Interview with Pastor Terry Jones, the Man Behind “International Burn A Koran Day”

A couple days ago, I posted this story about how the non-denominational Dove World Outreach Center church in Florida was going to host an “International Burn A Koran Day” on September 11th.

I had a chance to ask the pastor of that church, Dr. Terry D. Jones, a few questions and he gave me the following responses. Feel free to discuss his answers in the comments.

I am posting them here unedited:

Who is the audience for your event?

We hope to reach Moslems and Non-Moslems to awake and awareness that the Koran is a book of lies and that the only true salvation is in Jesus Christ.

Do you think Muslims will turn to Christ as a result of this?

This is our prayer and desire that they would seriously reexamine their religion. They will then come to the conclusion that Islam is of the devil and Christianity is the only true religion.

While you may feel “Islam is a lie” (as it says on your website), do you think this is a smart thing to do strategically?

Yes, we believe it is a smart thing because it will get the attention of thousands of people hopefully causing them to reexamine their relationship with God.

Do you worry about being accused of spreading hate? Is any publicity good publicity?

No, we are not worried about spreading hate because we are spreading the truth. Truth is love and the hope of salvation.

Do you fear any backlash from the Muslim community?

Of course we do becaue Islam has proven itself to be a violent religion and Muhammed promoted violence in the Koran.

Have any of the media reports of this event portrayed you unfairly or inaccurately? Would you like to set the record straight on any particular issue?

We have been accused of being racist. We are not attacking a race. In other words, we are not attacking the Moslem. We love the Moslems and hope that they would come to true salvation. What we are attacking is Islam, the religion, and Sharia law, the political system.

It’s called an “International” event, but is any group/church outside of yours planning on joining you?

We have gotten responses from all around the world. Yes, we are expecting hundreds to attend.

Would you support a Muslim (or atheist) group that felt Christianity was a problem and made plans to burn copies of the Bible?

We, of course, would not support them, but we would support their first amendment rights of freedom of expression

How do you respond to Christians who feel this does more harm than good for spreading the faith?

This is the way that we have chosen to do it. To those Christians who disagree, we would encourage them to choose their own method of spreading the gospel and do so.


  • NoGodsNoMasters

    Is this guy for real?

  • Shawn

    Given that he believes he is right, and assuming he has the usual blinders on regarding the violence, contradictions and lack of evidence in his holy book, most of what he said seems reasonable.

    If I believed someone was going to miss out on something as awesome as heaven (at least the popular notion of it, not so much the weird beastly sycophants), I would hope I’d go to as much trouble to shed light on the lies other people believe. Being a dick to them during their brief stay on Earth would pale in comparison to what I was offering.

  • mouse

    I give him credit for:

    We, of course, would not support them, but we would support their first amendment rights of freedom of expression

    But everything else… just wow.

  • Pensnest

    Amazing how someone can come across as calm, reasonable and MIND BOGGLINGLY STUPID.

    Sigh.

  • Adam

    Though I strongly support the first amendment, where exactly is the line between freedom of speech and inciting a riot or other violence? It always seems like the authorities get involved when it involves race, such as the kid in Wal-Mart or when someone hangs a noose or racist effigy. But besides that you really don’t hear much about the distinction. I just hope these people don’t get themselves blown up because there would probably be a knee-jerk “war on terror” reaction that really could infringe on first amendment rights.

  • Drew

    “This is the way that we have chosen to do it. To those Christians who disagree, we would encourage them to choose their own method of spreading the gospel and do so.”

    Yea right. If I remember correctly. Several of the page supporters from their church, were stating every other Christian was wrong.

  • Justin

    I have just one question – what exactly is he a doctor of?

  • JD

    Moslem? Repeatedly using that very outdated term makes him even more irritating. Scratch that, it’s supposedly a completely different and offensive word roughly meaning the opposite thing, not just a difference of opinion about the romanization. Makes him sound like even more of a jerk.

  • http://twitter.com/achura Rooker

    His stated motives are ridiculous and sure to backfire – assuming that’s even the real motive. I’m suspicious of the date.

    How is this different from “Everybody Draw Mohamed Day”? Both of these events deliberately do an act that Muslims are going to see as blasphemous. The motives for each event is completely different, but is one right and the other wrong?

  • Jon Morgan

    Book burning is an act of violence–which is what they condemn Islam for promoting. Love the hypocrisy.

    It does, however, help those of us who would like to see far more Muslims truly start to question their religion in showing us what NOT to do.

    We need to convince Muslims that its okay to question the authority of the holy books, that its okay to think for themselves, that its wrong to condemn those who don’t subscribe to their religion, and that a life free of the yolk of past cultural mythology can be far more fulfilling than one based on perpetuating past human folly.

    Draw Mohammed day was partly provocative–meant as much to protest our right to think as we please than to try to get Muslims to agree with us. It’s only when Muslims themselves start to draw Mohammed, we will be succeeding. For now, I think the best thing we can do, as outsiders, is to support those who have been raised as Muslims who’ve had the courage to either try to reform it or to reject it outright.

  • Hitch

    People who know “truth” and “evil” so easily are really a problem. People who call hatred love for truth is love, are much worse.

    @Rooker: And yes these are completely different.

    DMD was not to offend muslims at all. It was to defend the freedom of artistic expression, the opposition to violence against such free expression and the rejection that the most extreme form of Islam is now sold to us as the norm (depicting Muhammad is not universally offensive, it is not a dictum invented to prevent non-believers from drawing him etc etc).

    Burning Qur’ans does not carry all this critique, in fact symbolic book burning is a recognized gesture of expressed hatred in many places. Whereas smiling stick figures are usually a positive thing (before we are suddenly told that it is not!)

    DMD tries to defend the center, a sane position. Burning Qur’an radicalizes positions.

    Huge difference. I’m full for DMD, in fact I think it’s necessary. I’m completely against Qur’an burning.

  • Brian Macker

    JD tell that to the American Moslem Foundation. It’s just an alternate spelling, and pronunciation and both are interchangeable. Let’s start calling people racists and letting religious followers claim they are being oppressed because of regional differences in how words are pronounced. Not only do they get to tell us what cartoons to draw but how to say words in our language. We’re not speaking Arabic here.

    Should I canvas the world to find out how people pronounce the word American or European in their own languages and get upset over that and assume they mean me ill will?

    I was going through the Haitian airport once and a guy came up to me “Hey, Yanque” should I have gotten all offended or something for not saying “Yankee”, and exactly why did he assume I played baseball? Was this because he was a racist and they assume all white people play baseball? :)

  • JD

    Justin, his own ministry’s site doesn’t say, assuming it is a Ph.D., his might be one of theology or biblical studies.

  • Tom Coward

    Book burning has connotations beyond the simple act itself, just as burning a cross has connotations far beyond the physical act. Combine this idea with the probably unconcious doublespeak used by the pastor (love=hate), and this episode rises to Fred Phelps levels of creepiness.

  • http://NoYourGod.blogspot.com NoYourGod

    A good response for this would be for a person to show up at the koran burning with a box of “holy books” of their own, and start tossing them on the fire.

    Of course, that box would be full of bibles…

    I do not endorse the burning of any “holy book” – but this guy needs to feel the pain of what he is doing to others. (I do not live near Florida.)

  • http://standardspicywhatnot.blogspot.com Naomi

    Wow, I’m amazed how sure he thinks this is a good idea. It sounds like he wants some Islamic extremist to ‘prove his point’ and that is very disturbing…..and not at all a good way of encouraging people to join your religion.

    I enjoy this blog…..but feel a bit like you think Agnostics are silly, like we belive in the tooth fairy or something.
    I don’t really have a point in saying that other then even science makes mistakes sometimes so I think even alot of scientific conclusions need to scutinized and given the test of years of study.

    Anyway — Generally this site is Friendly, thanks.

