September 9, 2010

"We are, of course, now against any other group burning Qurans. We would right now ask no one to burn Qurans. We are absolutely strong on that. It is not the time to do it."

It's the Rev. Terry Jones, who doesn't belong in the national spotlight and is probably not the smartest man in central Florida:
Standing outside his 50-member Pentecostal church, the Dover Outreach Center, alongside Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Jones said he relented when Musri assured him that the New York mosque will be moved.

Jones had never invoked the mosque controversy as a reason for his planned protest. He cited his belief that the Quran is evil because it espouses something other than biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims.

But he said Thursday that that he prayed about the decision and concluded that if the mosque was moved, it would be a sign from God to call off the Quran burning....

"We are canceling the event because we have agreed, I take him at his word, he has agreed to move the Ground Zero mosque," Jones said. "I verified that three or four times with witnesses. I trust that man who gave me that. I believe he is a man of integrity, a man of his word, I do not believe that he lied to me."

Jones said that if the mosque is not moved, "then I think Islam is a very poor example of religion. I think that would be very pitiful. I do not expect that."
This is a man with a tiny church, who never should have caught our attention. God knows why the President of the United States started talking about him:
OBAMA: If he's listening, I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values of Americans. That this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance. 
And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We're already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat...that he's making.

… this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities. You know and so you know, I just hope that, he says he's … he's someone who's motivated by his faith....

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wonder what this must feel like from behind your desk. You're President of the United States. You have to deal with the fallout. And he's a pastor who's got 30 followers in his church. Does it make you feel helpless or angry?

OBAMA: It, well it is frustrating. Now, on the other hand, we are a government of laws. And so, we have to abide by those laws. And my understanding is that he can be cited for public burning. But that's the extent of the laws that we have available to us. You know, part of this country's history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we're following the laws. And that's part of what I love about this country.
Oh, lord. There's so much wrong with that! And yet our President, unlike Mr. Jones, is supposedly very, very smart. For one thing, Obama eventually gets around to Jones's freedom of expression, but that treasured right is presented as an obstacle that the President has got to put up with, because it is, technically, law. Why isn't it one of the "values of Americans" like "religious freedom and religious tolerance"? But, no, in Obama's view, the symbolic speech of burning a book because you think it's evil is "completely contrary to our values of Americans."

So: the values of "religious freedom and religious tolerance" are what really matters... except that Jones's opinion is religious. If the point is that Jones has the right to burn the book, but he should refrain from exercising it and be sensitive to the feelings of others, then Obama is contradicting the approach he took to the close-to-Ground-Zero mosque, which is that the overwhelmingly important matter is that there is a right to build the mosque and he really doesn't want to talk about whether it's a good idea.

You know, a key religious freedom value is that government must not treat different religions differently. But Obama takes one attitude toward the NYC Muslims and another toward the Florida Christian. With respect to the former, he highlighted the right and wouldn't express an opinion about how that right should be exercised. With the later, he begrudgingly acknowledged the right after stressing the importance of the individual's restraint and sensitivity toward others.

Now, you might jump to say that Obama thus favored Muslims over Christians, but think about how it's actually the other way around. Without hesitation, he called upon the Christian to exercise forbearance and to care for the feelings of others. He didn't dare say that to Muslims. And he talked about Muslims as if they are incapable of understanding a society based on individual liberty and freedom of expression. Obama propounds the stereotype of irrational Muslims who resort to acts of violence when they don't like what people are saying.

Ironically, Rev. Jones wanted to burn the Koran because it seemed to him that it "incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims." And Obama wanted Jones to refrain from burning the Koran because it would incite radical, violent behavior among Muslims.

98 comments:

rick said...

The Florida pastor played the MSM (and thus Obama) like fiddle.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Florida pastor played the MSM (and thus Obama) like fiddle."

More like a melodica. They aren't that hard to play.

Meade said...

He didn't dare say that to Muslims. And he talked about Muslims as if they are incapable of understanding a society based on individual liberty and freedom of expression. Obama propounds the stereotype of irrational Muslims who resort to acts of violence when they don't like what people are saying.

In other words, Obama talks about Muslims like they're dogs.

sol said...

If the Koran had been burned Iran would have nuked New York City and Washigton DC and there is nothing Obama could do to stop them.

Which is why Obama opposes building any synagogues in Jerusalem but supports a victory mosque at ground zero.

We lose. Terrorists rule.

tim maguire said...

While you identify a great irony--that the Florida pastor proved his point without having to actually burn any Korans--you over think the Obama angle.

He's not favoring Christians over Muslims through some convoluted series of rationales that stop when they reach a conclusion you like. He's simply more critical of Western culture (and therefore Christianity) than he is of other cultures (and therefore Islam).

