Restoring the Koran

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation plans to run this full-page ad in the Gainesville Sun on Friday, in response to Pastor Terry Jones burning Korans:

Well, it’s definitely a gesture of goodwill.

I wonder if it’d be more useful, though, to donate a certain amount of money to a non-profit/charity organization for each Koran burned instead.

Still, I like MRFF’s response.

Your thoughts?

(via Chris Rodda)

  • Alex

    I really don’t understand why the focus is on REPLACING burned Korans. Why not donate that money to Women for Women International or any of a number of charities helping Afghan families?

  • Fett101

    The one thing that bothers me in that sign is “un-American act”. If anything, the freedom to hold the “Burn a Koran” day is an extremely American act in terms of free speech.

  • Brian C Posey

    I don’t really like it when try to define what “American” is either. However, we were a country founded on religious liberty. While they have a right to burn their own books, they’re going against the spirit of our constitution.

    Using “un-American” isn’t a technical statement. It’s a figurative one.

  • The Other Tom

    I understand there is a certain easy to understand value to their method – “a koran for a koran” – but rather than sending them to afghanistan, a nation that needs to get out from under theocracy, perhaps it would be better to donate them to a liberal mosque in the US, and send a statement about it (perhaps with a nice photo of a smiling imam receiving the korans) to afghani press.

  • Mariam Zeidan

    It’s definitely a move in the right direction but i say let the bigoted shit for brains kick and scream,let their ture colors show..they can do whatever the hell they want as long as we can mop the floor with them.
    this is a free country and they are a minority and they will make complete loons out of themselves if they get on with this.
    Sit back and watch the freakshow.

  • http://jsears.xidus.net/blog John Sears

    Yeah, err. I don’t like any military organization telling people what forms of speech are and are not ‘Un-American’. That smacks of a military dictatorship to me.

    I don’t vehemently oppose one band of religious delusionals burning the Very Sacred Handbook of another band of religious delusionals. I guess that means I’m not rational and intelligent?

    Thanks, guys, for setting the outside terms of the debate. Now we have to be respectful of, even mindful of, the meaningless idol-worshipping superstitions of religious people or else we’re Un-American. Great job.

  • alex

    Un-American? Come on, that’s a codeword for True Patriots©®™ (patent pending). That can be safely ignored.

    Donating to a charity is certainly more direct and rational way of helping people, but we need to understand that this is a publicity issue. Whether bargaining with rabid islamic extremists is productive is a whole different topic; fundies will be fundies, but we need to maintain good relations with moderates, whether we like it or not: they are the majority, after all. Of course, that doesn’t mean bending over backwards every time we have a disagreement, but in this case MRFF, thankfully, has a productive idea about the situation. I’d like to see some comments from Muslims (the reasonable ones, I know they are out there) about this.

  • Mike

    Perhaps they should offer to burn an equal number of bibles/torahs/hubbard novels. You know, to keep everything eye-for-an-eye equal.

    It does seem a bit counter-productive to replace burned korans in America with an equal number of korans in a country that already has plenty of them.

    What about all the other Islam heavy countries? Won’t they feel left out? Shouldn’t we also send an equal number of replacement korans to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.

    I can understand the idea behind the restitution, but the MRFF should use its money for something here on the home front. I would imagine that American Muslims would be the most upset about this, but then again it is protected speech.

    who knows. Just sick of the whole stupid situation…

  • EFG

    How about if we offer to burn an equal number of Bibles and Torahs to make it even? I’m all for reducing the number of religious books around.

  • Scott

    Look, bottom line this is a military tactic, and a smart one. I agree that all religion should go away, but the fact is, that’s not going to happen any time soon. If donating a few Korans to the Afghans means fewer of them will be trying to kill our troops or supporting the Taliban, then I’m all for it. What I’d really like to do is go to Florida and burn a bible for every Koran burnt.

  • Richard Wade

    The point seems to be to try to mitigate the direct and immediate danger that our troops will face in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) when that despicable idiot burns those Qur’ans. Replacing them book for book is the only gesture that would make any impression on the people who would be incensed and inflamed by what they will see and hear when the burning begins. It’s a straight repudiation of Jones’ hateful act, saying “We, American soldiers, do not support or condone this.”

