Faith leaders speak out against Quran burning | September 10, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 10, 2010

Faith leaders speak out against Quran burning

Multifaith group convenes in Palo Alto to take a stand

by Sue Dremann

Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders spoke out Wednesday in Palo Alto against rising bigotry toward Muslims and a plan (aborted on Thursday) by a small, nondenominational Christian group in Florida to burn the Quran, Islam's most holy book, on Sept. 11.

About 15 leaders gathered at First Baptist Church in Palo Alto to express their support for the Muslim community and to ask people of all faith groups to practice tolerance.

The leaders said they are concerned with opposition to building a mosque near where the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. They decried the planned "International Burn a Koran Day" by the 50 or so followers of Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones in Gainesville, Fla.

Jones has called Islam the "religion of the devil" and has written a book entitled "Islam is of the Devil."

Among the speakers at the Wednesday press conference were Rev. Randle (Rick) Mixon, First Baptist Church of Palo Alto; Imam Aladdin El-Bakri of the West Valley Muslim Association in Saratoga; Samina Sundas, founding executive director of the American Muslim Voice; and Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto.

"I just got back from 10 days in Boise, Idaho, where I grew up and was visiting my family and my 92-year-old mother," Mixon said in a separate interview.

"It stirred memories of my own father, who was a Baptist minister in the conservative, evangelical tradition. He would've been at the press conference in solidarity. He believed so deeply in our tradition that God is a God of love; Jesus is a prince of peace. There is no room for hatred; there is no room for bigotry; there is no room for the kind of prejudice we've been seeing. It's really appalling that it comes from Christians," he said.

Another minister reminded participants that in the 18th century Baptists were a persecuted group who supported the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Mixon said.

"What goes around comes around," Mixon added. "Those of us who have known oppression should stand with those being oppressed."

El-Bakri said his hope was for people to build the "twin towers of love and compassion" and spoke of how many times in the Quran that Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus are mentioned in positive ways. Mohammad is mentioned only four times, he said.

When burning the Quran, people are really burning the teachings of the Judeo-Christian traditions as well, he said.

Lewis noted that Jews have experienced the burning of their sacred texts many times, including during the Nazi era.

"I hope the result (of standing together) will be that we learn to relish each others' sacred texts," said Lewis, who said he planned to read the Quran again.

He also said that rising anti-Islamic sentiment has spurred groups to "join hands with one another and to come to a new resolve about how important interfaith relations are and ... how much we (should) relish the diversity in community."

"In some ways, Muslims are newcomers in terms of their public presence and increasing number," Lewis said. But Muslims are "just the kind of people we want. We share core values."

Extremism, however, can be found in all religious groups, he said.

"Every faith tradition is capable of distortions, usually from extreme elements. It's true in the Jewish tradition. It's true in the Christian tradition. And it's true in the Islamic tradition," he said. "But the much larger moderate middle, the community of devoted adherents — we know we can live together peacefully."

He said his involvement in interfaith groups over the years has been "a blessing."

"I can't express how I've been blessed by the dialogue and by working together in so many ways," said Lewis, who added that he found the press conference profoundly moving.

Samina Sundas, founding executive director of American Muslim Voice, said that she believes most Americans are compassionate, kind and open-minded people and they don't feel the same as Jones.

"I believe that these groups (of extremists) are few and far between but they are loud and funded by special-interest groups. Write letters; speak. And join the human family," she said.

An interfaith rally will take place on Friday (Sept. 10) at James McEntee Plaza, 70 West Hedding St., San Jose, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sundas said she hopes Palo Alto residents will attend.

Multifaith Voices is hosting an Interfaith Witness for Peace gathering on Sept. 19 at Heritage Park on Channing Avenue in Palo Alto from 3 to 5 p.m. The World Peace Village, an inter-generational event where families and individuals can walk through six centers representing a center of worship for different faiths, will be on display at the park.

At 4 p.m., an interfaith peace service at will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 751 Waverley St., Palo Alto, with music, prayers and speakers from Palestine/Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday's press conference was organized by The Santa Clara Council of Churches, Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice and was endorsed by dozens of interfaith and inter-community groups.

Managing Editor Jocelyn Dong contributed to this report.

Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be e-mailed at


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

This whole subject has gotten way too much media attention & is being blown out of proportion. There's always some whackjob weirdo "religious leader" threatening to do something attention-etting & asinine like this guy. Is it really news that religious leaders from various tradition are speaking up against it? I'm no fan of Islam, but I'm not going to express my views by burning their holy book.