I don't see any reason to pretend it goes deeper than that.

Fred4Pres said...

I am not a fan of book burning. It brings up symbolism I would assume not be associated. But I am a fan of free speech. So even stupid free speech like burning flags and burning Korans is protected and can happen.

I am also not a fan of people burning. I think about that on 9/11. Muslims might spend some time reflecting on that and whether or not they have done enough to right the wrong done in their names. (I recognize most Muslims were horrified by 9/11, but they need to condemn excesses in their own faith).

Peter V. Bella said...

He could be cited for public burning...

What if he decided to use the Koran to light his grill while his congregation waited for the pig roast to start? Is that against any law?

Synova said...

According to Ace of Spades Jones is connected to Fred Phelps. Does anyone know if that is accurate?

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The Florida pastor played the MSM (and thus Obama) like fiddle."

More like a melodica. They aren't that hard to play.


And now for something completely different.

Drew said...

What is it with this President inserting himself in local issues? (Because that's all this is -- a local issue that unfortunately was made international news by the mainstream media.) Is the President going to ask for the enforcement of a local burning permit? Sheesh.

Jenner said...

I thought the placement of the GZ mosque was insensitive, but I didn't have that strong of an opinion about it until its supporters started unreasonably attacking those who opposed it. Now, I really want it stopped.

I thought this Koran burning "event" was stupid, but I didn't really care about it until people started saying he better not do it. Now, I really want him to burn those books!

Zach said...

And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We're already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat...that he's making.

This quote was all over CNN today, and it rubbed me the wrong way. The thing is, Obama really is the Commander in Chief, and he really is leading a war against Al Quaeda, no matter how much or how little he wants to be. So when he talks about the War on Terror, he should be speaking ex cathedra. Coulda, shoulda, might and maybe aren't good enough -- if he can't say something definitive, he shouldn't speculate.

Maybe it's a minor point, but I think it goes to the reason Obama gets such poor results -- he shoots his mouth off and plays by instinct when he ought to be taking the time and getting things right.

Drew said...

Obama propounds the stereotype of irrational Muslims who resort to acts of violence when they don't like what people are saying.

Heck, so does Imam Rauf when he said yesterday that if the mosque were to be moved, he couldn't be held responsible for the actions of Muslim extremists.

Of course, coming from Rauf it sounded more like a threat.

Zach said...

And my understanding is that he can be cited for public burning. But that's the extent of the laws that we have available to us.

The implication is that Obama actually investigated legal ways to punish the church.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm against the burning because it's needlessly provocative. Al Quaeda probably would get a propaganda issue out of it. But it's instructive that the reaction toward the church is one of control and punishment.

veni vidi vici said...

"What is it with this President inserting himself in local issues? (Because that's all this is -- a local issue that unfortunately was made international news by the mainstream media.) Is the President going to ask for the enforcement of a local burning permit? Sheesh."

Yeah, the whole "insertion into local issues" thing worked out so well for the GOP in the Terry Schiavo saga, didn't it? What a maroon, the guy who probably had plenty to say about that (and really, isn't Obama just a glorified Oprah-as-president: he's got a glib opinion on everything but doesn't really 'come from' anywhere) couldn't even glean the basic message of how it played out politically.

He deserves his current wallowing morass. Unfortunately, the American people deserve better.


wv: "ousniz" -- slang for a particularly itchy case of the crabs.

Paddy O said...

I wonder what kind of mail or phone calls Rev. Jones got, that suggested that performing such a symbolic act would not result in violence only in foreign lands, and probably would reach out and touch him and his family a bit more closely than even a self-promoting huckster would find comfortable.

Bruce Hayden said...

He's simply more critical of Western culture (and therefore Christianity) than he is of other cultures (and therefore Islam).

I don't see any reason to pretend it goes deeper than that
.

I mentioned this article yesterday by Dinesh D'Souza: How Obama Thinks.

His theory is that the biggest influence in the life of the President was his father. Significantly, Obama's autobiography is titled "Dreams from My Father" and not "Dreams of My Father".

His father flirted with (small "c") communism, but his real passion was anti-colonialism. And, the U.S., after effectively defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, is the remaining colonial power (despite never having really been a colonialist).

If President Obama truly is following his father's dreams, then it very well might be that many of his actions, like those in regards to Islam versus Christianity, are a result of a strong anti-colonial bent.

Of course, that means that he would be essentially anti-American, which is not really what most of us want in a President.

Just something to think about.

Synova said...

I'm with Jenner.

The mosque/community center? Didn't care. Understood that some people had understandable emotional reactions, who felt that it was rude and inflammatory to go ahead. Figured the "building a bridge" thing might be sincere but wasn't likely to work that way.

