Should Christians Have to Apologize on Behalf of Terry Jones?

Terry Jones is the pastor who threatened to burn a Koran on September 11th and finally went through with it a few weeks ago. In response, there have been riots in Afghanistan leading to the deaths of several people.

Is Jones to blame for all this? Even if he’s not, should Christians have to apologize for or defend his actions?

That was the question posed by the Washington Post On Faith blog and my response is now up at their site.

Here’s an excerpt:

There’s a big difference between killing human beings (which radical Muslims and Christian Scott Roeder have done) and burning a book (which Terry Jones did). We should all condemn those who commit violence in the name of their beliefs. When Muslims do it, we hope Muslim leaders speak out. When Christians do it, we hope Christian leaders will speak out.

But Jones didn’t commit or condone violence. He burned a book.

Christians shouldn’t have to condemn Jones just because they both call themselves Christians… but if there is an outcry from Christians who feel compelled to respond, I really want to know why they’re choosing this particular event to respond to.

Please leave your comments over there!

  • http://godlizard.com godlizard

    Why should Christians (or even Terry Jones himself) have to apologize? Are Muslims like automata with no volition, and only the Westerner to whom they are reacting can truly have responsibility? Why isn’t there more outcry for the actual murderers to be brought to justice?

  • mourningthrull

    i’d say the reason is probably because it’s a lot harder to get to the people in afghanistan. yes we would like to bring the rioters to justice but that isn’t exactly feasible. On the other hand, a christian preacher showing this kind of prejudice and intolerance should be at least rebuked by his own faith- the whole “love your neighbor” bit doesn’t mention burning his holy book if he had nothing to do with whatever is currently irritating you.

  • Annie

    I live in Gainesville, and I was so pleased when our local media (who knew about the event) chose not to write about it. Of course, Jones got his little video on You tube, so it really didn’t matter. He is nothing more than a media whore. I agree with you Hemant, regardless of how much someone infuriates me, it does not give me the right to harm or kill them or someone else because of it. I thought your comment was spot on. That being said, we are all a little more than tired of Terry Jones. Our city gave him a bill (of several hundred thousand dollars) for the police that were required during his stunt in September. He never paid it. His “church” has run a furniture business for years on church grounds, and so the warehouse has enjoyed tax exemption because it was a place of worship. The widowed wife of the pastor who founded Dove Outreach has spoken out in disgust of Jones and his cult (her words… and mine). My city has tried to find every possible legal way they could to shut him down… but they can’t.

    Terry Jones burned the Qur’an and put the video on You tube for the sole purpose to incite Muslims. Mission accomplished.

  • CanadianNihilist

    I wouldn’t apologize if an atheist did something stupid. I don’t expect Christians to.

    I would agree that something done was wrong or I might outright call someone a crazy asshole. (depending what they did) But I’m a fan of personal responsibility and not in the business of apologizing for other peoples mistakes.

    Whether or not Terry Jones should apologize is a different matter. If nothing else he should apologize for burning literature. I’m not a fan of any kind of book burning be it science textbook, Qur’an, bible or any other printed medium.

  • ckitching

    No, Christians shouldn’t apologize for Terry Jones. They can feel free to call him an attention-seeking idiot, though. They can call him out on his bigotry. Just don’t apologize. It’s not their moral failing that made him burn a book. I would argue that the book burning isn’t the malevolent part of Terry Jones’ actions. He has a right to destroy his own property any way he sees fit as long as he doesn’t harm someone in the process. The moral failing I can credit to this man is simply the fact he works hard to instill hatred and bigotry into his flock.

    The only thing Christians should apologize for is not standing up to idiots like Mr Jones sooner.

  • http://healthyhumanist.blogspot.com Jay Knight

    If other Christians want to connect themselves to this idiot then more power to them. It doesn’t do anything but associate themselves with the crazies and makes people start asking questions. More questioning = Less Religion.

  • Richard P.

    Oh great.
    Two gods fighting about which one is right, using human pawns, again. That’s the problem with being immortal, After a while it’s just the same routine, over and over.

  • CassvilleAtheist

    Honestly, I prefer individual responsibility. If you have done wrong you should face the consequences. However, there are always those that will stand in your way thinking that what was done was right.

