27 Comments

Florida pastor Terry Jones, “We do not feel responsible”


What an idiot…

Responding to news that Florida pastor Terry Jones had last week burnt the Quran, a mob of Afghans in the relatively calm city of Mazar-i-Sharif ransacked the United Nations headquarters there, killing 12 people. Last year, Jones sparked widespread condemnation when he threatened to burn a copy of the Quran outside his church. While he ultimately decided against it after pleas from high ranking U.S. officials such as Gen. David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Jones last week burned the Quran after a supposed “trial” of the Muslim holy book at his church..

Violent protests in Afghanistan have now spread as far south as Kandahar. However, Jones feels no sense of responsibility. “We do not feel responsible,” he said on Friday. “We feel more that the Muslims and radical Islam uses that as an excuse.” Now, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Jones says he might also put the prophet Mohammad on trial:

Terry Jones, the radical pastor who oversaw the burning of a Koran in his Florida church last month after a mock court hearing, may put the Islamic prophet Mohammed on trial in his next ‘day of judgement’, he told The Sunday Telegraph.

“It is definitely a consideration to stage a trial on the life of Mohammed in the future,” he said in interview on Saturday.

Radical Pastor Terry Jones Says He’s Considering ‘A Trial On The Life Of Mohammed’

From a transcript of the ABC News interview with Pastor Terry Jones:

“Nightline” anchor Bill Weir: Everyone from President Obama to Secretary Gates to General Petraeus implored you not to do this and you told us back in September that that actually helped change your mind and backed you off a bit. So why did you go through with this earlier this month? Why did you burn a Koran after all?

Pastor Terry Jones: Well, like you said, we did decide to cancel our “International Burn the Koran Day.” We still wanted to make an awareness of the radical element of Islam. We wondered how could we do that. How could we give Islam a fair shake, give them an opportunity? As you realize “International Burn a Koran day,” that was of course somewhat of a lopsided story. We had that the Koran was guilty, that we were going to burn the Koran as a protest against the radical element of Islam. After that was canceled, we still wanted to continue our campaign raising an awareness of this dangerous religion and this dangerous element. After this much though we came up with “International Judge the Koran Day.” We decided we would put the Koran on trial. We had reps from the Muslim community, we had Imam here. We had people who converted from Islam to Christianity. We had a prosecuting attorney. A defense attorney. And the Koran was put on trial.

Weir: And who was the judge and jury in your trial?

Jones: I was the judge, but I did not determine the verdict. I was just a type of referee to make sure everybody got their fair time to defend the Koran or make a defense against the Koran.

Weir: And who was the jury? Who was the jury — who condemned the Koran?

Jones: Individuals mainly from around Florida.

Jones: If the Koran was found guilty then there were four forms of punishment by which the people could choose. Those forms were burning, shredding, rounding and the Koran would face the firing squad. The one that the people chose was burning–that was why the Koran was burned after it was found guilty.

Weir: So just to be clear in the piece, your jury was made up of random Floridians or members of your congregations or people from your community?

Jones: Made of random people from around Florida — yes. We put an invitation out to people who wanted to be on the jury, and these were the people who expressed a desire to do that.

Weir: When you got news of today’s deadly riots there in Afghanistan, what was the first thought that went through your head?

Jones: Yeah, yeah of course we were very saddened and devastated by that. It is of course a terrible thing anytime anyone is killed. Anytime someone’s life is cut short through murder or even accident. I think it definitely does prove that there is a radical element of Islam. (link)

quote…

I think it definitely does prove that there is a radical element of Islam

True. But what this also proves is there is a dangerous radical element hiding behind Christianity.

This guy is a dangerous fool.

27 comments on “Florida pastor Terry Jones, “We do not feel responsible”

  1. Dangerous? Provocative? Yes, certainly, but can you imagine an equivalent reaction if there were a ceremonical burning of the Bible, and people totally unconnected with the burning were being killed in street riots in another country? There was a comparable and equally misdirected and disporportionate reaction when the Danish cartoons were published.