And then people started attacking those who opposed it, calling them bigots and claiming that the *only* reason to protest was rabid hatred and islamaphobia.

I started to care.

Guy says he's going to burn the Koran. I think, wow, that's not going to go over well.

I normally would figure people ought to be respectful about other people's religions. But just like with the Muhammad cartoons, any predisposition I had to disapprove dies a quick and more or less painless death as people fall in line to condemn on the basis of threats of violence, violence and murder.

Some nut case in Florida with 30 parishioners, no matter how fringe or even if not fringe at all... the man and the event are NOT proportionally equal to matters of STATE. OH MY DOG, we are POWERFUL! Look what a single person can do? We've found the lever that can move the world.

This offends me to such an extent that I find myself wanting to say to just burn the damn book and get it over with. Some things we really should not allow, and the desecration of the Koran is not the most important of those things.

Allowing one preacher in a small church to usurp foreign-freaking-policy, to snatch it from the hands of the President of the United States, to make the most powerful man in the world jump to his tune and to allow that he has control over the very behavior of the enemy is far worse.

Honestly... and here we thought that Palin was powerful because she was able to make Obama jump.

Now we certainly know better.

(It's remotely appropriate for Petraeus to make a statement, or Palin or other private citizens to make a statement, but Obama letting on that this guy was the personal business of the POTUS either elevates one, or lowers the other.)

Melissa said...

Did you ever hit the nail on the head with this post. I completely agree -- why is the President talking about the actions of some wacko with 50, fifty, FIFTY congregants? I bet you could find fifty wackos from around the US that would stand up for even the most repulsive of beliefs/opinions.

What I would have liked to have heard from the President was an affirmation that the US Constitution guarantees free speech, even speech that some consider offensive, but that this news story was a tempest in a teapot as we are talking about 50 (FIFTY!!) people in a country of 250 million. Then I would have liked him to chide the media for latching onto this story and elevating to a much higher level of importance than it deserves.

But I think we'd need someone that understands that the presidency isn't a popularity contest before that would happen.

gk1 said...

Obama swings and whiffs again, this time his batting helmet flying off as he lands on his ass. Wow, this guy stinks. He really should stay out of these things if he can't sound like a president, he really should.

traditionalguy said...

The President and General Petraeus are terrorised by the threats of jihad murder of infidels by Islam, while the Pentacostal Pastor in Gainesville, Fl. was not terrorised at all. Faith in a super natural God seems to impart courage in face of an evil group. Hmmm?

Synova said...

The correct answer is to marginalize those who would threaten or undertake violence and to point out that "recruiting tool" is an excuse... and it is. Single out the "bad Muslims" while expressing sorrow at offending the "good Muslims" and say something about tolerance of what we don't like and call for people to be considerate.

And you know what? Crazy Reverend Jones pretty much did that... did what Obama doesn't seem to have the native sense to do.

Crazy Reverend Jones stands up and says... Imam Musri is a good man, a man of his word, that he made promises in front of witnesses, that there is good will all around. This now puts, without any Koran burning at all, the burden of good behavior on the Imam and on those associated with the building in New York... do they prove themselves untrustworthy? Do they take that blow to their reputations and give others who oppose them something they can use?

Crazy Reverent Jones is doing President Obama's job.

And he's doing it *better*.

Synova said...

"What I would have liked to have heard from the President was an affirmation that the US Constitution guarantees free speech, even speech that some consider offensive, but that this news story was a tempest in a teapot as we are talking about 50 (FIFTY!!) people in a country of 250 million. Then I would have liked him to chide the media for latching onto this story and elevating to a much higher level of importance than it deserves."

Yes!

And really, shouldn't it be obvious to do just that?

At what point does this become rocket science?

junyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virgil xenophon said...

"Obama propounds the stereotype of irrational Muslims..." ....because it reflects core reality, period.

junyo said...

If this had been a proposed Bible burning
a) Would it have generated the same level of outrage?
b) Would the potential book burners have had their web hosting pulled?
c) Would the President have beseeched the book toasters to reconsider?

Of course not. Because Christains are basically pussies. They would have bitched and moaned about it, and Limbaugh would have given some bombastic diatribe, but at the end of the day, books would have been burned. Oh wait, been there, done that. No one (outside of Andrew Sullivan) is afraid of a radical Presbyterian.

The reason why all of this hand wringing occurred is because Muslims are distinctly NOT pussies, and have access to people with zero problem blowing shit up or loping off heads, just to make a point. And since we're willing to let ourselves get smacked around, we deserve what we get.

Dead Julius said...