  • Jagyr

    Many of his responses seem like they could have been made by an atheist supporting Draw Muhammad Day.

    If they were drawing stick figures instead of burning Korans, I’d have no problem with his event. I’d still think it was stupid because of the “trying to win souls for Jeebus” aspect, but otherwise, it wouldn’t bother me.

    It all comes down to the book burning. Book burning is not generally illegal (as long as the books legally belong to you), and I support this guy’s first amendment rights to do it if he wants.
    That being said, the whole thing does not sit well with me personally. Not only am I a bibliophile who cringes at the thought of even a dog-eared page, but there is a long, symbolic history behind book burning that makes me shudder.

  • Brian Macker

    Hitch,

    Whats to say this isn’t about defending freedom of religion via protest? Why is submerging a Quran in urine acceptable but burning it is not? Both destroy a book, religious icon, or whatever.

    I wouldn’t personally call for a book burning because I think there are better ways to protest. I don’t however think this is tantamount to burning a cross or hanging a noose on your black neighbors porch.

    I think these people will be in less danger of being killed by a Muslim than any artist because they will be condemned by people like you who get wrapped up in labels like “book burning” and “art”. So you really are doing them a favor by de-legitimizing it. If their protest/criticism of Islam were done in a more effective way then there would more need to resort to violence to suppress the message.

    What are you going to claim when some artist piles a bunch of Qur’ans up, lights them on fire, and encases the partially burnt pile in acrylic, and then calls it art?

  • colin

    This event will prod many people into reexamining their beliefs, and some of them will lose their faith. But it won’t be Moslems; it will be Christians.

  • Twin-Skies

    “We love the Moslems and hope that they would come to true salvation. What we are attacking is Islam, the religion, and Sharia law, the political system.”

    This is exactly the same argument being used by anti-gay bigots. I wanted to punch something after reading his reply.

  • Hitch

    @Brian, Oh I’m not categorically denouncing burning books, or say it’s always wrong and all that. I am saying that this is free speech but free speech is free so we can have a dissenting opinion too. I dissent from their reasons and reject their reasons for burning books.

    In fact I can see pieces of art that work very intelligently with the notion. This, however is not it, clearly.

  • Brian Macker

    Tom Coward,

    “Book burning has connotations beyond the simple act itself, just as burning a cross has connotations far beyond the physical act. “

    So you are against blacks burning crosses?
    You see it depends on who’s doing it and who’s the target, what the motivation is, what the history is, and the like.

    The Nazis burned books that were ungerman, so it was quite clear the underlying message was racism.

    If this guy comes out an says he’s burning the Qur’ans because they are “unchristian” then he will have crossed the line for me, and he was already skating awfully close for me.

    His statement “… Christianity is the only true religion.” makes it clear that this particular book burning is not only about protesting the violent message of the Qur’an but is instead clearly about religious intolerance.

    He’s now got my disapproval. He’s burning these books because he thinks hes got a monopoly on the truth.

    I wouldn’t seek to ban his behavior though like I would in the case of a Nazi book burning near a synagogue. It’s clear that he is not intending violence, nor trying to terrorize anyone.

    I’m of the opinion that cross burning can legally be banned without violating anyone’s natural rights just so long as there is requirement in the law that the restriction is limited to acts of terror. No one has a natural right to terrorize others.

    We can lock people up for saying “Your money or your life” in a context that does not involve violating their natural right to free speech, which would not apply to an actor in a movie. This is not a violation of free speech. Likewise a ban of cross burnings for terrorism is not a ban of free speech.

    In fact the law doesn’t even need to name the explicit acts. One could ban terrorism and make the wording such that it applied to all traditional forms of threats, and spell out how one determines if there is a social context. For example, require that the act have been a customary practice associated with an terrorist organization that had actually killed people, and that a reasonable person would take as a threat, or intimidation.

    What matters is that the law be written so that it does not violate anyone’s right to free speech, and that it not based on a double standard. I would interpret the banning terrorist speech of one group without banning them for another group as an kind of “establishment of religion” for those groups who are favored enough that their terrorist acts are ignored.

    The law would also need to be consistent with other customary legal standards, like requiring Mens Rea, using reasonable persons tests, and the like.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Non-denominational churches are a mixed bag. They exist beyond the control or influence of any denomination and therefore are not confined to what any particular denomination believes. This sometimes means a non-denominational church can be more open-minded than a particular denomination. It can also mean that they can be more stupid without any larger organization reigning them in. In this case Terry Jones’ church is definitely the latter.

    They just don’t have anyone to officially tell them it is a bad idea. They probably view all other denominations as modern day Pharisees.

  • http://www.redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    So I guess I just missed the story in the Bible where Jesus got the attention of the Romans by burning their sacred items.

  • Stephen P

    “We love the Moslems and hope that they would come to true salvation. What we are attacking is Islam … ”

    This is exactly the same argument being used by anti-gay bigots.

    No, it is not exactly the same. Homosexuality is innate, just as skin colour is. One can not separate a homosexual from his/her nature.

    But no-one is born a Moslem (or whatever spelling one prefers). People have Islam pushed upon them once they are old enough to talk, just as with any other religion. It is not intrinsically unreasonable to suggest that Moslems are victims of their religion, who need help. (Yes, many of them are also victimisers.)

    Of course getting them to change to Christianity is swapping the frying-pan for the fire. But at least there is nothing wrong with the idea that one’s religion is not innate.

  • JD

    Brian, things are different now though, compared to when that organization started. NAACP hasn’t changed their name either, but you still look like a major doof (at best) if you call anyone “colored”.

    Both organizations probably should be renamed, I don’t understand why they’re sticking to the name.

  • Jagyr

    @Naomi:

    I enjoy this blog…..but feel a bit like you think Agnostics are silly, like we belive in the tooth fairy or something.

    One of the big things that led me to call myself an atheist was understanding the actual meanings of the words “atheist” and “agnostic”.
    Most people have the meaning of agnostic correct – it means “without knowledge (of the existence of god)”. Many people have the meaning of atheist wrong though. They think it means “belief/certainty in the nonexistence of god”.

    That false definition is the one I had when I called myself agnostic and thought that atheists were just as bad as the religious nuts. However, once I realized that atheist actually means “lacking belief in god” I changed my tune.

    The truth is, you can be an atheist and an agnostic at the same time. It’s not a scale that goes from theist to atheist with agnostic in the middle. EVERYONE is agnostic (if you’re not, you’re delusional).

    The reason self-proclaimed agnostics usually get a bad rap in the atheist community is because they are seen as intellectually dishonest – the word atheist has a negative stigma, and agnostics are seen as trying to have their cake and eat it too, by essentially being atheists without having to own up to the label. As I explained, though, many agnostics are just confused as to the definitions of the labels.

    I’d suggest that you do what I did, and take some time for self-examination. Remember that atheist/theist is a dichotomy. Honestly answer, with a yes or no, the question “do you believe in the existence of a god or gods?”

    If you’re like I was, you’ll want to answer something like: “Well, not really, but we can’t 100% rule out the idea that something MIGHT exist out there.”
    This answer makes you an agnostic atheist, just like the rest of us. :-)

  • Claudia

    we are not attacking the Moslem

    That’s an um…interesting way of putting it. In my head I heard “we are not attacking the negro”. That’s not to say that you cannot attack a religion without also attacking the individual religious people, I absolutely agree with that, but the turn of phrase strikes me as troubling, somehow.

    His purpose is conversion? I think more Christians are likely to convert to Islam based on this little event than the other way around.
    At least he has the correct understanding of free speech, so its not a total loss.

  • ckitching

    How does burning Korans prove that Christianity is true? Do Bibles not burn?

    I can see rationalizing this with free speech, and that you will not be bullied, but their stated goal does not match their methods.

