The problem with a democratic republic such as ours is that it too often has damned little ability to defend itself from its baser instincts -- or its baser idiots.
Enter the Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., noted hater of "homos" and Allah alike.
Jones hates Allah, and Islam, so much that he intends -- the consequences be damned -- to burn a whole heapin' helpin' of Qurans outside his flaky Church of Who We Hatin' Now, otherwise known as the Dove World Outreach Center. And because God, to Whom he has an exclusive communications line, has "told" him to flick his Bic, the
Not by the president. Not by the attorney general. Not by the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, whose men stand to pay the price for an idiot Elmer Gantry's "freedom of speech."
NO . . . the redneck revile-alist is hellbent on throwing the "word of the devil" into the inferno, reports MSNBC. What's wrong with that notion?
OF COURSE, it's a free country, and a madman minister can preach what he wants about Islam. He can call the mayor of Gainesville a "homo," as does a sign outside his church.
Religious leaders who met with Holder for nearly an hour Tuesday to discuss recent attacks on Muslims and mosques around the United States said those were his words on the plan by the Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla.
The meeting was closed to reporters, but a Justice Department official who was present confirmed that Holder said that the plan to burn copies of the Quran was idiotic.
Holder also told the group no one should have to live and pray in fear and that he planned to address the issue publicly soon, the meeting participants said. He also reiterated a commitment to aggressively prosecute hate crimes, they said.
The Justice official, who requested anonymity because the meeting was private, also said Holder was quoting Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, when he used the word dangerous.
Petraeus warned Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence." It was a rare example of a military commander taking a position on a domestic political matter.
But Jones insisted he would go ahead with his plans, despite the criticism Petraeus, the White House and the State Department, as well as a host of religious leaders.Jones, known for posting signs proclaiming that Islam is the devil's religion, says the Constitution gives him the right to publicly set fire to the book that Muslims consider the word of God.
Jones said he is also concerned but is "wondering, 'When do we stop?'" He refused to cancel the protest set for Saturday at his Dove World Outreach Center, which espouses an anti-Islam philosophy.
"How much do we back down? How many times do we back down?" Jones told the AP. "Instead of us backing down, maybe it's to time to stand up. Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior."
It's all due to this little thing we have called the First Amendment.
The First Amendment, however, does not speak to what happens to folks who build bonfires without a city burn permit. The constitution does not cover, as far as I know, the aggressive fighting of illegal -- and potentially catastrophic . . . look what happened in Detroit on Tuesday -- open fires within city limits.
That people do think the First Amendment gives you the right to burn whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want wherever the hell you want is due to milquetoasty fops like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In the MSNBC story, Bloomberg goes all wobbly on us:
In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the minister's plan to burn the Muslim holy book on Sept. 11 is "distasteful" but added the minister has a right to do it. "We can't say that we're going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement," he said.BULL. Let's see what the NYPD would do to some evangelical nutcase who lit a great big bonfire of Qurans in the middle of Times Square. I could be underestimating the open-mindedness, civility and tolerance of public disorder on the part of New York's finest, but I'm guessing that ass would be kicked, fire would be extinguished . . . and no one would be mentioning anything about the Bill of Rights.
Besides, I find it hard to believe that in the Deep South -- where half a century ago authorities demonstrated to the world their mastery of the fire hose in quenching peaceful, non-permitted civil-rights protests -- officials are suddenly stymied in figuring out the best use of municipal fire departments in response to blatantly illegal bonfires set by dementoids.
Particularly ones that threaten to set the whole world alight.
It's quite simple. This is America. We don't burn books.