    C’est La Vie

  • http://therearethornstoo.blogspot.com/ Denise

    I couldn’t comment there…I tried, but even though I have an ID and whathaveyou, it wouldn’t let me comment there.

    What I said was:

    No. Neither condemnation nor apology.

    I disagree with what he did – as I believe that book-burning (any book) is childish and Terry Jones is an attention whore. However, freedom of speech is a precious thing – and we have to be willing to defend others’ rights to speak freely, lest the suppression of freedoms extend back to bite us in the butts. Thomas Paine was correct 250 years ago, and it still applies today.

    The one comment I read…talk about batshit behavior: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LCLDjPNpf4&feature=player_embedded

    I wonder if she would do the same thing with the Bible that she did with th Quran…

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    There are two things Christians can and should do:

    1. Quit using relativistic excuses for Jones. In other words, stop saying “Well, at least he didn’t attack or kill anyone.” No, he didn’t, but that he didn’t hurt or kill anyone doesn’t make what he did a good idea. If your sole measure of whether or not something is a good idea is to decide whether it’s an attack or a killing, you’re seriously handicapped, ethically.

    2. Jones is supposedly a preacher credentialed by some Christian outfit. Find out which organization credentialed him, and demand that they yank his certificate, diploma, whatever it is. Yes, I know it won’t stop him from doing what he does, since credentials or no, he can still yammer like an idiot to his congregation … but an action like that would be a more tangible and clear statement of disapproval than the usual mealy-mouthed “he doesn’t represent us” crap.

  • cheryl

    I do not EVER apologize for Terry Jones, but I do publicly verbally condemn his and WBC’s actions/words. He is merely a talking ass, and I don’t mean the biblical one.
    I do not take responsibility for anyone else’s sin, therefore I do not apologize for it. There is nothing “christian” about this man’s words and actions, so I seriously doubt that he is one,
    Jesus said, “Many will say, ‘Lord, Lord’ and I will say I knew you not.”

  • Stephanie

    I think this question is false premise.
    By the same token, shouldn’t we be asking; “Should we as Americans have to apologize on behalf of Terry Jones?”

    It really is the same question to the rest of the world, isn’t it?

  • SeanL

    Ridiculous Hemant. I expected better from you.

    When Terry Jones first tried to burn the books General Petreaus and others told him it could put lives in danger (in some cases they personally called him). He knew this was going to happen and burned the books anyways.

    It is the equivalent to shouting fire in a crowded movie theater, but even worse. He is certainly responsible for their deaths, as well as those who perpetrated it.

    I can’t believe you essentially absolved Pastor Jones of his role in their deaths.

  • SeanL

    And those who promote hate are responsible for its actions. So yes Christians should apologize.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    I’m not sure that what he did was wrong or stupid. Personally I prefer the idea of composting holy books or using them as reference to stupidity and mass mind control. I haven’t seen how he did it or what else he said, but think the moslem world is over due for some serious desensitization and that lots more should be burned and lots more cartoons of Mohammad published to do so. We happen to be in a war in a mostly moslem country at the moment but when in recent years haven’t we been? Apologies should be to all those non combatant victims of those wars not to religious automatons.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @SeanL,
    Do or don’t do depending on the possible reaction of someone else? Accept blame if someone reacts in a disproportionate manner to a real or imagined slight committed by a lone individual?
    How well did you think out your position before sharing it with the world? Not very well at all, in my estimation. Sounds like pure emotion was at work here. I must admit, you do have a flair for the dramatic:

    “It is the equivalent to shouting fire in a crowded movie theater, but even worse.”

    Exaggerate much? No, it’s not even close. Not in any way or on any level whatsoever.

    Hemant was right.

  • adam

    I don’t believe Christians should have to apologize for terry Jones, basically if you aren’t performing or supporting the given action or idea then I don’t see how you can be blamed on the basis that someone else, who could be categorized into the same group as you, did something wrong.

    That a side whenever this comes up I keep seeing people rationalizing or mineralize the responsibility of the people who did the actual killings, what because someone somewhere burned a book they can’t be expected to exercise control over themselves?

    No I’m not buying that the ultimate responsibility rests with the ones who acted out in violence.