  • littlejohn

    There are people psychologically capable of putting themselves in the other guy’s shoes (imagining Bibles being burned, for example), and people who can’t.
    The people in the latter group tend to be either outright psychopaths or at best simple-minded. I will assume Pastor Jones is not the former.
    How is it that he has not asked himself the following, obvious, question: “Would I realize Christianity is wrong if some people would just burn some Bibles?”
    Clearly, he would remain a Christian, and a more bitter one at that. Why does he think Muslims will react any differently?

  • http://paulforpm.blogspot.com/ keddaw

    We hope to reach Moslems and Non-Moslems

    i.e. everyone.

    to awake and awareness that the Koran is a book of lies

    With you so far.

    and that the only true salvation is in Jesus Christ.

    Awww. So near and yet so far. Based on what? The Bible? Which is “a book of lies”.

    Islam is of the devil and Christianity is the only true religion.

    You need to discover what the word “religion” means. That’s like saying there is only one true economic system.

    it will get the attention of thousands of people hopefully causing them to reexamine their relationship with God.

    That I can go along with.

    meh. I could have done the same for all his responses, but I got bored.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    I think this shows that they can’t prove that the Bible is actually better than the Qur’an, so instead of arguing why it’s better, they’re just burning the Qur’an. The horrible contents of the Bible are what convinced me that, if I converted from Islam to Christianity, I’d just be switching from one horrible religion to another. If this conversion attempt is going to work, they’re going to have to count on potential Muslim converts doing what so many Christians do — not actually reading the Bible and just trusting religious leaders who say it’s wonderful.

    People like this are the reason why, as much as I respect and agree with Ayaan Hirsi Ali most of the time, I had to express my disagreement in that one post you did about her book Nomad, concerning Muslims converting to Islam. I just don’t think that it would be much of an improvement if a Muslim joined a hateful church (whereas it would be if they joined a more secular church).

    I think it’s different from Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, because EDMD was in response to some Muslims demanding that everyone should follow a religious rule in their holy book. This is just a deluded (and ridiculous) conversion attempt.

    @Jagyr:

    It all comes down to the book burning. Book burning is not generally illegal (as long as the books legally belong to you), and I support this guy’s first amendment rights to do it if he wants.
    That being said, the whole thing does not sit well with me personally. Not only am I a bibliophile who cringes at the thought of even a dog-eared page, but there is a long, symbolic history behind book burning that makes me shudder.

    I agree. It’s one of those situations when I support someone’s right to do it, but I think they’re being horrible for doing so.

    Strangely, this is the same way I felt when people were burning Harry Potter books. They can do it, but it just makes them look ridiculous.

  • http://ourlibertyworld.blogspot.com Liberty

    I would rather urge people to read Quran and see for themselves that the piece can aptly be ternmed as ‘Book of Violence’.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    @Liberty:

    I would rather urge people to read Quran and see for themselves that the piece can aptly be ternmed as ‘Book of Violence’.

    I agree. It’s an insult to a person’s intelligence to demand that they should just accept someone else’s opinion about a book without reading it themselves.

  • Ursulamajor

    Naomi,

    I don’t really have a point in saying that other then even science makes mistakes sometimes so I think even alot of scientific conclusions need to scutinized and given the test of years of study.

    A scientific “conclusion” has been scrutinized, and continues to be studied and scrutinized. Any mistakes are fixed and conclusions are updated. This is a good thing. That’s pretty much how science works.

  • PapaJay

    After taking a quick look at their website, I noticed a tab just for their protests. Should they not be named “Fred Phelps Outreach”?

  • Aaron

    He has the right to burn the books, certainly (assuming he follows proper safety procedures). He is being a dick, and we were all being dicks when we drew Mohamed. We were being much smaller dicks, but dicks all the same.
    I knew Muslims would be offended when I submitted a picture to Draw Mohamed Day. That was the point.
    Now, the message here is totally different. I do not think anyone who drew a picture of the mighty Mo was trying to send a message of love to Muslims. I think we were saying something like “Screw you, I can draw whatever I want!”
    The creepiness here is that Christians regularly show hate or anger and call it love. I think this is indicative of the nature of love found in the bible which is a perversion of what love actually is. Christians often look to the twisted stories in the bible of genocide, plague, rape and war, and use the bible as evidence of “God’s love”. When you take the bible as a whole and then say “God love you”, you must logically conclude that to love means to abuse those you love so that they feel good when you stop.
    I have never heard anyone say “I love you so much, I am going to burn your favorite thing”. Isn’t this like a guy who says “I love my wife so much, I beat her every time she threatens to leave”? Biblical love is the love of an abuser.
    Do you think that any Christian would accept it was a “message of love” if a bunch of atheists burned a stack of bibles to show we thought it was crap?

  • Richard P.

    Knowing how muslims react, I wonder if the night will end with a few roasting christians?

  • Erp

    I don’t see much difference between using Moslem and Muslim as both are transliterations though the latter is the preferred spelling. The offensive word for describing Muslims is Muhammadans and its variant spellings.

    I suspect Terry Jones has a doctorate in theology or else an honorary degree. He and his wife had a church in Cologne, Germany which he left in dire financial straits and apparently much bitterness.
    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20090719/ARTICLES/907191005
    He is also accused of abusing his church’s tax exempt status both for partisan political purposes and for running his for-profit company. The current church was in mortgage difficulties in April (with accusations that the bank holding the mortgage was pro-Muslim).

    (Cynical mode on) He might be hoping for a strong if not violent reaction so as to use it to get donations.

  • JD

    One problem with a Christian just calling the Qur’an a violent book with violent followers is that they should actually read their own favorite book and their own history without their bias blinders. The number of genocides the Israelites were commanded to commit, the number of crimes that demanded a stoning is astounding. Not to mention the violence done to people as a punishment for heresy, which meant death far too often. During the time of the “Reformation”, numerous people were killed for believing slightly different things than the local community did. Martin Luther wanted the property of Jews taken away from them and the Jews to be killed. For nearly two millennia, there were Christians who didn’t think anything morally wrong of slavery or thinking people of a different race was inferior.

  • JD

    Erp; I agree that the transliteration is technically correct. The problem with Moslem is that when spoken in English, it sounds like another word that’s basically an insult.

  • Brian

    Wait a minute. His hope if that by burning these books he will provoke Muslims to reexamine thier faith. This already seems a stretch.
    Would he (or any other Christians) reexamine his faith if a Bible-burning day held?

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    This is the way that we have chosen to do it. To those Christians who disagree, we would encourage them to choose their own method of spreading the gospel and do so.

    Am I the only one struck by the parallels with the discussion between “aggressive” and “diplomatic” atheists?

  • Deiloh

    My gut reaction to any book being burned is that the person(s) better be cold. IDK if I were going to burn something, I’d want to burn bras and burkas.

  • CheekySpoon

    I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my whole entire life as I did at those first two answers. I have tears in my eyes!

  • Korinthian

    Rooker: Good point. I guess one way of looking at it is the motive. This is hardly for the sake of freedom of expression, it’s hypocritical all the way through.

  • Richard Wade

    As Colin said,

    This event will prod many people into reexamining their beliefs, and some of them will lose their faith. But it won’t be Moslems; it will be Christians.

    Exactly. There will be some “soul searching,” but it will be by Christians who are on the edge of leaving, and they will have had enough. Welcome out of the bondage of institutional ignorance and hate, my friends.

    As delusional as Jones is about his own religion, I don’t think he actually believes that any Muslims will “…then come to the conclusion that Islam is of the devil and Christianity is the only true religion.” No, he doesn’t actually think that will happen. He’ll just radicalize a few more, but he doesn’t care. I think he just wants to indulge in his sense of superiority, and he’s getting off on the publicity. Hemant nailed it when he asked if any publicity is good publicity. Jones reminds me of the pathetic guests on the Jerry Springer show, who are willing to make complete asses of themselves just to be on television.