Posted by Aron, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I just deleted a e-version of the Koran. Felt good to hit the delete button. I guess I'm just a religious zealot.

Posted by fringe gets the attention, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm

You know this fringe Christian preacher is going to a poster child for extremist Islamic groups. He could easily inspire more violence than Osama bin Laden. I'm sure he knows this, too.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm

This Florida group has 30 members who work as slaves in the leaders furniture business-- the are affiliated with the Westboro Baptist Church-- a tiny group of ex civil rights lawyers who live by provocation and personal injury/ civil rights litigation

As with the WBC they should be ignored--- Petraeus is a good general and hopefully our President in 2012-- but he should stay out of this nonsense

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I am totally against organized Muslim terrorists, but not against any individual Muslim who want to follow their religion. I am against this so called Christian leader, who is unlike what Christianity preaches, burning the Koran in a publicity stunt. I am also totally against the way the media is making this a big thing. If the media kept quiet, no one would know about it. It is the media now that is making this into what it is.

Posted by not the media's fault, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Don't blame the news media. This story has already been widely distributed by bloggers who cover anti-Muslim bigotry in the USA. Protesters in many countries have already made up posters of this guy and we will likely see them out in force at overseas American embassies and business locations when he starts his book burning.

Posted by Commander McBragg, a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

If someone burned a bible, would it be a big deal? I think not. It would just be someone expressing their opinion.

Posted by anon, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm

The terrorists win when things like this happen. Muslims are just shown a wall of hatred when America does things like this. Why should we hate an entire group of people just because there were a few stupid radicals who thought the best way to make a point was to blow something up?

Goodness, my faith in humanity is plummeting.
Watch this and put it all into perspective: Web Link

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Blogging is just another form of media. The media now also refers to blogging.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

The positive of this matter is that main stream Christians are connecting with main stream Muslims in a new , productive way

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Sharon, you're very right. A lot of Christians get a bad rap when one, like this stupid guy, does something extra stupid. Of course, most mainstream people of faith, agnosticism or atheism are just that - mainstream & not into making spectacles & increasing hate.

Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 8, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Sorry, but I gotta call b.s. on this multifaith group that has convened to speak out against that Florida knucklehead Bible-man. How come we're only hearing of their group hug when someone's about to torch a Quran? I'll guarantee you that if I'm about to burn the good book of another monotheistic faith, ain't no multifaith group gonna come together for that.

O ye men of different faiths, come together to fight bigotry and hatred, but don't just do it on Wednesday's from 2:30-4:30pm.

Posted by Pukirahe, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:22 am

This group represents nobody.
I am really ashamed to hear about some people
planning to burn a Holy Book in the name
of freedom or religion.
I pray that they will rethink before
seeing the signs of God's wrath against them.

Posted by tom degan, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

Take a Muslim to lunch this week
Show them we’re a decent bunch this week
Let’s give in and all do the “brotherhood” bit
Just make sure we don’t make a habit of it

Give Mohammad’s kids the crown this week
Overlook the fact they’re brown this week
We know everyone can’t be
as American as we….
Take a Muslim to lunch!


-Stan Freberg, 1961
(Slightly updated for obvious reasons)

I never met a Muslim I didn’t like. Seriously! As a rule they tend to be lovely people, great neighbors, very well mannered – and don’t get me started on their food! Having lived a good portion of my life in New York City I have come to know oodles of people who follow that faith. All of them are fine people and an asset to this country. God bless America.

The question is just screaming to be posed: Has Terry Jones ever even bothered to read the Sermon on the Mount? I was just wondering.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.

Web Link

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 5:48 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Tea Party rhymes with bigotry, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 9, 2010 at 9:18 am

Sarah Palin and Glen Beck have condemned the Quran burning. You know your hate mongering has gone too far when even the Tea Party is lining up against you.

Posted by Hmmm - to Chris Z, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:17 am

A lot of different religious leaders work together on various issues we never hear about because they don't get reported by the media.

Different Muslim groups in this area have been working w/various churches for a long time now, to educate & build relationships. When a religious bigot does something super stupid it's common for the groups to get together & decry that stupidity. It's the behind the scenes stuff that we don't usually see or know about.

Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:18 am

Burning the Quran shows poor judgement on the pastor's part. I'm sure he has some other motivation, like attracting donations from other extremists.

However, we should not limit our freedom of speech because we're afraid of terrorists.