    If I call you a dick and you kill me or worse you go out and kill a random person you are not magically absolved because I was a jerk, you still committed murder as a human being you are required in society to hold a minimum level of control over your actions.

    Anyway I found this video by you tuber xxxThePeachxxx mirrored my views on the matter
    Blaming Terry Jones

  • SeanL

    @The Godless Monster

    Unfortunately there is an inherent fallacy in your logic. You assume that this pastor did something silly, and to the surprise of all of us this caused death and destruction. Why should he be responsible for that?!

    Well, unfortunately for your rather shoddy logic, high ranking officials within the Obama administration personally told Pastor Jones the first time that people would die over this. He knew full well the consequences of his hateful actions.

    Fact of the matter is he wasn’t ignorant of the consequences, as you suggest. He knew people would die and he maliciously carried out the burnings anyhow. If you know your actions are going to kill people then you are responsible for those consequences. And for whatever reason you see fit to defend this hate monger. Lovely.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @SeanL,
    Nope, wrong again.
    I never wrote anything that would indicate that I knew nothing of the back story to this incident. It’s you who are making all of the assumptions here. I never once suggested that he was ignorant of the consequences, and you know that. Better to assail my argument head on rather than set up straw men and put words in my mouth. I really hate that shit.
    I’m well aware of what went down and what the pastor knew or didn’t know.
    Is he an asshole? Yes, but not just for this incident. I ripped him a new asshole on my blog months ago. I have no love for the jackass. But I digress…
    Your argument is that since he knew there would be a disproportionate and irrational (violent) reaction to his book burning, he is responsible for the murderous actions of others.
    I’m saying he is not. I’m also saying that other Christians are not to blame for his asshattery. There’s plenty of other things to criticize them for, but this isn’t one of them.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @SeanL,
    P.S. Even if I was ignorant of the back story to the incident, that doesn’t mean the logic behind my argument is flawed. It merely means that I was or am ignorant on a particular subject.
    Ignorance does not translate into logical fallacy.
    Two separate things.

  • SeanL

    @The Godless Monster

    You admit that he knew his actions would lead to death and destruction, yet following through on those actions doesn’t make him responsible? Your argument is very bizarre and nonsensical.

  • StrawberryJam

    Two words.
    Lawrence Krauss.

    Stupid is stupid.

    It’s even worse with Lawrence, he has no supernatural to blame for confusing his thinking.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @SeanL,
    Okay, let me break it down for you by presenting you with a real life type analogy.
    Let’s say I’ve got a reputation for violence and Bob knows that if he fucks my dog, I’m going to be pissed and do something off-the-wall…possibly even kill someone.
    Luckily for Bob, I’m working overseas and he takes advantage of my absence and fucks my dog.
    I find out through a YouTube video that Bob fucked my dog and boy am I pissed. I go to a local watering hole, get drunk off my ass and beat another patron to death.
    Is Bob responsible for that other person’s death? I say no. Is Bob a jerk for fucking my dog? You bet. He was my best hunting and tracking dog and now he’s not worth a shit ’cause he’s so messed up in the head.
    This exchange between us is now officially boring and stupid.

  • Erp

    Legally Jones is innocent and should be because of the dangers of placing too many limits on speech. Morally I think he is very much at fault because he taunted a mob knowing they were likely to take it out on those closer to hand. He is as morally guilty as those in Afghanistan who passed the word on about his actions though not as guilty as those who actually slew.

  • SeanL

    @The Godless Monster

    Knowing that someone is going to do something crazy is not the same as knowing someone is going to kill.

    Now if the guy knew he was going to kill people if he fucked his dog, then yes he does bear some responsibility for those deaths. Doesn’t mean the other guy isn’t responsible. But if you undertake a hateful actions knowing it would lead to someone else’s death then certainly you bear some responsibility.

  • http://seeminglyimpossiblequestions.blogspot.com/ Eric

    It would be nice if everyone was as secular as you and me, but in a world torn apart by religion, we must not ignore religion and its ideologues.

    I condemn Terry Jones for inciting violence when he knew that deaths of innocent people were the only consequence of his unnecessary actions. It is by knowing the effects of our actions that we become responsible. If I give a person a motivation to kill, I am responsible and people ought to condemn me for that action.

