This has been all over the news. A pastor in Florida has promised that he’ll burn a bunch of copies of the Quran on the anniversary of September 11th. With something as emotionally loaded as terrorist attacks on innocent people, everybody has an opinion. And the predominant opinion seems to be that this is a very bad idea (unless you’re talking about somebody from the American Republican party, of course. There hasn’t been a peep out of any of them.)
Everybody from Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan, whose leaders have called the pastor a madman, a lunatic, and a sick, soul-less motherfucker (only the last word is my addition), to Britain which seems to be becoming more spineless with every passing day, to American generals in Afghanistan, the US Secretary of State, and the US President have said that this event, if it were to happen, would be unfortunate.
Even Jerry Coyne seems to think that this is an act that’s better avoided. As does the artist of Jesus and Mo:
My views on this matter are perhaps best expressed by PZ Myers who says this is just over-reaction to some idiot’s lunacy. Yes, burning a book will do no good except release some CO2 into the air, stuff that we can all do without. But what if the fellow burns the Quran? Why is he required to ‘respect’ the Quran just because some people think it is god’s word? Why can’t people just shrug, tut-tut a bit and let the mentally challenged kid put sand in his mouth?
Like I said, this is an emotionally loaded subject, and I am even prepared to accept Obama’s stand that this should not be done because it will drive people towards Islamic fanatics like the Al-Qaeda. What I cannot stomach is the Roman catholic church dispensing advice on what is or isn’t acceptable behaviour.
The catholic church is the organization that ran the inquisition, the organization that burned at the stake any number of non-believers, unbelievers, witches and heretics. Most gravely and most damningly for me, though, the catholic church is the organization that not only allowed, but institutionalised the rape of children, and elected the ring leader to be Pope. And these morons in clown suits, led by the most diabolical of villains in the funny hat, have the gall to try and tell somebody that what they are doing is ‘an outrageous and grave gesture’.
Yeah, why don’t we hear Stalin’s views on democracy and free market, and Hitler’s message of racial equality next?