    It’s very one-sided, and people should not be afraid to speak their minds. Burning the Qu’ran is neither more nor less disrespectful than burning the Bible, and I deplore either act. However I don’t believe innocent people should be being killed in foreign street fighting, nor do I believe that there should be widespread damage to property belonging to people of good will.

    If the rioters in Afghanistan want to protest against the action of Terry Jones in USA, let them take it up personally with him and his cohort, and leave everyone else in peace.

  2. Hi pj
    we have a good number of Muslims living in my town in the UK and our churches work hard to have a good relationship with them. A couple of months ago the English Defence League arranged to going to march through the town – they invited Terry Jones but then retracted their invitation, thankfully, then the Home Office banned TJ from coming here. We were thankful about that because he is dangerous and would probably incite people to religious hatred which is illegal here. The EDL march went ahead very peacefully and without any real problems.

    If a person puts out into the public domain extreme views then at the very least he should be accountable for the consequences and accept responsibility. It reminded me of Rob Bell who wrote a controversial book and then complained and said “oh no, people are slandering me”.

    • If a person puts out into the public domain extreme views then at the very least he should be accountable for the consequences and accept responsibility.

      Yes i agree Jan. And it sounds like your Home Office made a very wise decision.

      If the rioters in Afghanistan want to protest against the action of Terry Jones in USA, let them take it up personally with him and his cohort, and leave everyone else in peace.

      Derek, how about this: if nuts and spotlight seekers like Jones want to “really” make a statement, let them take their act into muslim countries and there, burn the quran. (fat chance of that ever happening)

      This guy doesn’t act for the sake of Christ, the Gospel or the lost. He is in actuality an enemy of the Cross and Christianity.

    • If people in far away Afghanistan are killing total strangers who never did anything bad to them, then they should be charged with murder. Their defence would no doubt be that someone in another country burned a holy book and so they murdered a total stranger who in all likelihood deplores the actions of Terry Jones. Well, I don’t care if they claim they were provoked, they were not provoked by me. I deplore Jones’s actions, so why should I be killed because of them?

      I live in Scotland. If someone burned the Holy Bible in Afghanistan, how far do you think I would get if I were to go out into the streets of Edinburgh, starting a riot, destroying property, and killing innocent civilians? The answer is very obvious, I would be widely and rightly regarded as a complete nutter, and I would be charged with murder and incitement to riot.

      While Terry Jones can rightly be described as reckless for provoking such deranged behaviour and acts of destruction, violence and murder, let’s keep in perspective that the killings and property damage that have occurred are not carried out by him. Moreover, and worse, they are entirely misdirected against people who are guilty of nothing. While he might well have provoked them, he is not guilty of murdering anyone.

      What Jones’s actions have highlighted is that in these parts of the world, we are dealing with primitive, stone age mindsets, people who when they don’t get their way, throw tantrums with lethal consequences for any stranger who strays into their path. Every innocent civilian who was murdered by these street thugs is someone else’s brother or sister, father, mother, daughter or son. They did nothing to deserve being slaughtered because of an action taken by someone they don’t even know personally, who lives in another country, and whose actions they don’t even support or possibly even know anything about.

      Let’s not make any more excuses for blatant street thuggery and murder. Those responsible should face the consequences of their outrageous behaviour at law. I hope they are rounded up in the country where they committed these crimes, arrested and charged.

  3. […] us.” They are completely justified, says Jones, who also insists that he and his congregants bear no responsibility for the murders of over 20 U.N. workers that resulted from their recent Quran burning.But of course […]

  4. hey , just wanted to comment on the stupity of this act , I’m a born again christian and retired marine , now this act of stupity just added recruits to the fight and it was a act of the flesh and not faith. But i know that bibles were burned in the gaza , but I ain’t hating no one . but mr. jones is responsible for throwing gas on the straw and lighting the fire . sounds likes a dominion theology person but just a theory . smells because we got troops in muliple theaters and if he had family in the service , he would’nt be so wreckless

    • Amen, it was an act of sheer stupidity.

      Was Jesus lifted up?–no.