    We, of course, would not support them, but we would support their first amendment rights of freedom of expression.

    I have as hard a time believing this as I have believing his ridiculous religion. We will definitely see. He will be put to the test when some hate monger of another brand burns Bibles or does some other inflammatory provocation.

  • Richard Wade

    Miller,

    Am I the only one struck by the parallels with the discussion between “aggressive” and “diplomatic” atheists?

    Yes I noticed the parallels too. This is a good example of how deliberately provoking anger in someone is not effective in convincing them of your point of view. In fact, it’s counterproductive.

  • Fundie Troll

    I am convinced that 99% of the Christians in the United States either do not read their bibles, or else they read their bibles and totally disregard what is written therein.

    2Timothy 2:24-26 “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

    It is interesting to note two things from these passages: the first is that as Christians we must not be quarrelsome but kind to everone. The second is that it is God who grants repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. So why has Christianity watered down the gospel and resorted to underhanded methods to spread the good news??

    2 Corinthians 4:2 “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

  • Greg

    Miller, Richard Wade, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to disagree with you on your comparisons between aggressive and diplomatic atheists, and… this.

    There is a world of difference between actively discussing why you think theism is a bad thing, and why you think it is false (supported by reason and evidence), and committing an act which can only have one purpose – to offend.

    I cannot think of one single occurrence of atheists trying to motivate a group to do something for the sole purpose of offending other people. What event exactly are you thinking of? Draw Muhammed Day? Blasphemy day? Exceptionally strong defences can be made for either of those, especially as, like atheism, they are both reactionary movements. They both have strong reasons which have nothing to do with how people who disagree with us will react.

    That is the thing: ‘deliberately provoking anger’, as Richard Wade put it – just where exactly are these atheist events meant for deliberately provoking anger? Take Dawkins, for example, the supposedly ‘shrill’ and vehement anti-theist. To be frank, I had avoided the God Delusion because of all I had heard about it being a screed etc. – until I finally read it after being gifted it at Christmas (by a Christian, incidentally – but then again, I am in the UK (wonderful irony, I know! :))) and I was flabbergasted by it’s tone. It was reasonable! It was in no way a tirade.

    These words (a bit like militant) get used about atheists, but if you compare them to any other use of the word (like militant Christian for example) there is seriously no comparison. You seem to me to be comparing apples and horseradishes. (Oranges having too much in common with apples… :P)

  • littlejohn

    I am as enthusiastic an anti-theist as anyone you’ll ever meet, but burning any book is barbaric.
    I think no more of the Koran than the Bible, but if given a truckload of either, I would simply give them to anyone who wants to read them.
    Has anyone ever been convinced a book is wrong by someone else burning it? If anything, I’d guess the opposite is true.
    Would any of you reconsider your atheism because some zealot burned a pile of “The God Delusion” or “God is not Great”? Of course not. You would correctly infer that the person with the match and gasoline is a dick.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    @Greg
    I wouldn’t say that the comparison is exact, no. I just think it’s a point to ponder. Should we have more sympathy for Pastor Terry Jones? Or less sympathy for aggressive atheists? Or is there some important difference, and what is it?

    I cannot think of one single occurrence of atheists trying to motivate a group to do something for the sole purpose of offending other people.

    Where does Pastor Terry Jones say that he’s doing this for the sole purpose of offending other people? I think it’s quite possible that his motivations are every bit as complex as those you attribute to things like Blasphemy day.

  • Erp

    JD: What I have found stated is that ‘Moslem’ was closer to the sound for the word used in Persian (where presumably it is a loan word) and Muslim closer to Arabic. A quick google search shows some references to it sounding like an Arabic word for oppressor but frankly I find this hard to believe given that the roots are the same ‘slm’ for both Muslim and Moslem. Apparently the Arabic word ‘mazlum’ (root ‘zlm’) means ‘oppressed one’ (not oppressor) but it seems equally near to both ‘Moslem’ and ‘Muslim’. The key thing seems to be to pronounce the ‘s’ as ‘s’ not ‘z’. Muslim is the preferred spelling but not because of a possible mixup with another word.

    One example of an extended discussion.
    http://ask.metafilter.com/35958/Potato-potahto-Muslim-Moslem

    For those who don’t know, Arabic like Hebrew uses roots based on consonants, usually three, with variations in meaning given by what vowels are used. The ‘slm’ root is the basis for

    Islam ‘submission’
    Muslim ‘one who submits’
    Salam ‘peace’ (and the Hebrew equivalent Shalom, also the basis for the name ‘Salem’ as in the cities in Massachusetts and Oregon which possibly originally derive from Jerusalem)

  • EdmondWA

    How do you go through life with your head screwed on as backwards as this guy’s is?

  • Richard Wade

    Greg, my friend, you said,

    There is a world of difference between actively discussing why you think theism is a bad thing, and why you think it is false (supported by reason and evidence), and committing an act which can only have one purpose – to offend.

    Yes there is a world of difference, and I’m not comparing the two.

    I’m not talking about “actively discussing,” I’m not even talking about ridicule of absurd ideas. I’m talking about deliberately insulting, inflaming and provoking the person one is talking to, trying to hurt their feelings and cause emotional pain just for the sadistic fun of it, and then pretending that it’s an effort to persuade them.

    You say you “cannot think of one single occurrence of atheists trying to motivate a group to do something for the sole purpose of offending other people,” and you say that Dawkins’ tone is actually reasonable.

    I agree.

    But I’m not talking about atheist groups or famous atheist authors.

    I’m talking about individual, non-famous, solo atheists who work hard at being antagonistic and cruel; immature cads who have no idea at all about how one effectively persuades another person to see things differently. I’m sure you’ve encountered a few; they’re sometimes referred to as “dicks.”

    They indulge their vicious, self-righteous love for venting their anger at their target group, and when confronted on their hateful tactics, they try to justify it by saying they’re trying to convince “the fucktards” or so many other pejoratives they use, to “come to reason.” Yeah, right. They’re just as ugly and destructive a set of bigots as you’ll find anywhere, regardless of the particular brand of hatred they’re addicted to. They do nothing for bringing anyone to see anything reasonably; they only inflame more of the hateful behavior that they so hypocritically decry.

    I’ve met a few on this very blog over the years, and I’ve gone round and round with them, trying to show them that their approach is selfish and destructive. They usually don’t stick around because even the more strident atheists who frequent this site jump down their throats.

    You and I are comrades, and we use the same method. We use reason to make reason attractive.

  • Greg

    Miller, Richard Wade, thanks for the clarifications! :)

    Miller, it’s true that the pastor doesn’t say it for the sole purpose of offending others – I confess I was taking Richard’s summation of his motives and running it. Granted, my own prejudices about such people may also have come into play.

    I am, however, a little wary of terms like ‘aggressive atheism’ (and dichotomies of ‘aggressive’ and ‘diplomatic’ atheists) because they (as a general rule) have been coined by theists (and perhaps ‘accommodationists’), and used to describe people who aren’t deserving of such terms, and the implications behind them. Richard is right when he talks about atheist ‘dicks’, but these generally are not the people such terms refer to. I’m guessing I assumed wrongly that you were referring to people like the ‘New Atheists’ – apologies.

    Hmm – a lot of brackets in that above post. Sorry, it’s late here, my mind might not be running as smoothly as it could, hope you get my general point, anyway!

    Richard Wade, I guess I made the same wrong assumption with you! :)

    I have to admit, however, that I wouldn’t personally call them ‘aggressive atheists’ (most four letter word expletives will do me fine when it comes to describing people like them) for the same basic reason as above: the term has already been coined by theists to refer to a different type of person. Also, I suspect their position on theism is probably quite irrelevant – they’d be dicks whatever their theological views, (and I’m sure many theist dicks would be dicks without their faith too).

