Thursday, September 9, 2010

America's Got Hypocrisy: Who's The Best At Screaming TOLERANCE! Loud Enough?

In a way, Terry Jones, the Florida Pastor of a pitiful 50-member congregation, has done a big favor to progressives everywhere: his Quran-burning pledge has rooted out the hypocrites and reinforced our views of the hardcore bigots. Many of the people who have made a cottage industry out of demonizing Muslims and Islam are competing with each other to see who can shout "tolerance" "brotherly love" "American values" and "Christian" while vilifying Jones as "un-Christian" "contemptible" "disgusting" and "bainless."

It should come as no surprise that the loudest voices come from the most bloviating bunch of bigots, the Southern Baptist Convention. Leading the pack to give the affair a slight down-home ambience was Greg Magruder, senior pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Gainesville. He set the tone for the rest in giving the most whitewashed (pun intended) portrait of Southern Baptists:

Magruder, whose church is aligned with both the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Southern Baptist Convention, said Baptists have historically stood for religious freedom for everyone.
"Therefore, I stand with my Muslim, Jewish and Christian friends here today and plead on the basis of all our sacred texts that the Gainesville community commit to love God, love your neighbor and promote religious liberty for all," Magruder said at the Sept. 2 press conference. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Have you stopped laughing yet? Who can forget the famous statement made by then-president Bailey Smith: "God Almighty Does Not Hear The Prayers Of A Jew"!! And the anti-Muslim statements made by some of your top 10 favorites make any statement of brotherly love look as if it must be coming from Mars:
Jerry Falwell on 60 Minutes:  “I think Muhammad was a terrorist."
Pat Robertson: "Islam wants to take over the world and is not a religion of peace."
Franklin Graham: "an evil and wicked religion." 
And let's not forget Rod Parsley's famous statement that America was created "to destroy Islam.

Of course, that was then and this is now:
Chuck Colson: "I find Jones’s plan to burn the Koran foolish and contemptible,"
Rev. Richard Cizik of New Evangelical Partnership: "I say, 'Shame on you,'"
John Hagee:  in a letter to Jones dated Sept. 7, : "What you propose to do is an absolute violation of to the Bible." 
Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: "I think it is appalling, disgusting, and brainless."
Pat Robertson: "This guy is looking for attention. He's looking for publicity. … I think it's horrible what this guy is doing."
Hey, the fun's just starting and the bandwagon is immense. 

But the show might have a few laggards and "no-shows." Some truly hardcore Muslim-haters are having a hard time making up their minds on how to approach this situation: as of this writing there is no word from Rod Parsley, Franklin Graham, Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, and Ken Copeland to name a few. That arbiter of everything moral (therefore chief Muslim-hater) Bryan Fischer, has chimed-in in his usual backhanded way:
But the response to Rev. Jones' plan proves something we have been saying from the beginning: Islam is a religion of violence, not a religion of peace.
There is irony in that perhaps the best, most heartfelt and genuine contribution to the criticism of  Jones and the affair comes from Richard Eubank, leader of the VFW:

"There is nothing to be gained and everything to lose from this selfish act. Our war is against a small number of religious extremists who kill indiscriminately and without remorse. Let's not allow an equally small number of religious extremists in America to widen the war." 

While I'm sure Mr. Eubank defines Terry Jones and his "flock" of sheep-like bigots as a "small number" we should perhaps include in that group the hyper-hypocrites who have demonized Islam while extolling the virtues of having freedom of religion.

UPDATE: Pastor Jones has a lot more in common with Fred Phelps than when people first started to compare the two. So stay tuned - there's a lot more to this show!

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