    Koran is way more than just a book for more than a billion people. It is way more than the greatest piece of art. Vandalism of it is like attacking their god. It is a holy relic and a connection to the will of their god. We ought not impose a crude secular interpretation of its value by simply calling it a book.

  • ash

    Do I think Christians need to apologize for Jones? No. Will some Christians apologize for him regardless? Probably. Lest we forget, some of them believe we need to apologize + grovel for the actions of the characters Adam + Eve…

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    my atheist peeps are more Christian than most amurkin xtians. ironic and funny.

    no, the answer is “yes, they should.” muslims should also apologize. they are all about how ‘moral’ they are, right? how they are active in their faith, etc, living good lives modeled on the fathers/prophets/demigods? well, jeebus and mohammed would apologize. so let’s hear it, believers. step up and be better people, show us how your ethical systems are ‘superior’ to the ones we godless atheists use. no? don’t feel like taking responsibility? didn’t think so. in the end, most of you choose to do the easy thing, not what your faith actually requires.

  • Hermann

    Apologise for Jones??

    Hell, no!!

    Yes, he´s a christian – so am I.

    He´s a man – so am I.

    He´s a human – so am I.

    He´s a jerk – this I´m not!

    Koran, Bible, Book of Morman, The God Delusion – just paper, and I have the right to burn them, use them as toilet paper or whatever!
    But the media is concentrating on him rather than the murders in Afghanistan. Perpaps it is because HE just destroyed a book and poses no real threat?

    Just wondering …

    Shalom
    Hermann

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    It’s a frickin book, a paper copy of an idea, burn it piss on it, fuck it, it’s no more sacred than a piece of firewood splattered with ink. Is it art, so is my no gods t-shirt that I will rip to rags when it wears out. If some ideologue holds up an stick and throws it in a river, who cares unless he supports hurting people? Waving an image or stomping on it does no harm except perhaps to the idea, to say it does is insane, apologize for free speech? You’ve got to be kidding. That any US official fell for the sacred cow crap just helped the murderers’ rationalizations. They should come out in a unified manner and condemn not free speech but insane murder for religion.

  • MaryD

    I must make a confession. These last few months I have been throwing into the paper waste books containing real knowledge, medical, engineering and mathematics text books. Isn’t that terrible? No! They are standard works, printed in mass. The pages are yellowing and dirty, I haven’t got space for them nor the time to read them.

    My main regret is that at one time they were valued possesions of my mother, father and grandfather.

    Oh, I forgot, my father was given a bible for attendance at Sunday School just about every year, so there were a few copies of that too. Can’t be long now before the mobs torch Rome then.

  • cat

    Granted, Jones is a bit of an asshole, but what happened was not his responsibility. Threats of violence in response to a non-violent (though asshole-ish) act are the fault of those making the threats. People should not be coerced out of legal non-violent acts by threats of violence, or blamed if they fail to give in to violent threats for things that other people did. Destroying a Koran by itself is not “inciting violence” when one becomes a victim of threats of violence due to it. To take a similar example but remove some of Jone’s other anti-arab/racist/imperialist attitudes, consider PZ’s burying of the holy books of which he had copies. If some violent group had threatened him or others and then carried out threats of violence against others, the violent group is at fault, not PZ. Refusal to give in to violent threats is not “inciting violence”.

    If Jones and christians want to apologize for him, they should apoligize for what he is actually responsible for-being an imperialist ass who burned a book in order to hurt other’s feelings-not for some other group’s violence.

  • http://revdlesley.blogspot.com/ Lesley Fellows

    I’m a Christian and I feel apologetic because he has a high profile as a Christian leader in Muslim countries, and hence it is easy to get tarred with the same brush.

    Whilst I obviously think it is absolutely wrong to kill people because of the burning of a book.. it was clearly meant to be an insult.. like burning flags or effigies. Whilst anyone has the right to burn a book they own, to do it with the Qu’ran and put it on YouTube was unspeakably stupid.