    Hard to know if there is much more for me to say, but one link between the two groups that came to mind when reading your reply was how even the more strident atheists here will give their hate short shrift, now – living in a largely irreligious country as I do, it’s hard for me to judge what things are like on the other side of the pond – but would you say that is something that Christians could do more of when it comes to the Pat Robertsons, Westboro Church folks, (I guess) Terry Jones, et al of this world?

  • Richard Wade

    Greg,
    Yes, I would really like to see more Christians loudly denounce and effectively oppose the Robertsons, the Phelpses (ptui) and the Joneses in their midst, instead of the usual sheepish, mealy-mouthed mutterings about how “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven,” or similar drivel.

    To be fair, there has long been a series of petitions, Christian blog articles and Facebook sites entitled “Pat Robertson Does Not Speak For Me as a Christian” and I am grateful for their efforts. It’s just not nearly enough to stop the spread of his kind of poison.

    Nobody will be surprised if an angry group of Muslims show up at Jones’ hate fest on September 11, but imagine if a large group of Christians, or better yet, a large combined and unified group of Christians and atheists arrived, armed with fire extinguishers.

    I wouldn’t recommend that they actually try to put out the blaze, because that could cause a mixture of fire and fisticuffs, and people would get hurt. But their symbolic “extinguishing” of the flames of hatred and bigotry, along with their very vocal repudiating of Jones and his ilk would be a wonderful defeat of his toxic purpose.

    If such a thing was going to happen, and if I didn’t live 3,000 miles away, I’d be there with the biggest CO2 flame bane I could carry.

  • staceyjw

    Burning, peeing on, shooting through, ripping up “holy” books (ANY “holy” book) doesn’t bother me a bit. They are only ink and paper!!!

    I have no problem with provoking fundies of all stripes, but in this case, the reason for doing it is nothing short of insane and delusional.

    I can’t believe this guy actually thinks that burning someones “holy” book is going to make them convert to his way of thinking- REALLY??? If this is not just an excuse to goad muslims to anger(which is always easy enough), it is the height of religious ignorance. “Let me show you how much I love you by burning your sacred book!” Yeeeeeaaaaaah, I feel the love.

    It seems like a POE, but I know it’s not.

    I think this action likely to incite anger and possibly violence (also ignorant as it is ONLY A BOOK!). It SHOULD be a big “SO WHAT”, but that won’t happen……….

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  • http://jmsmith.org James-Michael Smith

    A Biblical response I wrote and shared with Pastor Jones (I’ve yet to hear back from him…)

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-8276-Methodist-Examiner~y2010m7d24-To-the-Florida-church-planning-a-BurnaKoran-day

  • nocommentatthistime

    I am very strongly opposed to this church’s hatefulness. I wouldn’t try to stop them, due to their right of free speech (and their complete unreasonableness) However, I think it is important that people take a stand against this. I suggest some kind of peaceful, perhaps silent, show of tolerance, support of freedom of religion, and more importantly support of the U.S.’s Muslim community (and the stereotyping, hatred, and outright abuse that these families and individuals have had to deal with in the decade since 9/11)
    Ideally this would be an act of cooperation. Ideally, it wouldn’t be about “atheists oppose act of hate”, but masses of people oppose act of hate. People from the local Muslim communities. And I would think Christians would have a huge incentive to oppose this, as this pastor is claiming this hatred, in the name of their god and their beliefs. So I will try to get creative. If anyone has any ideas, please share. Especially those that will be in the vicinity of the event.

  • Richard Wade

    James-Michael Smith,
    Thank you for your eloquent and scholarly appeal to Pastor Jones to reconsider this awful idea.

  • muggle

    So let me get this straight, you’re supporting free speech by burning books? Um, not exactly.

  • Ex Partiot

    This type of nonsense makes me proud to be an Atheist. “burnimg or banning books is a practice as indefensible as infanticide”. The stupid level in the U.S has just gone up another %1000

  • http://ingoodfaith.wordpress.com/ Tracy Pace

    To recap, this Christian pastor wishes to reach Muslims for Christ by publically burning their holy book which he denounces as violent?

    Anyone who’s read it can point out a tremendous amount of violence in my holy book not to mention the violence people have mistakenly done in Jesus’ name ( including this action ) which make this ‘protest’ somewhat hypocritical.

    The US is a free country so the same Constitution which protects the rights of one group to insult another allow the other group to practice unhindered their chosen religion.

    In any case Matthew 7 in the Bible Jesus says: Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    For Christians in Matthew 25 Jesus describes how to enter the kingdom of God; these protest groups masquerading as churches to gain tax-exempt status ( Westboro Baptist and KKK are two which come to mind )aren’t representing the Bible accurately, for anyone looking on who is put off religion. Unfortunately it’s the extremists in any religion who seek and gain media attention in the modern world.

  • NL

    As someone from The Netherlands (Europe), this makes me wonder about the general opinion of most Americans towards this kind of radical Christianity. Reading the website of this ‘pastor’ and the comments made about his statements on other websites really shock me and let me believe that a lot of Americans share his views. Not only about the Koran but also about homosexuality and abortion (I know that this last subject is quite sensitive amongst most Christians, also in The Netherlands).

    It’s guys like this that give America a bad name abroad to be honest. Next month I will go to America to travel there for two months time (mainly West-Coast). I surely hope not to meet people like this for I won’t be able to keep cool and not slap some sense into them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Burn-A-Koran-Day/134718123226530?ref=search lennart

    a good exaplme of a true christian i am part of DWOC and i belive that christians need to stand up again like they did in acts

    jesus loves you

  • Sandra

    Jesus would be ashamed of the hateful actions of these people. Thank God we have seperation of church and state. I would not want these pyschos ruling me anymore than I would want to be under a muslim regime. Freedom of religion works. why do they want to stir up hatred. I have friends from many backgrounds and it has enriched my life. I however, am not religious and thankfully I have a right not to be. Live and let live I say.

  • saphique

    i don’t believe he’s a doctor anyway.. hahaha

    a true believer will live in peace with another believer, live respectfully each other and peacefully

    it’s been proven anywhere in the planet, except in his brain.. hahahaha

  • joel

    Islam stands for peace and muslims believed in every prophet and messenger of god. No muslim is a muslim if you don’t believe in jesus Christ Terry is just stupid and promoting hate this sounds very un American he need some education

  • joel

    he is stupid for saying such only promoting hate

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  • Kris

    I listen to a radio show that had Terry Jones on there once and he said that he had an honorary doctorate, meaning in his words, that he received it from the actions he performed, not his area of study. Which could possibly mean that he paid a university a large sum of money or promised one and they handed him a piece of paper. The radio show is called Lex and Terry if you want to check it out. They could possibly have a clip of the conversation with him on their website but I’m at work so I can’t look.

  • Darryl

    Let me tell you about these “honorary doctorates”: they’re fakes. Unaccredited fundamentalist Bible schools hand these things out to preachers who’ve never set foot on an accredited college or university. They’re not worth the paper they’re printed on.

    This guy is just another ignorant, backward, hypocritical fundamentalist. Nothing he says surprises me.

    Having said that, let’s look at the bright side of this: this guy and his followers are a gift to rational, decent human beings everywhere, regardless of their beliefs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142891872396094&v=wall&ref=ts Philip777

    Just a way to show all Christians don’t think that way. I’m sure the vast majority of Christians in the world, and even in America, are against this horrendous and completely anti-Christian initiative, we can prove it if this group reaches more members than the International Burn a Koran Day page. Please join.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=142891872396094&ref=ts

    We won’t burn a Koran, because Jesus wouldn’t have done it !!!

    Muslims are also welcome, if they want to discuss in a respectful way
    (but all agressive/disrespectful posts will be deleted, no matter who
    posts them).

    My way to spell Islam : I Sincerely Love All Muslims

    Regards,

    Philip from France

  • Anand

    I love how these 2-bit, religious zombies think they are all that when the least they could do is, to get their spelling right on their website FAQs.

