Even with freedom of the press, do we really need to give a crazy reverend a platform?

September 9, 2010

I’m not usually one to get down on the news media publishing or broadcasting things, especially since I believe in freedom of the press and since I also worked for many years as a journalist and besides news is news whether one likes it or not.

But I would not mind if some of the major news outlets played down the story of this nut case The Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida who plans to burn copies of the Quran (Koran), the holy book of the religion of Islam. Should the crazy so-called preacher be given a platform?

In addition I am not sure but whether there are grounds for some type of law enforcement action or court injunction against him on perhaps such charges as inciting a riot, disturbing the peace or even civil rights violations, seeing as such action might be akin to the KKK conducting a cross burning. I’m not sure that a cross burning that is not on someone’s front lawn and is designed to terrorize particular victims is against the law, but everyone knows what the idea of such things are. And then of course there is also the fire safety issue concerning the planned Quran burning set for the anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday.

Another strange thing I have noticed is that this crazy reverend in the photos I have seen bears a striking resemblance to the late Buddy Ebsen of Beverly Hillbillies fame — my apologies to Mr. Ebsen’s memory.

I do not say that the story of all of this should not be reported. It is a legitimate story concerning the ongoing controversy over world-wide terrorism and its connection with Islam and whether it is really a part of Islam or just concerns actions taken by those hiding behind the shield of Islam. And certainly if a lot of people were to take part, it would be a major news story.

But for now it basically seems to be something about a weirdo who claims to be a man of God and who may in reality be using this as a publicity stunt because he and his church and other enterprises have money problems.

And I have to ask anyone who would do this, burn Qurans, what is the difference between burning one religion’s holy book and another’s. Should not Moslems (or Muslims) then burn the Holy Bible?

There is also the question of what this action does for the safety of military personnel and others. It is one more excuse for terrorists and their sympathizers to attack Americans, although they probably are not waiting for another excuse.

I am glad that so many people, religious leaders included, have condemned what one obviously demented man wants to do.


ADD 1:

Since I posted the original version President Obama has spoken out against the planned Quran burning. Of course the crazies among  us will just say he’s a Muslim anyway (and for the record, as far as anyone of intelligence knows, unless he is a secret or closet Muslim, he is actually a professed Christian only).


The only good thing out of all of this may be that the rest of the world can both see that most Americans do not approve (I hope that is so) but at the same time we have so much freedom here that the man is safe to do it anyway (what I suggested notwithstanding).

ADD 2:

I guess you can’t unring a bell, so this hate monger of a reverend already got what he wanted — he is news, with even the president commenting upon his planned action. But news as pure entertainment has certainly cheapened news.