Jones did a full 180 after his half-hour meeting with the FBI. It's that meeting that caused him to change his tune, nothing else. What did the FBI tell him?

Rialby said...

Whatever happened to the favored mantra from 2001-09, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Oh right, that was just a fig lead used by the Left to pretend they didn't agree with fellow Leftists were saying horrible things about the President, the military, the US, etc.

Rialby said...

Most. Divisive. President. Ever.

JAL said...

The man who is serving as President of the United States is so unfit for that office.

c3 said...

I'm curious, did Mr. Stephanopoulus at the end of the interview ask our President about his tan?

And does anyone "belong" in the national spotlight? I mean, what are the qualifications?

Synova said...

"Jones did a full 180 after his half-hour meeting with the FBI. It's that meeting that caused him to change his tune, nothing else. What did the FBI tell him?""

snark on/

Well, it's simply not possible that Obama used the FBI to intimidate and suppress religious expression or freedom of speech.

/snark off

Synova said...

Oh, I know... it took the FBI to point out that there are ordinances against burning things outdoors...

... so the church moved the event to someone's indoor fireplace.

Wait.

No?

JAL said...

Funny that Obama couldn't find anything wrong with Rev. Jeremiah Wright's positions. When did he address some of that "God damn Amerikkka" wackiness?

Oh. Wait.

He never heard anything untoward, but when others started doing his homework for him, he still didn't comment and correct and lecture... he just blew Wright a little kiss as he dropped him off the back of the bus.

BJM said...

There's a huge neighborhood fire in San Bruno on the SF peninsula.

News video here

Seven Machos said...

Clearly, God is behind this. He wants to make the people (including me) who argued for the Ground Zero mosque on behalf of liberty look like assholes. This is the same God, mind you, who brought the oil spill in the Gulf in order to reveal Obama and other leftists as smug, powerless knaves, utterly impotent in the face of nature.

That God. I like His sense of humor and I respect His nasty streak.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama is so thick-headed but he thinks he is such a wise man.

Obama has become so predictable- he takes the bait again and again. Will he ever learn from his prior mistakes?

Cedarford said...

Althouse tries flipping it into Obama is actually showing more love and respect for Christians than Muslims...but it won't really fly.
The public sees Obama considers the 1st Amendment rights of a Muslim religious leader to do an offensive thing differently that a "bitter Christian man clinging to his religion" out to do a similar offensive thing involving 1st Amendment issues.
The public will know that under Obama, strict Quran-handling rules exist in the military lest Muslims suffer "offense". While bibles donated and sent to military bases in Muslim countries are seized, thrown out, and finally burned.

Trooper York said...

I don't expect the President to go against his religion.

So it is understandable that he supports the mosque and would abridge the first amendment rights of a Christian congregation.

Haven't you been paying attention?

Dustin Brown said...

I'm proud of the way our President has handled both of these situations. He honored individual freedoms while questioning the wisdom in both cases. As president, he really doesn't have the right to do much in either situation, but showed great leadership through the way he weighed in.

virgil xenophon said...

In case anyone hadn't noticed, they (the Muslims) are ALREADY praying in the "proposed" "Cordoba" Mosque bldg.--dangerous structural damage or no--like an animal marking its terr. with urine scent. Under Islamic law ANY territory/bldg, etc., once occupied, is Islamic territory FOREVER. This is triumphalism at its finest. Those people have NO INTENTION of going anywhere. Anyone who believes otherwise is a delusional, mincing fool.

Paul said...

Great post, Ann. Second great post on this topic, which has turned out to be rather thought-provoking after all.

One of the things this controversy has brought out is how pathetically fragile is this nation building we're trying to do in Afghanistan that it can be threatened by the actions of one inconsequential person in the US. What is it we think we're accomplishing there? Building a democracy? More like building a house of cards that's going to collapse if someone sneezes.

Synova said...This offends me to such an extent that I find myself wanting to say to just burn the damn book and get it over with.

I feel the same way. I started out thinking "that's a bad idea" and now I think we need to burn a koran a day until the Moslems get over it. Enough of this pathetic kowtowing.

Seven Machos said...

Dustin -- Obama stuck his foot squarely in his mouth and got played by a third-rate cult leader. He ultimately took the position that Muslims must be allowed to worship at Ground Zero but Christians should not use their First Amendment rights or their rights of religious expression in any way that somebody, somewhere might find offensive.

He looks like and he is a complete tool.

But, anyway, dude, it's Thursday night. Let's you and me go out bar hopping. You can be my wing man. It'll be your job to convince all the hot babes that I'm 6'3", a billionaire, totally hot, and I fuck like a porn star.

Ironclad said...

