Home-Grown Ayatollah

This week a news item popped up that re-affirmed a sad fact that I’ve known for some time; we’re capable of growing our own Christian crazy Ayatollah’s.  The latest evidence of this hypothesis is Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida.  He planned to burn a bunch of Korans on Saturday, September 11, the 9th anniversary of the 911 attacks.

Every media outlet and plenty of politicians (including Obama, of course) weighed in trying to discourage this fellow from going through with his Koran-burning.  Defense Secretary Gates told Jones that his actions would endanger American troops in Afghanistan.  Jones finally relented, saying that he wouldn’t burn the Korans in exchange for concessions on the proposed mosque at ground zero.  Of course, no negotiations of the sort ever occurred, making the Reverend Jones look even ”  flakier” than before.

Generally, book burning isn’t a good idea, but in this country you can do it if you wish.  Burning a Bible or a Koran is obviously a bit more controversial, but ultimately a book is only a collection of printed pages.  A new one can be purchased for a few bucks; it’s not like the guy was going to burn the world’s only Koran.

I wonder what would have happened if some Imam here in the US announced that he was going to burn a bunch of bibles.  Would Christians react as thousands of Afghanistan citizens did on Friday by chanting “Death to America?”  Probably not, but I’m sure that at least a small group of Christians would show up at the Imam’s Mosque to demonstrate….probably Christians from congregations headed by pastors like Rev. Jones.

I don’t want to end this piece by casting Rev. Jones out of the same stuff as radical Islamists.  Jones didn’t threaten any lives, nor did he advocate violence.  We hear over and over again about the need to be sensitive to Muslims, yet the worst of them will threaten your life if you publish a cartoon in a Danish newspaper.  Tolerance need not be for Christians, Jews, and Hindus only.  It should apply to Muslims as well.

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