    I am, however, concerned about free speech and in particular concerned that people feel afraid to speak out against aspects of Islam.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I think that they should apologise for a lot of stuff but really only stuff that they do or support. Someone else does it, let them apologise. I would hope that Christians would want to distance themselves from the loony tunes version of Christianity portrayed by Pastor Jones.

  • Secular Stu

    I would think we could just review all the things said during PZ Meyer’s “Crackergate”. The commentary should be the same.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @Lesley Fellows,

    “I am, however, concerned about free speech and in particular concerned that people feel afraid to speak out against aspects of Islam.”

    Well said, Lesley. I agree.
    It’s sad that some atheists don’t think preserving free speech is more important than groveling to murdering thugs.

  • Nordog

    Maybe all non-muslims should apologize. That would include many here.

    Personally, I can’t stand when someone apologizes for someone else. It tends to be little more than sanctimonious posturing.

    Consider this as an example…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_uRIMUBnvw

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    For anyone sitting on the fence in regards to whether or not Terry Jones is an evil bigot.

  • Joshua White

    I have in the past said that it is inappropriate for Christians to apologize for the behavior other Christians with respect to how homosexuals are treated.

    It is also inappropriate for them to apologize for Terry Jones, or for anyone to ask a Christian to apologize for Terry Jones.

    If the Christian tried to apologize it would be wrong because they can not make up for wrongdoing committed by another. This is the same immoral garbage that the Jesus story tries to allow. Mr, Jones is responsible for his own actions and must make up for them by himself.

    Asking another Christian to apologize is bigoted because it implicitly assumes that they are like Mr. Jones and support him. This is like the opposition to the New York Muslim community center.

  • Hal in Howell MI

    Who is going to apologize for the Muslims who murdered because their feelings were hurt? 1 book = x human lives? Is there any such book? I don’t think so.

  • Joshua White

    @ SeanL

    Just to pile on.
    Your attitude about this is one that always I find disgusting and terrifying.

    Disgusting because it does not matter what he did with his own Koran and what anyone else feels about it. No one has a right not to be offended. If such a right were to be enforced the country would become unlivable because it is likely that everything is offensive to someone, somewhere. It is also disgusting because it implies that there is an excuse for violence when no one was harmed by what Mr. Jones did. While I don’t believe that you personally think that the violence is excused, it adds a “but” that makes me want to vomit. Remove the threat of violence and then we can talk about offense. Until then I am tempted to start a “Burn a Holy Book Day” just to make a point along the lines of “Draw Muhammad Day”.

    Terrified because your giving Mr. Jones any responsibility for the violent behavior of others would make the country unlivable if made into a political reality. All you have to do is threaten violence to get what you want. Congratulations, you made the world a worse place in your small way.

  • SeanL

    @Joshua

    You have freedom of speech. But just because you have a RIGHT to do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I’m certainly not suggesting prosecuting him in a court of law.

    Moreover, it was specifically his intent to incite violence. Even in America you don’t have the right to incite violence or chaos with speech, which is why you can’t shout fire in a crowded movie theater. That is essentially what he did. I suspect you never took constitutional law.

    Moreover, in my past posts I said the ones who committed the killings deserve responsibility (I suspect you also have literacy issues). But Pastor Terry Jones deserves responsibility for his role as well.

    And Christians shouldn’t have to apologize ONLY IF they accept the fact that the bible is bull shit, especially verses like Luke 19 27. Until they repudiate the bible then they are responsible for hate that it promotes.

  • SeanL

    I also see a lot of false equivalencies on this thread. People say “he is human, should I apologize for him because he is human like me?” There is no ideological dogma to being human. You are born that way. However, there is a dogma to be Christian, and verses that would lead Jones to commit this action (luke 19 27).

    You can’t promote an ideology then claim immunity when the ideology you promote leads to violence.

  • Jon

    @SeanL

    I think that there is a difference between what Pastor Jones did and shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. In the former case, the inciting of violence is dependent on another sentient, thinking, ideally empathetic person or collective of people making another cognitive leap – that is, someone had to make the leap to react and say ‘well someone burned my favorite book, now somebody gotta die’. In the case of yelling ‘fire’, it is solely dependent on the *reasonable*, almost involuntary, reaction of people going ‘oh crap fire I gots to get out and save my butt oops I trampled on a kid’.