    “Mascarade”.. seriously? Oh wait, if a high-flying dodo like Palin can get in a word like “refudiate”, these people haven’t any excuse. Charade.. yeah, that’s what they really are.

  • Blurry

    Is that how his religion thought him??? He sounds out of his mind! He has a psychological disorder man! Is that the way how he’ll convince the muslims to convert in his religion? By satanism! Hahaha, that’s ridiculuos! As we know, pastors here in our place are not like that…you’re a freak pastor! You’re such a disgrace to your religion man! Oh my God, your soul is burning ahead in Hell pastor!!!

  • http://Yahoo.com Brimstone & Lava

    Everyone has a right to praise God in the way they know how, I respect Muslims because they are very religious and dedicated to God more than Christians are, however they have not accept Jesus as their LORD & SAVIOUR therefore their praises will NEVER be answer because the Bible clearly states that no man can go straight to the father unless its through Jesus Christ! NO ONE is HOLY, PURE or sinless to go straight to Yahovah, Yaweh.

    Anyway let’s not fool ourselves in believing that all Muslims are terrorists, if so then ALL Catholics are child molesters, ALL Christians are con artists and thief’s and ALL Jews are corrupted, phony and greedy. WHAT Jews? Judaism has become a race instead of a religion because of Europeans corruption who established a fictitious Israel in 1948 for Europeans Jews only the same people who change the words in the King James Bible after they learned the Hebrew language then they change the words with Y’s and R’s in order for the Russians, French, Italians and the English to be able to pronounce these words the same way.

    The only remaining Israelites were the residents of the Kingdom of Judah, and the term “Yehudi” or “Jew” came to refer to all the Israelites, regardless of their tribal ancestry. The original Hebrew had NO…W, J or X.

    The Hebrew letters can be approximated by English sounds, but the pronunciation of vowels, and of “r”, and ‘h (het) are often problematic for English speakers. Yehudi = Jew, Yehudah = Judah, Yahovah = Yahweh, Jahovah, Jehovah or God Yahshua = “Jesus” ?

    In addition to that the Catholic’s are ALSO full of hypocrisy because they started slavery In the 15th century when the Portuguese explored Africa – universally regarded as the forerunner of European colonialism.

    Pope Nicholas V – give the RIGHT to AFONSO V of Portugal in 1452 the right to make any unbelievers slaves! Slavery trading became legal under CATHOLIC beliefs THE PAPAL BULLS.

    The Catholic Church started and approved slavery in Europe! The sanction was reaffirmed and extended by the CATHOLICS in 1455.

    Now you know why the KKK use Catholic robes, by the way “do not throw stones if you live in a glass house”.

  • Gurujot Singh Khalsa

    It amuses me how the Christians are always accusing the Muslims of being violent and intolerant. There are also violent references in the bible, the inquisition, the crusades(jihad). The root of violence in both of these religions is their mutual belief that theirs is the only valid way to God. if that’s true why not kill people? they’re already going to hell. They are both Abrahamic religions, and are identical in their dualistic theology of heaven and hell, salvation through allegiance with the correct prophet, believers, and non-believers. perhaps this unending Christianity/Islam conflict is a psychological thing about hating an aspect of yourself when you see it in others.

  • None is my religion

    This guy need to be hospitalized. With his stupid action he is putting the whole civilization on risk. Who can authorize him to do so even if it mean taking first amendment away. Freedom of speech is for civilized people and not like him.
    I bet this guy has not traveled or lived even few days in civilized society and away from his home town.

  • sam

    as a muslim i truly think it’s an awful idea but if this guy is convinced that quran is a book of lies he needs to read it to be sure and if he read it he would realize that in islam if we don’t beleive in jesus and in christianism our faith is incomplete we have to beleive in all the prophets including jesus ans moise ….. but it’s just hate against muslims

  • justlike that
  • The Righteous

    Just deserts have arrived. Pastor Jones is heading to jail for child molestation. Ironic that a man that wants to burn the Koran will now burn in hell for his crimes against children. A religion (Islam) feared by a child molester (Pastor Jones) must have more than a few good things to say.

    http://www.nbc.com/news/2010/08/06/pastor-terry-jones-arrested-for-child-pornography/

  • –Hindu–

    Dude, Muslims are the second world most populated people in this world.

    Pastor Jones is burning the Korans so as to receive lots of donations from the Christians because the moron is going bankrupt.
    Mr. Jones, this action will cause you severe pain and for generations and generations that will follow will bear the bad consequences that you have made…… this is going to be the curse of the above…. hope you don’t die before burning our Korans, because its not going to be the prayer of one person, but 1.5 billion people.
    This cheap act will bring you curse for generation and generations that will follow.
    Hope you change your decision and I don’t have anything against any other religions…
    Then what brutality were you saying in CNN!!! Christians are the worlds most dangerous people, they commit thefts, rape women, get drunk and kill people… so you can’t blame other religions for your act.. first you must go and educate the values to your Christians then you come on CNN.

  • Paul R.

    How about the priests raping kids in churches?
    Should we burn all Churches, Kill all Christians.Should we shut down churches?
    So, I think we should kill all Christians :) for raping kids in Churches… I think that’s worse act than anything that Muslims has done.

    “Of the 4,392 accused priests included in the report, 56% were the subject of a single allegation. Just under 3% (or 149 priests) were the subject of ten or more allegations. These priests accounted for 2,960 of the total number of allegations. Around 81% of the victims were male; 51% between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% between the ages to 15 to 17 years.”

    200 Deaf Kids molested in Churches by one Priest… Evil Christianity?
    “A Wisconsin priest, the Rev. Lawrence C Murphy, who taught at the former St. John School for the Deaf in the Milwaukee suburb of St. Francis, Wisconsin from 1950 to 1974, allegedly molested more than 200 deaf boys.”

    Wikipedia rocks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_by_country

    I still believe no any religion preaches that kind of insanity. So, just look around your own religion, you ‘ll find a lot of messed up people.

  • Emily

    It is already war with islam. Read the koran-it says violence towards others. We can’t sit back and watch it happen. The mosque near ground zero is a slap in our face. The radical iman hates us, he more or less stated that.

  • Fatimah

    Hello everyone! As a muslim from South Africa
    I was very disturbed by Mr. Jones blatant hatred and disrespect.
    Clearly this is a major publicity stunt! I choose to respond verbally to such an issue by posing the following questions:
    1) Is he aware that christianity was a precursor to islam and that all muslims believe in Jesus?
    2) His statement that muslims are welcome but not their bopok or their law is quite nonsensical and is a prime example of his lack of intelligence!
    3) Both the Quraan & the Bible advocate violence under certain specific circumstances.
    Neither are inherently violent. What either followers do is done of their own volition and motives.
    4) He won’t be able to burn all the Quraans in his state, let alone the rest of America that he claims to represent?! His logic is clearly flawed!
    5) Many Muslims memorise the Quraan in its entirety.
    He’s gonna attempt to burn us all next, isn’t he? LOL!
    People like him give christians and americans a bad reputation and paint them as rather ignorant in the rest of the world’s view!

    On a side note, I’m pleased that for the most part, the people on the sight have chosen to respond with such rational thought regardless of their beliefs.
    I’m so glad I live in South africa, though!

  • Emily

    Ok, EVERYONE please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7UW_z3izRc

    Buying Qur’an’s from Muslims, is beneficial to Muslims. And burning them is a GOOD way of getting rid of a Qur’an according to Islam.

    SOOO, this pastor is giving money to Muslims, and getting rid of the book in a halal (permissable) way according to Muslims. Wow, this guy really needs to take a Religion 101 class, or something. HAHA

  • Allan

    Heinrich Heine said a long time ago,”Where men start by burning books, they will end by burning men.”

