So let me get this straight. To protest against a possible burning of copies of the Koran they burn an American flag now? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.



  1. Though I know what you are driving at, I would split a hair that is going to be lost on 99% of Americans (and probably a rough majority of the rest of the civilized world).

    The Qu’ran, is the word of ‘God’, even more so than the Bible.

    Though flags are revered, but they are neither divinely inspired nor holy.

  2. Oh, it’s any excuse to play the martyr with the lot of them (Americans and Muslims). To believe that anybody is going to be really offended is as wrongheaded as believing that either the Bible or the Koran (or my shopping list from last Saturday for that matter) are the word of God.

    Flags, Bibles, Korans – it’s all idolatry.

  3. Frankly I am more bothered by the response of the Obama adminstration than I am by the yahoo church of hatred in Florida. The headline today essentially said President Obama begs church to reconsider…bullsh*t! Early on a representative of the White House should have made a statement that this country values freedom of speech and religious diversity and that we hope the global community will recognize the actions of one small church do not reflect the values of the nation as a whole – and then it should have been end of story.

  4. I would have a problem if Obama begged the imam to move the NYC Islamic community center (“mosque”), but don’t object a call to Jones. [Well, I might question it tactically, but not morally.]

    Obama’s the President . . . but he also happens to be a Christian. He can appeal Christian-to-Christian (or Christian-to-“Christian”!) to Jones, which he can’t do w/ the imam (and SHOULDN’T attempt to do w/ a minority faith not his own).


    This tit-for-tatting thang (whether in actions, or just in demanding Someone Else’s tat live up to our tit, so to speak) is pointless. We are SUPPOSED TO LIVE UP TO OUR OWN VALUES regardless of whether “they” do or not.

    Lemme say as a 12 Stepper: “They-Dependency” is SICK.

  5. From here:

    America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.

  6. There are limits to free speech in the U.S., and I suppose had things gotten really out of control, the authorities may have invoked their right to stop this ridiculous publicity stunt. I’d like to believe the citizens of the U.S. are evolved enough to see things the way Renz and Mary Sue have explained, but I fear that the majority fall right into the media hype just as, apparently, some Afghans do.

    Frankly, this story shouldn’t have even been reported in the first place. What real news have we missed in the past week or so that every major “news” source has covered this? It seems a conscious attempt to whip up hysteria on both sides of the divide. This silly church and their silly pastor should not have even been a blip on the radar screen of our national life.

  7. Personally, I consider characterizing all manner of expressions of opinion as speech is ill-advised. When the category is too broad, then the appreciation for speech itself is lessened. It can be argued that speech is not important since there are other ways of expressing oneself.
    I don’t consider burning a book or a flag or a cross to be speech. Setting a fire outside an approved container is arson. We don’t permit people to burn their garbage on the courthouse steps or brush during certain seasons. Why should book burning be different?
    Establishments of religion have become a popular refuge for scoundrels seeking a refuge from meeting their social obligations. It’s a tax-avoidance scheme.

  8. It would not surprise me at all if Homeland Security played a discreet visit to this “pastor” so-and-so.

    Freedom of speech is not absolute. A person is not free to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

    My understanding is that freedom of speech is enshrined in our constitution to protect dissent. Dissent, that is, to our own government and to the prevailing majority. The current situation does seem to be more about national security, however. And the people who have threatened to retaliate (i.e. harm our military personnel abroad) are not citizens of the US (and citizens of the US need to suck it up and live according to well established constitutional values) but rather citizens of countries whom we have either already attacked or who have reason to fear that we may well attack.

  9. One “pastor” of a small church in Florida declaring a Koran burning is hardly crying “fire” in a crowded theater. As offensive as the action would have been, it would have been a gross distortion of what we value to have him stopped by the authorities. As for the media whipping this up into a frenzy – have you checked the headline tags at lately? How many of the “big” stories are ludicrous as news? The bottom line is that we have the capability for instant coverage without enough real news to capture our attention (short attention span that is). What I was trying to argue for was not this ridiculous attention focused on this butt head minister…And as for angering militant Islamic fundies out there? I think keeping Guantanamo in operation STILL, the mysterious detention center of Bahgram Air Base, the continued presence of our military forces occupying Islamic nations – somehow I think all of those and more are much more offensive and enraging to the bad guys out there.

    I am reminded of a poor soul in Chicago who wanted to protest the war early on. He walked out onto the medium between the Ontario Ave. feeder ramps of the Dan Ryan expressway and set himself on fire. His charred remains lay there for over 3 days before anyone even had noticed and investigated what that smelly pile of ash was. If only this sad excuse for a minister had been allowed to sit with his smoldering pile of ash for days without anyone paying him any mind at all…

  10. Ellie, I had to come back and re-read your comment because it was echoing in my head. I am relieved in rereading it that your suggestion regarding “Homeland Security” was not necessarily an approving one. What a chilling thought…govt. agents show up on his doorstep to have a chat – kind of like saying that the KGB had a little chat with him and shut him up…or the Gestapo had a little chat with him and shut him up…I really don’t like the way things are going in this country…

  11. Why burn Korans or flags? Hell, I say burn Republicans, conservative Muslims and conservative “christians”, instead. Do some real good for the planet! We could go green and mulch ’em, whatever!

    I’m proposing, for the Prayer Book revision, an addition to the prayers of the people, allowing us to list names, followed by “. . that they may die without reproducing.”

    “Lord, hear our prayer.”

  12. Ignore him.

    You realize that is impossible in the USA with the sharks involved in the media. The US media would fan the flames of burning excrement to sell a story.


    wv = jillo
    Everything goes better with Jillo!

  13. In the US, you have to burn flags, when they’re too old/too discolored to fly any more. Which is why making flag burning illegal is not only a violation of First Amendment rights to free speech, it makes criminals out of those who follow this regulation.