Well, Terry Jones just couldn't help himself. After promising that "not today, not ever" would he carry out his dumb shit ploy to burn the Quran on the anniversary of September 11th, Terry Jones, like any good man of God, broke that promise. On March 20th, he put the Quran on "trial," found it guilty and then through a multiple choice questionnaire, found that it should be sentenced to burning.
No, I'm serious. About 30 people attended the event live, where Pastor Terry Jones supervised Pastor Wayne Sapp burning the Quran, after finding the holy book "guilty of crimes." But wait, it gets better: apparently, just to be fair, there was a Dallas Imam present at the burning to act as the defense for...a god damn book. Surprisingly, he didn't win, and members of Jones' congregation chose from four sentences, after deliberating for less than 8 minutes: burning, shredding, grounding or firing squad. I personally think firing squad would have been more creative. Would they have gotten a little blindfold for the book? How many people would have been in the firing squad?
As it happened, they just doused the little fucker with kerosene and set it on fire with a grill lighter - how charmingly southern. At the time, there was no media coverage of the event, leaving it to Jones himself to spread the word about his hateful extracurricular activities. Having his actions condemned by everyone from President Obama to General Patreus, and defense secretary Robert Gates, stating that such a stunt could risk the lives of NATO forces in the Middle East, Jones went ahead and not only burned the book but put it up on facebook, YouTube and any other social media site he could find. Thus forcing his escapades onto the international media stage, and so surprisingly, causing an uproar in the Middle East.
On Friday, hundreds of demonstrators marched towards the UN headquarters in the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Aside from burning effigies of Jones and the American flag, the protesters stormed the UN building, killing 10 foreign staff members, beheading two of the victims, and killing five Afghans. At least 24 people were injured.
Meanwhile, Jones takes no credit for the violent uprisings in Afghanistan, saying that "We find it very tragic any time that someone is murdered but we do not feel any responsibility for that. It definitely does indicate that there is a very radical element of Islam."
Hmmm...I wonder what Terry Jones calls his "element" of Christianity...
Bottom line, both sides have radicals. Actually, every religion with a book as contradictory as the Bible, Quran or Torah will house extremists from both sides. And as I've said before, the violent, insane extremists tend to make the most noise and the most trouble.
Take this for example, from the Bible:
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you"
Awww, how sweet.
How about this, also from the Bible (also of the Torah) (and ironically also the home of the 10 commandments, of which one is Thou Shalt not Kill): "and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy" (Deuteronomy 7:1-5)
From the Quran: "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds. (The Quran, 5:28)
Also from the Quran: "Fight them (unbelievers) until persecution is no more and the religion of Allah reigns supreme.”
(The Quran 8:39)
Hmmmm....getting some mixed messages here too.
However, having read most of all three texts (New and Old Testament and the Quran), I have to say that the Quran is the least violent of all. The bible enjoys reveling in violence, relishing each detail. For example, there's no passage in the Quran detailing the night long gang rape of a girl. There is in the Bible. And in the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, prohibited the killing of women and children. Interestingly enough, if Jesus were around to ask, I don't think he'd be a big fan of it either...but therein lies the trouble.
All of these books are so hypocritical. They solemnly declare one thing and then completely contradict it only a few passages later. They allow people to pick and choose what to believe, what to take as gospel and what to cast aside. They leave room for do-gooders and terrorists, casual believers and violent extremists.
When a news anchor asked Pastor Terry Jones if the Bible doesn't say to love thine enemy, Jones agreed that it did, but that that had nothing to do with this event.
And there you have it. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism base their religions on books that see-saw back and forth, making it nearly impossible for a free thinking, well educated mind to be fully ensnared by their doctrine - because no one can fucking agree what that doctrine is! Should I kill, or not kill? Should I forgive or not forgive? Judge or not judge? Sell my daughter as a slave or stone her to death?
I mean, come on people - what the fuck!?
If we're putting the Quran on trial, we should sure as shit put the Bible and Torah up there too. But instead of burning them, why don't we read the damn things - cover to cover, then decide that they're all fucked, and put 'em snugly in the Fiction section along with Lord of the Rings and Compassionate Conservatism.
Knowledge is not a danger. What is dangerous is when we use stories, unsupported by fact or truth, as an excuse to create laws, start wars and judge other cultures and people.
Faith breeds hate - not because of these stories, but because they are absolute, because they employ no use of the human mind, of logic. They cast that aside and rely fully on emotion and faith to wield their message. And that, is dangerous, very dangerous. It means that neither side can win, for nothing will ever be able to kill faith. The more bombs you drop, the more resolute they are. Governments will fall, but faith, blind, stupid faith, will endure as long as there are people to endoctrinate. It will breed hate for the "others" and intolerance for "enemies." It does and will continue to breed hate.
I'm over trying to convert. Since there is no logic in faith, that argument will never be won. People must see for themselves the evils incorporated in religion, and move away of their own volition.
What I'm interested in now is educating. The quotes up there are but a minuscule example of the hypocrisy in our beloved holy texts. Take a look, read through those books, educate yourselves on what people hold as gospel, so that you and your MIND can argue against blind faith.
And finally, burning books doesn't prove any point other than bigotry and intolerance, something we could all use a little less of. And whether Jones wants to admit it or not, he has blood on his hands and not a shred of decency in his soul.
Books, no matter their genre, are meant for reading, not burning. Read, do not blindly accept. Research, do not blindly hate.