Friday, April 22, 2011

Terry Jones Update: The Latest Video Proves That Righteous Arrogance Kills People and Breeds Stupid Pastors

The last words: "This man is insane!"

A Methodist Minister, a Muslim Imam and a Fred Phelps Impersonator walk into a bar...

OK, I'm straining to be light about the whole thing, but the video of Terry Jones going toe-to-toe with Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini and Rev. Ed Rowe - Pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Detroit would be hysterically funny if peace and safety didn't hinge on it. All the talking points are there, but Jones' insistence that his actions are not harmful and that they have a point hold no correlation to those points.
SPECIAL NOTE: You may well be reading this after Jones' attempt to protest, but to get a good look at simple reasoning being thrown at someone like Jones, you really must watch the video. The idiom "Pearls Before Swine" will surely pop into your head. If you have any problems viewing it, go HERE to the site. And, yes, it's that important. 
Comic Update: As if in some old sitcom (discontinued after 4 episodes), this happened to Jones after the interview:

Controversial Pastor Terry Jones made a name for himself after burning a Koran to protest radical Islam.  On Thursday, Jones fired bullet into the floorboard of his car.
Southfield Police say the gun accidentally discharged.  No one was hurt.  No Charges were filed.  Police gave the gun back to Jones and sent him on his way.
Jones was born 90 years too late: he could have been a star in Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops comedies.

Where was I? Ah, yes, the talking points: Jones swatted them off like flies, not knowing that he looked totally cold and callous throughout the entire discussion. He was introduced as "the most controversial man in America - maybe the most controversial man in the world!" and that may have set his ego flying. He definitely studied under Fred Phelps. 

He spoke in even tones from a scowl-covered face how he had been "around the world" and spent 30 years as a "missionary " in Europe, omitting the fact that his last "sect" in Europe (Germany) had ousted him with the help of the German government. Evidently the 800-member church could not stand his dictatorial ways. When asked pointedly "What are you trying to prove?" he said it was to "raise awareness" about growing "radical" Islam, Jihad and Sharia law. 

He also compared himself to Rev. Martin Luther King. 

In reference to his burning the Quran: "The Quran is a book, I do not care how holy it is. It is not flesh and blood." Others chimed in that Jones had "blood on his hands" in knowing that burning the sacred scripture of Islam would cause violence. 

"Absolutely not." He reasoned that what people did 7,000 miles away was not related to the burning because radical Muslims always react violently. (I almost interjected at this point: "Get yourself out of the 14th century: today, one word - in any part of the world - can set off a holocaust against any group." The image of me screaming at the computer screen, however, made me look almost as ridiculous as Jones.)

Both the Imam and Rev. Rowe were, in effect, stonewalled by stupidity. Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini's reasoning, while not flawless, was direct and to-the-point: Jones did not know anything about the Quran, Islam or even Christianity. He calmly pointed out that the Quran honors and mentions Jesus Christ numerous times and that Jones dishonored Jesus as well as Mohammad. Pastor Rowe, however, was extremely agitated: "I don’t own your vision of Christianity at all." And later: "He’s lying about Christianity, he’s lying about Martin Luther King and he’s lying about Islam." 

Working On Paranoia

It is ironic that the discussion was held on FOX News channel WJBK-2 Detroit: Rev. Rowe is definitely what can be called a "progressive" Christian, not at all in line with Christian Right leaders like Pat Robertson, James Dobson or Tony Perkins. The Imam's comment about "fringe" groups in Christianity as well as Islam would have been hotly contested. 

Towards the end of the third segment, the Imam was asked why people in America feared Islam. The Imam's answer was simple: "I think they fear Islam because of people like Pastor Terry Jones...he works on their paranoia."

Yes, he does. And this video - a spectacle of stubbornness and stupidity - proves that he will continue to do so. At the end, the viewer will cry or laugh defensively:

A Methodist Minister, a Muslim Imam and a Fred Phelps Impersonator walk into a bar...