The Devil wears polyester. April 2, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: burning of Qu'ran, Dove World Outreach Center, Terry Jones
Forget Prada. The Devil has a much cheaper material to work with, in the hate-filled person of the so-called “Reverend” Terry Jones. You may recall Rev. Jones, pastor of the ironically named Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, from last September, when he threatened to burn a copy of the Qu’ran, the Muslim Holy Book, on September 11 to retaliate for the atrocities committed by al-Qaeda. (Our friend Ben commemorated this event with the post “Burn a Qu’ran for Satan;” you can reach it via our search bar at upper right.)
By God’s grace, enough pressure was brought to bear on Rev. Jones back in September to make him back down from his hate-filled piece of performance art and settle for the publicity blitz he received from it instead. Our country’s top military and political leaders all pointed out that his pathetic stunt would endanger the lives of Americans—and all Christians—in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. Hatred begets hatred, and Muslims were unlikely to take kindly to the public burning of their most holy book during one of their holiest holidays.
After all the brouhaha, things seemed to settle down. The Rev. Jones disappeared from the news. But the Devil has learned a lot about patience during those long, hot years in Hell. He’d started a little fire under the good reverend, an ego-stoking fire, and now that fire was in danger of burning out. So the Devil blew and blew on the coals—just enough to keep them alive. “Terry, my man,” he whispered. “You’re yesterday’s news. Nobody’s listening anymore. You’re in danger of becoming just another pastor at just another church. And we don’t want that, now do we? So what are we going to do about it?”
Flickers of hatred, fanned by the winds of ego and greed, rose up from the embers. Soon the fire became an inferno. And on March 20, the Reverend Jones held a “trial” in which the Qu’ran was accused of “inciting murder, rape, and terrorist activities.” It was convicted, and a copy was soaked in kerosene and burned.
Our friend Ben, an avid reader and writer, is not about to deny the power of the written word to incite just about anything, from heroism to horror. But in this case, it was the words and actions of the Rev. Jones, rather than the Qu’ran, that incited “murder… and terrorist activities.” As word of the desecration of the Qu’ran reached the Islamic world, outrage erupted. Pakistan has asked Interpol to investigate. But in Afghanistan, the citizens of the previously tranquil city of Mazar-i-Sharif took a more direct approach, marching on the U.N. compound there and killing, depending on your source, between five and ten people (the U.N. itself reports seven deaths).
These were, need our friend Ben point out, not the deaths of the Rev. Terry Jones and members of his congregation. They were deaths of innocent U.N. workers, none of whom were even American and several of whom were certainly not Christian. They were simply the closest available targets for the outrage felt by the Muslim community, and one has to fear that they’ll be the first rather than the last.
So what did Terry Jones say when he learned of the price his action had exacted on innocents unknown to him, a price everyone had warned him would occur last September? Prompted by the Devil, he enthusiastically passed the buck. “We must hold these countries accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities,” he wrote on the Dove World Outreach Center’s website. “The time has come to hold Islam accountable.”
Perhaps the time has come for the world to hold him accountable for using ego-driven hatred to promote terrorism. Can Interpol, the U.N., NATO, or the Pentagon do that? Sadly, our friend Ben doubts it. But that doesn’t mean we should let the Devil claim an outright victory through his pathetic tool.
Where our friend Ben and Silence Dogood live, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, the Amish have a way of bringing straying members of their congregations back in line. It’s called shunning, a sort of opposite to the endless publicity Jones craves. The shunned person is distanced from the people and society he loves until he is persuaded to see the error of his ways, and then he is wholeheartedly welcomed back into the fold.
If Jones can’t be arrested for his crimes against God and humanity, I think he should be shunned. He should receive no publicity of any kind, ever. No decent person should speak to him or tolerate his presence. He should be isolated and abhorred as the pestilential hate-monger he is, until such time as he has a change of heart and returns to the love and peace of God that seeks unity rather than division and love rather than hate.
Our friend Ben believes that ultimately, the Holy Spirit can prevail over the Devil, even in the case of such a black-hearted monster as Terry Jones. For, though the Devil knows our weaknesses, God knows our strengths.