are there in Mecca or Medina ?

    (I’m not sure which is more cruel – beheading with a dull blade, or cutting open the chest with a *very* sharp obsidian blade to remove the still-beating heart)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  76. There is no need to continue aiding and abetting the media and Islamic narrative on that.

    But crissyhooten and kman like aiding Teh Narrative. Teh Narrative gives them the basis for the cartoon caricatures they argue with.

    SPQR – Apparently Gibbs thinks this is something the government should get involved in. The 9/11 Debris Field and Body Parts not Mosque but community outreach center, not so much, they couldn’t even give an opinion as to whether or not it should be done.

    JD (8ded14)

  77. JD you said a mouthful here:

    > Apparently Gibbs thinks this is something the government should get involved in. The 9/11 Debris Field and Body Parts not Mosque but community outreach center, not so much, they couldn’t even give an opinion as to whether or not it should be done.

    At my blog I show how obambi himself decided to comment on the wisdom of this thing, but not on the GZM. And better yet, the imam of the GZM shows himself to be a hypocrite when asked about the koran burning.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  78. A.W. – Didn’t that nice sweet kind uber-moderate Imam say that he would have never selected that site if he had known how much opposition there was to it, despite having intentionally picked it out because of its proximity to Ground Zero, but now it must be built, or the terrorists will win?

    JD (8ded14)

  79. The pants pissing that you and Hooten are going through that the actions of a nutbag pastor with a tiny congregation in Florida represent the attitudes of all Americans is ridiculous on its face.

    To US, it is ridiculous. But to those uneducated people who live in impoverished war-town countries, not so much.

    It’s Bull Connor and the German Shepards all over again.

    Kman (d25c82)

  80. I say more power to the guy. So he’s burning a book. Big deal.

    Thomas (4f3421)

  81. Oh, those “others” are too fukking stupid to be as brilliant as kman. Hyperbole much, troll?

    JD (8ded14)

  82. Bull Conner was a Dem, by the way. 😉

    JD (8ded14)

  83. JD

    I think his exact words were, “sensitivity toward me, but not toward thee.”

    (okay, i made that up.)

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  84. A.W. – Do you have links to your Draw the Prophet Mohammed the Pedophile Stickfigure Day?

    JD (8ded14)

  85. I can’t post it here. i have been getting caught in the spam filter for doing so.

    But i think if you google: “everyone draw mohammed blogspot” you will get it pretty quickly. or just drop me an email.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  86. Everyone Draw Muhammad link (I’m not joking).

    Hope that helps. Aaron, maybe you could remember that TinyURL if that’s helpful to you.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  87. Insult the practitioners of a faith that follows the teachings of a child molester? Insult the practitioners of a faith that deigns to kill me? OH NO!

    Grow some balls and stand up straight. You’re about to fall over.

    likwidshoe (681dea)

  88. People act like these poop eaters are people. They are creatures without souls, like strippers. I say burn that crap on every channel. You don’t like that, Mohammod Akbar Dirk Dirka? FKN do something about it.

    These idiots will do whatever they want. Just being infidels is enough. Nothing we do matters one way or the other. I’d rather piss them off than kiss their ass. FK em

    Bradnsa (980254)

  89. Btw, big update. Cnn’s claiming the burning has been called off.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  90. Dustin

    thanks for the assist. i think even a tiny url might get me in the spam filter right now. if i even understood how they worked. which when it comes to computers, i am a pretty good lawyer. 😉

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  91. Odd Obama had no opinion on the wisdom of the GZ Victory Mosque, but says it’s wise to not burn the Koran … I wonder who is being played here.

    Is everything about our dear reader just a form of shuck and jive act?

    tarpon (0d210f)

  92. Lan Asteslem-Burn the rants and ravings of a pedophile war-monger.

    pitchforkntorches (888cb1)

  93. My God’s better than your God;
    My God’s greater than yours;
    My God’s greater ’cause He gets Ken-L-Ration
    My God’s better than yours.

    DCSCA (52531d)

  94. I just read also that Reverend Jones has just cancelled the Quran burning in favor of a deal with Imam Rauf to discuss moving the mosque away from Ground Zero.

    But reading comments that have been printed in Yahoo! and other sites, there seems to be no shortage of people who still intend to burn Qurans even if Reverend Jones doesn’t.