      Did it point the lost to the saving power of Christ?–no.

      if he had family in the service , he would’nt be so wreckless

      Honestly i don’t even know if that would stop him. The guy is beyond being foolish…

      I read an article about Jones and his church this evening. According to reports, his church is a cult,

      quote…

      GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Long before the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran, former parishioners say he presided over a church that he treated as a personal fiefdom, imposing a strict orthodoxy that tore apart one Gainesville family after another.

      Congregants at the Dove World Outreach Center, who have dwindled to 30 or so in number, are required to vow allegiance to Jones — a pledge that places restrictions on their diets, their ability to hold jobs outside the church and their personal relationships.

      *full article: Terry Jones, pastor who ordered Koran burning has divided families, ex-church members say

  5. At some point, we have to make sure that it is only the concern over the possible loss of life and not the idea that we are supposed to respect the Koran. Incidentally, gay rights activists have been accusing Christian preachers of murdering people by causing suicides and the spread of AIDS for decades, and those accusations are only going to increase. Many people also accuse Christians of causing religious bloodshed and wars by claiming that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, by rejecting pluralism and inclusivism. And some of these are other Christians; Rick Warren claims that fundamentalist Christians are as dangerous as fundamentalist Muslims.

    Also, where is the outrage at civil rights leaders and other liberal/liberation theology “Christians” who provoke riots with their marches, words and actions ALL THE TIME? Who supported Marxist coups in Latin America and Africa, and even went to the third world to fight alongside them? Terry Jones we revile, but Martin Luther King, Jr. we give a federal holiday? (Yes, despite his claims of being “nonviolent”, King provoked riots and baited white racists on purpose; he and his cohorts used the threat of riots and violent confrontations to secure concessions from politicians and business leaders. It wasn’t “civil disobedience”, it was strong arm tactics using the threat and reality of violence. That’s why King never held a march in Chicago; he knew Daley’s police force would have crushed him.)

    And what of the violence that Hollywood provokes with their music, movies, TV shows etc.? Everything from copycat crimes to influencing the culture. Look, whether Terry Jones is a false preacher or not is one thing. But buying into this media nonsense is another. The Bible calls Islam and all other false religions doctrines of devils, so that means that the Koran is filled with them. We are to love Muslims, but hate their beliefs. Please, let us not lose sight of that fact. Terry Jones is a problem, but the increasing pluralist/inclusivist tendencies of evangelical Christianity (including such people as Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis) is a bigger one.

  6. I do not agree with what Jones did but I will defend forever his right to do it. Our statement to Muslims from the president on down should be this:

    This is America. In America we have the right to free speech and freedom of expression. If you don’t like that it’s too bad. You will not dictate what American citizens can and cannot do in America with regards to their own private property.

    We do not hold Terry Jones responsible for the actions of Muslim murderers in Afghanistan or elsewhere. We will not be intimidated into giving up our rights in order to appease religious radicals in foreign lands.

    When people decide that offensive speech can be limited we will truly lose the ability to preach the gospel freely

  7. I still say this guy (and others like him) are dangerous fools.

    At some point, we have to make sure that it is only the concern over the possible loss of life and not the idea that we are supposed to respect the Koran.

    Job, yes any loss of life should be one of our primary concerns as followers of Christ.

    The other being the misrepresentation, presented by the glory-seeking actions of nuts like Jones, of our Lord, the gospel, and Christianity.

    As i asked earlier, did his action glorify and lift up Christ….did it represent any action or command made by our Lord as recorded in the word? Did it further the gospel message of repentance and reconciliation? No. It did not.

    As far as the Quran, if one believes actions (such as publicly burning it) are far over the line and into glory-seeking “stupid-land”, that’s not defending the Quran, or respecting it. What it is, is understanding that publicly demeaning an entire religious group, will never win them to Christ.

    Jesus referred to the pharisees as serpents and whitewashed tombs, vipers…blind leaders of the blind who “…..shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (matt.23). Jesus accused them of transgressing the commandment of God because of their many man-made traditions….

    What He didn’t do was build a bonfire and toss in representations of these traditions. No. He “preached” a better way.

