Bonfire of the Insanities

September 9, 2010

Terry Jones, a Florida Pastor is planning on leading a Quran burning over the weekend to mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11. The media and public out cry has been unbelievably large and clearly favoring the stance that he should not be allowed to do so. The reason being that it could incite terrorist attacks, put our troops over seas in danger, and is just plain “wrong”.

While everyone seems to be getting up in arms about this, I have yet to see a legal argument for why this cannot be done. This has to do with a man’s legal right to express himself without censorship. The only voice of reason I have heard was from Mayor Bloomberg (R) of New York:

“In a strange way I’m here to defend his right to do that. I happen to think that it is distasteful. I don’t think he would like it if somebody burnt a book that in his religion he thinks is holy,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference updating the public on the progress of rebuilding at the World Trade Center site.

“But the First Amendment protects everybody,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “and you can’t say that we’re going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement.”

The Mayor made a clear, concise point, not an emotional, personal belief driven statement. I in no way agree with this course of action by the pastor, or think he has gone about it in a mature or rational manner. However, the fact remains that we live in a free country and have rights that are more amazing then any others at any time in history. Living in fear of possible outcomes from one man’s actions is not something that I would hope anyone would choose to kow tow to. We all are responsible for our own actions alone, and no one has the right or authority to interfere with another’s. This is true as long as it does not violate the laws of that society; and he has not broken any laws that I can see.


2 Responses to “Bonfire of the Insanities”

  1. K Says:

    I agree with what you said, but I would also say that I’m not entirely sure why you said it. No one is trying to legally ban this man from his intended course of action. You’re right, there is no law against it, but I don’t know that the police are lining up outside his church to slap on the cuffs when the first page hits the flames. All that the many people, both politically powerful and not, are trying to do is persuade him not to. They are trying to talk him out of it, by making him aware of the potential (well, almost guaranteed) offensiveness of his actions, and the possible repercussions this could have in the world sphere. And the only comparison I’ve seen the the WTC mosque was from someone against the mosque, saying that they shouldn’t do it… In the end, it is merely horribly offensive and rude, as an action like burning Bibles would be to him, so it’s not a question of legality.

    Rant over. Thank you. 🙂

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