    I’m sure this would have mushroomed sooner or later. But now that Reverend Jones is reinstituting a practice best left to such pogroms as the Spanish Inquisition and those inspired by the Malleus Mallificorum. Of course, we have seen book-burnings, mostly in the South, at various times in U.S. history through which anything outside the perceived societal “norm,” from Evolution to the Beatles, have been targets.

    It’s pretty disturbing chatter to me who has always considered all books worthy to be kept, though some figuratively to be tasted, some to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested. It’s beyond hatemongering. It’s just plain senseless, regardless of one’s religious persuasion. Regardless of what Reverend Jones does, he may have already opened the floodgates of a new tit-for-tat in the world in an already tense milieu that can easily erupt into new levels of violence.

    I’d hate to eat Reverend Jone’s karma for burning another religion’s sacred texts. Unfortuanately, many of us probably will unwittingly at any rate.

    Lynnea Urania Stuart (72e337)

  95. As long as you label it “religion” everything is equal; eh, Disco Stu?

    Icy Texan (3de701)

  96. If you burn the Koran you are an infidel and deserve death.

    Barak the magic Muslim (bb8267)

  97. The loveliest sound on Earth is the call to prayer in the morning.

    The second loveliest sound on Earth is the sound of infidels apologizing and bending over backward to not offend muslims even while we try to kill you.

    Barack the magic Muslim (bb8267)

  98. And now Westboro Baptist will burn the Korans now that the other guy says he won’t.
    I don’t think it’s wise to burn the Koran. I did think that the “Everybody Draw Mohammed” day was different. There is no clear cut verse in the Koran that forbids drawings of him, as was brought up earlier. Responding with a show of freedom and a determination to not be threatened is different than seeking out publicity to create a kerfuffle of your very own.

    Vivian Louise (c7cad6)

  99. I wouldn’t have suggested burning Korans. Hadn’t thought of it. If I had….
    Innyhoo, at this point, we have a couple of lessons which can be taught, depending.
    One is, this is a free country and we get to burn what we like. You don’t get to kill anybody over it.
    Or, threats make us curl up and whimper.

    Richard Aubrey (2bb955)

  100. Well, thank God that there is a backup church on standby!

    Icy Texan (3de701)

  101. Basically, those nutjobs make ME, as an American, look bad with their provoking antics.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 9/9/2010 @ 10:37 am

    So why do you complain when people claim that all Muslims look bad because some of them do provocative/violent things in the name of their religion? They’re just doing what you just did.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  102. Stashiu3, ah my friend, you’ve been Hootenized.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  103. It’s off…it’s on. It’s a clusterfark, as Allahpundit says. Hotair has all the crazy updates. Trump is involved! Maybe he should have them all on Celebrity Apprentice. Here comes the USC Marching Band! (just kidding)

    Patricia (358f54)

  104. 55.MD, when a bunch of Christians in the US get together for a Koran burning, that is news! It is basically poking all Muslims in the eye. It also looks hateful and ignorant and un-American. Burning any kind of book (except matches and incense sticks) is terribly un-American. But you blame the media, instead of the crazy book burners.
    Comment by Chris Hooten

    If interested in understanding my point, please reread the post. My main point, as almost always on this topic, is that there is plenty of blame to go around. If people worried about doing the responsible thing themselves instead of pointing fingers, there are multiple ways violence would be avoided. I don’t agree with the Koran burning, I didn’t agree with everyone draw Mohmmed. I see the point some make on why the two are different, but I’m not convinced. My point about the MSM was not to remove responsibility from the Koran burners, but to point out that the finger pointers have their own actions to be accountable for also. If they felt they had to cover it, it could have been, “In case you haven’t heard it already, there is a pastor in Florida planning on burning Korans on the anniversary of 9/11. We don’t think it’s a good idea, neither do the majority of the American people.” They could have left it at that and moved on.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  105. If somebody burns a koran, the terro err.. moderate muslims have won.

    If we bend over backwards to accomodate Islam, the terror err… moderate muslims have won.

    Heads you win, tails I lose.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  106. How many Quran’s were burned on Sept. 10, 2001?

    Robert L (289502)

  107. I’ve been wondering how long it will take before Christians, Bhuddists, Sihks, and Jews figure out this is a great way to keep people from mocking their religions. Now that people see physical threats work, I’m wondering when we’ll see counter threats and follow up violence elsewhere.

    Jeff M (0204be)

  108. Muslims are on notice. They worry. They should. American is no place for Sharia law. Our Constitution will persevere and we will always defend it. Watch out for Muslims. They seek in the open or with stealth to sneak their Islamic ways into America. And Americans overwhelmingly reject this; nip it in the bud.

    There are only less than .01 percent Muslims in America. Americans can now turn their attention to rejecting Sharia law and watching out for Muslims.

    AdrianS (273eb4)

  109. In the Middle East, there are many cartoons, critical of Israel, that depict Israel as a stereotypical Jewish caricature with a long beard and a hooked nose. Such cartoons have the effect of alienating Jews who might not agree with Israel’s policies, as they could reasonably be construed as defamation of the Jewish people.

    How then, are the public burning of Qurans different from those defamatory cartoons featuring stereotypical Jewish caricatures?
    Bill Levinson explains it in his article.

    And as he points out:

    Suppose for example that people who are outraged over Fred Phelps’ picketing of soldier funerals burned New Testaments or trampled on crosses as opposed to, for example, desecrating pictures of Phelps and his family. Do you think this would be fair to your organization’s members?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  110. Clearly, the correct course of action to to place an image of Mohammad in a jar of urine and display it in a Museum. It’s already been established that this sort of thing is entirely above-board and that it not only runs afoul of no laws, it’s practically required by the Constitution.

    At least it did when the figure was of Jesus.

    Subotai (d494eb)

  111. I’ve been wondering how long it will take before Christians, Bhuddists, Sihks, and Jews figure out this is a great way to keep people from mocking their religions. Now that people see physical threats work, I’m wondering when we’ll see counter threats and follow up violence elsewhere.

    You’re assuming that it is the violence which is being deferred to, rather than the people engaging in it. Bad assumption.

    Subotai (d494eb)

  112. Trailer trash threaten to burn Korans, camel molesters upset.

    Yawn.

    nk (db4a41)

  113. As a sidenote, I thought I heard something that there was a city ordinance that would make it illegal to burn a Koran, because it just wasn’t paper, but paper with ink on it, and who knows what deadly things will happen when ink burns. Anyone else hear that?

    I heard the city passed that ordinance specifically to stop the Koran burning. I read that, along with the following, at Diane West’s site.


    City of Gainesville has denied the church a burn permit.

    RBC Bank has called in its mortgage on the property, meaning that there is now a limited time to pay it off.

    Cotton All-Lines Insurance has cancelled its commercial insurance policy on the church property, which puts the mortgage into immediate default.

    And a commenter at Lawrence Auster’s View from the Right notes that Dove World’s internet provider Rackspace shut down the Dove World church website.

    These are the sorts of things which the Ruling Class could do, if they wished, to persuade the mosque builders to build someplace else. It’s revealing to see who these tactics get used on instead.

    Subotai (d494eb)

  114. It galls some of us that beyond the issues of free speech with expressions such as Christ crucified sitting in a jar of urine or the BVM covered with cow dung, liberals demand that taxpayers support this “art” through the NEA. If the so-called art was any good, why isn’t it commercially viable? Why must taxpayers support the “talented” artistes?

    What would the Religion of Peace do if the rest of world united told them to feck off? Since the evil Bushhitler proceeded to make war with peace-loving Hussein over oil, why don’t we ever profit from it with lower gasoline prices? I don’t know why one option with assclowns such as monkey boy Chavez or ImADamnNutJob is not assassination on the sly. Yeah, I guess the efforts to ice Fidel show how impotent our clandestine services are and there are “laws” against it now.
    In any case perhaps someone can make the case why Saudi students are allowed freedom to plan attacks in our country.
    Liberal feminazi-type acquaintances insist that we must respect Muslim culture and if muslim women are so unhappy with their own treatment, surely they can insist on changes. Oh, they could withhold their favors from their husbands. No doubt that would force change? Indubitably.

    aoibhneas (798aba)

  115. The calling-off has been called off.

    htom, not a professional (be9437)

  116. yeah, wow, what a complete mess. I have given up following it, and just link to hot air.

    I am really beginning to think this pastor is crazy like a fox. I think he concieved this whole thing to slant the debate on the ground zero mosque. he has certainly succeeded in making both Obama and feisel look like idiots, which admittedly might not be hard.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  117. It’s called ‘holding up a mirror’, Aaron. Not very hard at all — unless you’re a navel-gazing MSM twit, that is.

    Icy Texan (d61420)

  118. Can’t the administration just find some activist atheist judge in California to declare any Koran burning by any church in the state of Florida to be unconstitutional or against some other law? And then maybe nominate Obama for another Nobel peace prize? Wouldn’t that be an easier way to solve all our problems? /snark off

    elissa (0c0773)

  119. To top it all off, Donald Trump randomly shows up in this already crowded scene:

    NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s offer to buy an investor’s stake where a mosque is planned near ground zero is falling flat.

    Wolodymyr Starosolsky is a lawyer for the investor in the real estate partnership that controls the site. He says Trump’s offer is “just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”

    In a letter released Thursday by Trump’s publicist, Trump told Hisham Elzanaty he would buy his stake in the lower Manhattan building for 25 percent more than whatever he paid.

    Trump says he’s making the offer not because he thinks the location is spectacular, but because it would end “a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation.”

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  120. Trailer trash threaten to burn Korans, camel molesters upset.

    While many liberals play the role of “useful idiot.”

    One good and ironic thing out of all this — assuming current trends of political correctness run amok and “turning the other cheek” reach a logical (or illogical) dead-end — is if the peculiarly ultra-rightist nature of Islam has a field day over the soft-headed, gullible leftism of the Western World.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  121. Koran burned, Alluh Akbar.

    HeavenSent (e230a5)

  122. I saw Islamic Rage Boy on TV tonight in the warmups for this weekend’s rioting.

    So all the usual suspects have now assembled.

    Chris Christie (358f54)

  123. The American Government’s response to the proposed Koran burning has proven that we are losing the war. Remember after 9/11 all that claims of “if we do X, the terrorists have won”? Well, if our highest elected leaders feel it is necessary to grovel in front of the world to appease Muslims and avoid offending Muslims, then the terrorist have indeed won. Their violent acts have cowed America to the point that our president will drop everything and beg an unknown pastor, of a tiny church, with few followers, to refrain from engaging in the exercise of his 1st amendment rights. And, at the same time, this same president will support building a victory mosque at ground zero.

    How can we claim that the terrorists have not won? We are fast sliding into dhimmnitude. It is hard to deny that we are doing everything in our power to appease Muslims in every facet of our national life. No other group, religion, or ideology gets such treatment from the government.

    People can make the claims of “we shouldn’t needlessly provoke” Muslims, or that book burning is inherently wrong – but those are merely rationalizations. When it was simply some private citizens voicing such concerns to other private citizens I agreed with it. When it becomes government policy – and they have leaned heavily on this pastor (FBI visits, calls, public statements literally claiming soldier deaths will be his fault) – it goes too far by half.

    First, burning books is not inherently bad. If a government burns books, it is censorship, and is bad. When a person burns books belonging to someone else, it is theft or destruction of property and is bad. When a person burns a book in a physically dangerous way, such that they may start some other fire it is bad.

    But when a person burns their own book in a safe way, it is not inherently wrong. It does not censor anything, it hurts no one, and the book – thanks to the ease and cheapness of publishing – is not in danger of disappearing. Instead it is simply symbolic and has meaning only to those who give it meaning.

    Second, provocation has a long tradition in this and other countries. Muslims provoke everyone throughout the world. They threaten violence constantly. They burn and destroy other religions’ symbols as official government policy (Saudi Arabia, and other countries). They refuse religious freedom in their own countries and kill apostates in other countries. They commit terrorist acts. They refuse to assimilate (taxi cab drivers refusing to take people with bottles of alcohol or guide dogs). They provoke in many other ways (ground zero mosque).

    Other religions and ideologies are constantly provoked in America (Piss Christ anyone?). Mormons support Proposition 8 in California and are called haters for following the commands of their religion. Is that not religious provocation. Muslims stone homosexuals to death and are called the religion of peace.

    Conservatives cannot state an opinion without a leftist calling them fascists. Is that not unreasonable provocation? There are disgusting attack ads in politics – remember the Texas murder dragging ad that implied Bush was in favor of such things?