    The Qur’an is what the people there value. Gestures of giving money to charities that liberal Americans might value but which Middle Easterners might not value would not help. They would not see that as a mending of what was injured.

    I hope it helps. Jones may end up with a lot of blood on his hands.

  • DemetriusOfPharos

    How odd that everyone else caught the ‘un-American’ – I glossed over that as my reaction to it was that the MRFF was calling burning books un-American.

    In any case, one quote comes to mind: “I heartily endorse this product and/or service.” – Krusty

  • SpencerDub

    While I appreciate Richard’s pragmatic perspective, and I also appreciate the MRFF’s sentiment… I’m just not sure how to feel about this issue.

    Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. If I want to burn a Bible, Qur’an, a copy of The God Delusion, or, hell, a replica of the Constitution– that should be my freedom, and I don’t think it makes me evil to do it. As so many people have said before me, freedom of speech is not supposed to protect only the things we want to hear. Freedom of speech is decidedly American. From the free speech perspective, the FFRF is wrong in calling Jones’ book-burning “un-American.”

    It’s difficult, though, because religious intolerance is decidedly un-American, if I’m to use the Constitution as a guide. It’s certainly reprehensible, although I still don’t know if I’d call someone “evil” for burning a holy book.

    What’s more, it’s hard to discern whether the FFRF’s reaction is to the action of burning copies of the Qur’an, or the Islamophobic sentiment (presumably) behind it. Blind bigotry is of course despicable, and if their reaction is geared toward that, then I can accept it. But if they’re reacting more to the burning of holy books… again, I can’t get behind that. As PZ once said, “Nothing must be held sacred.”

    Clearly, if my rambles have proven anything, it’s that I’m quite confused about this one.

  • Richard Wade

    John Sears,

    I don’t vehemently oppose one band of religious delusionals burning the Very Sacred Handbook of another band of religious delusionals. I guess that means I’m not rational and intelligent?

    No, it doesn’t mean that you’re not rational and intelligent, of course you are. I only think that you might be being a little short-sighted.

    We cannot afford to let the “delusionals” fight each other unhindered, or even encouraged. They will burn each other’s books and eventually burn down the whole world. To use another elemental metaphor, We are all in a small boat, and we cannot sit back and watch two lunatics try to kill each other, thinking that we’ll be rid of both. If we do, we will all drown.

    We’re going to have to live with religious people on this crowded planet for at least another 100 years, possibly another 1,000. We have to promote rational behavior in people in small steps, coaxing more and more of them along, one generation at a time. I’m hoping that eventually we will be free of institutionalized superstition by attrition rather than by abolition.

  • Mike Wolfe

    “I wonder if it’d be more useful, though, to donate a certain amount of money to a non-profit/charity organization for each Koran burned instead.”

    If you did that it could
    a) come across as a gesture endorsing it like a sponsorship (“I’ll donate $5 for every mile X runs”),
    b) it may encourage more burnt Qu’rans.

  • Deepak Shetty

    @Richard

    I hope it helps. Jones may end up with a lot of blood on his hands

    Im amazed that you are expressing this sentiment. If instead of burning a Koran , Jones drew cartoons of Mohammed would you make the same statement that you have made?

  • Richard P.

    From Jesus & Mo

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/2010/09/08/crass/

    I wonder if people should just show up with some bibles and torahs and any other religious texts and turn it into a religious text burning day. This would deflect the emphasis on the koran. It will unite them all, they can all cry together about how offended they are. Most importantly it will help to remove this delusional thinking that religion deserves any respect at all.
    Which seems to be rather rampant as of late.

  • Pingback: “Burning a Quar’an no different than burning a Bible”

  • Richard Wade

    Deepak Shetty,
    I think there’s a big difference in intention between drawing a cartoon of Mohammad, and having a demonstrative and highly publicized Qur’an-burning ceremony. I don’t think the comparison stands up well. I guess we’ll just have to hold our breath and see what happens. If I remember correctly, some people were injured and killed in riots in a few places when the original Danish Mohammad cartoons were published, and that was horrible and reprehensible. Nothing much more than heated debate took place during the recent “Draw Mohammad Day” on college campuses.