    Burning books is not an exercise in freedom of expression, it is a deliberate provocation, an insult meant to anger people, not an attempt to persuade them.

    After all the public commentary on his plans, Terry Jones cannot plead ignorance of what his acts will mean to our troops abroad in Muslim countries and to the reputation of the United States.

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  • Deborah

    OMG this guy is just a nut job. I see him like a Jim Jones. He thinks his way is the only way and thats just not so in this country. We are such a melting pot of many ideas and thoughts and ways and for him to honestly think his way is the only way is just a idiot speaking. How can anyone with any brains listen to him. And from what I have read now that this could put our troops in danger now if he does this is just all wrong and thats when I agree at that point for the government to step in and put a stop to it before it happens. This isn’t just a book burning because of some words in a book they don’t like but this is of peoples faith weather he agrees with it or not and now can cause some serious problems with our troops.This is why I am not of any religious faith and why I do not like organized religion at all. Many people take it to far.

  • Helloseekers

    I won’t give this nut bag credit for anything he says. Why can’t I find anything regarding his doctorate? Is it theology, or is he another Dr. Phil? This whole Qur’an burning thing has me mad. I’m not a believer and this is a damn good reason why.

  • Catharine

    Wonder what Terry Jones of the Monty Python comedy crew thinks of all this?

    Imagine a Python take-off about this deranged Florida preacher. No one would take it seriously and it would be hilarious.

    Unfortunately, this moron is no comedian and there is nothing to laugh at.

    Hate is never funny.

  • DEVONECO

    Burning of Religious Books is nothing new – at least not in the Middle East. In 2008 Jews in Israel burned hundreds of Bibles they had forcefully collected from Christians and Messianic Jews in Or-Yehuda a city near Tel Aviv – and nothing happened. Christians are being harassed frequently in Israel – check the following websites :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvnrBU4vaGY&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MgGtIWJoPc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4dPskzlqZ4&feature=related
    So what…………? No one in the Western world protested nor condemned this. So, keep on burning……..

  • catherine kubitz

    To Terry Jones, the head of the Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Fla., who plans to burn copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, on September 11 I ask this. Is this what Jesus would do? Is this how you want His religion to be represented?? Please come to your Christian senses. Your main job as a pastor in a Christian church is to show us the goodness that Jesus was, not the man that you are.

  • David Thorson

    Although the first amendment right is vital to us and to protect our freedom, with it comes responsibility. You have the right to say what you want, however you do not have the right to yell Fire in a crowded theater as people can be hurt by that. Although I support the ministers First amendment rights, I believe this is the wrong use of it. The extremists he talks about use their religion and ours, to justify their actions, it seems to me he is doing the same thing.

  • cadee

    ok omg first how the hell does this ignorant man think or ever fathom to say that christinity is the only true religion..are you kidding me firstly the christain religion is the newest relgion..is he saying that if your jewish that is not incorrect? does he plan on burning the old testament as well..this man is incredible. Jesus was jewish. so if christainity is the only true religion what is he saying about his jesus? who was a jew.. should we burn the christian bible for the mass slaughter of our own people in our country? the “witches” in salem. the indians the spanish inquisition in europe were all done in the name of jesus,god.as a whole we came to america from england to have freedom of religion..

  • cadee

    maybe he should actually read the koran because many of the same people are mentioned in BOTH….mother mary,abraham,moses,the koran still dipects ONE God the same God that is in the bible..its only a different view on what happend. they dont pray to jesus because they believe he was a prophet not God himself..

  • Evan

    to DEVONECO:
    I am aware of the burning of religious books in other countries but that is just it. We are in America which as a more tolerant society we are used to people criticizing and attacking us for lacking spiritual strength and morals. But if we are not to lead by example and continue to show the world that anyone may worship however they please without persecution then we are not to be leaders at all.

  • Huzaifa

    Something very logical that Christians, Jews and others have missed out, that we Muslims believe that Jesus (Peace and Blessing Be Upon Him) and Moses (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) are Prophets of Islam, and we Muslims equally respect them and the Quran greatly talks about them. Disrespecting a book that talks about the Prophets of the Bible is equally defaming to Christians.

    Freedom of Speech is not a bad thing, however defaming and insulting someone, and in this case 6.8 Billion people, is an inappropriate act.

    I would simply like to present a Muslim’s view on this.

    This fact is that in every sect, religion, race, etc., you will find extremists and liberals. These are the two extremes. If anyone thinks what Al-Qaeda is doing, is ‘practising’ Islam and its teachings, then this is entirely false. And if people do claim to be Muslims after performing such acts, then they are extremely misguided and in denial. This act of terrorism being performed by Al-Qaeda are not at all Islamic in anyway whatsoever. This point is, Islam does NOT at all preach violence of any kind, on the contrary, The Quran clearly states, that if someone kills one man, it is as though he has killed the entire mankind. The teachings present in the Quran strictly FORBID Muslims to harm any fellow human being in any way possible. And if people would like to point out verses that suggest otherwise, then they are quoting out of context and should read the entire thing before pointing fingers.

    Muslims will never commit acts, similar to that of Pastor Jones, because insulting someone or their ideas (including their religion) is what Islam forbids us to do. I’ll make it clear, that the Quran and the Hadith (teachings and saying of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) clearly state that Muslims should not and are not allowed to thrust their opinions, which includes the religion of Islam onto others. We Muslims have been guided to invite fellow beings to our religion, not force them. And if people you know or you have seen doing such thing, then THAT is not Islam. I am ready to confess with utter disappointment that us Muslims have been detracted. We are not following the Original Message, Islam is a religion of peace and if people. claiming to be Muslims, are acting otherwise, then I, on behalf of the entire Muslim community will apologize of his/her action(s) and confirm the entire world, that these actions are not of a MUSLIM, but of a cynical maniac. If Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden commit terrorist activities, then they are not doing so under the Islamic banner.

    Thank You. I welcome any questions regarding my comment and the true concept of Islam and will hope to answer to the best of my knowledge (God willing).

  • Robert

    A little about the pastor’s past, he founded a fundamentalist church in Cologne (CGK – Christliche Gemeinde Köln), they booted him out, that’s right, he was kicked out of the church he founded.
    He was also fined 3000 Euros in 2002 for using his doctor title in Germany, it is an honorary doctorate from an unaccredited bible school in California, using it in Germany, and most other countries, is illegal.
    details (in german)
    http://www.religio.de/dialog/402/26_62.htm
    The church in Germany was also investigated for tax fraud, and ran a for-profit limited company selling second hand goods over ebay, these goods were received by the church as charitable donations but redirected to the limited company.

  • ariannex

    well i think that the pastor is just trying to get attention, he just LOVES the spotlight. ]x

  • sophia

    If Jones submerged a Koran in a jar of urine, what would all the free speech advocates on this site say?

    “Muslims will never commit acts, similar to that of Pastor Jones, because insulting someone or their ideas (including their religion) is what Islam forbids us to do.”

    You are a bloody liar. You can’t even possess a Bible in Saudi Arabia.

  • http://simplemann.net Simple Mann

    It is with the heaviest of hearts that I read and reflect on what a man who is supposed to be a pastor and, even worse, a Christian–Terry Jones of of the non-denominational “church”, Dove Center in Gainesville, Florida–is preparing to do this weekend. He seems intent on burning several copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam at his “church” on Sunday under the banner of the Christian faith. What an abomination. If you want my opinion, I think he is breaking at least the first four commandments in this prideful act of intolerance. Please, people… and I am speaking to those of you who may not be Christian believers–know that this abhorrent act and man do not represent true Christianity.

    The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son, Timothy, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Tim 1:5)“ And in his second letter to this young pastor, he writes: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Tim 2:22-26)”

    Certainly the apostles and elders of the early church cared about doctrinal issues and were on their guard against heresies and the dangerous men who brought them–men who like ravenous wolves preyed upon the sheep. But these “heretics” were men who sought to corrupt the message of the gospel and the beauty of Christ from the inside-out, destroying the faith from within. They were not the “pagans” or the “infidels” (or whatever you want to call them) who completely rejected the Christian faith. Not at all.

