Burning Question

 
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WCWProtest_WashingtonDC The flap and furor about the burning Qu'ran in Florida raises all kinds of questions about what is, and what is not, okay to do in the name of free speech. Let me get this out of the way right now-there's a pastor in Florida who wants to burn Muslim religious texts. I happen to think this is right up there with the Mother of All Bad Ideas. I've seen up close and personal the effects of religious intolerance, and I care for it not one iota. Protesting what you believe to be an intolerant religion by burning their religious texts? Really? Merriam Webster's got a book over there you should look into, under "I"...the word you're looking for is "irony"...I'll wait while you look that up. Anyway, President Obama has rightly pointed out that this kind of thing is a "recruitment bonanza" for Al'Qaeda. Not just the AQ bad guys, but really the whole host of Islamist Extremists. This got me thinking though. Burning the religious iconography is a hateful act, perhaps even a crime, depending on how we view things. What about the iconography of an ideal? America is a secular nation founded on the prinicples of separation of Church and State in that there is no official "State Religion", yet the Founders created this Nation as a symbol of a set of beliefs. These are beliefs held Holy by many Americans. Is their symbology no less sacred? How should we view the Flag then? If we are to shy away from burning religious texts because of the ire it may raise in our enemies, should those who choose to burn the Flag of the United States be similarly warned of the ire it may raise in those who hold the Flag sacred? One of the most lasting images of September 11th for me, personally, was of Palestinians dancing in the streets and burning the American Flag in celebration of the "great victory" achieved against the US by the destruction wrought at the Pentagon and Twin Towers resulting in the loss of over 3,000 lives. I was almost literally sickened by this thought. It did galvanize me in a certain sense to fight back. It is likely that seeing these images, and I can almost guarantee that in certain circles the overwhelming calls for reason to prevail and to not go through with this heinous act will not be shown or heard, these images will galvanize many to strike out at the US, viewing us as a direct threat to what they hold sacred. But the destruction of the US Flag should be no less sacred to those who love this country. For those who leap now to stop this horrible choice by a Pastor in Florida should remember this thought the next time the issue of Flag Burning comes up, and remember that the protection of ideals and beliefs is important, not just to a select group of causes and faiths, but to all.
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Does this "Church?" in Florida have the right? Yes! However, shall the United States of America now retkurn to the Gespato tactics of Nazi Germany? This nation is bigger that those actions and thousands throughout the world belived the same. Book burning was a tactic that has been used by dictators in the past to keep their masses in the dark and reveals a shallow mind an thinking. In response the "Flag Burning", may I say that although I do not condone that action, I will allow the idiot to do so. I just wish that Congress would make Flag Burning a Federal Arson offense. Then under the law, any idiot may burn, however, as a citizen of this nation, by law, I must take all actions to prevent a felonious crime. Therefore as I, first put out the fire in order to prevent further damage, I may also, accidently hurt the person and find that I must take strong actions to hold him/her for the police. As to the book burning, a similar law solves the problem. In the case of this Florida "church?", some of his followers are carrying arms. Therefore, I will also be carrying a weapon and again can fully protect me and the public from harm. Actions taken by other nations bother me, but I can do nothing major, however, I would my government to do something which never occurs. Keep in mind this thought, I have the right to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theather. Common sense tells me that unless a fire in actually occuring, I SHOULD NOT. The key words are COMMON SENSE.

If they can burn a flag I have the right to burn anything of theirs that I want. Stop being so politically correct and respond in kind.

The irony is that the founders did not believe in free speech as interpreted today. They believed in free and unrestricted political speech. Americans have the right to question, complain and comment about the idiots in office and the idiots that run for office. (I can say that because I am one of those idiots.) When political speech is limited then those in office rule with impunity. That was what the American Revolution was all about.

The Founders never intended free speech to protect pornography, slander or other various "forms of expression" as is protected today (including flag desecration) because of the illogical interpretation of the First Amendment by the courts.