Posted by Me of Little Faith, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

I think we should take Commander McBragg up on his suggestion: let's have a little Bible roast and see what happens. Maybe throw in a few copies of the Book of Mormon just for good measure. Maybe roast a few marshmallows on the flames.

Sounds like a fun time! Let's hear it for free speech!

Posted by Al, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:34 am

Just a few weeks ago, a number of US Aid workers were killed in Afghanistan---

10 US Aid Workers Killed In Afghanistan:
Web Link

Web Link

KABUL - A Christian charity group said Thursday that it believes militants, not robbers, killed 10 members of its medical team last week in a remote area of northern Afghanistan.

It would be hard to find any comment about this needless killing of the Christian Aid workers by the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders who spoke out Wednesday (Sept. 8) in Palo Alto against the rising bigotry against Muslims. It would be hard to believe that these religious "leaders" would dare to make mention of this killing, much less condemn it. On the other hand, burning 200 Korans that seem to require Muslims to kill non-believers becomes a "national security issue" (Verse 9:123 - "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you.") (Note--there are other translations of this Verse 9:123 that might be seen in a slightly less aggressive way--but even those translations strongly imply violence for Muslims to deal with non-Muslims.)

When bibles are burned by Muslims, when people are killed by Muslims (for whatever reason), local religious "leaders" seem to have little interest in condemning these acts.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:58 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I understand that Hitler had a death warrant out for Spike Jones for his hit "Der Fuhrer's Face", and yet FDR did not ask him to tone it down, and I understand quite a few copies of Mein Kampf were incinerated when Adolph invaded Poland. If peace is so fragile as to require we bow to our enemies then hang it up.

Posted by Bemused, a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

This trend toward stifling free speech is troubling. We should all feel lucky and blessed that we live in a country in which religious groups express their views symbolically (burning a book, so what?). As this minister himself said, the problem is not with our exercising our right to free speech, the problem lies with those who would threaten violence against us for doing so. Let them burn their book! It's a free country and I can burn any d*mned book I want to. Extremists in the Middle East (of all three major religions) do NOT necessarily believe in such freedom. Be grateful you live here, not there.

Posted by An American Value, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Walter is usually on target, but not this time. The Founding Fathers did not want America to repeat the long, tragic history of religious bigotry, hate, and wars back in Europe. Because their view has prevailed, America has both freedom of religion and a cultural value or norm of respect for all faiths. We honor America by treating all creeds with respect and also respecting the right of those who choose not be practice any faith. We may have strayed off this course at times in our hisotry, but thank God America has persisted in following the path of religious tolerance blazed for us by Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Washington.

Posted by Al, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

> The Founding Fathers did not want America to repeat the long,
> tragic history of religious bigotry, hate, and wars back in Europe.

Care to cite some of the writings of the founding fathers on this matter of "religious freedom"?

> Because their view has prevailed, America has both freedom of
> religion and a cultural value or norm of respect for all faiths

Folks who believe this might want to review some American history. Catholics and Quakers were not all that popular in the early days of the colonies (pre-Revolution), but sentiments that carried forward into the Federal period of the country's history--as the Mormons were to find out.

Most Americans have little formal training in "religion". It's very unlikely that 1 in 100,000 Americans could even outline the theology of their own religion, much less that of the five top religions in the world. If there really is any "respect" for other religions, it's really ignorance, masquerading as "tolerance".

Posted by An American Value, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm


We might start with these statements from two fo the Founding Fathers:

Thomas Jefferson:

"We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Virginia Baptists, 1808. ME 16:320

Alexander Hamilton:

“Remember civil and religious liberty always go together, if the foundation of the one be sapped, the other will fall of course.”

A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress, 1774



Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I am against burning the Koran.

I am against religions attacking and fighting each other.

I would not burn a Koran or any other religion's book.

I intensely dislike fundamentalist preachers, of any sect, and I do not much respect any religion as an institution. I do respect individual people of goodwill from any religion that demonstrate their morality and good deeds.

BUT ...

I do feel that for better or worse that people have the freedom to burn the flag and express their opinions. People "should" be able to do that without inciting murders and international war, but we have some neanderthal idiots in our country such as this guy who says he is going to burn the Koran, and we cannot control them all.

We also cannot control who puts what on YouTube, or who draws what cartoons.

The bottom line is that Islam believes it has the right or life or death over people according to how they respect Islam. This selfish, intolerant world view that has threatened and murdered people for writing books, drawing cartoons, speaking out, not knuckling under to religious authority, is inimical to the modern world.