    This isn’t all that well thought out, so it may not be clear what I’m saying, or may very well be a poor analysis. However, to SeanL’s point, there is something in me that feels like a lack of apology – or even recognition – feels like it is absolving *all* blame from Jones. I keep thinking to the concept of moderate Muslims speaking out against insane fundamentalist radicals. THAT seems pretty legitimate to me, and I think SeanL is drawing that same analogy in this case.

    Am I having a weird break in cognitive dissonance here?

  • Roxane

    If anybody is expected to apologize for the behavior of their loonies, then everybody should be. Muslims should apologize for 9/11, Christians should apologize for predatory priests. If I could think of an example of an atheist harming somebody or inciting violence in his capacity as an atheist, I would say that we should apologize, too. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    But I do wonder whether the exercise of expecting “them” to apologize for the behavior of fellow-travellers with whom most of “them” have nothing to do isn’t just an effort to discredit all of “them” and cause dissension within “their” ranks. I think that’s the reason we see so many groups and organizations taking “institutional offense.”

  • Joshua White

    @ SeanL
    I never suggested that you thought he should be prosecuted.

    I also stated that I don’t believe that you personally think that the violence is excused.

    You should worry about your own literacy issues first.

    “Moreover, it was specifically his intent to incite violence.”

    Citation please. Even if true, the fact that one guy burning a holy book on the other side of the planet in an insulting manner can lead to killing on the other side means the problem lies with the particular crazy Muslims that can be riled up so easily. If they will kill over that they could kill over lots of other things. Also I read that his purpose was to hold a silly “trial” for the Koran, not to rile up Muslims into a killing frenzy.

    “I suspect you never took constitutional law.”
    Nice excuse there. It doesn’t matter if I never took constitutional law, what matters if if I am capable of comprehending and discussing the constitutional issues that are apparently now under discussion (I never mentioned constitutional issues). But now that we are, I have had this discussion with folks versed in constitutional law who explained to me what the very narrowly defined speech exceptions are. Essentially they are based on punishing knowing falsehoods that are designed to hurt others (fire in a crowded theater and things amounting to fraud), and direct requests or orders to commit violence (incitement). Wishing someone would murder someone is not illegal, asking someone to murder someone is.

    “And Christians shouldn’t have to apologize ONLY IF they accept the fact that the bible is bull shit, especially verses like Luke 19 27. Until they repudiate the bible then they are responsible for hate that it promotes.”

    Then you are a bigot per my comment above. Like it or not there are Christians who have beliefs that would not allow such things and even require them to speak out against such things. You would tar them with responsibility for something that they would be incapable of doing.

  • Jeebus

    Maybe more people should start burning BuyBulls and Korans. It seems to result in less theists in the world. I know, that’s a heartless thing to say. But my empathy for religious fundies and extremists has runneth dry.

  • Nordog

    Maybe more people should start burning BuyBulls and Korans. It seems to result in less theists in the world. I know, that’s a heartless thing to say. But my empathy for religious fundies and extremists has runneth dry.

    Your statement seems to presume that those killed were fundies and extremists. Surely some freethinkers and brights get mixed into the lot when whackos start killing.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @Joshua White,
    Your comments on this thread are excellent.
    A “Bravo Zulu” to you…

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @Jeebus,
    Innocent (3rd country nationals) employees of the U.N. were murdered along with several Afghans. I don’t know if any were non-theists, but I do know they were all human beings with others that loved them and now miss them dearly.
    We won’t win by attrition. We can only win by succeeding in keeping woo in the home and out of the government. Violence is inevitably a lose-lose scenario for all involved.
    The best we can ever hope for is to coexist peacefully.

  • SeanL

    @Joshua

    I explicitly stated that it didn’t excuse it. So if you think there was an implication there then yes, you are illiterate.

    It is not just known falsehoods. For example, you can’t call for the assassination of a political leader. I promise you you would be arrested post haste.

    He was told his actions were going to incite violence. This is common knowledge. If you would bother to take the modicum amount of time to do the research yourself you would see that. But of course you believe Pastor Jones’ intentions were pure. LMAO!