Unfortunately there are those who exercise their "rights" with no responsibility. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

The big difference between the burning of the Qu’ran in Florida and the burning of the US flag by the Palestinians is that the burning of the Qu’ran will and is intended to incite violence. While you and I (and most Americans) may be upset by the burning of our flag, we're not going to go out and kill the nearest Muslim because of it. Muslim extremists on the other hand will go out and kill the nearest Americans they can find when the Qu’ran is burned.
The Pastor in Florida knows this and believes that his selfish desire for publicity is more important than the lives of the Americans who will die because of it.

Maybe it's because I read too much history and science fiction as a young man. Or maybe it's because I was raised to respect other peoples beliefs. Or maybe it's because I have a little common sense. Whatever the reason, I detest the thought of burning any book, no matter how I detest what is written in it . Having read Sura Nine (ninth book of the Qur'an) I feel I know where Islam stands on the rights of others and I will not stand in the same place. They (the muslim nations) appear to rejoice in burning our books and flags, I will not return the favor. I read books and study history so I can know my friends from my enemies. Islam I see you.

First of all, has anyone ever read the Quran? Not only would I be politically incorrect in burning the book, but I would not hesitate to burn them as well. Inciting violence against us???? They are trying to kill us in the first place! Anyone forget 911? As for Mr. Muth, is not just about a book. Watch the beheaddings by people in ski masks chanting "allah is great". They represswomen, women have not rights, if you do not convert, you are killed. They allow their follwers to have sex with children as young as 4 years old and think nothing about sodomizing young children. Read Kohmaninies little green book about having sex with animals and children. Burn the Quran, yes and them along with it. It is a political manifesto for a cult pediphiles, murders, rapists and liars that requires them to convert or kill any and all who oppose them. Wake up people, know your enemy before it is too late.

Free speech is free speech. It doesn't try to determine if it is right or wrong. I think the pastor is a jerk, totally misinformed and really, realy stupid but we can't legally stop him. We can try to persuade him but maybe we would be better off by just ignoring him, after all he only has about 30 followers and maybe, just maybe, some of them will leave.

I believe there isa difference between tbe falage burnings -teh flag ae all being a POLITICAL cymbol,regardless of ho w emotioanllyattatched to it we may be If we declare it 'Sacred, how long before a politcal party symbol -note a politiion of all stripes fail to wear the flag lapel pin at their own risk - becomesalso Sacred. Down that road is the Roman practice of declaring emperors emperors devine. Shall we also make th donkeyand elephant sacred? Many party loyalists would contend THEIR party represents the true spirt of Amerian ideals. Are Reagan or Kennedy to be demigods? The founding fathers' broadest intent was to separate citzens' religious obligations and beliefs from secular civic rights and the govenments intrusion on them In the movie An "American President" the tittle chareacter - a Liberal president, is given the lines " Being an American isn"t easy. It's It's hard. It's advanced citizenship. You have to want it. You want fredom of speech? Protect the right of a man to shout at the top of his voice that which you would spend your entire life opposing at the top of yours" or words to that effect. Am I the only one to hear the echoes of 'conservative / reactionary' generals during Vietnam who were reported to have said, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I ain't easy. We have to keep working on it. Teh burning aof a flag is burning a POLITICAL icon . In this country we have the feedom to be politcal morons. Who teh hell votedin Clinton? Burning a bible or Qu'ran or Torah crosses the line into atacking someone's religous beliefs. Burning books in general contradicts one of our nations founding principles which our father /grand fathers re-confirmed in WWII. Burning books is the hallmark of totalitarianism if you havaen't read it alredy give 1984 a read. "He who controls the past controls the fuure. I'd shoot all book burners on the spot and give sacred text burnersa double tap. Flag burning morons,if they hate the whole concept our beloved country so much could be given the also Vietanm era choice, "love it leave it." I'd ada couple bucks on my 1040 to fund that program. PLENTY PLENTY of third worlders ready to take their spots with sincere gratitude. I may have missed something but I don't think we've ever had immigrants burning flags (I'd love to know what percentage ever go back to "the old sod". I would think not very damn many) Thanks for listening
RMc CPO / LT USN Ret.

First, Free Speech has limits: You CANNOT yell Fire in a theater, or incite a riot. Second, it's stupid to burn any book for any reason, but I can understand the frustration the Pastor it trying to convey. And Thrid, why is it that the same people who think the Mosque at ground zero is a good idea because of Freedom, have a problem with the free excercise of ones belief in the other direction? It's not my belief, but he has the right to express his belief, even if it's stupid.

Yes he has every right to burn the Quran and the "free" press has the right and I believe duty to not televise the idiot(who was run out of Germany and is being sued by many former followers). As far as the General's assertion that it will "put servicemen's lives in danger", I think the illegal, idiotic, immoral invasion of Iraq and the drone missile attacks killing civilian women and children all over the middle-east probably do far more to incite violence against Americans around the world. As far as burning a flag, I have done so, before I entered service and again after discharge, as a protest against America's involvement in a different illegal, idiotic, immoral invasion of a country that had done us no harm and posed no threat to our National Security. This and other actions finally got the attention of the "silent majority" and stopped the war. I would do it again and fear it may take these types of tactics to AGAIN extract us from this mess the "Military Industrial Complex" has gotten us into. We were right about VietNam and we ARE right about VietNamastan. Americans continue to die in Iraq, and will continue to die as long as we are there. There will be another religious state in Iraq, only remotely resembling anything like a democracy. So far the only truly democratically elected government in the Middle East is in Palestine...How's that working for ya?

Freedom of religion? Show me where there is freedom of religion in Islamic countries. These people are using our freedoms against us. We should be outraged!

First, Islam is NOT a religion. It's an ideology, or even a cult. It depends on how one really looks at it. AND, you've never heard of a religion which commands its followers to kill those who are not believers in that "religion".
So, I am all for that minister who wants to burn the koran(s). He has that right under the First Amendment to the Constitution. Besides, if people want to portray Jesus in pornographic "art", this minister has every right to burn the koran.

Marineseabee nailed it! Islam is not A religion, but rather TWO distinct factions of a common origin, Sunni and Shi’a. Therefore, anyone who is a follower of Islam in this country should not be viewed in the same context as a Christian or Jew. To allow them the protection of religious affiliation under our Constitution is to protect them from prosecution for planning the overthrow of our US Government, or any part thereof. (Site several reports in the news of Muslim dominated communities that are trying to institute their own sharia, or law.) This will, in many cases, conflict with the laws of the land which ALL inhabitants are required to follow, regardless of religious bent.
Some followers of Islam believe that if a person is not Muslim that person is an infidel and all infidels are required to convert or die. This concept appears to be the crux of the problem. Who can we trust in America that professes to be Muslim? According to current Islamic history, the Sunni Imam is not a divine interpreter of the law where as the Shi’a Imam is revered as infallible and thus MUST be followed. How are we to tell who is who?

Do I believe that this pastor has the "Right" to burn the Quran? Yes. Do I think that he should, No. He, as a Pastor (undershepherd of a local "flock" of Christ's sheep) is a stand-out representative of the God of Creation. True, he is only human; and, is therefor prone to the same emotions as the rest of us. However, as a Pastor, he does not have the right to express his personal feelings in such a way. His responsibility, like that of all Christians, is to pray for guidance before acting or reacting. I am a disabled Viet Nam Vet who has studied the Muslim religion. I know what they plan for all of America. Their book is not Sacred except in their minds. The Bible is not Sacred "as a book"! The WORDS and IDEAS found in the Bible are what is Sacred. The book is just a collection of paper and leather. We must be carefull what we worship. The book, or the words therein. Now, as a Christian, this man does not have the right to burn the Quran; whether he likes what it teaches or not. He must consider what reaction such an action will cause. Burning one book will cost many lives. Converting one muslim to the faith of the One True God will save many lives. He must decide what is more desirable; but, he must also decide whether or not he wants to go face to face with God and try to convince Him that his actions were justified. Did I fight for freedom for my fellow countrymen and those of the world?? Yes. Freedom has it's price; but, it also has it's RESPONSIBILITIES. 'nuff said!!

What a media circus. We've made controversy a form of entertainment. If we could just turn off the cameras and reporters, not cover the "event" I am sure the old pastor give up. Look at all the attention we're giving this dimwit, and for what. Next week it will be another scare just like Swine Flu, the great toilet paper shortage and cabbage patch doll. It's what we make of it.

Irony is when liberals speak intolerance about those perceived as intolerant. Irony is when liberals burning an American flag in protest of a war are told that the American soldier is laying down their life for the demonstrators' right of free of speech. Irony is knowing it's insensitive to build a mosque in the vicinity of the 9/11 tragedy, yet politically correct leaders are saying Muslims have a right to build. Although it may be insensitive to burn a couple hundred Kurans, where are the liberals to defend the right to burn books. Liberal theologians want to remind conservative Christians all the time that we should worship God, not the Bible. So where are the liberal theologians to remind Muslims to worship Allah and not the Kuran. God is not confined to a book. This 9/11 book burning would be a perfect time for politicians and theologians to remind everyone that book burning is meaningless in an era of computers and the Internet. And liberals could use this as an opportunity to promote going paperless and for Christians and Muslims to start thinking green. What is all too obvious is that political correctness is motivated by fear. Americans are reacting to this very issue of Muslim extremism that sees it as a divine calling to terrorize and murder Americans for the burning of a couple books? Is it politics or a religion that still sees fit to stone women for their so called crimes against men. The key words are IT'S ABOUT A BOOK.

"So, we can burn the US flag, atheists can burn the Bible, Liberals can burn Bush in effigy... but burning the Koran is egregious?! Burn a Bible, Christians complain. Burn a Koran, Muslims want to blow everyone up. Hmmm...which is the religion of peace?" Took this quote off a friends Facebook status, but it begs the question...

I love freedom of speech. In fact I love that it lets people burn our US flag and Korans alike - because this lets me know straightaway exactly who the loopy and untrustoworthy among us are (so far as the loopy and untrustworthy inside the Beltway go, well, to identify them we still have to do our civic cuty and pay attention to their legislative agendae, bill and resolution voting, and support of or opposition to other reps, the executive, and the judiciary).

I don't give a rat's you-know-what that Koran burning offends or insults Moslems. For Christ's sake - I mean that: for Christ's sake - I tolerated that hideous "art known as "Piss Christ" and I didn't incite or join a flag-burning riot over it; and I tolerated the showings of Robert Mapplethorpe's porn art (though I do believe that adults in power erred on that one because adults ought not to expose children to adult fare). If Moslems wish to be Americans - even if they wish to join and contribute to a civilized instead of to a barbarous world - then Moslems will just have to deep six their Koran's supremacist horse manure and and grow thicker skins, just as the rest of us Americans have been acculturated to have thicker skins: because free speech - including Koran burning and flag burning - just goes with the turf of being a free US citizen. You don't have to like

For those among us who seek to ban so-called "hate speech" I have a little suggestion for you: if you tried to, could you ban "love speech"? Of course you couldn't. So let's not waste anyone's time banning so-called "hate speech." No one has to listen to anything another individual or group says, no one has to agree with what they say and, above all, no one has - on any grounds - to act on "hate speech" or "love speech." Free. Free. Free we are to speak or to keep mum, and free we are to listen or to not listen, or to act or to not act on what others say.

Let Dr. Terry Jones burn all the Korans he'd like to incinerate. If he wants to, let him use Koran pages for toilet paper. That's his right - and it's our right too whenever we wish to make a point that we're, you know, FREE to make. What's not a right - for us (including Moslems who happen to be US citizens and Moslems visiting on our soil) - is acting in any way to prevent or inhibit another's free speech. Last time I looked, Islam does not govern our country and readily offended Moslems don't dictate US law or policy. And that goes double for Moslems' and anyone else's amour propre: If you can't take the heat of free speech, then get out of the kitchen - but don't dare tell me that I, Terry Jones, or anyone else in our United States must clam up to accommodate your thin skin and spiteful violence.

This means that General Petraeus was wrong to state publicly that Jones's proposed (or even actual, if Jones does go ahead with his little bonfire) could harm US and Allied troops. If Petraeus and all the other starry-eyed Beltway Nation-Builders expect Moslems in Moslem-ruled lands to behave as civilized people who can and will sort out their benighted lands and bring them into the twenty-first century, then the good general and our other leaders had better get a grip on our Constitution and tell the Moslems in Moslem lands to make an attitude adjustment, because we Americans are not surrendering or curbing our free speech - regardless of whom it offends or praises. Petraeus, if he felt he needed to say anything at all, ought to have said to the Afghan effigy-and-flag-burners that our American freedom of speech recognizes no sacred cows and that if Afghans ever hope to live like civilized people instead of as misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, venal, spiteful, violent barbarians then they should get with the program and adjust themselves to civilized twenty-first century ways - none of which denies them the, you know, peaceful practice of Mohammedanism. The US and the rest of the West needs to stop all its hand-wringing over How Not To Offend Moslems and just let Moslems figure out for themselves how to behave as civilized people genuinely supportive of pluralism.

This lunatic pastor in Florida has had more than his 15 minutes of fame . He now carries a weapon and has a bodyguard for protection
His apparent intention is to incite religious fanaticsm to satisfy his own shortcomings as pastor ! As I understand it a majority of his
own congregation has deserted the church apparently due to the instability . Unfortunately if this idiot continues along this path there
will be a price to be paid !! Not only our troops but worldwide as well ! Our country is based on freedom of religion of all faiths nothing
is excluded ! What ticks me off is the extremism of not only fanatical muslims but some of the current religious beliefs and practices
of some of our own home grown religious doctrines ! You know who I am referring to those that occassionaly come to your door and
inform you that you are destined to hell unless you commit to their church and their beliefs ! I believe in God Almighty and support
all other beliefs wheather it be Abraham , Allah or whatever your belief may be . But do not force or inflict your beliefs on me ! I am
quite content to follow my own course in my own time . As a veteran I have made my peace with God Almighty who has permitted
me this time on earth and I fear no evil ! But this breakdown in common sense and desire to incite religious fanaticism to satisfy ones
own ego is just beyond comprehension !!

To Jim Himes, you CAN yell Fire in a theater, or incite a riot, but you CAN (and SHOULD) be punished for doing so. And if someone can prevent you from doing something like that, they can and should also. The hard part of Free Speech is determining what should be protected from prevention and punishment and what shouldn't.

I totaly disagree, with this sentiment by this author. You fight fire with fire, just like all these foreign countries do when we go to help and protect them while preserving their way of life for them, yet so many of them turn, spit upon our soldiers, burn our flags, etc. etc. Until they start recognizing our rights and sentiments over what we hold so dear to us I say do unto them as they do unto you and maybe that will make some at least stop and think before doing so ever again. Even more so if done here in this country. There has been more Hell raised by all from the President to all the Holy Leaders around us over this and when we as Americans got so upset each and every time we see our Flag being burned here and abroad you never seen 1 % of ANYONE heere or abroad decry upon this event. Shame shame shame. I say to the Reverend, BURN them and all he can get his hands upon Legally.

Doug

I say burn any icon, national ensign, or religious dosctrine you want so long as you wrap yourself in it first!

As a Vet I swore to defend my country, the constitution, the flag and all things that the United States of America stands for:
but, I did not sware to to attack any individual's right to honor the supreme creator of everything, regardless of his or her personal
preference. Whether it was my chosen devotion or not.

BUT................I would and will be ready at any time to defend my family, friends and country against any ENEMY who chooses to
deny me, my loved ones and my country to do the same.

GOD BLESS AMERICA....................................................

:O So mush Data :O … This really is he MOst Wonderful Web site DUDe…

If I said "Amen brother" would that be too ironic? Meh, who cares... amen, brother.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.