Terry Jones, Koran burning and Constitutional rights (Update)
I don’t know what to say about this goof except in this country, he has every right to do what he’s doing.
I may not like it (I don’t like the “piss Christ” or Westboro Baptist Church either), I may not support it, I may see it as unnecessary and inflammatory to some, but then the same can be said of my other two examples as well. His activities provide no more of a provocation than do the examples.
One of the tough things about rights and freedoms is they also apply to actions we don’t like (as long as they don’t violate any caveats to those rights).
Many here would like to liken this yahoo’s conduct to shouting fire in a crowded theater. I don’t buy it. Shouting fire in a crowded theater can cause panic and irrational behavior by people in the theater because of lack of information and fear for one’s life. It is an immediate response to an immediate action. Panic ensues, people rush to limited exits all at one time and some get crushed or trampled. It can cause immediate death and injury.
There’s no such parallel in this this story as far as I can see. Trust me, I’m not at all pleased by the deaths of UN workers in Afghanistan, but it was at the hands of a mob that was whipped up there (not by the act in FL at the time it occurred) and chose – important word – to react murderously. That’s right, they chose to attack people who had absolutely nothing to do with the event in Florida well after the deed was done.
Others want to invoke “fighting words” as a reason to shut Terry Jones down. Uh, no. The only “fighting words” I can imagine came from whomever it was in Afghanistan that whipped that crowd into its murderous frenzy. My guess is most in the crowd had never before heard of Terry Jones or his deed until that day. And my guess is the incitement took place in a mosque.
Don’t mistake this for a defense of Terry Jones. I think he’s a waste of protoplasm. And I think what he is doing adds nothing positive to the world around us. But –and again, this is the hard part – he has every right to do it.
I’ll continue to denounce him and would be glad to tell him to his face that his actions are harmful to both people and the cause he supposedly represents – Christianity.
I doubt he’d listen. Zealots never do. But as long as he confines himself to the activities he has so far, it’s his right as an American to continue to do them despite how others in the world choose to react to them.
UPDATE: Figures (debt, deficit, out of control spending, over regulation, ObamaCare – all taken care of I suppose):
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.
"Ten to 20 people have been killed," Reid said on "Face the Nation," but refused to say flat-out that the Senate would pass a resolution condemning pastor Terry Jones.
"We’ll take a look at this of course…as to whether we need hearings or not, I don’t know," he added.
Here, Harry, let me help you out:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first five words (the fourth one in particular) are all Congress needs to know about this.