    The only incident i can recall of the burning of books in the new testament was when Paul presided over the burning of witchcraft books. And it was actually done VOLUNTARILY by new believers,

    13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

    14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

    15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

    16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

    17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

    18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

    19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

    20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (acts 19)

    My point is the Terry Jones’ of this world who hide behind (and use) the term Christianity and claim to be doing the work of God, are neither Christians nor doing God’s work. They are working contrary to the gospel. Thus, they are enemies of the Cross.

    I do not agree with what Jones did but I will defend forever his right to do it.

    Steve, i understand on one level. But with freedoms and rights come responsibilities. And frankly, a little common sense. I have the right (legally, as an American citizen) to do any number of things which my heart and/or common sense, tells me are neither prudent or wise.

    • PJ – my comment wasn’t about the wisdom of his actions. I agree it was foolish and unwise but in America we have the right to be foolish and unwise.

      If we are going to send our troops abroad to bring “Liberty & Democracy” to the Muslim world then we should at least show them what liberty looks like. When we condemn this mans actions because it offends Muslims, we fail to live the liberty that we allegedly proclaim.

      Some homosexuals are offended at the preaching of the gospel. Some claim that our preaching the gospel is responsible for violence against homosexuals. If we agree that certain speech is so offensive it must be limited we play into the hands of the enemies of the gospel.

      This isn’t about Islam. It is a trap into which many Christians are falling. It is the beginning of the loss of our right to freely proclaim a gospel that is offensive to most of the world. If we fail to stand for free speech for all, even those with whom we disagree, we will lose that very right for ourselves.

      In the end, the gospel will be proclaimed to the world regardless of what the law allows but there is no need for us to join hands with our enemies as they distract us from their ultimate purpose

    • Steve, the preaching of the gospel is an exercise in free speech. BURNING a Quran and widely publicizing it is NOT speech. It is an ACT and arguably a malicious one. Actions are NOT universally constitutionally protected. All the liberal nonsense trying to equate actions to speech by misusing the term “expression” is just that, nonsense. The constitution protects speech and written expression, not any sort of action a person wishes to commit and insist is an expression of their whatever.

      The reality is that these are how wars are started. Guys with little integrity and lots of testosterone figure out ways to incite the other side and then piously blame them for “starting” the hostility. In this case the intention is to start a “holy war”. It all starts out with inflammatory symbolism and ends up in abject violence. To try to defend this guy is just wrong and those tea party types who are flocking to his defense are going to end up with blood on their hands.

  8. I really have to disagree with Steve on this one. I don’t think that people should have a “right” to burn Qurans any more than they should have the “right” to burn crosses in people’s yards. Liberals are famous for confusing “speech” with “actions”. American’s have a constitutional right to free speech. Of course, even that is restricted when it risks the lives of others like the proverbial “crying fire in the crowded theater”. But there is no constitutional guarantee that I know of that gives one the “right” to “widely publicize” the burning of a book falsely considered sacred by much of the world’s population. And like “crying fire in the theater”, this act very much risks human life. Terry Jones has every right to assemble his congregation and burn as many Qurans as he wishes as long as he does it as a private act. But INTENTIONALLY publicizing it goes too far. I very much believe that he could and should be facing manslaughter charges for this act because his negligence and lack of discretion has cost multiple lives and the associated carnage is not over yet. Americans do NOT have an intrinsic constitutional right to perform negligent and malicious deeds that result in loss of life. It is that simple. But largely due to liberal brainwashing we have become a nation of judicial idiocy in which any social deviant can commit flagrantly antisocial acts in an in your face fashion and not only get away with it, but actually draw a following of admirers. And now, sadly, even political conservatives are buying into this nonsense.

    • Americans do NOT have an intrinsic constitutional right to perform negligent and malicious deeds that result in loss of life. It is that simple. But largely due to liberal brainwashing we have become a nation of judicial idiocy in which any social deviant can commit flagrantly antisocial acts in an in your face fashion and not only get away with it, but actually draw a following of admirers. And now, sadly, even political conservatives are buying into this nonsense.

      Amen George. Madness and a shroud of total blindness has settled upon this nation.