Over here in the middle east - this was front page news yesterday - 3 or 4 big stories about the "outrage" this was causing, with a photograph of the local rent-a-mob in Pakistan burning American flags and holding up numerous banners. Same thing in Indonesia & Afghanistan too. They do get so easily worked up.

But it all goes to show that there can be no "moderates" in the eastern part of the world, because the crazies push the buttons that get everyone into a froth, and woe be unto him that says anything to try to disagree.

What makes me sick about this whole mess, and maybe will be the only good thing that comes out of it, is that this is one more (very large) brick in the pile of evidence that trying to be "sensitive" to demands or to be "sensitive" to offending anything just does not work. The effect is that we get more and more constrained in doing anything. And I think that people in the US are being to see that - that you need to stand up and say, "tough - that is too bad if you don't like our beliefs - go suck an egg".

I wish that when Obama had been interviewed that Stephanopoulus had asked him why it was ok for the military to burn all those Bibles that were printed in Dari and sent to Afghanistan. Maybe he should have asked him why freedom of opinion and expression is so bad for "them" and not for us.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Trooper,Obama has a decision tree as follows:

A-Does it affect my #1 goal to re-distribute wealth?
B- Foreign affairs - nah that does not really interest me.
C- If I hire this person, will he fit under the bus when I have to fire him?

AJ Lynch said...

Ironclad:

You are right- Americans are not stupid - sooner or later you have to stand up to insanity and bullies.

How many points could Obama have scored if he had called Achmindejad an anti-semite for his daily ravings against Jews? Jeez we had to wait for the dictator Castro to do that? WTF? Why didn't Hillary Clinton speak up ?

David said...

"More like a melodica. They aren't that hard to play."

Ha!

Synova said...

As an afterthought (even though it was the first thing that sort of jumped out of the subject heading at me):

Mr. President, if this "is not the time to do it," just when is the time to burn a Koran?

virgil xenophon said...

OH, and shorter Rauf: Let me build my siege engine, er, Mosque, er, Cultural Center where I want it or else! Don't make me cut off your head! (once removed, of course)

garage mahal said...

This country to laugh again. Like Laugh-In. My submission is Linus Sings The Police

Seven Machos said...

That's good stuff, Garage, but if you can't find humor in the fact that events have made such a complete and total ass of Obama that it's poetic, then you just aren't trying.

garage mahal said...

I was going for something completely different, but, hey. I guess we could talk about Obama's failures too?

Seven Machos said...

Garage -- I remember you being a big Hillary Clinton supporter. I have since come out and admitted that, yes, I believe that Hillary Clinton was the best of all the candidates in 2008 (once Fred Thompson, who was a terrible candidate I liked, bailed). (And this says much more about 2008 than it does about my views.)

So, let's do be serious for a minute. You are a left liberal, and reasonably hardcore, but you are also sane. What is your take on Obama at this point? Who is Obama? Could Hillary Clinton challenge him in 2012? Is that absurd?

el polacko said...

lord knows i hate to align myself with some nutcase smalltown preacher (who we now know is connected to that despicable westboro clan)...BUT..since EVERYthing drives muslims insane with rage anyway, i say maybe it's about time that, rather than worrying about offending them, we let them know that we are sick of their evil ways . if the choice is between burning a book and beheadings and stonings, i'll go with the book burning.
if current reports are true, however, it looks like palin's comparison to the ny mosque issue reverberated. that gal does have a way about her, doesn't she?

oh..and, hate to talk about him like a donkey, but the prez made an ass of himself..again.

garage mahal said...

I think Hill would probably been a better Prez, I don't know why every thread has to be a blood letting experience though. What does this have to do with Linus singing the Police?

*dancing to it*

Cedarford said...

Hillary and Mitt Romney were the two best candidates. The Southern religious right and militarists helped kill off Romney....And Hillary was done in by blacks and the progressive Jews that run 90% of the media becoming infatuated with their Black Messiah once Iowa proved his "viability".

The Republicans helped matters along by selected the worst candidate they have fielded in living memory - an incoherent, erratic dimbulb with a serial history of treachery towards fellow Republicans who lept at giving Dems fig leaves of "bipartisan" support at every opportunity.

Would Hillary jump off the Obama Administration? I think she has to be seriously considering it. Obama was given his chance because he hadn't yet failed while everyone knew that McCain would be an absolutely dismal President, worse than the hapless Dubya....but no one was sure if Obama would be OK or really bad.
He is really bad - but the good thing in this is the Democrats now own this all and will pay the price - while a McCain Presidency would have guaranteed Dems staying in power in Congress all through his term and increasing their power once the geezer stumbled into his reelection campain in 2012.

jr565 said...