    What Jones is doing is extremely and deliberately inflammatory, (please excuse the pun) and he is definitely NOT doing it for any principle of exercising his freedom of expression. He just wants to promote and sell hate, to aggrandize himself and his up-to-now unknown tiny church. Some of the hate will fill his coffers and his pews, but most of it will spill out far from his insular, self-absorbed little world. Unfortunately, innocent people, both Middle Easterners and Westerners will be hurt in the mayhem that Jones incites. I think he’s counting on it. He’ll say, “See, I told you they are violent.”

  • Rich Wilson

    The problem is, it’s not about lost books. Books in the public domain are cheap to print. There are plenty of copies of the Koran around. The real issue is the insult of burning God. Burning any other book isn’t an equivalent. For Muslims, the Koran is a little closer to the wafer and wine for Catholics. It is a physical connection to God, as if God himself had touched each one.

    Hey, I’m not saying I agree, but that’s how THEY see it. Giving someone a replacement Koran is just proving that you don’t ‘get’ the insult, and may just piss people off even more.

  • The Vicar

    They can’t donate money to a charity. Doing so would actually encourage some subset of people to burn more Korans: “hey, I get to piss off Muslims and give money to charity! Bonus!” That’s a bit like saying “for every ten dollars spent by the U.S. on military equipment, we will in protest give a penny to the federal school lunch program.” The result would not be to shame Congress; it would be to reassure them that spending money on weapons does not harm children.

  • Quester

    I’m more in favour of International Read a Qu’ran Day and other such movements promoting people educating themselves as to what’s actually in the book, rather than promoting both ignorance and hate by burning.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Maybe Jones could get his message across if he burnt the Koran in Afghanistan or another Muslim nation. rather than replace the books maybe they could pay for his to travel to where his message will cause the most offence. He would be putting himself in the line of fire that way and not some poor kid who just wants to serve his nation.

  • SickoftheUS

    Richard Wade wrote:

    What Jones is doing is extremely and deliberately inflammatory, (please excuse the pun) and he is definitely NOT doing it for any principle of exercising his freedom of expression.

    What if an atheist or first amendment rights group decided to host a mass “Holy Book Burn”, where they burned Bibles, Korans, Torahs, etc. etc. – in other words, not singling out Muslims and not a hate act? Nevertheless, the event would inevitably anger Muslims and other religious people.

    My point is that one person’s *intention* may be less relevant than the *effect* on the other person. And you seem to recognize this fact of human interaction in many of your advice columns.

  • SickoftheUS

    I’m not very impressed by the supposed ambassadorial goodwill of re-Koraning the Afghan population, while our military continues its 9 year mission of rampaging through Afghan society and indiscriminately murdering its citizens. Somehow I think they’ll see through that one.

  • Tony

    On Saturday someone is going to burn a book and the response is going to be an adolescent tantrum by a bunch of readily offended rent-a-crowds. I would suggest a suitable retaliation would be to burn bibles, preferably the KJV. They won’t though. They’ll lynch and bomb and murder and burn buildings and ruin actual real human lives.

    It’s just a book people!

    Of course in the interests of fairness perhaps they could burn copies of secular writings too. I bet if, say, 100,000 copies of “I Sold My Soul on Ebay” were to be purchased and thrown into a conflagration that Hemant would be thoroughly admonished… and that drinks would be on him once his residual arrived!