  9. Actually, followers of Jesus have no rights, at least no right to demand “rights.” Do not confuse a political concept with spiritual truths. The freedom Christ brings us into cannot be spread or obtained through military action nor through governmental systems; it is not the same as and should not be confused with civil freedoms. It is nice, it is convenient, it is sometimes helpful to many good works, that there is the right to “free speech” granted or upheld by civil authorities in some places on this earth. But the gospel is not bound, no matter what the rulers and gods of this age do or do not do. Because followers of Jesus have a Commission from Him, and are equipped by Him, which no man-made law or government can overcome. It’s only that some saints have to pay with imprisonment, exile, torture, or death for their obedience.

    The “freedom” observed by “christians” like Jones is a constantinian debacle and all sacralism is going to have only negative impact for the witness of biblical christianity to the muslim world.

    • Actually, followers of Jesus have no rights, at least no right to demand “rights.” Do not confuse a political concept with spiritual truths.

      Beautifully said Vicki. Not just the quote pulled but your entire comment.

      Reminds me of something i read…

      “The Christian being “salt and light” is not a call to create and promote the veneer of cultural civility; but a call to give up our rights, live for Jesus, and point others to the gospel”

      The Christian’s Bill of Rights

      1. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have only one right: and that is to give up all rights to ourselves (2 Cor. 5:14-16; Romans 14:7-9).

      2. We have the right to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Mt. 16:24-26).

      3. We have the right to esteem others more highly than ourselves; and love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt. 22:39;Phil. 2:1-5).

      4. We have the right to fulfill the law of Christ in bearing one another’s burdens of sin (Gal. 6:1-3).

      5. We have the right to be wronged and to maintain a faithful testimony (1 Cor. 6:1-8).

      6. We have the right to live in unreciprocated, self-sacrificial love (Eph. 5:1-2).

      7. We have the right to forgive others the smaller debt, as God in Christ has forgiven us the larger debt (Eph. 4:31-32; Matthew 18:12-35).

      8. We have the right to suffer for the gospel and to take the blows for the One who took the blows for us (1 Peter 2:21-24)

      9. We have the right to be “subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

      10. We have the right to not be political agitators trading the truth of His Word to play politics with men’s souls; thinking that true spiritual change occurs through legislation rather than the transforming power of the gospel of grace. (1 Peter 4:10-16).

      11. We have the right to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).

      12. We have the right to be stripped of all earthly things (Matthew 5:40-42).

      13. We have the right to not repay evil for evil and to be at peace with all men as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:17-18).

      14. We have the right to love our enemies, do good to them that hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those that despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44-45).

      15. We have the right to pursue holiness-not personal happiness (1 Peter 1:13-16).

      16. We have the right not to be ashamed of the gospel (2 Tim. 1:6-18).

      17. We have the right not to harbor revenge, anger, bitterness, clamoring, wrath, malice and slander when wronged by another (Ephesians 4:31).

      18. We have the right not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).

      19. We have the right to repent of and not cherish our sins (Psalm 66:18).

      20. We have the right to guard the trust; and to contend for the once for all delivered to the saints faith (1 Timothy 6:20; Jude 1:3).

      21. We have the right to train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3).

      22. We have the right to reflect God’s covenantal relationship with us by honoring our vows in the covenant of marriage with our spouse Mt. 19:6).

      23. We have the right to worship Christ Jesus as God of very God; Creator; Redeemer; Sovereign Lord and Ruler of all (Col. 1:15-19; Hebrews 1:8; Phil. 2:5-11).

      24. We have the right to present our lives as living sacrifices everyday to God (Roms. 12:1-2).

      25. We have the right to live in the expectancy and hope of the Lord’s return by which we purify ourselves (Roms. 12:1-2).

      26. We have the right to march daily on our knees in prayer; praying for our leaders in government; our church leaders; our fellow believers; our families; and the lost (1 Timothy 2:1-3; Ephesians 6:18-21).

      27. We have the right to praise and glorify God according to how He has revealed Himself through the pages of His Word (Col. 3:16-17).

