I support the Muslims who want to build a Mosque near ground zero. If they buy the property, they pay for the building, and they want to worship there, then that is their right to do so, and I support that. After all, it does not infringe on the rights of one single person. With that being said, the only possible reason for them to do this, is so they can be “in your face” and provoke outrage. I disagree with them. It is still their right.
I support the Preacher who wants to burn Qurans today. If he buys the books, has the burning completely on his own land, and that burning does not infringe on the rights of others, then it is his right to do so, and I fully support that. With that being said, the only possible reason for him to do this, is so he can be “in your face” and provoke outrage. I disagree with him. It is still his right.
The First Amendment protects your right to say what you want, and to worship as you please. I will defend your rights under that Amendment, even when I do not agree with you. That is the real test of freedom: will you defend the rights of someone with whom you do not agree? If you will not, then you are not for freedom, you just want freedom for those with whom you agree, and that is not freedom, it is conformity.
For those who cry that the military will be placed in harm’s way because of the speech of the preacher, I say to you that our military is SUPPOSED to be in harm’s way to protect the rights of her citizens. When I enlisted, I swore to support and defend our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. That was not an idle promise.
For those who are opposed to book burning, I say to you that book burning is stupid, but in this age of instant publishing, I say that burning a book is more a statement than it is a real threat. I cannot state it any better than Breda has:
In an age where I can carry the complete works of William Shakespeare on a device small enough to fit in my pocket, book burning is primitive and irrelevant. I can download and delete the Qur’an over and over, all day long. It means nothing. And in the end, all books will succumb to the rot of time, crumbling to dust, without the help of a zealot’s flame. There are no sacred objects.
Book burning is wrong, because it has been used in the past to stifle free speech. In this case, it is the opposition to this preacher that concerns me. The police and FBI threatening a man with prosecution for speech is far more chilling and worrisome than his act of burning a few of his own books that he purchased with his own money in a mutually beneficial transaction.
Who could doubt that this looks suspiciously like threats and intimidation?
– Police announce that they are taking down license numbers of all who attend the church’s Koran burning
– Eric Holder states that Terry Jones (the preacher) will be charged with a hate crime if he burns the Korans.
– The FBI meets with Jones on Thursday
– Thursday afternoon, Jones announces the burning is off.