Okay, so here’s the deal: a clergyman decides that he can get a lot of publicity for his little group of 50 people by setting Korans on fire. Already, we’ve had Terry Jones burned in effigy as U.S. humvees drove past. This could escalate into something very serious.
Here’s my question: if, as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, yelling fire in a crowded theater is an example of speech that is both useless and dangerous and is therefore a permissible exclusion of the right to free speech, how is it that burning Korans (Qurans) as an act of My-God-Is-Better-Than-Your-God is defended as free speech? We know people are going to die because of it.
If I had an old Koran lying about that was maybe chewed by mice or had water damage, I’d think nothing of burning it. To me, books are sacred because knowledge is sacred. But it’s not that hard to get a new Koran. I certainly wouldn’t turn it into a media event to see if I could piss off entire countries.
In a way, this is a perfect example of just how religion poisons the mind. What would be a useless exercise for a non-believer becomes a weapon in the hands of a zealot. You’d think that by now these guys would understand that if God was on their side they’d be doing a hell of a lot better than they are. But they perceive their acts as not just a statement of loyalty, but acts somehow protected and condoned by their particular god.
So, listen up, those of you defending the free speech of Terry Jones and his misnamed Dove Outreach Center: this is not an example of free speech – it’s an example of hate speech. It’s an example of why even free speech comes with consequences.
Jones has taken to carrying a .40 caliber pistol and has been receiving death threats. Could someone tell me how this maroon thinks that there’s some kind of good purpose in what he’s doing? It’s a crime.