Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book-Burning Bigot

By now, you've all heard about the ultra-fundamentalist Gainesville, Florida, preacher who plans to burn the Islamic holy book on 9/11, despite warnings from city leaders, government officials, military generals, and even conservative evangelicals that such an action would endanger American troops – not to mention, it would trash our reputation in much of the world (and not just the Muslim parts of it).

Now, I think the guy's a bigot and an idiot. Though he has the legal right to do something stupid and insulting, we have every right and responsibility to judge his character by his actions, and his actions show him to be very unchristian in intent and deed. He is also something that should turn off the hardcore right wingers in this country: He's unpatriotic, because the only outcome of his lunatic scheme will be lasting harm to our image and possibly to our soldiers' very lives.

So I was thinking this morning that it's very unlikely that there wouldn't be direct retribution against this wacko and his 50-member church, so I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the sucker who sold him property insurance on the church. Little did I know ...

Sure enough, here's this tidbit from a nice article on Time's web site, which notes how much the city of Gainesville has banded together against this cretin:
Although Jones certainly has every First Amendment right to burn books, Lowe says city officials hope to convince him to call off the Koran conflagration, which he insists on carrying out even though the Gainesville Fire Department has refused him a permit. This week, Jones said he and his congregation were "praying" over the statement of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, who warned that "images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists... to inflame public opinion and incite violence." Christian leaders around the U.S., among them conservative evangelicals, have condemned Jones' plan; his property insurer has cancelled the Dove center's coverage and the North Carolina bank that holds the church's mortgage is demanding repayment of the $140,000 balance.
Italics mine.

I'm sure the wayward pastor, Terry Jones, is lapping up all of this controversy. Being hated and ridiculed is a badge of honor for the truly extremist religious right (and, let's be fair, the truly extremist left).

But it's worth noting that insurance companies and mortgage holders can usually (well, forget about the subprime thingie) see clearly enough when something's a lost cause.
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