    Finally, the bible is replete with bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and just general hate, and I can cite numerous versus if you like. You can’t vouch for the holiness of a book and say it is the word of god, then ignore all the parts you don’t like. Saying a book is holy and the word of god necessarily gives credibility to the evil parts of it. Especially to those who would carry out those words to their logical ends.

    And I’m the one who says both the muslim and christian crazies are responsible for this, yet you are defending Pastor Jones. Sickening. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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

    Adjusting our behavior because Muslims halfway around the world are uncivilized is ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations.’ We can’t operate on the basis of “people will react irrationally.” That’s no way to live.

    It comes down to this: Terry Jones didn’t do anything illegal. The Muslim protesters did.

  • SeanL

    @The Big Blue Frog

    “Adjusting our Behavior”? Yeah because I know when I wake up in the morning I brush my teeth, poor myself a bowl of Cheerios, then burn a few Korans.

    Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean that you should. I have a right to call every woman I see a whore, but I would suspect most reasonable people would call me scum for doing so.

  • keystothekid

    It’s funny reading Christian comments saying that they believe in personal responsibility and they do not feel compelled to apologize on behalf of fellow Christians.

    Personal responsibility huh, so THAT’S what got Jesus sacrificed for YOUR sins?

  • cat

    @Sean L, see my earlier comment, because it addresses your “argument” against Josh. Refusal to give into violent and/or terroristic threats does not equal inciting violence. Was MLK inciting violence when he refused to stop protesting when white supremicists started making violent threats? Nope. Like I said above, Jones is a bit of an ass, but he is not responsible for this violence and he did not incite it.

  • Joshua White

    @SeanL

    “I explicitly stated that it didn’t excuse it. So if you think there was an implication there then yes, you are illiterate.”

    Then explain why I said “I don’t believe that you personally think that the violence is excused”.

    “It is not just known falsehoods. For example, you can’t call for the assassination of a political leader. I promise you you would be arrested post haste.”

    My constitutional explanation included two parts, see part two. My reading comprehension comment stands.

    “He was told his actions were going to incite violence. This is common knowledge. If you would bother to take the modicum amount of time to do the research yourself you would see that. But of course you believe Pastor Jones’ intentions were pure. LMAO!”

    It does not matter what he is told. If I tell you that saying “baby Jesus eats liars” would incite violence that would not do anything to your right to say such a thing, and I would still place all blame on the violent. We can not allow the violent to determine our freedoms, or for the sake of the temper tantrums of the emotionally bruised we will have none. I don’t give a crap about the pastors’ intentions, I only care about defending my speech rights by defending the pastors’ rights. Also that is a terrible job of mind reading since I said nothing about believing his intentions were pure.

    “Finally, the bible is replete with bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and just general hate, and I can cite numerous versus if you like. You can’t vouch for the holiness of a book and say it is the word of god, then ignore all the parts you don’t like. Saying a book is holy and the word of god necessarily gives credibility to the evil parts of it. Especially to those who would carry out those words to their logical ends.”

    Yes you can, and Christians do it all the time, usually through appeals to parables, or misinterpretations, or the worst one “discernment”. They do this exhausting mental gymnastics in many cases explicitly to in order to believe and denounce the bad parts. It’s actually one of the reasons that I am not a christian, but that still does not tar all christians with the problems of a few because not all christians are the same or believe the same. That is why there are thousands of denominations out there. You can’t hold someone responsible for things they do not believe. You really are a bigot. I was hoping that I misinterpreted something but the evidence is getting stronger.

    “And I’m the one who says both the muslim and christian crazies are responsible for this, yet you are defending Pastor Jones. Sickening. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

    Nope, I’m defending my speech rights by defending the pastors’ rights. It’s called courage. I would do it if it was NAMBLA. Enjoy your freedoms that your take for granted and not defend for others.

    You do say “muslim and christian crazies” however. Perhaps even you don’t really believe that they all share responsibility for issues such as this. Maybe it’s your ego and your subconscious is getting in the way.

    I’ll be starting my Friday drinking soon so my comments might get more…interesting. I am going to review the commenting rules to see if it is worth the risk.

  • Joshua White

    @ keystothekid

    “It’s funny reading Christian comments saying that they believe in personal responsibility and they do not feel compelled to apologize on behalf of fellow Christians.