  • Matteo Watkins

    Unfortunately, the religious dumbasses in FL have put the US military in this position… they are the ones who will have to deal with the backlash of anger, so, in what is in reality more of an act of self preservation, they are trying to preempt possible violent acts aimed at our soldiers by distancing themselves from the FL group.. They do this by using phrases like un American to try and distinguish thier position from that of the FL group. It may well be that if the church group goes ahead with their book burning, it could cost the lives of some of our soldiers… These church going chickenshits seem happy to posture as long as it’s not their own lives that they are putting at risk. Un- American, yes, I would agree with that, illegal no, but tasteless and flying in the face of collective American values and decency, yes… that is what they mean by un-American… I’m an atheist through and through, and if there is one thing I’d like religious people to do, it would be to live and let live… believe what you want, don’t bother other people with it…that includes purposely provoking other people who believe differently than you do…regardless of who “started it”…it truly saddens me to think that my children are inheiriting a world where this is the best we can do… despite the advances that evolution has afforded us over the centuries…humans are still, on the whole, thick as mud…want proof?… go to church. A Qur’an for a Qur’an seems like it is simply a reaction by the armed services (or affiliates of) to try and prevent them from losing any gains they may have won in the eyes of the local people by saying hey, that’s not us… it may help keep some calm who might otherwise be turned to retaliation against the only Americans in their immediate area…our poor troops, who don’t want to be there anyway. I feel sorry for them, and ashamed of the people of our country who make life even harder for them by pulling these kind of inflamatory stunts…if you think making your point about freedom of speech by drawing Mohammed, or burning a Qur’an is an intelligent way to make your point, then go for it… although I agree with the sentiment, I feel the methodology is flawed for a lot of common sense reasons.

  • ManaCostly

    The poster says:

    For every book burned we buy a new one.

    But I read:

    They waste money and time so we waste money and time.

  • Drew M.

    Hmm. “Winning of hearts and minds” didn’t exacty work in Vietnam. I don’t expect it’ll work here either.

  • Claudia

    I have to sharply disagree with people (and there are plenty) who are already saying that if Americans die because of irate Muslims, this pastor will have blood on his hands.

    He’s burning books, not people. He could burn a thousand books and it would still not be anywhere equal to the murder of a single human being. If Islamists use his actions as an excuse to kill more Americans, the responsibility of those deaths can be laid squarely at the feet of those who are outraged by blasphemy but think nothing of killing fellow human beings.

    Let’s not forget that we’ve heard this before. The reporters who broke the Abu Gharib scandal would be to blame for American troops dying. The newspapers who printed and reprinted the Danish cartoons could be blamed for violence in response.

    I agree intentions matter, and I find these actions despicable, largely because I find book-burning disgusting. It matters that this pastor is doing this to show his god is bigger and badder (though I suspect to get publicity and money is his real aim). It makes the actions less defensible. However he doesn’t get the blame when the fundamentalists from the other team wildly overreact and kill someone in response.

    As for the response, I think it would be nice if we could somehow channel rejection of his actions into, say, flood relief for Pakistani civilians.

  • keddaw

    Boys and girls, burning your own property is no more un-American than mowing your lawn.

    That some people get upset about it (e.g. GZM) is their problem.

    @Richard Wade

    The point seems to be to try to mitigate the direct and immediate danger that our troops will face in Afghanistan

    Who shouldn’t be there!

    “We, American soldiers, do not support or condone this.”

    While we shoot at you with our rifles inscribed with Bible verses!

    Frankly, exercising your 1st Amendment rights in the face of public outrage is the most American thing one could do.

    And why isn’t PJ Crowley (State dept. spokesman) being fired for suggesting that an American acting within his rights is

    … inconsistent with our American values. In fact, these actions themselves are un-American.

    Surely that is a shocking statement by the State department. Where is Obama, or Hilary, on this issue?

    If the troops really are fighting for American’s freedoms then why are the Army and State department trying to limit this idiot pastor’s freedoms?

  • GSW

    If the military truly wish to demonstrate American ‘tolerance’ they should instead donate a Christian bible(NT)/a torah/a tipitaka/a vedas and a quoran (plus any I may have missed) for every one burned by Jones.

    Then we could all stand back and watch those terribly tolerant muslims burn the bible/torah/ tipitaka/vedas etc. – as they have been doing for many, many years without any western children blowing up their embassies.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/randomnora Nora

    I just want to clarify, because it seems there is some confusion, that MRFF is not an actual part of the military or any extension of the government. It’s just a foundation that happens to be specifically geared towards military members. So this is not an official act or anything.

  • http://www.anthonyrmiller.com Tony

    Decent idea. Destined to fail.