      28. We have the right to honor our local church pastors; for they keep watch over our souls as those who will give an account (Hebrews 13:17).

      29. We have the right to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).

      30. We have the right to have no rights apart from Christ Himself; “for whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:25: John 15:5).

      THE CHRISTIAN’S BILL OF RIGHTS…living Christlike in a pagan society

  10. If we fail to stand for free speech for all, even those with whom we disagree, we will lose that very right for ourselves.

    Exactly! i agree Steve.

    Foolish extremists claiming to follow Christ but who are actually misappropriating and misrepresenting True Christianity by their actions, words, and personal agendas, will end up costing the American Church many of the freedoms it has enjoyed.

    • What will be the ramifications of this for Christians in Islamic countries? How many Christians must be sacrificed for Terry Jone’s “freedom of expression”? This whole charade is major evidence that Christians in large numbers are worshiping at the alters of democracy and the US constitution rather than at the alter of the God who admonishes us through Paul in Hebrews to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord … “. And again in Romans “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” It is the message of the Gospel and the power of the spirit that bring down false gospels, not the inventions of the flesh. This whole mania over burning the Quran is not of God at all but is of the devil. The major beneficiaries right now, in fact, are the radical Islamists who are without doubt rejoicing over this great gift from Terry Jones and those foolish enough to follow him and/or support his actions.

  11. George Mitchell wrote:

    “… the preaching of the gospel is an exercise in free speech. BURNING a Quran and widely publicizing it is NOT speech. It is an ACT and arguably a malicious one. Actions are NOT universally constitutionally protected. All the liberal nonsense trying to equate actions to speech by misusing the term “expression” is just that, nonsense. The constitution protects speech and written expression, not any sort of action a person wishes to commit and insist is an expression of their whatever”.

    If this is true George how is it that Westboro ‘Baptist’ Church get away with their offensive and inflammatory actions?

    • If this is true George how is it that Westboro ‘Baptist’ Church get away with their offensive and inflammatory actions?

      Gordon, i’d like to weigh-in with a brief comment, & then post a few quotes from Justice Alito who was the lone dissenter, in the recent Westboro Cult/Church case.

      Personally i believe the Supreme court’s decision was wrong. What this group does constitutes hate speech….NOT freedom of speech.

      Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence.

      It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women. (USLegal)

      Applying this same legal definition to the actions of Terry Jones would also make that hate speech. His action most certainly “provoked violence”.

      JUSTICE ALITO, dissenting:

      quote…

      Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.

      Petitioner Albert Snyder is not a public figure. He is simply a parent whose son, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq. Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such anincalculable loss: to bury his son in peace. But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprivedhim of that elementary right.

      They first issued a press release and thus turned Matthew’s funeral into a tumultuous media event. They then appeared at the church, approached as closely as they could without trespassing, and launched a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability.

      As a result, Albert Snyder suffered severe and lasting emotional injury.1 The Court now holds that the First Amendment protected respondents’ right to brutalize Mr. Snyder.

      I cannot agree.

      Respondents and other members of their church have strong opinions on certain moral, religious, and political issues, and the First Amendment ensures that they have almost limitless opportunities to express their views.

      They may write and distribute books, articles, and other texts; they may create and disseminate video and audio recordings; they may circulate petitions; they may speak to individuals and groups in public forums and in any private venue that wishes to accommodate them; they may picket peacefully in countless locations; they may appear on television and speak on the radio; they may post messages on the Internet and send out e-mails. And they may express their views in terms that are “uninhibited,” “vehement,” and “caustic.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964).

      Although the elements of the IIED tort are difficult to meet, respondents long ago abandoned any effort to show that those tough standards were not satisfied here. On appeal, they chose not to contest the sufficiency of the evidence. See 580 F. 3d 206, 216 (CA4 2009).

      They did not dispute that Mr. Snyder suffered “‘wounds that are truly severe and incapable of healing themselves.’” Figueiredo-Torres, supra, at 653, 584 A. 2d, at 75.

      Nor did they dispute that their speech was “‘so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.’ ” Harris, supra, at 567, 380 A. 2d, at 614.