    Personal responsibility huh, so THAT’S what got Jesus sacrificed for YOUR sins?”

    Could you clarify? This sounds like you are saying because christians believe in personal responsibility they should feel compelled to apologize on behalf of fellow christians.

  • Joshua White

    @ SeanL’s comment to The Big Blue Frog

    “Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean that you should. I have a right to call every woman I see a whore, but I would suspect most reasonable people would call me scum for doing so.”

    If you have the right to do something it does not matter if you should. It is called a right for a reason. IMO every time someone says this it is because the really don’t think that it should be a right, or they want to carve a new exception. Just say he was an asshole (in however many words) and leave it at that. Rights only come into play when we are discussing how the government is related to us. This is you criticizing Mr. Jones because that is a consequence of his speech, using your own speech. It is fine wanting Mr. Jones to choose to not burn a Koran (though I think that my “Draw Muhammad Day” analogy is tempting) and find some other way to make the same point that he is making, but when you mention rights I start thinking ulterior motives. Mentioning rights should be unnecessary.

  • Nordog

    If you have the right to do something it does not matter if you should.

    Actually, no.

    In California pedestrians are almost as protected a species as the Spotted Owl. If there is a crosswalk, and especially if there is a “Walk” light at the intersection, the pedestrian has EVERY RIGHT to walk across the street without looking both ways, because, well, the pedestrian has the RIGHT OF WAY (please, caps are intended for emphasis, but not yelling; I suck at the html tag thingie).

    But it would be a stupid thing to do. I would go so far as to say that one should NOT do it.

    Or put another way, let’s say the pedestrian DID look, but saw a drunk driver heading his way at a high rate of speed in a large truck.

    Does one say, “I have the right to cross here, so whether or not I should does not matter”?

    Of course not.

  • http://evolutionguide.blogspot.com/ William

    I feel that since Jones knew that his actions would indirectly result in the deaths of multiple people and put many people in danger he should be at fault for his nonsense and idiotic actions.

  • sickoftheus

    You people are still too laser-like focused on religion, to the detriment of understanding the societal context of these events.

    http://socialistworker.org/2011/04/05/an-incitement-to-violence

    “…to equate Jones and rioting Afghans as “equally crazy” is appalling.

    “Terry Jones has never lived under a military occupation. Nor has he seen his family members murdered by U.S. bombs or tortured by U.S. troops. These are the actions and policies that fuel violence in Afghanistan–the incomparably greater violence of the U.S. military machine.”

  • sickoftheus

    As a coda: people in a violently oppressed society don’t care about the “rights” of their oppressors. To them, in the context of their lives, US citizens’ smugness over free-speech rights to burn their holy book is just one more expression of US violence.

    I wish Hemant would get this through his head.

  • Nordog

    Yes, because we all know that they weren’t barbaric under the Taliban.

    All those pre-9/11 soccer matches that were interrupted so that the Taliban could frog march women to the center of the field and shoot them in the head point blank with AK-47s was all because of cries for free speech in the USA.

  • sickoftheus

    We’re talking about an event where operatives of an occupying force were attacked, in a declared response to provocative actions of one of the occupying force’s citizens. Conflating that with other types of violence having different causes, all societally complex, and no doubt selectively exaggerated by biased western/Israeli media, is bad reasoning.

  • sickoftheus

    And never forget that the US marches men and women, many of them innocent, to execution chambers where they are injected with drugs to kill them, in front of a gallery of people. This is often based on racial, and sometimes religious, prejudice. In some places in the US, those drugs are now the same drugs used to kill animals. The US has also instituted a worldwide torture regime over the past 10 years, and it keeps hundreds of people locked up under harsh conditions on an island in the Caribbean, out of sight and out of mind.

    You need to drop the superiority complex you have about your culture, assuming you’re American.

  • Nordog

    If you think that the culture in the US is no better than that of the Taliban, then you’re a nut case.

  • Nordog

    Yes, societally complexed indeed.

    You never really know how long to schedule for a soccor match.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=15734b04d2

  • Nordog

    Er, that’s “soccer match”

  • Mike Christerson

    @ cat, I like the way you put it. Was searching my mind for the right way to put it.


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