    The US military handing out relgious material? We’re back to a violiation of church/state seperation again.

  • sailor

    “It’s difficult, though, because religious intolerance is decidedly un-American,”

    It is? Then what about all these anti-mosque demonstrations? American can be a lot of things, these include being generous and kind at one end of the spectrum and paranoid and intolerant at the other.

    One American thing I really respect is freedom of speech, this is something all Americans can be proud of. This includes burning American flags, Korans, Bibles and drawing cartoons. It is a wonderful thing people are free to do these things however much any of us may disagree with any one instance of it.

    If this could be used as a teachable moment it would be: we let people express themselves, however much we hate what they say, because above all we believe in freedom.

  • Revyloution

    I think it’s ridiculous that we have to try to counter Jones’ actions. He should be free to burn the Koran, the God Delusion, or any other book.

    If he was burning the Bhagavad Gita, I really doubt we would be having this conversation. The only reason this is a big deal is because we fear the reactions of Muslims.

    Pastor Jones is an idiot, but I see the real problem is an intolerant group of bronze age people.

  • Hitch

    I see the spirit of this. Sadly it also reinforces just a number of notions.

    We have to get out of the cycle of ->offense->retribution->offense->retribution->…

    and for that we will have to learn that offense does never justify retribution. And as long as we fail to have that enlightenment principle stick it’s going to be difficult, because the world has idiots who will do unproductive offensive things and there just isn’t an open society that should have mechanisms to stop it.

  • http://pewpew murrr

    Again, Ive seen one person mention it. Thought I’d reiterate.

    This is NOT the US military responding. It is the MRFF (http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/), which is in no way affiliated with the US government. They serve military personnel in dealing with violations of the 1st amendment. This is a privately funded organization.

    In regards to this response. I like it. You will never make everyone happy, but this is a legal response to a flagrant display of short-sightedness and idiocy.

    I dont understand the people that keep pressing OUR culture and OUR values on a group of people living in another part of the world under different values. Not everyone shares the same liberal values of “western” countries. Even other countries have completely different “national values” sets than the US. You cant compare them with the values of the multitude of Muslim nations and then wonder why their actions dont make sense.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  • http://chandays.blogspot.com Larry Meredith

    what’s the big deal with burning Korans? I think it’s a step in the right direction. We should burn many other Holy Books too.

    You are right, they should be sending they money spent on Korans to charities…

  • Rodrigue

    It’s a waste of money.

    If some christian nuts want to burn the holy book of another cult, what should we do? Buy more nutbooks? Call Shrinks4Nuts?

    The muslims extremists don’t need this christian-nuts-burning-book-day to get angry, they hate us already (how many korans burnt in the USA before 9/11?).
    Buy toys for afghani children, or books (REAL books), or pencils, or food, or clothes. They certainly don’t need more korans.

  • keddaw

    How come Obama can come out against this yet be ‘neutral’ about the Ground Zero Mosque.

    1st Amendment issues are supposed to be his top priority, not the safety of the military or the citizenry. He swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and is supposedly a constitutional scholar.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11243711

    Obama’s against it, Hilary called it “disgraceful”, the State Department has weighed in and the US Army are very much against it.

    All because some idiot Pastor wants to have a fire on his lawn.

    Or is it because they are trying to placate the Muslim idiots that will, inevitably, over-react? Well screw them, this is America and what I do with my property, on my property, is my business!

  • http://www.tomshamma.wordpress.com Thomas Shamma

    This was actually pretty much the first thing I thought when I first heard about the event. Or, something to do with protecting/restoring the Koran, anyway. I wasn’t sure how to do it.

    I think it’s important, politically as well as morally, for atheists to make it very clear that religious freedom is a priority. The Koran burning event is an open attack against Islam, and anything other than directly contradicting it is insufficient.

  • Hitch

    Can we have a “don’t give media attention to a tiny fringe congregation bigoted idiot group”-day?

  • http://www.tomshamma.wordpress.com Thomas Shamma

    Er, sorry about the double-posting, I realize this is terrible form, but my lack of clarity didn’t occur to me until after the timer ran out for edits.