Hey that;s good to know, he can be cited for public burning. So next time we hear about some yokel burning a flag or defacing a religious icon we can cite them for something. Maybe if they resort to urinating on a crucifix we can cite them for public urination.
Is it still too late to go after Serrano? What year was piss christ?

jr565 said...

Drew wrote:
//What is it with this President inserting himself in local issues? (Because that's all this is -- a local issue that unfortunately was made international news by the mainstream media.)//


What is it with liberals on althouse inserting themselves into this issue? Unless they live down the block from this priest, they should shut the f up and butt out. Right Alpha Liberal?

Almost Ali said...

The world has come down on Reverend Jones like a ton of bricks, a man of simple integrity who believes in what he says. Yet, from every high and low corner he's spit upon, denigrated, targeted as a freak of nature.

But now people are slowly coming to the realization that Reverend Jones is not much different than you or me, but with a tad more courage.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Ali. The guy is no man of simple integrity who believes in what he says. He's Jim Jones without the vision, sexuality, taste, or panache.

There are no theses involved here. There is no proud civil rights moment to be had here. Let's not make this idiot in a hero just because Obama is such an inept politician that he makes the guy look oppressed.

traditionalguy said...

Pastor Jones seems to come from the very American religious experience on display in Robert Duval's movie The Apostle, made as his tribute to it. Pentacostlism is practiced among the poorer and semi-literate country folk. It is only easy slander to compare it to a Jim Jones cult. These folks are used to slander. That experience of standing for aberrant beliefs which really costs them something also toughens them to criticism. They leaves them caring more what God thinks than they care what men think, which definitely makes them dangerous to social conventions, but it also makes them 100% authentic Americans. Well known public figures that come from that religious tradition have included John Ashcroft and Sarah Palin.

Seven Machos said...

Trad -- The guy is a third-rate cult leader...

Fanatical Florida pastor Terry Jones wants to burn the Koran, but he expects followers to live by the Book of Jones.

Jones' guide for prospective ministers, which was written by his wife Sylvia, is rife with misspellings and grammatical errors and reads like a brainwashing manual.

"The student is required to be obedient to all commands," the "Academy Rulebook" states.

Students at Jones' Dove World Outreach Center who don't obey "will be corrected instantly."

Under Jones' rules, students are "not allowed to visit family members or friends."

"Family occasions like wedding, funerals or Birthdays are no exception to this rule."

Mail and e-mail is allowed, but "no phone calls."

"Exceptions can be made under certain circumstances but only after receiving permission," the rules read.

Jones also forbade "Singles" from having "romantic relationships to the opposite sex."

"There is no need to talk at all, or even flirt!" according to the rulebook.

The focus, the Joneses insisted, should be on God.

"The student is responsible to share the gospel with one person each day," the book states.

The Joneses also tackle personal matters with what The Smoking Gun, the web site that obtained the six-page manual, called "creepy" detail.

Alcohol, candy, and eating out at restaurants is banned.

"Students will be put on the scale once a week," the rules state.

The Joneses also insisted that students "wash or shower at least once a day but not more then (sic) 2 a day."

Make sure to cleanse "Mouth, sweat areas, hair, feet hands," the rules state.


...New York Daily News...

William said...

I admire and respect the lucidity and reasoning of Althouse's argument. I, nonetheless, suspect that Tim Maguire's post at 9:11 is probably closer to the truth....In any event, Obama's response to both these issues seems clumsy and wrong......There have been several cases in the past where the media have been asked to stifle a story in order not to cause harm to our service members or Afghan allies. They didn't blink once before refusing. Some constitutional rights are more important than other constitutional rights.

Almost Ali said...

Seven,

I don't believe Reverend Jones harbors an ulterior motive, nor is he psychotic. If anything, his god has only reinforced his beliefs as to the pure evilness of Islam, thanks to the reactive onslaught. And now his god has given him an additional incentive; a face-to-face with a lying imam.

traditionalguy said...

Seven...If that is indeed a rule book added by Pastor Jones to his members lives, then he is recreating life under a red neck version of a Benedictine Abbot...and yes, that meets the definition of being a cult.

Seven Machos said...

The adjective "lying" in front of imam is precious.

Is it really necessary to vilify everyone you disagree with, Ali?

Also, and I address this issue on my vanity blog, do you ever wonder where this Florida preacher gets his korans? You think he gets a volume discount? Does he buy them at the same place where the Pakistani marchers buy Danish flags?

Almost Ali said...

Seven - Would you rather I defend the lying imam?

“Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a man speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying in times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.” (Tirmidhi)

Seven Machos said...

Leviticus 24:16: And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

GODDAMMIT.

You want to hear the one about how Lot's daughters raped him when he was drunk?

