I semi apologize for the serious, quasi-political tone of the blog the last week or so. It just happens that these are the things that have caught my attention of late. Like this guy, Terry Jones.
He is the pastor from Florida, and I use the term “pastor” in the titular since only because nothing he is doing is pastoral. He is more like a character in a faux redo of a Ray Bradbury novel, Fahrenheit 666, maybe.
Is he an idiot? Yes. Absolutely.
Does he represent the values of Christ-followers? No.
Would I want to have a cup of coffee with him? Uh, let me check my calendar and I have an opening for him on … let’s see…the first of never.
The problem, though, is this pesky thing called the United States Constitution. Yesterday Pastor Terry Jones was arrested, according to MSNBC because he was about to burn one Koran for every victim of September 11, 2001. Here is the way it was described:
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Pastor Terry Jones, 61, and his associate pastor, Marvin Sapp Jr., 34, on felony charges as he drove a pickup truck towing a large barbecue-style grill filled with Qurans soaked in kerosene. He had said he was heading to a nearby park to burn 2,998 Qurans — one for every victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sheriff’s officials said they would hold a news conference later Wednesday to discuss specific charges.
First, as odious as I find this guy, I would have loved to have seen the spectacle of hauling around a BBQ grill and 3000 kerosene soaked Korans. Again, he is clearly the village idiot.
The problem is, of course, what did he do that was worthy of being arrested, much less arrested for felony charges. Felony? Come on, give me a break. Certain principles are at play here such as the right to free speech, the right to assemble, and the freedom of religion that cannot be ignored. People have the right to be odious and they have the right to displease the religious sensibilities of others. That is what freedom means.
I maybe could understand citing him for not having the right permit or if there were a burn ban in effect for the area, but as I read the article it looks to me that they arrested him just because. Think about it, he hadn’t even done anything yet. They apparently pulled him over because he was driving a truck towing a grill.
The claim that he is endangering U.S. military personnel overseas is a little specious to me as well. The article I quote above tries to link this guy to the protests over the film last year that some argued caused the Benghazi debacle. I’m not buying any of that. Our military is in harms way period–do you think that the crazies that want to kill Americans will decide, “Oh, they arrested that guy in Florida so we can put way our terrorists plans for good now.” Not likely. Jihadists (differentiated from Muslim, because all Muslims, indeed most, are not enemies of the United States) do not need any excuse to hate us.
Let’s review now. He is an idiot who really is just looking to get on the evening news and I have no great desire to defend his actions or support what he is doing. He is not a felon, though, and he is not a criminal. He is an American citizen and as such he has rights and freedom, and that is something our Jihadist enemies will never understand.