      Instead, they maintained that the First Amendment gave them a license to engage in such conduct.

      They are wrong.

      It does not follow, however, that they may intentionally inflict severe emotional injury on private persons at a time of intense emotional sensitivity by launching vicious verbal attacks that make no contribution to public debate.

      “…the First Amendment does not shield utterances that form “no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.”

      In this case, respondents brutally attacked Matthew Snyder, and this attack, which was almost certain to inflict injury, was central to respondents’ well-practiced strategy for attracting public attention.

      The more outrageous the funeral protest, the more publicity the Westboro Baptist Church is able to obtain. Thus, when the church recently announced its intention to picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in the shooting spree inTucson—proclaiming that she was “better off dead”11— their announcement was national news,12 and the church was able to obtain free air time on the radio in exchange for canceling its protest.13

      Similarly, in 2006, the church got air time on a talk radio show in exchange for canceling its threatened protest at the funeral of five Amish girls killed by a crazed gunman.14

      more here

      So why is it the Westboro Cult/Church can prevail in 2011?

      George gave a pretty good answer,

      “….largely due to liberal brainwashing we have become a nation of judicial idiocy in which any social deviant can commit flagrantly antisocial acts in an in your face fashion and not only get away with it, but actually draw a following of admirers”

      Sadly, this is the ‘New America’ Gordon.

    • 1) Gordon, I would in NO WAY defend the Westboro Church either. While there is a general concept in our society that allows for “peaceful assembly”, I believe that is being stretched by the Westboro Church via the same liberal trend that says that if we don’t allow all these despicable actions, we will all end up in a police state. Funerals are simply not a public venue and thus should not be open to these types of activities, but the courts are the arbitrator under the constitution so it gets permitted.

      2) What the Westboro Church is doing, at least so far, is not leading to people losing their lives. That is a huge difference and is what makes Terry Jones even more dangerous.

    • I would also agree with PJ and Justice Alito on the “hate speech” issue. Actions and speech that stir people to violence should NOT be permitted under the law. I KNOW that the first reaction is always that this will be applied to preaching. My response would be that 1) it SHOULD be applied to certain sorts of apostate preaching that promotes violence. Genuine gospel preaching NEVER promotes violence. WHEN did Jesus OR His apostles EVER call on people to commit acts of violence? WHEN? Gospel preaching is just the opposite. Gospel preaching exhorts believers to “love your enemies”. ANY preaching that even suggests that believers should commit violent acts against ANYONE is NOT biblical preaching, rather it is DEMONIC. Flee for your life! Anyone preaching on the subject of abortion or homosexuality should be held responsible for making it clear that it is God and ONLY God who is to hold people responsible for their sin, NOT believers and NOT the church and NOT the government. The purpose of government is NOT to prevent sin, but to keep order in society. The two are deeply intertwined, but they are not the same thing. The followers of Jesus were taught to respect and pay homage to the Roman government in spite of the fact that it not only permitted sin but condoned it. This is precisely the connections that several have made above in terms of Christians SUPPORTING these despicable people, in part, because they are buying into the confusion of dominionism. Once we lose site of the primary biblical role of government as maintaining order is society, then we start allowing for all these creeps to assert themselves.

  12. George, you said “Actions and speech that stir people to violence should NOT be permitted under the law ……….it SHOULD be applied to certain sorts of apostate preaching that promotes violence. Genuine gospel preaching NEVER promotes violence”

    So I guess you think Stephen deserved to be stoned for his preaching to the Jews in Acts 7. His preaching of the gospel certainly stirred them to violence.

    George – who gets to decide what is offensive and what isn’t. Offense is always in the eyes (or ears) of the beholder. If I tell homosexuals that their lifestyle is an abomination before God and if they don’t repent they will end up in hell, do you think some of them might be offended. Would they be offended enough to silence me under your form of free speech?

    And on another note, freedom of speech includes freedom of expression. That is why burning an American flag is not against the law. It may be offensive but it is not illegal.