    As I read the news yesterday about this arrogant act of hatred that a man who claims to be a Christian is planning to carry out this weekend on September 11–burning the holy book of another culture’s faith, I could not help but think of the great contrast with this angry man in Gainesville, Florida and one who lived quite some time ago in Serampore, India. I am speaking of the English reformed Baptist missionary, William Carey, a man who did NOT display his zeal toward God by burning the holy books of the Indian people, but demonstrated his zeal toward God by his love for the people–even translating their own spiritual works into languages they could read (since many of them could not read Sanskrit), as well as translating them into English so that his own countrymen could read them and better relate to the Indian people, too! The only books that were burned in Carey’s possession were ones he himself had written and was in the process of translating when an accidental fire destroyed much of his work. But it was William Carey’s fiery love for the people of the Christless culture he was sent to that burned the hottest. Oh that the Lord would raise up more men with a zeal like this, to LOVE those who are perishing and without a Savior, and who would melt the hearts of God’s enemies with good works, rather than hardening them even more with hatred, malice, and anger.

    And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” (Mark 4:24-25)

  • Jessica

    Pastor Jones,

    I seriously doubt that Jesus himself would condone your actions. If you live to spread His message and to personify His teachings, then why would an event like this ever even pass the stage of “passing thought” in your mind, let alone reach a point of possibly occurring?

    Jesus was a messenger of love and tolerance. We are all brothers and sisters in his eyes, regardless of our differences.

    These acts have a real chance of risking the safety, and possibly the lives, of people around the world who you are personally choosing to turn into victims of your cause, which most, if not all, appose.

    “Pastor” Jones, I am ashamed of you as a Pastor and as an American. We are a diverse nation who should be celebrating our differences, and you are spitting on this country’s great right to its people (as well as the population of the world) to practice whatever religion they choose. You are abusing your First Amendment Right, and the outcries from all of the Americans in response to this should be a clear message that we are appalled that a church could even consider doing such a thing in the name of God’s love.

    You, sir, make me sick.

  • Lisa

    There needs to be something set straight here. I believe that at the basic core all religions are true. And in their growth period there is violence, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, any time a religion starts to grow there is violence, and it is recorded in the pages of the holy tomes. To burn any book in retaliation (10 years later?!) is pure ignorance. A group of extremist exercised violence to make a point on 9/11, (I do not believe they represent all Muslims) the result was not the one intended. This one will backfire as well, and if conversion is the true intent, which I highly doubt it is, violence/acts that will lead to violence, will not accomplish the goal. I fear this “Pastor” will have people thinking he represents all Christians or all Americans, and I want to say, thankfully, that he does not!!! The Inquisition, the KKK, the battles in North Ireland between Protestants and Catholics were all perpetrated by the Christian religion, terrorism at its worst, yet I don’t recall any one wanting to run about burning bibles. This is a violent act, and violence will only beget more violence. What is sad is that legally the mosque can be built at ground zero, and if one follows legal guidelines, any nut can burn books, because one can do a thing does not mean one should. Consequences have not been considered in either case. I understand that the building of the mosque is to promote peace, understanding and harmony, and I have a hard time understanding why anyone would object to it being built except for the location, but I think it is actually meant as a healing gesture, even Muslims died at the trade center. I perceive one element wanting to offer understanding, peace and tolerance, and the other holding an entire religion hijacked to get his way (first it was objection to Muslims wanting to enforce their legal systems, now it is the mosque, he changes his venue often). We do live in a nation that guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom to force your religion on everyone else. And I am pretty sure we are to love one another. Not only if they agree with us 100% or for the purpose of conversion, but because loving God’s creation is the best way to serve him. Not stirring up hate and anger. I have lived all over the world, had neighbors of many cultures and religions, they never infringed on my beliefes nor I on theirs. We had simple respect for one another even if we were very different. I have always thought that when Christ said in “My Fathers house are many mansions”, he could have been revering to other religions. I mean, as far as I understand it, every religion attempts to honor, love, and worship God. It seems the gray area lies in the messenger. It like arguing over honoring the lamp and ignoring the light. It is my most fervent prayer that God, Allah, Jehovah, the Universe or the Force will show us all how to be tolerant, respect and love each other no matter our differences. We are all human, and while it is notable to love one’s country, is it not better to love one’s own kind? The Ancient of Days will lead people to him in his own time, and in his own way. It is not our job to convert, only to love and serve, and one cannot do that if one indulges in demeaning, disgraceful, hateful thoughts and deeds and words. I think the “Pastor” should re-examine his own faith and leave others to theirs. If it is politics and law he is concerned about, that handle it in a political way and leave religion out of it.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to point out that you will not find a Muslim group planning on burning the Bible. Our Bible is sacred to Muslims as well as the Koran, for much of their teachings come from the Bible. Don’t ask such ignorant questions.

  • OY

    Everyone on here is saying that the Pastor has the right to freedom of expression. While it is part of the constitution in America, I have never understood this. Yes by law, he can do what he wants, but in reality if he was to burn the Qurans, he would be DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for increased violence against American troops, and he would be DIRECTLY responsible for increasing violence/tension between Muslims and Christians. Surely, the troops’ right not to get killed outweighs his right of freedom of expression?
    I live in the UK, so I have not been bought up with the constitution you Americans have. I most certainly do NOT believe in a universal right of freedom of expression. I believe it is a responsibility, and that if your ‘expression’ abuses someone else’s right (to life, to live in a racist free society etc) then you should not have the right to freedom of expression.

    Hence why I think he should be stopped. For me it comes down to: abusing his right to freedom of expression vs. killing troops, world war 3 [a bit OTT but you get my point] etc etc. But hey, I dont know very much about these things, and I am not even sure that my paragraphs made sense to anyone :)

  • fzn

    I’m Muslim from Indonesia. Your Prophet Isa (jesus) we respect him so much till the end of this world. This is the order The God told Our Prophet Muhammad to spread this kindness to muslims in Quran the Holy Book. But for us Isa is the Prophet/messenger not the god or god’s son. So, should you guys respect Muhammad though. Be noticed, The followers of both religion who has ‘short antenna on their heads’ will planted hatred based on mis-interpretation of holy books.

  • Buddy

    I’m a christian too and serving in the U.S. Army and I’m personally offended by this guy. I wonder if he has even read the Koran. I haven’t myself but we receive enough training and information to include talks with actual muslims and practicing islamists to know that it is not a violent religion. People claiming to have been christians have tried to or actually succeeded in blowing up abortion clinics. That would mean christianity is capable of harvesting extremists also. This guy needs to open his eyes and actually study up on something and look at it from all sides before proclaiming something as dumb as this. think about the consequences too. he is putting soldiers overseas in even more harm now too. if he thinks he’s going to get all the heat over here in the states he’s mistaken. take heat from people burning flags and waiving banners while we take heat from extremists with road side bombs waiving ak-47′s and rpg’s. yeah thanks mr jones for being real smart about that one and increasing the danger to us just so you can have a little bonfire party you dumbass.

  • kenny

    america used to be something now we are a joke.we are a joke because we’re always bragging about our rights and that we are free to think say and believe whatever we want.since 9/11 we are afraid of another attack so what do we do we roll out the red carpet for muslims and do everything in our power not to offend them.in other words we are a country that only believes in freedom but don’t defend or practice it.media,religious,non-religious you name it we all scorn those who do things like this because we don’t want to have another attack.well the way i see it everybody who has died to defend this counrty might have died in vain un less we start practicing our right to free speech and expression there of.i am currently working on a cartoon of muhammad shitting on the koran post it everywhere soon see how that goes.


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