Why I Posted The Video and Asked The Question

9 Sep

Well, many people were interested in the video or at least the title of the post “Burning the Quran” but nobody attempted a public answer of my public question.  In any event, some have asked me for my thoughts and, naturally, I’m happy to give them.  To begin, what this Florida Pastor is doing, that is, Burning Qurans, is mean spirited and a generally enthusiastic, that is, unreflective, manner of action.

But he still retains the right as a US Citizen to dispose of his property in a manner of his choosing.  Similar misguided actions, such as abolitionists burning the constitution as a “slave document’ or Vietnam protesters burning the flag were also maligned (correctly so) but none of those people suffered unjustly through the loss of their property, that is, through the loss of their life, liberty or possessions.  If this man were to do so and suffered a loss of life, liberty or property, and the authorities either looked away or cared little, that would mark, in my opinion, a distinct change in the tenor of our political freedom.  The Mohammedan’s demand for respect of the image of Mohammed and for their holy book, respect that comes with the threat and oftentimes promise of force, is wholly incompatible with western ideals.  They have set an international standard, “if you do this, expect violence.”  Our pundits and society at large find it excusable because we do not hold this religious sect to the same standards, in effect we feel obligated to this religion because of our military presence in its cultural centers.  If the wars are justified, our acquiescence is not.  If the wars are not justified, our presence in those cultural centers is fallacious.  Therefore General Petraeus, who presumable feels the wars are justified, along with the Obama administration, who also claims the war in Afghanistan is just, display the new weakness of the west when they allow Islamic elements to make demands on our propriety, demands which we would allow no other people or sect to make.  Violent actions in reaction to a legal action are never justifiable and no legal action should be discouraged because someone might act unlawfully.  This gives victory to those who would subvert the law.  This is essentially what is occurring on an international level.  Major news outlets, even comedy central, censor material in order to appease the lawlessness of Islamic elements.*  This is unacceptable and a very real threat to American law.

I do not support this pastor in his actions of burning the Quran, but I respect his right to do so.  And no man should be deterred from disposing of his property in a lawful manner by threats of unlawful violence.

Our law, in our land, is supreme.  Any attempt at subversion of this law, no matter what guise the wolf puts on, is completely unacceptable.

*It is the right of those news agencies and private corporations to censor material they own.  Yet, how long before such a censorship becomes habitual to the citizenry of the US and finds expression in governmental censorship?

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8 Responses to “Why I Posted The Video and Asked The Question”

  1. michael September 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    “Similar misguided actions, such as abolitionists burning the constitution as a “slave document’ or Vietnam protesters burning the flag were also maligned (correctly so) but none of those people suffered unjustly through the loss of their property, that is, through the loss of their life, liberty or possessions.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Mumford

    http://civilliberty.about.com/od/freespeech/p/flagburning.htm

    http://civil-rights.lawyers.com/Flag-Burning-and-Desecrating.html

    http://www.esquilax.com/flag/chronlog.shtml

    • Cole September 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Your meaning is unclear.

  2. popsalicious September 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I don’t think anyone is saying he doesn’t have a right to burn the Qur’an. The objection is that he’s being a total and complete asshole. We’re never going to have laws that keep people from being assholes, America is founded on our rights to be assholes, but when being an asshole is most likely going to get another troop killed in Afghanistan who maybe wouldn’t have had to die that day, it seem’s like it’s fine to curtail your civil liberty of being an asshole and try to be a decent guy. The “Mohammedan” demand for respect is not at all against Western ideals. You remember the huge outcry when a few years back some modern artist painted the Virgin Mary with elephant feces? Christians prefer that things like that not happen. Muslims prefer that their holy book not be burned. And respect for the image of Mohammed is based on the idea that Islam doesn’t follow the worship of idols, so no depiction of Mohammed or Allah should be worshiped or given as characteristic of Islam. That’s a kind of religious enlightenment that other “Western” religions completely lack, and I think it’s respectable. I don’t think the news outlets censor themselves out of a fear of attack, they do it to not be huge assholes. This dove pastor guy is being an asshole and he knows it. He’s said that he’s gotten death threats and is carrying a pistol. No one is arguing that his murder would be legal, and it would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is no indication that it would be otherwise, your fear is baseless. There is, however, a definite indication that people completely uninvolved in his actions could die because of him. So how about instead of making them unwilling martyrs for the crappy side of freedom of speech, the side that almost makes people regret that freedom of speech is enshrined in the Constitution, how about the dove pastor just quits being an asshole?

    I also missed your point about the Afghanistan War.

    • Cole September 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

      Interpol issued a global alert Thursday to its 188 members countries, stating that there is a “strong likelihood of violent attacks on innocent people” if the Florida pastor follows through.

      “Although there are currently no specific details as to what forms of terror attacks would follow, what is clear is if the Koran burning goes ahead as planned, there will be tragic consequences, ones which may well claim the lives of many innocent people,” Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said in a written statement.

      This is what is at issue. Ought we curtail the lawful disposal of property due to the threat of unlawful violence? Quite literally, are we to sacrifice our liberty to religious enthusiasm?

  3. popsalicious September 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    It wouldn’t be sacrificing to religious enthusiasm but to the fact that other people will be just as big assholes as this guy. And in this case, yes, he should sacrifice his right to lawfully dispose of property. His action is not motivated by anything worthy of any of the lives he may cause to be lost. I don’t even see how he came up with burning the Qur’an as being symbolic of telling the Islamic Fundamentalists that they need to change what they’re doing. There is no logical connection. It’s like I’d tell an alcoholic to quit being an alcoholic by me peeing on his house. What do those two things have to do with one another? What is the causal relationship between those? Nothing, and there is none. This dumb asshole got in way over his head with his foolish, unthoughtful, and hateful idea to burn some holy books, to which he’s now cooked up a threadbare excuse in an effort not to look like a complete moron (which isn’t working). He has no good reason to burn the Qur’an on 9/11. He’s doing a disservice to himself, his country, and the men and women oversees who are fighting to protect America and the very civil liberties that he’s going to be killing them with for no good reason. He shouldn’t abuse those civil liberties like this.

  4. Paul Thompson September 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Doing something that might endanger the lives of your countrymen, namely the army, should be treasonous. If a huge group of Americans burn the Qur’an I imagine a huge group of Muslims will be pissed off at us. The same way I’m pissed off when I see people burning our flag.

    Also Americans burning flags to protest or whatever should be illegal.

  5. Paul Thompson September 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    (Of course I don’t know where to draw the line. I fully supported South Park for its portrayal of Muhammad in a bear costume for similar reasons to what you’re arguing. That and it was funny.)

  6. twodollarproject September 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    They came first for the Flag burners,
    and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t burn flags.

    Then they came for the Koran burners,
    and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t burn Korans.

    Then they came for the political cartoonists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a cartoonist.

    Then they came for me,
    and by that time no one was ALLOWED to speak up.

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