    • Nothing Stephen preached could possibly be construed by a sane person as promoting violence. And, in fact, nothing he said caused anyone to commit violence. It RESULTED in violence, but it did NOT promote violence. They DID kill HIM of course. That is sometimes the price of preaching the gospel faithfully. No law would have stopped this kind of action. The Terry Jones case is COMPLETELY different. Terry Jone’s speech and actions cost OTHERS, INNOCENT OTHERS, their lives. Terry Jones is safely protected right here in the USA and his life has NEVER been at risk. So if you are trying to compare Terry Jones with Stephen, that is a blasphemy. There is a world of difference between the two. Terry Jones act had absolutely zero to do with the preaching of the gospel. NOWHERE in scripture are we commanded to burn Qurans or even destroy idols, EXCEPT in our own hearts, homes, and churches. And that is precisely where you guys have it ALL WRONG. I NO WHERE said that anything that is “offensive” should be banned. NOWHERE. I said that those things that bring a reasonable expectation of promoting violence against OTHERS should be banned, and I stand by that. The problem with Terry Jones actions are NOT that they are offensive. The problem is that Terry Jones KNEW that this act would result in violence and he did it anyway knowing full well that innocent blood would be shed a result. And there is NO WAY of defending that kind of malice. As for the homosexual issue, if you preach against homosexual behavior and homosexuals are offended, that should NOT be against the law. HOWEVER, if you preach against homosexual behavior and someone hearing your preaching goes out and attacks homosexuals as a result, that SHOULD be against the law. And, yes, I believe that flag burning should be illegal. It is just one more part of the insanity all around us that people are allowed to bite the hand that feeds and protects them.

  13. Noticed Albert Mohler has weighed-in today,

    Pastor Jones and his church incited a riot, and put human lives in jeopardy. There is no excuse for theatrics as a substitute for Gospel ministry.

    That is the main issue here, from a Christian perspective. Pastor Jones is not wrong to see Islam as a way that leads millions of people away from the message of the Gospel, and thus to spiritual death. But he did not reach out with a Gospel message, he simply staged a theatrical stunt intended to draw attention to himself and his church. The way he toyed with the media and major public figures earlier this year was an indication of the game he intended to play – and now he has played it out.

    full article: The Real Scandal of Pastor Terry Jones

  14. George, I didn’t think for a moment that you would defend WBC. As a resident of the UK I was just picking up on your point that offensive actions are not ‘free speech’ under the First Amendment and wanted to know why WBC got away with their scandalous behaviour.
    Between PJ and yourself you have clarified the position. It seems that WBC and the US legislature both have problems.

    • Gordon, I do think we have to be careful with the word “offensive”. The point is that what WBC and TJ are doing is BEYOND offensive. It is hateful in the true sense, counter to the teachings of scripture and does nothing whatsoever to advance the gospel. Many things in life are offensive to people. Civil laws are “offensive” to many. The preaching of the gospel, not to mention visits at the door by Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are offensive to many. But these are not the kinds of “offenses” that are the problem or that should be banned by government decree. This all harks back to the debate over pornography. Some people feel that “who among us can tell the difference between the message of the gospel and child pornography?” If we outlaw child pornography because its “offensive”, someone else is going to find the gospel “offensive” and then that will be outlawed as well. I am saying ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE! A court *should* be able to tell that which is mildly offensive to some, poses no great risk to society, yet has great redeeming value, from that which is greatly offensive to many, poses significant risk to society and has little redeeming value. That is the huge problem today in western society. People are so brainwashed that common sense totally escapes them. Clever defenses are posed for the most despicable and damnable speech and actions and Christians, even, just fold and acquiesce in fear that the gospel of Christ is in grave danger if the sociopaths are not allowed free reign in out midst. We need to think twice before we run to defend people like Terry Jones and the WBC. Much of our broader society is saying enough and we need to join them. Our fundamental freedoms are at risk because of Terry Jones and the WBC, NOT the other way around.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Rooted and Grounded In Christ

Teaching Sound Doctrine & Glorifying Christ

leadme.org

Lead me O Lord

I Was a Teenage Dispensationalist

It's the end (of the end) of the world as we know it...

%d bloggers like this: