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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

September 9, 2010

1st Amendment Rights and a Right Wing Nutjob

So, if you've been living under a rock for the last month I'll fill you in. There's a crazy Baptist pastor in Florida who wants to burn the Islamic Holy Quran because he believes it to be a "book of the devil"... Also, Lindsay Lohan is still a slut.


First and foremost, let me say this, burning the Quran or any other book from any other religion is protected free speech under the First Amendment. Nothing should hinder your right to burn a book of any sort.

Here's the first catch... There's a difference between your right to do something and your ability to do something. In order to burn anything with miscellaneous inks you must have a permit. It's merely a safety permit, meant to do nothing more than alert the police and fire department of the event and ensure the patrons know what's expected of them safety wise.

That brings us to catch number two... The pastor says he doesn't care if Americans, specifically American soldiers overseas, are inured or killed by Islamic fundamentalists due to his Quran burning event. He says he absolves himself of all responsibility, and he's right. We cannot blame him for the crimes other people commit. However, we can blame him for provoking people to commit crimes. This is what he seems not to understand. It's unfortunate that Islamic extremists are not known for their accuracy. Otherwise they'd simply kill the pastor and his congregation. But they won't do that. They'll just kill dozens of US soldiers and bomb some American embassies.

Which brings us to catch number three... It's interesting that the most understanding group in this situation are the American Muslim leaders. The same sort of leaders who the pastor swears are Satan worshipers. Ironic? I think so.

Catch number four, anyone?... Finally the local authorities have revoked his permit to hold the event. Why? Not because he doesn't have a right to burn books. But because his event indirectly threatens the safety of his congregation and American citizens overseas. I think that's a good enough reason to revoke a safety permit. So now if the pastor burns  a single book the police can arrest him on spot. Will that assuage the Islamic fundamentalists? Probably not, but it's something.

Finally, catch number five... The pastor has just agreed that he will not be burning the Qurans anymore because he struck a deal with Islamic leaders to move the NYC WTC mosque to a further location. I wonder, if they're basically Satan worshipers, doesn't this constitute a deal with the Devil? But the Islamic leaders say no such agreement was ever made. What does this mean? The pastor is lying! He wants to shift attention and blame onto the Muslims so that he doesn't look so bad. He can get upset and rant and rave all over TV about how they reneged on the deal. I guess it's okay to lie so long as it's a lie for Jesus, right?

7 comments:

riggs said...

You forgot to include "Civil War mustache collector" on the good reverend's resume

Anonymous said...

You said that the threats of violence against the congregation was a good reason for the city to cancel their fire permit.

However, isn't it the government's job to protect the rights of citizens? The city is instead setting a precedent of not protecting the rights of citizens if it isn't easy or if the city doesn't agree with the demonstration of the right. That's crap.

I don't need anybody to help me exercise my rights when it's easy. I need somebody to help me exercise them when it's hard.

elisaphant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
elisaphant said...

The alleged clergyman has made the first mistake of the self-ordained: He hasn't read the rule book. His theology omits 'the golden rule,' which is, incidentally, the rule found in most religions. He also seems to have skipped Christ's summary of the law, part two - 'Love thy neighbour as thyself.' That's the bit that precedes the parable of the Good Samaritan.

SgtHaile said...

Anonymous... The first responsibility of the government is to protect your rights while ensuring that you exercise them safely. It's one of those issues where your rights end where their rights begin, sort of thing. You have no right to put people in danger, so their refusal of his permit was legal and logical.

Anonymous said...

@SgtHaile - Rights require protection precisely when it's not easy to do so. And especially when someone is trying to use the threat of violence to take away those rights.

If my rights are not defended vigorously when it's hardest to do so, then they never existed in the first place.

SgtHaile said...

I understand. But not everything is a free right. Not anyone can own a gun without any registration, right? You can't go and burn books without a permit so the authorities know you're being safe and not going to burn down a forest, right? And if the extremely possible deaths of American soldiers was a consequence of your book burning, then I see that as a good reason not to issue a safety permit. If the pastor received the permit he can burn all the Qurans he wants and I don't care except that he's not taking into consideration the consequences other people will have to deal with for his actions. He has no obligation to consider other people's safety once he has his permit, but he still should consider their safety. It's only Christian.

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