Most of the United States, from rightys to leftys, believe that Pastor Terry Jones is a wackjob extremist moron. He was planning to burn a stack of Korans at the end of Ramadan on 9/11 to tell the “Islamofascists” that we “aren’t going to take it anymore” (quoting Jones, not Rollins).
Jones is clearly outside the mainstream. His views don’t represent basically anyone who lives in the USA, and I applaud mainstream Christianity for publicly and emphatically distancing themselves from this loon. But…
…He kinda made a point. Unintentionally.
Terrorists — and here I refer to Jones as a terrorist, so keep that in mind — do what they do to provoke overreactions from their enemies and to provoke violence on both sides. Now, Terry Jones didn’t plan to do anything illegal in the US, but what he did is a very serious crime in some of the countries he was aiming at infuriating. So when Jones plotted his burning, he was engaging in a form of terrorism. It certainly horrified Muslims, and that’s the point he made. And it provoked violence. Specifically, it got the following reactions:
Iran: Threat of “a crushing response by Muslims across the world.” And conspiracy theories by President Ahmadinejad: “[The proposed burning is a] Zionist plot that is against the teachings of all divine prophets. Zionists and their supporters are on their way to collapse and dissolution and such last-ditch actions will not save them, but multiply the pace of their fall and annihilation.” And the Ayatollahs put out a hit on anyone who burns a Koran.
A while ago, I wrote a rambling post on my private livejournal (before I started this blog) about natural medicines and how they are handled poorly and need more regulation. Ephedra (“Mormon Tea”) was my main gripe: Look at this, a natural medicine that really works, and because it wasn’t regulated, it got out of control and people died. So now it’s banned. It serves as evidence that the natural medicine industry is a disorganized, unscientific pile of scam artists and loonies.
Over the weekend, we had some hilarious news from those plucky skeptics in the UK, a country that on dit seems to be having a resurgence of free thought. The topic? Homeopathic medicine. Now this is different from “natural medicine” in that homeopathic medicine is, mgs per ml, a whole lot crazier. But easy targets make good television (and blogging!).