    What I meant to express is that, given Burn a Koran day was inspired by Draw Muhammad day, anything other than open opposition to the former will seem to imply approval by those who participated in the latter. Draw Muhammad day was about defending freedom of speech, when it overlaps with freedom of religion. Burn a Koran day is just about attacking Islam.

    I’m not saying we should try to stop the people burning the Korans – they have that right – but (and I can’t remember who I’m quoting, but as someone once said,) “The answer to bad speech is more speech.” This is a good response to an event whose implicit goal is for Christians to attack Islam.

  • Christopher Petroni

    Echoing everyone who thinks it’s not the best idea to support theocracy in the Afghan military. There must be ailing civilian programs in Afghanistan that could benefit from a donation.

  • Rodrigue

    Most regrettably, Hitch, it’s too late for that…

  • Silent Service

    Tony has the basics of it. Donating Qur’ans to the the US military is cool enough, but the US military cannot, by law, pass them on for you. That shows military support for a specific religion when the military must remain neutral.

    I think the opponents of burn a Qur’an day should protest by holding a Read a Qur’an counter protest right there at the site of the book burning. Counter a destructive protest with an educational one.

  • http://www.atheistrex.blogspot.com Rex

    I have two issues here.

    One is that, like many of you, I think that when some offensive idiot burns books, and then the reaction of the radicals is to burn cities and people, the focus really needs to be on the latter group, no matter what the non violent offense. If we don’t look at it this way, then eventually they will be able to force whatever is Allah’s will on the rest of us by threatening to burn cities and people.

    The other issue is that I understand the concept of conciliation that is on display with the offer to replace the books. I am actually having a problem with our military being involved in distributing religious materials, no matter how good the intentions.

  • http://healingincarnations.wordpress.com Unity

    This reminds me a lot of how the drawings for “Draw Mohammed Day’ were either erased, censored or threatened because someone offended someone else by drawing a picture of Mohammed.

    How was that event any different than this event to burn a ‘holy book’?

    Either way, there should be no threat of violence simply because someone is offended. Seems to me there was a lot of support for the Draw Mohammed Day. Now there is a lot of fear of retalliation sparking outcries against this event.

    I don’t agree with burning of ANY books regardless of what they are about. I do however want to be able to burn any book I desire without fear of being blown up or stoned to death.

  • Lisa C.

    I like that the gesture is to benefit people who appreciate the Qur’an. You don’t have to agree with what’s in a book in order to acknowledge that other people can appreciate it. It’s like Holiday Giving… you buy for the person, not for yourself.

    If we gave to a charity of OUR interest, it just wouldn’t be the same… the gesture would lack sincerity and be off the point.

  • http://www.bluefrogdesignstudios.com/thebluefrogsays/ The Big Blue Frog

    I totally disagree with this, and I’m pretty sure the military code will prohibit it. Just as the military can not and should not be distributing Bibles, they should not be distributing Korans either. Besides, it’s not Afghan Korans that are being burned. Odds are these Korans have been bought from American book stores, although I haven’t seen anything about the source of the books.

  • Claudia

    So poor murr doesn’t have to do it, I’ll do it for him/her. This is NOT something being done in an official capacity by the military, but by an organization which seeks to defend the 1st ammendment rights of servicemembers. A cursory look into their website appears to show that they are equal-opportunity, just as likely to defend Muslims as Christians as nonbelievers.

  • keddaw

    So Koran Burning might fuel anti-American violence against US troops?

    Perhaps this will put it in perspective:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11252987
    Headline: US troops ‘murdered Afghan civilians and kept body parts’

  • Deepak Shetty

    Richard Wade

    I think there’s a big difference in intention

    Agreed. However that’s because reasonable people can distinguish nuance. Ask a fundamentalist(or even a somewhat devout muslim) whats the difference in intent between burning his holy book or drawing the un-drawable prophet. As the latter incident has already shown , intent doesn’t matter.

    He’ll say, “See, I told you they are violent.”

    Oh yes. The sad part is some of the muslims will fall for it.

