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Pastor Terry Jones of Florida, one small, self indulgent man, has unleashed a flurry of hate felt all across the globe. In his own act of hate, his small Florida church burned a copy of the Quran, something he has been threatening to do for months. As expected, the Taliban used this act to justify their own violence. Protests in Afghanistan broke out following the Quran burning and many are turning violent.
Twenty people have been killed in the demonstrations including seven U.N. workers. NATO officials re-iterated their condemnation of the Quran burning in an apparent attempt to quell the rising anger.
“We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Quran,” said the statement issued by military commander Gen. David Petraeus and the top NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill. “We further hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the Holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people,” the statement said.
U.S. President Barack Obama extended his condolences to the families of those killed by the protesters and said desecration of the Quran “is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry.” But he said that does not justify attacking and killing innocent people, calling it “outrageous and an affront to human decency and dignity.”
It is sort of ironic that our nation is now being judged by the act of one lunatic in the deep south. Many Christians will quickly dismiss this instance, as they do with Westboro Baptist Church, claiming these are not “real” Christians or that their entire religion should not be judged based on a few extremists. Excuse me? Isn’t that what our nation has been doing to the Muslim faith since 2001? Maybe we should just call the extremist Muslims not “real” Muslims. Terry Jones and Westboro, however misguided they are, are still Christians. They read the Bible and believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Isn’t that it all takes to be a Christian? If we expect moderate Muslims to take responsibility for their own extremist members, then Christians need to do the same.
Terry Jones needs to be held accountable for his actions. Free speech does not apply to him any more than it would to me if I yelled fire in a crowded theater starting a stampede. The U.S. Supreme Court has made that clear. Jones had months to think about this and he was fully aware that his actions would have these types of consequences. His holier-than-thou attitude is really just to get media attention. He will get lots of media attention if he ends up jail. Let’s grant Terry his wish. Throw him in jail and give him the 24 hour attention he craves.