Just as the US could not exist with half of it under slavery, the world cannot continue to exist in peace and prosperity with a large portion of it living under an intolerant totalitarian violence version of some religion or the other.

The war on terror, the war on radical islam, whatever you want to call it, and however it is being fought, competently or incompetently, efficiently or "squanderously", fairly or unfairly is like an international civil war that can be reduced to acceptance or rejection - NOT of Islam, but of the way Islamic nations rule and treat their people, and interact with the rest of the world.

This is a struggle that might be with us for 50-100 years or more, and when I speculate about technology and the future I do not see how the world can survive this conflict of cultures for that long without some kind of fair resolution.

The battle is seems is now a military one, and being fought outside our land in ways that can be very devisive, but this action by one man, though he should have better sense, and should listen to the President, the FBI, the police, the Generals, etc ... ie. everyone telling him not to, should not have the power to incite violence, and that power is taken by Muslims who are offended more than they have any right to be and believe they have the right to visit violence on people for no expressing themselves in a way they approve of.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm

The President calls it a stunt. Well put.

This pastor has a congregation of 50 people. Suggests to me that he is not inspiring people to follow his pastoral leadership.

Posted by Al, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

> We might start with these statements from two
> fo the Founding Fathers:

While the written record of the "founding fathers" is reasonably clear on this point, the actual practices and history of the American people/"experiment" do not follow.

Snatching a little from Wikipedia on this matter:

Web Link

Religious tests

The affirmation or denial of specific religious beliefs had, in the past, been made into qualifications for public office; however, the United States Constitution states that the inauguration of a President may include an "affirmation" of the faithful execution of his duties rather than an "oath" to that effect — this provision was included in order to respect the religious prerogatives of the Quakers, a Protestant Christian denomination that declines the swearing of oaths.

The U.S. Constitution also provides that "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification of any Office or public Trust under the United States." As of 2007, seven states have language included in their constitutions that requires state office-holders to have particular religious beliefs. These states are Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.[9] Some of these beliefs (or oaths) were historically required of jurors and witnesses in court. Even though they are still on the books, these provisions have been rendered unenforceable by U.S. Supreme Court decisions. [10]

Clearly, some states did not "get the memo" from the FFs (Founding Fathers or the wording of the Constitution) about what they had in mind, as these states included "religious litmus tests" in their constitutions (which were supposed to comply with the US Constitution at the time of petitioning statehood).

Anyone reading any of the original documents would probably not get any warm/fuzzies that the FFs were planning for Hindus, Muslims, Satanists, Zoroastrians, or any of the world's minority religions, to take hold in the US, and to provide militant dissonance to the heavily Christian culture of the country. Given the fact that the FFs had problems with the concept of "liberty for all", it's not difficult to believe that they didn't really understand the implications of "religious liberty for all" either.

Posted by Rex Kramer, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

If muslims react violently to the koran burning, they are simply proving the Florida Pastor to be right!!!

A woman is about to be STONED to death in Iran for accused adultry, where is the media outrage to save her life from their barbaric islamic laws?

Despite over 70% of Americans opposing the imam rauf he stated muslims around the world would react violently if the ground zero islamic center was moved, and they are upset a Pastor in Floirda is burning the koran???

You want America to be tolerant, which we are as there are MANY mosques in EVERY state, WHY NOT BUILD AN INTERFAITH CENTER IN SAUDI ARABIA and STOP BEHEADING CHRISTIAN CONVERTS THERE???

SO MANY in the media are TERRIFIED to speak out against islam…

The fact of the matter is, if SO MANY are TERRIFIED of the koran, that is PROOF POSITIVE that people should burn it…

Beheadings, Stonings, Suicide Bombers, muslims and the mainstream media have a lot of work to do before saying that the koran burning event in Florida is evil, that is certainly the pot calling the kettle black and Americans ARE SICK OF IT!!!

Posted by An Ameriocan Value, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm


It is true that the US is not far along that hip and expeimental path that Western Europe and Japan have hurtling so very far along by now, namely abandoning faith of any kind whatsoever, and that most Americans are still adherents (some more so, some less so) of one of those humdrum monotheistic relgious faiths. This does not mean that those who practice more exotic faiths or do not practice any faith at all don't have plenty of social space to do so (or not do so as it wer). That much is patently obvious (e.g. I give you California as a case in point). And, yes, all thanks to the Founding Fathers.

