Alex Blaze

2010, and book-burning is still happening

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 08, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Anderson Cooper, book-burning, burn, Gainesville, islam, Koran, Quran

By now you're probably read that pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, plans to hold a Quran burning day in his church in order to protest the fact that Islam exists. And that's not where the idiocy ends in this story.

Jones, you may remember, got some attention in the LGBTQ media when his church put up a sign that said "No Homo Mayor" earlier this year. And if you need any more proof that the War on Islam that the (Christian) Right is engaged in has nothing to do with advancing liberal values like rights for gays and women, no matter their attempts to sell us their various battles with "Muslims are worse than us," then here's a video officially "endorsed" by Terry Jones and produced by his church where they explain just what they think about the homosexuals:

This is, for all intents and purposes, a Farhenheit 451-esque book-burning that's not about attacking power but about attacking ideas. While the particular ideas in question, in both the Bible and the Quran, run counter to secular, liberal values that would make us oppose book-burning, the entire point of having an open society is that people are allowed to question the openness of that society and that they will basically learn the value of that freedom by experiencing it instead of by being told over and over that it's good for them, but that they can't handle it themselves.

Jones said he knows his action will "offend," but that he's going to do it anyway. His message is basically that of opponents of free thought everywhere:

The center says it was founded in 1986 as a "total concept church for the rich, the poor, the young and the old." Its purpose is to "stand up for righteousness and for the truth of the Bible." It stresses that "Christians must return to the truth and stop hiding."

"We need to speak up against sin and call the people to repentance. Abortion is murder. Homosexuality is sin. We need to call these things what they are and bring the world the true message: that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life," it says on the church's website.

It also emphasizes its dislike of Islam, and on its website, it blog posts an item called "Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran.

"Any religion which would profess anything other than this truth is of the devil. This is why we also take a stand against Islam, which teaches that Jesus is not the Son of God, therefore taking away the saving power of Jesus Christ and leading people straight to Hell," the site says.

Jones also told CNN that he's OK with Muslims in America, so long as they "observe the Constitution and don't try to impose Sharia law." This man lacks his faculty of self-awareness, as Biblical law is completely impose-able according to him.

Anyway, such stupidity, in American politics, can only precipitate more stupidity. General David Petraeus, advocate of perpetual war in Afghanistan, had this to say about the Koran burning:

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Petraeus told the Wall Street Journal. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."

You know what else is "the kind of action the Taliban uses"? Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, our bombings in Pakistan and Yemen, and our funding of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Oh, and torture, indefinite imprisonment, extraordinary rendition, Abu Ghraib....

And what else "endangers troops"? How about their presence in these senseless wars?

But some two-bit pastor in Florida burning a Quran? How about this: we stop our wars in various Muslim countries and we respect everyone's basic human rights and we see how much the people of Afghanistan care about Terry Jones burning a Quran. Just as an experiment.

Otherwise, it does kind of look like a government official is again using national security as an excuse to squelch a speech act. And, like a good little establishment toadie, Anderson Cooper here asks Jones if he cares about the troops:

The cycle of stupid is complete.

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"We're not killing anyone... we're just burning a book..."

Somehow I doubt he'd say the same thing if someone proposed a Bible burning...

This story made my head explode. Thanks for sharing this with the world. We need to pay attention.

I hope Gainesville, Florida gets a thunderstorm (I mean, a real one) on Saturday --- think of all the religious propaganda that the Muslims could make out of that.

You hit the nail on the head with these comments:

"You know what else is 'the kind of action the Taliban uses'? Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, our bombings in Pakistan and Yemen, and our funding of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Oh, and torture, indefinite imprisonment, extraordinary rendition, Abu Ghraib...."

"And what else 'endangers troops'? How about their presence in these senseless wars?"

Thank you!

9/11 might never have happened if we had just kept our paws out of everybody else's business in the Middle East. The huge federal deficit created by such meddling could have been avoided, our current economic crisis might never have happened and 5,000 U.S. soldiers would still be alive today.

As long as we continue to practice these policies, we will continue to run the risk of further Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil.

These people really do get to me, but the worst is a military official telling a civilian to shut up because he's putting the troops at risk. Their motivation is never pure, even if they seem like they're on our side.