  • Richard Wade

    SickoftheUS,

    What if an atheist or first amendment rights group decided to host a mass “Holy Book Burn”, where they burned Bibles, Korans, Torahs, etc. etc. – in other words, not singling out Muslims and not a hate act? Nevertheless, the event would inevitably anger Muslims and other religious people.

    I can’t imagine how First Amendment principles would be well served by such an act. It would provoke so much anger, hurt and hatred that the principle of freedom would be canceled out in the minds of the lovers of those books. It could even be deeply discredited in their minds. “Fence sitters” watching from the sidelines would also not be well impressed by such actions taken “in the name of liberty.” Our “good intentions” do not completely remove our responsibility for very easily foreseeable bad consequences, especially those falling on the heads of uninvolved people.

    My point is that one person’s *intention* may be less relevant than the *effect* on the other person. And you seem to recognize this fact of human interaction in many of your advice columns.

    Yes, the actual pragmatic effect that an act will have on innocent people is the most important as far as I’m concerned, but the intention is important too. I was talking about the intention because Jones’ demagogic hate fest was being compared to Draw Mohammad Day, which on the level of intention I think is not comparable. Watching the news today, it looks like the pragmatic effects will not be comparable either.

    Somewhere, in each considered act, there is a balance between the principle/intention and its actual, pragmatic consequence. We cannot mechanically follow some kind of formula about these things. We have to use JUDGMENT in every one of our decisions.

  • Danny wuvs kittens

    I wish people would shutup about how dangerous this is for the troops.

    Being a soldier is dangerous. Its also very hard, but there are other hard jobs. Logging, commercial fishing, construction, agriculture, those are all hard jobs that don’t have anywhere the same payoff(pay, benefits, social status, resume, gi bill and things like it).

    Soldiers are content to wear the uniforms, take pictures next to machine guns, put it on their resume, get women easily, have something to talk about and get respected for, etc.

    Now that some batshit insane fundies are using their right to free speech to disrespect the koran, everybody’s wanting it called off because of the fucking troops? Bullshit. If people die, that’s what they signed up for, and that’s what reservists are for.

    I’ve already heard that their website has been taken off the web by their web hosts. This is disgusting, and deserves attention.

    Its exactly like the fucking mosque. Is it a good idea? Fuck no. Is it disrespectful? Fuck yes. Do they have every goddamn right to do it? Goddamn straight. Do we have a responsibility as a minority and as Americans to defend their right? You bet your fucking ass.

    If you want to make a statement regarding this, I recommend burning the bible and the torah, as well as the koran. They’re all just as evil as islam.

  • Will

    This whole burn a Quran contraversy is ridiculous. It’s offensive to Muslims? Really? Ya think? Who the fuck cares? People get offended every day. I’m offended by stupid ppl but I don’t blow up buildings or start wars over it. Muslims ain’t nothing special, and they need to grow the fuck up like everyone else. D:

  • muggle

    Look we know that MRFF is not a government oraganization but they’re distributing this book through the military which is a church-state violation and should not be done period. Those of you who are accusing those who said it was a church-state violation of read that flyer again. The Korans are being sent to Gen. Petraeus for distribution. I’m frankly disgusted that MRFF, an organization set up to protect the religious freedom of members of the military, would make such a move. They aren’t asking you to send it to some iman in Afghanistan; they’re asking you to send it to the military for distribution when they military has no business distributing any holy book whatsoever. Or “The God Delusion” either, for that matter.

    I wish to fuck the news would stop feeding the troll. This is a constitutional right of this nutjob and if not for the flames being fanned would die in obsurity but it’s being fed (MRFF just did their bit to help fan it too) and this dickwad is getting much more attention than he deserves, which will probably help him grow the cult. Stupid, real fucking stupid.

    But, hell, yes, he’s within his constitutional rights.

    I am seriously wondering if MRFF is going to turn around and defend the soldier that objects to having to distribute korans now. Very, very disturbing that they’re doing this.

  • Anonymous Atheist

    Good news! The a-hole preacher announced tonight that he has cancelled the koran-burning (for now at least). So maybe this iffy MRFF project will be a moot point. :)


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