Labels: demigoguery, Fred Phelps, International Burn a Quran Day, Rev. Terry Jones, Shirley Phelps-Roper
He Got What He Wanted From Taking
The Fabulous Fred Phelps Course
In Demagoguery And Publicity
UPDATE (2:15PM - PDT) The Reverend Terry Jones has just called off his "International Burn A Koran Day". Millions of people are relieved. Now, of course, pundits and preachers will keep him in the news for at least the next several days. Until he comes up with another "stunt" (as the President called it).
UPDATE (7:15pm - PDT) The "stunt" might be on again, so Jones is saying that it has been "suspended." It seems that he assumed he would be flown over to New York for a confab with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He assumed wrong.
The analysis of this "stunt" should begin with comparisons to that master of insult and public outrage, Fed Phelps. And the parallels of Rev. Terry Jones To Fred Phelps are, well, scary: it's already been documented that Jones is, in a way, a student of Phelps. And now that his exploits in Germany have become national news fodder, Jones has the same international cache of a religious martinet and demigod that Phelps has cultivated all these years. And some say the pupil might have outdistanced his trainer:
Civil War-mustachioed Florida preacher man Terry Jones backed off his plans to burn the Islamic religious text on Saturday. So, after calling out Jones for stealing their church's 2008 attention-grabbing ploy, Phelps-Roper and her kin are picking up where Jones left off.
"The false prophet Terry Jones caved--like all false prophets do, and like we told you he would," Phelps-Roper bragged.
Some might argue that Jones still has a way to go in emulating Phelps, but let's face it: Jones definitely got what he wanted - PUBLICITY. For better or worse, his number of followers has grown exponentially and some are even calling him a "hero." He's solidified his base.
He'll probably get a book deal.
So what are some of the rules/advisories that Jones cadged from Phelps? I've laid out the obvious ones.
From The Manual Of Phelpsian Publicity:
1. Plan an outrageously insulting event, like book burning or protesting at military funerals.
2. Make people angry enough for them to do most of the publicity work for you. Having religious leaders scorn you is OK, but get some celebrities, too. Angelina Jolie, for example.
3. Site all sorts of insane reasons for your actions, but always end up blaming God. That's easily done by putting words in God's mouth, like "God hates fags."
4. Be consistent. When you've got a good thing going, keep doing it the same way all the time. It's called "branding."
5. Make sure those apostate relatives don't get to the media before you do, if at all. They tend to spoil things. If they say that you beat them when they were kids, tell the media that they're lying, shake your head and tell them how sad you are that your children have been led astray.
6. Memorize no more than a dozen passages of scripture that support you and your actions. Anything more is unnecessary. If you get hit with a difficult question, just make something up and cite an obscure book of the Bible like Hosea. Who reads the Bible anyway?
7. Be proud of your ignorance. When asked a complicated question, hold your head up high and tell them that the Lord hasn't given you an answer to that one...yet.
8. Use your family at all times, except, of course, the ones who've run away.
9. Maintain your core group in a compound. And since America always strains to believe the little guy, it's OK if the compound is made up of small houses or trailers. Million-dollar estates tend to put people off.
10. Have a phobia, any kind of phobia. America's full of phobias. Find one and stick with it.
11. Get ostracized by another country. This is always good publicity - it shows that people think you have influence.
12. Keep repeating all of the above until you reach the Supreme Court.