Almost Ali said...

Uh, was that before or after the reformation.

cokaygne said...

Let us give this wacko Floridian credit for one thing: he provided the nation with a "teachable moment."

Most Americans understand now that there is a First Amendment right to say things that offend other people, especially when such offense is given a religious justification.

BUT, when the offended party says that he will cut off your head and has shown repeatedly that he means what he says, your First Amendment right comes to a sharp end.

Michael said...

Affirmative Action President meets redneck cracker preacher in debate. Sophomoric dialog ensues.

Nals said...

I wonder, should all Christians feel responsible for this pastor? To quote a commenter, should all Christians spend some time reflecting on that and whether or not they have done enough to right the wrong done in their names.

Michael said...

Nals: Not yet. We are waiting for the pastor to kill a couple thousand Muslims in a terrorist attack.

Pogo said...

Obama prefers paying the Danegeld.

Mick said...

Prof. Althouse did a post on the Federalist #68, by Alexander Hamilton, where he states the intent and definition of a Natural Born Citizen:

"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?"


Obama is certainly not a creature of our own, or as Vattel said, "indigene" (indigenous), since his father was Kenyan, and Obama 2 was born British. He perfectly exemplifies the framers fear that a Non Natural Born Citizen would lack the neccessary attachment and allegiance to country.
Laurence Tribe defined Natural Born Citizens as those "born WITHIN a Nation's Territory and Allegiance". (which is a creatura of our own, an indigenous citizen, born of the soil AND the blood.

Sixty Grit said...

Democrat : warrior :: islam : tolerance.

Shanna said...

So, the President of the United States is investigating minute Florida law in an effort to shut down the free speech of a private citizen? He just has no sense of where the line is, does he?? His every instinct is to control what he doesn't like.

The reason why all of this hand wringing occurred is because Muslims are distinctly NOT pussies, and have access to people with zero problem blowing shit up or loping off heads, just to make a point. And since we're willing to let ourselves get smacked around, we deserve what we get.

Because we’re not willing to lop off heads for any imagined insult, Christians are “pussies”? What utter nonsense.

Patrick said...

It is so obvious as to hardly require mention, and in fact may have been mentioned in this august space, but are we really concerned that this will lead to escalated attacks on the troops? Really, if a "moderate" Muslim decides to join AQ after this, how in hell can he be considered moderate to begin with. And, weren't the radicals killing and joining AQ even before this guy somehow snookered the press into covering this story?

Marshal said...

"God knows why the President of the United States started talking about him."

Please. We all know why Obama jumped on the topic. It was a chance to demogogue the right, and that's what he's spent his life doing.

Marshal said...

"To quote a commenter, should all Christians spend some time reflecting on that and whether or not they have done enough to right the wrong done in their names."

Why should we spend time reflecting on it? We already spent time calling this guy an idiot and telling him his ideas are stupid.

Contrast this to Islamic "moderates" who say nothing as their coreligionists murder in their name, yet find the courage to scream racism and oppression should anyone dare discuss the subject.

The inability of the left to understand the clear difference shows how willing they are to subjugate reality to their romantic fantasy of modern politics.

prairie wind said...

...the local rent-a-mob in Pakistan burning American flags and holding up numerous banners. Same thing in Indonesia & Afghanistan too. They do get so easily worked up.

And who works them up? I do not believe these people spontaneously show up in the streets to protest some Florida nimrod. Their shitty leaders prefer to keep them "worked up" over something outside their own countries. If those countries had decent governments and the opportunity to build individual wealth, they would be much less interested in extreme Islam.

chr1 said...

"Why didn't Hillary Clinton speak up?"

Ha..do you really have to ask that? It's baffling to me that people don't realize from THE MOMENT she didn't get the nomination she was thinking about the presidency in the back of her mind somewhere.

Long ago HIllary and Slick Willie merged their higher ideals, behavior and lives with political calculation. Willie rose to quite the statesman (and side-abuser of womyn). Hillzilla, while possessing a good mind and decent temperment, is also riding the hell out of any ideal for her own political gain.

I doubt folks on this blog would be too much happier with Hillary in the White House, b/c she'd be after health care, playing the womyn and other idealists to entrench and normalize the left. THat's politics.

TMink said...

"I wonder, should all Christians feel responsible for this pastor"

Wonder no more. Christianity is a religion of personal responsibility. The foolish sins of this man have no effect on my relationship with God, MY foolish sins impact that quite enough!

Responsible people struggle with their own behavior, it is enough to do. It is difficult for me to worry to much about the sins of my neighbor when I am working on my own.

But this guy in Florida can't effect the world so easily. The conflict between Islam and the Jewish and hence Christian faiths goes back to Abraham and has been a problem ever since then. It will remain a problem till the day when all problems are solved.

Trey

Hoosier Daddy said...

Because we’re not willing to lop off heads for any imagined insult, Christians are “pussies”? What utter nonsense.

I think he was implying that's how Christians would viewed in the Muslim world. Obviously Muslims hold thier faith in such a higher regard that they are willing to kill and if necessary die taking a whole bunch of others with them to defend thier faith.

Christians on the other hand, in defense of a percieved slight, will maybe write a strongly worded letter to the local newspaper editor, call into complain to Rush Limbaugh or if they're really honked off, paint up a sign and stage a protest (after receiving the appropriate permits).

Compare and contrast.

Richard Dolan said...

Ironside makes an interesting point -- it's a mistake to keep thinking of this incident in domestic terms. There's a description of the timeline of the "Quran burning" story at RCP. In short, the story first got wide coverage starting with al-Arabiya in August (picking up on a release by CAIR), and from there spread to the "Sunni Vatican" center in Cairo and elsewhere. Ironside says that it also got wide play in Pakistan and Indonesia in August.

It seems likely that Gen Petraeus was responding to that mau-mauing in the Islamic press (from Cairo to Djakarta). After he raised the ante, the story took off in the US. It wasn't the pastor playing the MSM like a melodia at all.

In essence, this was a replay of the Danish cartoons madness, with one twist -- Westerners racted negatively to the suppression of the cartoons (artistic expression, how dare they suppress it!) but had a different visceral reaction to the idea of Quran burning (tasteless boob being too provocative!). But, from the perspective of those on the receiving end (al-Arabiya et al.), the provocation and the tastelessness were pretty much the same in both incidents -- the Islamists (a subset of Muslims) see the two as indistinguishable.

Ann says that Obama was being false to American values in his response, and I agree. But this episode like his response to the GZ mosque throws a harsh light on Obama's entire approach to the Muslim world. In reaching out to the Muslim world, he needs to offer a little Hope and Change! to those suffering in regimes where the Islamist wackos are in charge (Iran, e.g.), but his kowtowing here is sending exactly the opposite message.

At bottom, Obama doesn't have much interest in any of this. Like so much that he does, it's all about him -- he sees it (and everything else) from the perspective of a lefty professor whose world is composed of islands like Cambridge, Berkeley and Ann Arbor. That's the only audience he cares about. His only point is to demostrate how he, as The One, is Righteous and True; and how, if only the lesser folks everywhere would see the Light, our latter-day Messiah would bring about the promised kingdom on earth.

G Joubert said...

And yet our President, unlike Mr. Jones, is supposedly very, very smart.

I am not so certain, as you yourself likewise imply, that Obama is as smart as advertised. He obviously has some exceptional things going for him, but I'm betting the stellar cognitive heft so often assumed by many isn't one of them. As for the preacher, I'm not yet convinced he's all that dumb. One takeaway from the example Obama presents is that appearances can be deceiving.

Jenner said...

The hypocrisy! The irony!

Can't burn a Koran because it will inflame a Muslim and endanger our troops?

Isn't this EXACTLY why we are fighting in the first place???

"I don't like what you say but I will fight for you to have the freedom to say it."

America is shown to be weak, while posturing its tolerance as strength. They use our virtue against us, and they are winning. Shall we change tactics or submit?

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

I won't have you libeling me here on my blog, Alpha. Go to hell.

Matt said...

Good lord, Ann why do you spend time on this story if it is so lame?

Methadras said...

AlphaLiar strikes again. He's just a born liar and tool for his ideology and really has zero place amongst real adults and real discussions.

Almost Ali said...

For the record, the so-called Muslim community center earmarked for Ground Zero is already operating as a mosque. Despite the fact that the building itself is still far from correcting its structural code violations.

Which is especially interesting since the neighborhood's Greek church has not been allowed such leeway.

In other words, the Muslims are now running New York City.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Learning how to constructively deal with being offended is a good thing. In fact, it's necessary if they expect to thrive in a civilized society. Then again, maybe they don't.

GMay said...

What the hell happened? Did AL get banned? What did he say here? I've seen some of the lefties here level some fairly biting stuff at Our Hostess and she still puts up with it. This must've been pretty bad.

Deebo said...

Bravo. Although I think you misused "propounded" in the last paragraph.

Paco Wové said...

This must've been pretty bad.

Yeah, really, and we missed it. Darn this 9 to 5 job that keeps me away from the internets! Darn it to heck!

Oh well. Can't say I'm sad to see Squealer go.

Revenant said...

So I guess this guy's saying that he was into burning Qurans before it got popular?

Almost Ali said...

Happy Ramadan.