    A large political organization – MoveOn.org – took out a full page ad in the NY Times calling General Patreaus a liar and a betrayer of his country. Was that not provocation?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly print and distribute tracts accusing the Catholic Church and the Pope of being in league with the devil, among other things. Is that not provocation?

    To claim that we should refrain in this one instance – to protect the fragile egos of Muslims, reeks of appeasement and servitude.

    To claim that we should refrain in order to avoid violence is the worst kind of appeasement. We are giving them power to further their agenda by doing what they want based on their threats of violence. Isn’t this why U.S. policy is allegedly never to negotiate with terrorists? Won’t they simply commit more violence once they realize how well their tactics are working?

    It is repugnant that a U.S. General would lay blame for U.S. deaths at the feet of someone burning the Koran when they would never do the same to the NY Times printing classified materials, or the left having protests against the war and telling troops to kill their officers or go AWOL.

    It is repugnant that a President would get involved with a private citizen exercising his 1st amendment rights in front of the world, when he would not do the same to protect any other religion or group from insult.

    Muslims also don’t like homosexuality, women uncovered, being another religion, or Jews and the state of Israel. Should we prohibit all of these things to avoid giving Muslims offense? Where is this line drawn? What other special rights do Muslims get in this country that you and I are not worthy of?

    This does not mean you have to agree with burning books, or that you have to do it. But for the Government to react as it did is outrageous and dangerous. It is placing the beliefs of Muslims against the beliefs of every other kind of American. It is making Islamic law de facto law in the U.S.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  124. OK, it’s pretty generally agreed that this pastor is an idiot. As a pastor myself, I would not do this. It would be counterproductive to my own purpose.

    On the other hand, as an American citizen I might think about it. I wonder if we could turn this around? Instead of us worrying that something we might do or say will offend Muslims and make them violent – why not reverse the order? We can threaten the Muslims that every time they do something to offend us we’ll burn a Koran.

    Watch out! For every soldier killed in Afghanistan, we’ll burn another Koran. If you burn a flag in front of an embassy, we’ll burn a Koran. If you stone a woman to death in Iran, we’ll strip Korans from libraries – tie them to stakes in the city park – and throw stones at them!

    I know. Won’t work. But it would put a different shape to this debate, wouldn’t it?

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  125. I think it is a great idea to let the reactions of splodeydopes guide our government’s actions.

    JD (ff08c4)

  126. The Ass-in-chief holds forth.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/09/obama-we-have-to-make-sure-that-we-dont-start-turning-on-each-other/1

    “And, you know, when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?”–Obambi

    When the federal government not only tolerates, but actually subsidizes immersing crucifixes in urine at the same time that perpetual juveniles masquerading as presidents tell us that we dare not do anything that might offend followers of a child-molestor fake prophet, what are they saying to us?

    Dave Surls (654c08)

  127. Certain parts of their religious texts, laws and practices ARE offensive, Mr. President. And not necessarily offensive to Christians in particular, but offensive to Americans in general.

    The POTUS sounds like one of our troll-bots here. As long as it falls under the banner of religious practice it is subject to a hands-off approach due to the respecting of religious freedom. Call it faith-based diplomatic immunity, I guess.

    Icy Texan (d61420)

  128. I’m very perplexed and saddened by this recent fixation on symbols rather than on reality. From burning Korans to the placement of buildings, we are obsessed with symbolic actions. I don’t think it bodes well.

    libarbarian (90bd00)

  129. So libarbarian doesn’t see any reason to oppose burning Korans.

    It’s not ‘reality’, but rather a strange fixation, for people to point out things they find rude.

    S/he’s sad.

    I’m sure a lot of people at book burnings in history have shared libarbarian’s attitude. Why cry about something so silly as a burned book? It’s just a symbol.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  130. for the first time in my adult like i think i agree with pastor jones…yes f*k those jihadists!!

    No-bs! (6e616b)

  131. @130 aaarrgh…life, not like.

    No-bs! (6e616b)

  132. “Why cry about something so silly as a burned book?”

    Well, if you burn a copy of “Valley of the Dolls”, I’m not going to get all worked up about it.

    Most written material is absolute worthless crap when you get right down to it.

    There isn’t anything wrong with burning it, if you ask me.

    Dave Surls (b73d31)


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