In fact Americans may be so stubborn in holding on to their humdrum faiths because many of their ancestors were unable to do so without persecution in the lands from whence they emmigrated, but could so so freely in America.

While we have hardly been perfect in our practice of tolerance, everyone in America knows that you can be a Lutheran, Quaker, Mormon, Jew, Catholic, Moslem, Baptist, Buddhist, etc. etc. as you please, just as well as one can be an agnostic or an atheist.



Posted by myhometoo, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Thought that was the golden rule of all religions.

Posted by Al, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm

> And, yes, all thanks to the Founding Fathers.

Ah .. it would pay to thank all of those who believed in what the FFs believed, and fought (one way or another) to maintain/fulfill their vision. Anyone wading into the history of religious freedom in the US would find that the rosy picture that some promote simply can not found in the historic record. Most of the religious freedoms that we enjoy today were acquired slowly, mostly through court challenges to one lawful restriction to “religion” or another.

> without persecution in the lands from whence they emigrated

The problem with this premise is that most of those seeking “sanctuary” in the “new land” for religious reasons created many (if not all) of the problems they encountered in their originating countries were caused by themselves. Certainly the history of Catholics and Puritans in England needs to be understood fully before claiming that they were “persecuted” and came to the colonies for “religious freedom”.

> everyone in America knows that you can be a Lutheran, Quaker, Mormon, Jew, Catholic,
> Moslem, Baptist, Buddhist, etc. etc

This list includes the practice of Islam, which has a thousand-year history of conquest, suppression, and intolerance to non-Muslims. The premise that the Constitution (ie the FFs) mandated that any religion has the right to promote the overthrow of the US (one way or another), does not pass any “smell test” for common sense, nor does it reflect the thinking of the FFs (who were very interested in founding a new government that was based in “demoncracy”—not religious commandments).

What also needs to be stated in this discussion is that anyone has the right to debunk, or oppose, any of the theology/practices/militancies of religious people who are trying to assert the primancy of their religions over others.

Posted by ifif, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

if a black man was doing this there would be a media firestorm and racial bigotry.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

It's a stunt - this pastor wants his 15 min of fame and the media are thrilled and willing - anything to make Christians or fringe Christians look bad.
-from an atheist.

Posted by is it cancelled?, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

The New York Times says the preacher cancelled the Quran burning after all the public pressure made him look like a terrorist. Web Link

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm

The "news" today is that this Florida preacher with a congregation of 50 will not burn Korans if the New York Muslim Community agrees to locate its community center at at place other than the current target location.

This Florida preacher is delusional. It is shocking that he has gotten the attention that he has. Let him burn some Korans, the rest of the country has common sense.

Posted by rest of the country, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

The "rest of the country" is irrelevant. This is an international issue. Some people will consider this to be an act of terrorism and respond in kind.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Something tells me he never really intended to go ahead, after the initial outcry. His original intention was to get 15 minutes of fame for his church and his purposes. He got his 15 minutes of fame, and now he looks like a good guy for changing his mind to do something that was foolish but his right.

The underlying point just may be that he is sending a message to Islam. He has pointed out that it is his right and his freedom of speech to do this, but that he has now chosen not to do it. By pointing this out, he is in fact sending a message that we have freedoms here that Islamic countries do not.

Maybe he is not such a nutter after all.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

He's a nutter, because what he was going to do - or proposed to do - is dangerous nowadays. I think he looks just a little less stupid than he did yesterday. I do appreciate your points about freedom of speech & the other freedoms that we have here. I think that the concern w/this was the whole not yelling fire in a crowded theater kind of thing. It's unfortunate that he was receiving death threats, that this would possibly put US soldiers in jeopardy, that there are Muslim extremists who might behave violently as a result. But that's the nature of an extremist. I still think this pastor is a bit of an extremist as well.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Just in--

Westboro Baptist Church to burn Qurans if Dove doesn'tWeb Link
"WBC burned the Koran once – and if you sissy brats of Doomed america bully Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center until they change their plans to burn that blasphemous tripe called the Koran, then WBC will burn it (again), to clearly show you some things," the church announced in a news release this week.

This may well be the last we hear of WBC if they go ahead--
They thrive by threatening civil rights litigation--- who are they planning to sue?

Posted by Jack, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm

"This Florida preacher is delusional."

Not really. He understands that Islam is a gang that will only be satisfied when it controls the entire world. He is a crude rube, and it is a pity that it has come to this. The reason that such low-lifes are leading the way is that brighter bulbs refuse to actually read the Koran. It is a blueprint for world domination.

Don't burn the Koran, READ IT!!!!

Posted by sending a message, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Maybe the preacher was just trying to send a message via this hoax. The message turned out to be that some Christians are idiots. I really doubt that anyone learned anything else from this episode.

Posted by Roger Overnaut, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I think Jones is envious (itself a deadly sin) of a book that inspires its followers far more effectively than the book Jones uses in his church, as evidenced by the willingness of certain Muslims to die for their religion and the lack of a comparable level of faith by Jones' followers. He has apparently now chickened out himself.

Posted by Eden, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm

For once I agree with Paul Losch.

As far as "The 'rest of the country' is irrelevant. This is an international issue. Some people will consider this to be an act of terrorism and respond in kind," will might as well kiss our civil rights good-bye then.

I always thought we were at war in two Muslim countries. Since when do we care what they think or what they threaten anyway.

I guess burning US flags is much more tolerable for many PA posters.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.
How the mighty have fallen. We are back to Kissinger style diplomacy, throwing children off the sled to slow down the wolf pack. Those who suggest that war is the only alternative to accepting insults reminds me of an earlier politician who said "There is such a thing as being too proud to fight." The pathetic simpering above, and all around, will convince Islam that we are too comfortable to fight. My suggestion, that freedom of Muslims to travel to and through our country is conditioned on good behavior both by those coming here and by the boys back home, made the bit bucket. Pity.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Amazing that Sec Def Gates and the WH called this guy---that will only encourage copy cats--we have black opps who could have made him disappear for a while--for his own safety, now the WBC has taken up the campaign they can be disappeared--- for a little longer.
The smartest move was the ISP taking down his web site---we do not need to give these nuts a megaphone.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

That's a good little dimi.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Good point-- dimi was about tax--
The IRS can determine this Florida furniture stores tax status and the WBG as a legal firm or as a legitimate religion
We are sure that it was the the IRS that got this 15 people cult to grovel and they will now go after the 15 people WBC.
The IRS will also go after the US funds that support illegal Israeli settlements in the Holy Land.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:59 am

At first I thought "he really shouldn't burn the Koran"..but then the reaction of the "world's Muslims", death chants to American children, rioting in the streets etc made me remember the idiocy of the violence over just a cartoon of Muhammed...and voila, just like that, I changed my mind.

He needs to burn it just to make the point...Who are the real nutcases here? The ones who threaten lives over a book burning, or the one who burns the book?

If we cave in on this, we cave in on freedom of speech. If I, as a Christian, have to tolerate picture of the Cross sitting in urine and statues of Mary covered in cow dung in the name of free-speech, then so solly, everyone else has to tolerate any freedom of speech. I have gotten to the point where I can see the line from my backyard, and the line is our freedom of speech.

We CAN NOT squelch the right to burn a flag, a bra, a Bible, a Koran, an effigy of a political figure..anything.

RE: Freedom of Speech: I heard that the White House was actually talking about speaking to this nutcase THAT scares me a hell of a lot more than anyone threatening to blow us up! An Admin who ( once again, just like with the site meant for reporting anyone who disagrees with Obamacare), doesn't get the very basic concept of freedom of speech and the government shall do nothing to infringe on it, acting Gestapo/knock on your door-like..THAT is a hell of a lot scarier than some nutcase burning a koran!

So, go for it, nutcase. You may be just one, and you may have just 40 or so followers, and we may be 300,000,000 in the rest of the nation, but Just like with Westboro, we need the fringe groups to push the envelope to help us see who are real enemies are...and they live in our White House and Cabinet right now.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 10, 2010 at 5:13 am

I just remembered my complacence and being won over by "bad America, bad bad bad America" thinking, I forgot..where is the outrage for all the Christians travelling to countries that confiscate their Bibles at the border..and burn them or desecrate them?

Oh yes..I forgot...we have to take anything dished out to us without complaining, because we are mature and capable of understanding the difference between countries that forbid my Holy book from entering the country at all, forbid my religion, forbid converting to my religion, punish by lashing and occasional death anyone who converts too my religion..and my country, my big bad country, which has to bow to kiss the ring of such believers.


Not saying return in kind with riots and death threats, of course not, which is what "turn the other cheek" means. It doesn't mean bend over and be whipped, it means don't return violence with violence, but it sure as heck doesn't mean turn over your God-given inherent rights to freedom of speech!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2010 at 9:38 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Anyone curious can look up my words on 9/11. They still go.

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